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Norwich’s Best Al Fresco Lunch Break Spots

Let me ask you to imagine something for a minute. It’s Tuesday morning. You’re at work, It’s a stunningly beautiful, blisteringly hot day outside and you’ve spent most of your morning bitter that you can’t enjoy it. While you waste away sat behind your desk, it feels like the world and his wife are outside making the most of the fantastic weather, savouring it before it’s ripped away from us once again. Sound familiar? It’s a reality for most people who work a 9-5 job, and while it’s hard to feel like you’re missing out, we’re here to help you get a slice of that summertime action, even if you have to work! Norwich is a beautiful city blessed with a myriad of picturesque spots where you can enjoy some al fresco me-time and let the stress of your morning melt away. We’ve compiled our favourite five spots where city workers can find some escapism. And if your favourite spot isn’t included, make sure to let us know and we’ll add it to the list!

St. George’s Square, St. George’s Street, NR3

Just off Colegate and opposite the popular Playhouse Bar, St. George’s Square is a quaint little green right next to the river. It’s a less well-known spot, used mostly by students at the Norwich University for the Arts and employees of nearby businesses, so it’s never rammed with people, perfect if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter. There’s plenty of large benches, perfect if you’ve got a packed lunch, and the view over the river is extremely calming and picturesque. The spot also benefits from being close to a number of popular independent cafes, so if you’ve never found yourself in this part of the city before, it’s definitely somewhere to check out!

Norwich Market, 1 Market Place, NR2

Recently voted Britain’s Best Large Outdoor Market, Norwich Market offers so many lunch options that you’d probably have to visit every day for several months to try them all! You may not be aware but behind the market, there are a number of benches specifically reserved for people eating food they’ve bought on the market, so it’s a great opportunity to enjoy glorious weather as well as supporting hardworking market stall holders. If the seating area behind the market is full, you can head up the steps on the left to an area with benches that provides a panoramic view of the colourful market roofs. If you’re a city centre worker and you haven’t considered enjoying your lunch at the market make sure to pay it a visit – you’re missing out!

UEA Lake, UEA, NR4

Situated on a former golf course, UEA isn’t famed for its beauty, with many people harbouring the opinion that the university’s largely brutalist architecture is, well, a bit ugly. But there is one saving grace – UEA’s man-made lake situated in the heart of the campus is an absolutely stunning spot on a warm, summery day. Home to a wide range of animal and birdlife, the lake offers the perfect setting to relax and unwind. One thing to bear in mind if you’re looking for somewhere quiet – the lake can get busy at this time of year with students finishing their exams! Visit in July and August to avoid the celebrating students!

Chapelfield Gardens, Chapel Field East Street, NR2

Perfectly situated for city centre workers, Chapelfield Gardens offers a little green escape in the middle of the concrete jungle. On super hot days, you can seek shade under one of the tall trees that line the park, or maybe you want to sit in the bandstand and people watch. There’s plenty of benches, and in the summer the cafe is open regularly, perfect for grabbing a cold drink to beat the heat.

Sloughbottom Park, 33 Valpy Avenue, NR3

If you work in one of the large industrial estates around the Boundary Road area, you could be forgiven for thinking your options for a relaxing lunch break in the sun are limited. However, located a stone throw away from the Sweet Briar Road Estate is Sloughbottom Park, a gloriously green expanse of open space and the perfect retreat for busy workers. The park is massive, so it’s easy to find a secluded spot to chill out, so for industrial workers looking for a bit of escapism in the sun, we strongly suggest paying Sloughbottom a visit!


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