Official Visitor Website

Spend a day exploring Norwich Lanes

Norwich Lanes is the vibrant, independent heart of Norwich. Steeped in history and community spirit, the beautiful buildings that line cobbled streets are home to hundreds of independent shops, restaurants and bars, alongside museums and arts venues.

St Gregory’s Alley, Norwich Lanes. Photo Ruski


As you wander around the Norwich Lanes, you might notice beautiful paving plaques telling a story of times gone by. In total there are 50 of these, each hand designed by artist Sally Barratt and sand blasted into the stone by local craftsmen, so do look down as you go. And pay attention to the street names – where you will find lobsters, goats, doves and swans.

Bridewell Alley is good entry point into Norwich Lanes. This cute little street is filled with gems and we’d recommend a coffee and pastry stop at Bread Source to kick-start your day. You’ll be spoilt for choice, but their cardamom bun is definitely a favourite. Look out of the café window and you’ll see a knapped flint wall which dates from 1370.


Museum of Norwich. Photo David Kirkham

The wall runs along the side of the Museum of Norwich; here you will find ten galleries jam-packed with intriguing objects cleverly bringing to life Norwich’s rich history. At each turn a new chapter unfolds – a prison door, the pharmacy, a Jacquard loom, shoe galleries, chocolate boxes and even a pub; explore the trades and people who made the city what it is today. Their shop demonstrates some of the creativity of the city, with work by local printmakers, glass-blowers and more. Before leaving Bridewell Alley, pop into Atwin for beautiful jewellery (handmade in their studio upstairs) and clothing from independent makers from Norfolk and across the UK.

Turn into Bedford Street for more independent shops. At the end of this street you will find Jarrolds, Norwich’s 200-year old department store; be sure to check out the Food Hall on the lower ground for award-winning local gins, cheeses, baked pastries and more!

St Benedict’s St, Norwich Lanes. Photo Ruski

There are so many choices for lunch tucked amongst the lanes – falafels, fish and chips, crepes, freshly-baked sandwiches; if you want a longer sit down, why not have lunch at Slice + Dice, a board game café with a library of over 200 games to play. Feeling refreshed, take in some more art at Moosey Art at Labour in Vain Yard a contemporary art gallery showcasing new up and coming artists from around the world; entry is free so drop in to see what’s on.

On Charing Cross, Strangers’ Hall is an extraordinary museum; this Tudor house has been home to many of Norwich’s most influential citizens – and takes it name from the warm welcome that they gave to Dutch, Walloon and Flemish refugee weavers in the 16th century. As you explore the maze of rooms, you will find that each has been faithfully restored to mark different historic eras – and the important uses of the house through the centuries.

As the evening draws in, Norwich Lanes starts to twinkle with its cosy bars and restaurants. St Benedict’s Street is the hot spot for food and drink so grab a cocktail at Hawthorn above or a glass of wine at the candle-lit Bicycle Shop. For something a bit special for dinner book into Benedicts or drop into one of the many options dotted around the Lanes from Italian (Yard) to Indian (Bombai Indian Street Food) to Thai (The Vine).


Norwich Arts Centre. Credit Norfolk County Council

Finish your night off at the wonderful Norwich Arts Centre at the end of St Benedict’s Street. A contemporary multi-arts venue housed within a Grade 1 listed medieval church, NAC delivers a diverse programme of new music, theatre, comedy and performance. It’s an intimate, friendly, accessible venue and the perfect place to catch your next favourite performer!

Find out more about the award-winning Norwich Lanes at