A thriving city with a historic center, 100 mi/160 km northeast of London, Norwich, England, is dominated by a cathedral spire built to rival that of Salisbury. Be sure to visit the cathedral (note the comical misericords on the seats) and the castle (now a museum). There are many other churches—it's said that there's one for each week of the year—including 32 from the medieval period. Strolling comes easy to Norwichers: There are winding cobblestoned streets as well as a riverside path.

The nearby coast is best seen from the picturesque villages of Blakeney, Southwold and Wells-Next-the-Sea. To the east are the Norfolk Broads, wetlands noted for boating and for rare flora and fauna. While in the area, visit Holkham Hall (with its fabulous marble hall and Palladian architecture) and King's Lynn, an often-overlooked town of fine buildings that's well worth seeing.

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