Norwich: The 7 best independent stores according to readers


9:00 am October 30, 2022

It’s always important to support the high street and with the city’s vast choice, it’s never been easier.

Here are seven of the best independent shops in Norwich, according to evening news Reader.


Jarrold department store overlooks Norwich Market
– Photo credit: Jarrold

Where: London Street, Norwich NR2 1JF

When: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and 6 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The oldest company on this list, Jarrold was founded in Suffolk in 1770 and is still family owned.

In its time it has seen ten monarchs and has become “a part of Norfolk life”.

Overlooking Norwich Market, the department store sells a curated range of products from perfumes to toys, as well as a food hall and restaurant.

2. Head in the Clouds

Where: 13 Pottergate, Norwich NR2 1DS

When: Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m

This hippie heaven in the lanes is crammed with treasures like crafts, clothes and assorted incense sticks.

It also has a sister store next door called Feet on the Ground.

3. Thorns

Thorns DIY in Norwich

Thorns DIY in Norwich, a city institution
– Credit: Archant

Where: 22 Exchange Street, Norwich NR2 1AT

When: 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm Sunday

This Aladdin DIY den has eight departments that stock everything from home and garden to industrial and farming products in its whimsical layout.

Opened in 1835, the shop was recently named British DIY Store of the Year and is still run by the family who consider their knowledgeable staff to be their greatest asset.

4. Large Eastern Models

Where: 199 Plumstead Road, Norwich NR1 4AB

When: 9.30am to 4.30pm Tuesday to Saturday

Stacked to the ceiling with trains, tracks and everything you need for a model railroad, Great Eastern Models also has a model planning area where tea and coffee are served.

Run by three siblings, this shop opened in the mid 80’s to serve the community in and around Norwich and regularly hosts kit building demos and classes.

5. Philip Browne

George Browne from the creative department at Philip Browne Menswear in Norwich, who helped design the

Philip Browne’s windows are often creative and whimsical
– Credit: Danielle Boode

Where: 3 Guildhall Hill, Norwich NR2 1JH

When: 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Saturday, 10:30am to 4:00pm Sunday

This clothing store has always aimed to bring luxury to Norwich without pretense. It has gone through three stores over the years before settling in its current location.

It was recently named one of the best independent retail experiences in the UK by The Sunday Times for the way it ‘blends humor with high fashion’, its cheeky window displays and its selection of luxury brands.

6. Soundclash Recordings

Where: 28 St Benedicts St, Norwich NR2 4AQ

When: 10am to 5pm Wednesday to Saturday, opens 11am Tuesday

With 30 years experience this shop is a Norwich institution for record lovers. It was also voted one of the UK’s best small shops by the Guardian.

It features everything from new releases and cult favorites to undeniable classics and underground artists. Customers have a unique experience by being able to listen to albums before purchasing.

7. The Bookstock

The Bookstock, Norwich.  PICTURED: ANTONY KELLY

The Book Hive is a popular London Street shop
– Credit: Antony Kelly

Where: 53 London Street, Norwich NR2 1HL

When: 9:30am to 5:30pm Tuesday to Saturday, open 10am Monday, 11am to 4pm Sunday

Known for its warmth and customer service, this award-winning shop, which arranges books across tables to display the beautiful fronts, often offers to buy specific copies of books customers are looking for.

Once voted the UK’s best small bookshop by the Daily Telegraph, The Book Hive offers regular autograph sessions, book launches, reading sessions and study cubicles for those who want to read or write in peace.


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