Adventures around Norwichwith PlusBus
Surrounded by rivers, lakes and fens, Norwich has some great waterside places to picnic and relax. A PlusBus ticket can open up some wild corners of Norfolk’s county capital and it can also help you explore the city’s many centuries of history. The famous twelfth-century cathedral is always worth seeing and is free to visit, but you can find a lot more besides the central sights when you explore by bus.
1. The Plantation Garden
For central sightseeing and a hidden gem, hop on regular bus 26 or bus 26A from the railway station and wind through town to the Plantation Garden (£2). It’s a fabulous Victorian idyll in an old chalk quarry with a fountain, flower beds, Italianate terraces and wooded paths. In the second half of the nineteenth century, a wealthy Norwich furniture maker called Henry Trevor invested a lot of time and money into creating this unique garden.
- If you haven’t already got a PlusBus ticket, just show your train ticket at the booking office and ask for PlusBus. Between them, buses 26 and 26A leave frequently (less so on Sundays) from stop DE – just turn right out of the station and you’ll see it ahead of you.
- On the way through the city, the bus circles Norwich Castle (see Good Journey’s directions) with its imposing square keep, and passes some of the city’s quaint cobbled abbeys like Brigg Street, opposite flint-walled St Stephen’s church. Soon after, you pass the Assembly House on your left, a brick Georgian mansion serving elegant afternoon teas or a cakeaway to take with you; next up is the Theatre Royal, followed by the bandstand and plane trees of Chapelfield Gardens.
- The Roman Catholic Cathedral is now ahead and the bus stops immediately after it. Follow the brown sign into the garden.
- Stop off at Red Lion Street on the way back into town and you’re just five minutes’ stroll from Norwich Market, a huge stripey-roofed collection of stalls with every kind of food (Monday to Saturday). Whether you’re looking for local beef and ale pie or a vegan bean and tomato roll, you can find excellent picnic food at the Walsingham Farms stall or at Bread Source with its cinnamon buns, banana muffins and lots more.
- When you’ve found some provisions, it’s time to head out into the into the Norfolk countryside on one (or both!) of the next two adventures.