City liv­ing:

Love the vi­brancy and con­ve­nience of ur­ban life? Then why not em­brace the joys of city cen­tre liv­ing?

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - WORDS: Rachel Buller

Love ur­ban life? Nor­wich has ev­ery­thing

If you have strolled around Nor­wich’s city cen­tre in re­cent months you will have no­ticed some­thing of a change. Where once there were high rise of­fice build­ings and crum­bling but beau­ti­ful re­minders of its past in­dus­trial her­itage, there are now bustling res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties.

Of course, in cen­turies gone by, life would have re­volved around the city’s his­toric heart, with peo­ple liv­ing, work­ing and trad­ing food and goods in the shadow of the Nor­man cas­tle. Grad­u­ally the city crept out­wards, pro­vid­ing hous­ing for the city’s bur­geon­ing pop­u­la­tion. But in re­cent years there has been a shift back to life within the old city walls.

New devel­op­ments and sym­pa­thetic con­ver­sions have trans­formed dis­used spa­ces into con­tem­po­rary and stylish apart­ments – from one bed­room city pads to vast pent­house suites com­plete with breath­tak­ing views of the sky­line.

There has never been more choice of ac­com­mo­da­tion in the city and there is more spring­ing up all the time. While some devel­op­ments are not without con­tro­versy or ob­jec­tion, the shift in the use of tra­di­tional busi­ness ar­eas into res­i­den­tial ones, is cre­at­ing a new vi­brancy in the city cen­tre.

But of course, part of Nor­wich’s charm is its his­tory, and while the del­uge of daz­zling new apart­ments seem to be grab­bing the head­lines, there are some fab­u­lous pe­riod prop­er­ties to be dis­cov­ered, tucked down lit­tle cob­bled al­ley­ways, above shops in an­cient build­ings in some of Nor­wich’s most fa­mous shop­ping ar­eas or an un­ex­pected row of quiet Vic­to­rian ter­races just me­tres from noisy, bustling streets. From whole houses to flats, they are of­ten packed with charm, quirky in their de­sign and have beau­ti­ful orig­i­nal pe­riod fea­tures.

What­ever your choice of ac­com­mo­da­tion, there are plenty of rea­sons why peo­ple love to live in Nor­wich. Its thriv­ing in­de­pen­dent sec­tor means that Nor­wich doesn’t have the same ho­moge­nous feel as some other cities; there are ex­cel­lent pubs and bars, cater­ing for cof­fee lovers, cock­tail drinkers and lo­cal brew afi­ciona­dos; fan­tas­tic res­tau­rants, arts venues and one of the best re­tail of­fer­ings in the coun­try. It also has lots of green space, whether for a walk by the river and through the tran­quil cathe­dral grounds or a trip to one of its many parks with friends, there are plenty of places to get your fill of fresh air be­fore head­ing back into the ur­ban land­scape for re­fresh­ment.

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Pho­tos: Antony Kelly

ABOVE: Westle­gate

BE­LOW: Flats in Pa­per Mill Yard, Ber Street de­vel­op­ment

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