Adventures around Norwichwith PlusBus

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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.

  • County: with PlusBus
  • Great for: architecture | arts | bird watching | boat rides | castle | family | good cafés | history | parks and gardens | wildlife |
  • Refreshments: lots of fabulous restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • Please note: researched/updated in December 2023. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 2. Caistor Roman town

    Norwich has plenty or brilliant things to see if you’re interested in history: museums and churches, towers and bridges. You can find out how to visit more of these, including the cathedral (see Good Journey’s directions), in our car-free guide to Norwich.

    • A PlusBus ticket can take you out of the city: Norfolk’s forgotten Roman capital, once known as Venta Icenorum, lies deep in the tranquil fields south of the city near the village of Caistor St Edmund.
    • Hourly bus 40A runs from the bus station will usually drop you off right next to the old Roman town, near the stop called Chandler Road. Check with the driver where to wait on the way back. What was once a busy centre of civilisation, with a forum, town hall, bathhouses, temples and theatre, is now just a few ruins around a riverside field of sheep with an old church in the corner.
    • The banks and walls that surround the site give you a clear feeling for how big the town once was. And you don’t just have to rely on your imagination: there are plenty of information boards, a printable guide, free guided tours on summer Sundays (and some Wednesdays), even an augmented reality app. Across the road from Venta Icenorum, a wide grassy track leads to High Ash Farm, about a mile away, with its coffee van and network of paths.
  1. 3. Woods and water at Whitlingham

    As England’s only city that’s inside a National Park, Norwich has a lot of wildlife, green spaces, nature reserves and the River Wensum flowing through its heart. The Norfolk Broads are just a bus ride away. There are waterside walks, boats for hire and birds to spot at Whitlingham Country Park just outside the city.

    • Bus 40A stops in the village of Trowse (historians think the name might come from treehouse – houses here once had to be built on poles or trees to avoid floods!).
    • Walk straight along Newton Close next to the flower-decked White Horse pub and turn right along Whitlingham Lane. You’ll soon pass Trowse Wood (also worth exploring) and the Norfolk Snowsports Club.
    • Keep going for about ten minutes along the pavement, past pretty cottages. Just after the brick buildings of the Norwich Rowing Club, turn left into a lane. You’ll soon come to a map, which shows you how big an area there is to explore here. But it doesn’t take long to reach Great Broad with geese and swans crowded onto its pebbly shore. Nearby, you’ll find the ruins of Trowse Newton Hall, once a country retreat for the Priors of Norwich Cathedral. And there’s a café in the big Flint Barn.
    • Heading back to Trowse, there’s a choice of refreshments. As well as the pub, the River Green vegan restaurant serves up things like beetroot burgers, mushroom wellingtons and lots more. You can then catch bus 40A back to Norwich.
    • Or you could choose to walk: Trowse is on two long distance walking routes, which you can follow back to Norwich if you like. The Boudicca Way follows in the footsteps of the legendary warrior queen of the Iceni tribes for 36 miles from Norwich to Diss (via Venta Icenorum – see 2 above) while the Wherryman’s Way is a winding 38-mile route to Great Yarmouth through Whitlingham Country Park. Both walks follow roughly the same signed route from here to Norwich railway station, a couple of miles away, beginning with some pavement-tramping and later a pleasant urban stroll beside the River Wensum.