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Nightlife in Norwich - Real Ales, Medieval Pubs, Live Music, and Late-Night Bars

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Beer culture is alive and well in Norwich, with a number of pubs specializing in locally brewed ales and ciders. Start your evening with a pub crawl, before hitting a late-night bar or club. The large student population ensures that big-name bands stop here, while open-air festivals cater to young people and even families.

Traditional pubs and real ale

 

Real-ale enthusiasts are spoilt for choice in Norwich, where a growing number of microbreweries compete with long-time regional stalwarts Adnams and Woodforde’s. The lively Murderers pub and the quaint Adam and Eve both serve real ales, and are perfect places to start a pub crawl. And don’t miss the huge beer festival, organized by the local branch of CAMRA, which is held every October in St Andrew's Hall.

 

Real ales and music

 

One of 2 original coaching inns in Norwich, the intriguingly named Murderers Pub has 2 beer festivals a year, live music at weekends, major sporting events on TV, and 25 real ales on tap every day of the year.

 

2-8 Timberhill, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 3LBTel: +44 1603 621447

 

Real ales and music website

 

Beer and Cathedral views

 

The Adam and Eve, reputedly the city’s oldest pub, serves back-to-basics food alongside a selection of local beers. It’s a real slice of history in the shadow of the Cathedral, with a pretty exterior decked with colourful hanging baskets.

 

17 Bishopgate, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 1RZ. Tel: +44 1603 667423

 

Live music and events

 

Norwich's love of music isn't restricted to classical and choral concerts. The city hosts a hip annual urban-music festival called Sundown, which attracts both national and international acts. Several arts and cultural centres also organize one-off events, as well as hosting big-name acts. The large student population keeps the scene fresh, with the university's LCR and Waterfront venues hosting regular gigs during term-time.

 

Sundown Festival

 

This urban-music festival is held over 2 days in early September, attracting party people who come to camp, dance the night away, and refuel at a range of food stalls.

 

Norfolk Showground, Dereham Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR5 0TT.

 

Sundown Festival website

 

Norwich Arts Centre

 

Named NME's Best Small Venue in 2014, the Norwich Arts Centre hosts concerts and comedy acts. There’s standing room for just 300 people, but that didn’t deter Nirvana, The Stone Roses, Coldplay, or Ed Sheeran from playing here.

 

51 St. Benedict’s Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 4PG. Tel: +44 1603 660352

 

Norwich Arts Centre website

 

Tombland and Riverside

 

The majority of the city’s bars, pubs, and clubs are in Tombland, west of the Cathedral, or near the railway station to the south. In Tombland you'll find lots of outdoor seating, perfect for people-watching on a summer evening. The area comes to life after dark, with a mix of chain pubs, little drinking dens, and upscale restaurants set among pale-grey buildings and quaint streets. For clubbing, head to Prince of Wales Road, and for bars, cinema, and bowling, the Riverside complex is nearby.

 

Music at Mantra

 

For late-night drinking and a wide choice of clubbing options, head to the boisterous Prince of Wales Road. A relative newcomer, oriental-themed Mantra plays a mix of tunes, and has an outdoor area and quieter upstairs bar.

 

Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 1LL. Tel: +44 1603 660662

 

Music at Mantra website

 

Riverside Entertainment

 

This convenient complex has numerous restaurants and bars, some on a piazza with river views. If you fancy a quieter evening, there’s also a bowling alley and a cinema.

 

Koblenz Avenue, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 1WT. Tel: +44 1603 630210

 

Riverside Entertainment website

 

Norwich Lanes

 

The Lanes are lively at night, with countless restaurants and bars. The Birdcage has an eclectic interior and a hip young clientele, and it's located near the city’s cultural hotspots so you can easily catch a show later on. Frank's Bar crafts quirky cocktails from scratch and serves delicious food on designer Moomin crockery.

 

Frank’s Bar

 

This friendly little café-bar is hip and funky without being pretentious, and is a perfect venue for laid-back late-night drinking. Alongside an extensive cocktail menu, it serves fresh and creative food with extensive vegetarian and gluten-free options.

 

19 Bedford Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1AR. Tel: +44 1603 618902

 

Frank’s Bar website

 

The Birdcage

 

This funky bar allows you to bring your own fish ‘n’ chips from Grosvenor’s across the road, and also serves tapas-style food. There’s gallery space in the Bridge and Ballroom, with changing exhibitions, DJs, and cabaret acts.

 

23 Pottergate, Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1DS. Tel: + 44 1603 633534

 

The Birdcage website