Transformed Norwich offers commuters a happy alternative
Norwich has recently been revealed as ‘the UK’s number one happiest city’ in a survey by business psychologists OPP. The survey, which questioned over 2,500 workers, has placed Norwich as the happiest city in which to work, with 77% of people loving their job.
The city has been regenerated and transformed in the last decade and is now on the brink of unprecedented growth, with more than 35,000 new jobs by 2021 and 40,000 new homes in the wider area. Trains to London take one hour and fifty minutes and there are plans to reduce this to 90 minutes.
The city is known as the capital of East Anglia and along with its famous cathedral has 1,500 historic buildings within its walled centre. Its football team Norwich City, nicknamed The Canaries, is supported by one of its most famous residents Delia Smith and the University of East Anglia has helped the city to become a vibrant, cosmopolitan and forward-thinking destination.
The city offers everything required for 21st Century living, with some of the best shopping, entertainment, culture, cafes and restaurants in the region. Ranked as one of the ten best centres for shopping in the country, The Mall and Chapelfield shopping centres are within walking distance of each other and have more than 150 stores.
High street shops are found around the London Street, Gentleman's Walk and Castle Street areas. Norwich has all the leading department stores and retailers including John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser. Elm Hill is Norwich's most famous medieval cobbled street, which has a number of independent and quirky shops. The Norwich Lanes and Timberhill have an eclectic mix of boutique shops set against a background of narrow alleys and beautiful historic buildings.
Norwich has more than 140 good value eateries, cafés and restaurants and it’s said the highest number of pubs per square mile in the UK. Places of interest include Norwich’s Castle Museum and The Sainsbury’s Centre for Visual Arts where you’ll find work by Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Henry Degas and more. The city boasts over 30 medieval churches, two cathedrals, theatres, art galleries, museums, and a Norman castle. Sports centres include The Riverside Leisure Centre and Wensum Sports Centre.
There are a number of leading state and private schools in Norwich including St Williams, Lakenham and Eaton Primary Schools and comprehensive secondary schools including Norwich City School and the Hewlett Academy. Independent schools include Norwich High School for Girls and the Notre Dame Preparatory School.
A monthly season ticket to London costs £837.60 from Norwich (£8,724 annually) with the fastest journey time of 1hr 44 minutes. Trains to Cambridge take 1hr 11 minutes (£410.20 monthly, £4,272 annually).
Norwich has good road links to the M11 via the A14. London is 118 miles away with a journey time of 2hrs 30 minutes by car; Cambridge is 64 miles away and takes 1hr 25 minutes. Stanstead Airport is 84 miles with a journey time of 1hr 40 minutes.
Here’s a round-up of great new homes to buy in Norwich:
Watermill Gardens (Hopkins Homes) – A development of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes in Stoke Holy Cross a quaint village in the heart of the Norfolk countryside yet less than six miles to the south of Norwich City Centre. Norwich Station is around 20 minutes away by car. Prices from £219,995. Read more about Watermill Gardens from Hopkins Homes
Eaton Retirement Living – (McCarthy & Stone) – Coming soon, this proposed development is in the village of Eaton at the edge of Norwich with excellent access to the city centre. Offering one- and two-bedroom homes, each apartment will include a 24-hour emergency call system. Prices on application. Read more about Eaton Retirement Living from McCarthy & Stone
St Walstans (Kier Living Eastern) - A stunning new development of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom family homes located in Costessey just five miles from Norwich. The Maple is a spacious five-bedroom townhouse featuring an open plan kitchen/dining area and a large lounge with doors leading to the garden. Prices from £309,995. For more information visit www.kierliving.co.uk; 01603 746814
The Bridge (Generator Developments) – Each of the 66 one- and two-bedroom spacious apartments on this bespoke scheme, within walking distance of the station, have outside space including private balconies, gardens and terraces. Interiors reflect attention to detail and superior quality with luxury touches and private secure parking. Prices from £198,000. For more details visit www.thebridgenorwich.co.uk; 01603 208775
Carrowbreck Meadow (William H Brown) - Set within almost an acre of beautiful woodland to the northwest of the city is this development of 14 two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes has been built to the highest energy efficient Passivhaus specifications including super insulation, triple glazed windows and high thermal comfort. Prices from £285,000. For information visit www.carrowbreckmeadow.co.uk; 01603 760044