Norwich is the administrative centre and county city of Norfolk.
The city's economy, originally chiefly industrial with shoemaking a large sector, has changed throughout the eighties and nineties to a service-based economy. Norwich Union, an Aviva company, still dominates these, but has been joined by other insurance and financial services companies such as Virgin Money.
New developments on the former Boulton and Paul site include the Riverside entertainment complex with nightclubs and other venues featuring the usual national leisure brands. Nearby, the football stadium has been upgraded with more residential property development alongside the river Wensum.
Archant, formerly known as Eastern Counties Newspapers (ECN) is a national publishing group that has grown out of the city's local newspaper, the Norwich Evening News and the regional Eastern Daily Press (EDP).
Norwich has long been associated with the manufacture of mustard. The world famous Colman's brand, with its yellow packaging, was founded in 1814 and continues to operate from its factory at Carrow. Colman's is now being exported world wide by its parent company Unilever (Unilever UK Export) putting Norwich on the map of British heritage brands.
Rail links to the rest of the country are via London Liverpool Street Station and Peterborough. Local lines also run to destinations including Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Sheringham and Cambridge. The main rail terminus is at Thorpe Station. Rail services from Norwich are currently operated by National Express East Anglia and East Midlands Trains.
Bus and coach:
Norwich is served by many bus operators, the biggest of which is First. Destinations throughout Norfolk are well served and some beyond including Peterborough, and Lowestoft. National Express also run ten coaches a day to Stansted Airport, five a day to London, and one a day to Birmingham. Most bus and coach services, run from Norwich bus station in Surrey Street or from Castle Meadow.
Norwich International Airport is a feeder to KLM's Schiphol hub. FlyBe, Eastern Airways, and Bristow Helicopters all serve Norwich, in addition to a strong holiday charter flight business.
Attractions include Norwich Cathedral, the cobbled streets and museums of old Norwich, The Castle, Cow Tower, Colman's Shop, Dragon Hall and The Forum. Norwich is also one of the UK's top ten shopping destinations, with a mix of chain retailers and independent stores as well as one of the largest outdoor markets in England.
Norfolk is a popular tourist destination; major attractions include beaches, the Broads, and the city of Norwich. The Queen's residence of Sandringham provides an all year round tourist attraction. Rural parts of the county, notably the area around Burnham Market, are also popular locations for city dwellers to purchase weekend homes. Arthur Conan Doyle first conceived the idea for The Hound Of The Baskervilles whilst holidaying in Cromer with Bertram Fletcher Robinson after hearing local folklore tales regarding the mysterious hound known as Black Shuck.
Norwich has an ancient market place, established by the Normans, which is today the largest six-days-a-week open-air market in England and has recently been refurbished.
The Mall Norwich a shopping mall designed by local practice Lambert, Scott & Innes and opened in 1993, presents an ingenious solution to the problem of sensitively accommodating new retail space in a historic city-centre environment - the building is largely concealed underground and built into the side of a hill, with a public park created on its roof in the area south of the Castle.
The new Chapelfield shopping mall opened in September 2005, and is described as 'a major new shopping experience', featuring a new flagship department store House of Fraser. In August 2006 it was reported by the Javelin Group that Norwich was one of the top five retail destinations in the UK, and in October 2006 the city centre was voted the best in the UK, in a shopping satisfaction survey run by Goldfish Credit Card.
The nightlife is mainly located in Tombland, Prince of Wales Road and through to Riverside which is adjacent to Norwich railway station. There are several nightclubs, numerous bars and a wide choice of restaurants in the area.
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