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Norwich - the top place to live in 2021

Published: 20/04/2021 By DAVID MUSGROVE

Norwich is one of the best places to live in 2021 as described by The Sunday Times. Here are some key points.

Norwich took over the zeitgeist. A big claim, perhaps, but this small town in the far reaches of East Anglia could boost the hip, green, youth and its football team, the Canaries, well this season.

Two universities keep the population in Norwich young and creative (the average age is 34 years). There are puppet theaters for entertainment, as well as three theaters including Cinema City and Norwich Arts Center.


Shopping

The high street has undoubtedly struggled over the past year. Debenhams on Orford Place is set to be a vacant lot.

Unlike many others, however, it is in a better position to weather the storm with a bizarre, clever offering that cannot be simulated online. 

About 60 percent of the shops are independent, especially along the lane, and pop-ups are common in the city centre. Even the 1,000 year-old colourful outdoor market is growing over time. It once sold spare buttons and takeaway fish and chip. It now includes artisan soap and Korean frozen chicken. Any discussion of shopping options would not be complete without mentioning the much-loved Jarrold department store.


A green city 

In recent years, investment has been poured into green initiatives. The council now hand over its own Eco Awards to schools and businesses. They also invested heavily in a bicycle network. Its sustainable social housing on Goldsmith Street won the Sterling Award for Architecture in 2019.


Food and drink

Norwich's vegetarian and vegan scene has also been greatly enriched. Tipsy vegans on St Benedicts Street with old stalked shoulders such as Benedict's and Pinocchio's. Ernie's Zero West Wedge shop has an up-end with dhabas at fifteen. It is inhabited on Magdalen Street, a modern, teetotal Bangladeshi restaurant.

Olde England can still be found on the sloping street of Elm Hill in the ancient walls surrounding Norman Norwich Castle. Many craft beer pubs such as the Plaster's Arms, Brewery Tap and Fat Cat are regular winners in The Good Pub Guide Beer Pub of the Year Award.


Living in Norwich

The 34-year-old digital marketing manager, David Biggins, returned to his university town four years ago in search of more space and a foothold on the property ladder.

The Golden Triangle around Unthank Road is one of the top spots. However, The Silver Triangle branch off Silver Street and Silver Road is upcoming and attracting young families and first-time buyers.

House prices

Starter Homes £ 175,000

Mid-market £ 238,995

Top-end £ 425,000

Average rental price £ 795 PCM


Transport

Trains from Norwich to Ipswich run in 41 minutes, Chelmsford in 1 hour 21 minutes and London Liverpool Street to the Greater Anglia line in less than two hours. There are also direct links to the coastal cities of Cromer and Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn through a change in Ely.

The bus network has seen better days. The council received £ 32m of government funding for local transport improvements in September.

Norwich is two and a half hours from London by car, 45 minutes to Cromer on the coast and 1 hour 20 minutes to Cambridge.

There is a wide choice of holiday flights from the city's airport. Closer to home, you can see broads from the city center by boat, kayak, or paddleboard.


Broadband

Virgin Media should be available for exceptional levels of superfast coverage on nine out of ten properties. The city is part of the fiber first program. Openreach has started building its fiber-to-premise (FTTP) network in the city's west/central region.


Schools

Sir Isaac Newton form ranks sixth nationally in the Sunday Times Parent Power Guide. Norwich School (ages 11 to 18) is also featured.

The city has a dozen state Ofsted owned primaries dotted around the center. Norwich School (from £ 3,831 per term) won East Anglia's Best Independent School in 2017–18. It still ranks in the top 80 nationally. Norwich High School for Girls GDST (from £ 3,796 per term) is another private school featured in the parent power guide.


Things to remember

Norwich and Norfolk Festival, a family-friendly event  transforms the city for two weeks. It is celebrating its 250th birthday in 2022.


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