Lonely Planet review for Norwich Castle
Perched on a hilltop overlooking central Norwich, this massive Norman castle keep is a sturdy example of 12th-century aristocratic living. The castle is one of the best-preserved examples of Anglo-Norman military architecture in the country, despite a gigantic shopping centre grafted to one side.
A gaol for five centuries, it's now home to an art gallery and superb interactive museum, approached across a bridge on which hangings were staged throughout Norwich’s existence. The museum crams in a wealth of history, including lively exhibits on Boudicca and the Iceni, the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, natural history displays and even an Egyptian gallery. Every room is enlivened with plenty of fun for kids, but best of all is the atmospheric keep itself, which sends shivers down the spine, with graphic displays on grisly punishments meted out in its days as a medieval prison. Guided tours also run around the battlements (minimum age eight) and the creepy dungeons.
Meanwhile the art gallery houses paintings of the acclaimed 19th-century Norwich School of landscape painting founded by John Crome, and even if displays of ceramics normally make you glaze over, don’t miss the world's largest collection of novelty teapots.
The Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum, which details the history of the local regiment since 1830, was in the process of being refurbished and moved at the time of writing.