Journal: 13 July 2017

King of the (Norwich) Castle.

From our living room window we often observe the Norwich skyline and the iconic landmark, Norwich Castle. Each year in July it is back-lit and beautifully illuminated by the Lord Mayor’s spectacular firework display.


Norwich Castle is arguably one of the two most identifiable landmarks in Norwich (the city we live in). Built by the Normans over 900 years ago, it originally served the purpose of a Royal Palace. During its colourful past it was also a prison but today it is a museum and gallery.

It also happens to one of our favourite places to enjoy as a family.

The castle is accessed either by a bridge or a glass lift (both a real source of fun for Stanley). From the entrance you’re channelled towards the rotunda that has doors with permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Recently Norwich Castle has hosted the prestigious British Art Show 8 and selected works by Jeff Koons.

Stanley is 4 and his favourite areas in the castle are are; Castle Keep, Boudicia Gallery and Natural History Gallery. I happen to love the art gallery and especially the work by the Norwich School of Painters. When I’m on my own, I can happily go and sit for half an hour and let my mind drift…

We’ve recently got a family pass which means we can drop in as and when we’ve got a couple of hours, which works really well for us (especially with a little boy who doesn’t have a long attention span). What’s going to be really interesting is to watch Stanley engage with different exhibitions as he gets older, he never fails to make a new observation when we go.

We’ve been taking him to Norwich Castle since he was just 6 months old.

As you wander around the city you can’t help but see either Norwich Castle or Norwich Cathedral. I often think about what these incredible buildings have been privy to – if only those walls could talk!

For me, it’s so important that Stanley is exposed to new and different environments. In particular, I want him to meet new people, see things from someone else’s perspective and to develop his own opinions and preferences.

Stanley frequently tells me that he’s the king of the castle whilst we wander around.

My tips

For more arts-interested children there’s the opportunity to draw and do brass rubbings in the gallery.

For children who love to build, there’s a wooden castle with blocks in the keep and various bridges to assemble in the basement.

There’s smaller chairs for children in the cafe and opposite them is a toy box if you need to keep young children entertained whilst you eat.

The quiches in the cafe are made on site and are delicious.

If you live in Norwich or in fact Norfolk, the annual family pass is a great buy, especially with winter nearing.

Read more about Norwich Castle Gallery & Museum.

Words and photography by Fiona Burrage.


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