Explore Norwich's hidden street in the dark on new lantern tours

Lisa Willett, customer experience director at The Shoebox Community Hub, is one of the tour guides. 

Lisa Willett, customer experience director at The Shoebox Community Hub, is one of the guides for the Lantern Light Underground Tour in Norwich. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

You will be able to see Norwich's medieval street in a new light on tours exploring the darker side of the city's history.

The Lantern Light Underground Tour is launching in January 2022 at The Shoebox Community Hub in Castle Meadow, formerly KindaKafe.

Lantern tours are launching in Norwich's hidden street at The Shoebox Community Hub.

Lantern tours are launching in Norwich's hidden street at The Shoebox Community Hub. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

Groups of up to 12 will be plunged into darkness and venture down two flights of stairs with only a lantern to create an eerie experience.

They will then step into a genuine medieval street that was built in the old Castle Ditches which surrounded Norwich Castle and were eight metres deep. 

There are buildings that date back to the 15th century, including a weavers' cottage and merchant's house with an undercroft.

The lantern tours will explore the darker side of Norwich's history. 

The lantern tours will explore the darker side of Norwich's history. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

The Hidden Street Tour has already been running there since 2016, but this new experience will explore more of Norwich's darker history with lots of new content.

Lisa Willett, customer experience director, said: "It still gets across the history of the space and the area but it is much more atmospheric and the lights go out the moment you step inside the building.

Lantern tours are launching in Norwich's medieval street, pictured is tour guide Lisa Willett.

Lantern tours are launching in Norwich's medieval street at The Shoebox Community Hub, pictured is customer experience director Lisa Willett. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

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"You will step into a medieval street and continue along it and I won't tell you where you end up as that is a surprise."

The experience is aimed at ages eight and over and it lasts an hour, with face coverings required. 

The tours take place at 5pm, 6.30pm and 8.30pm and there are currently nine dates available in January. 

The building was occupied by Ponds shoe shop from the 1800s to early 2000s, which will be talked about on the tour. 

Some of the buildings in the medieval street date back to the 15th century. 

Some of the buildings in the medieval street date back to the 15th century. - Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant

The Secrets of the Tunnels escape game also runs in the street and groups can now book slots for both the game and Hidden History Tours seven days a week with seven slots a day.

Mrs Willett added: "Before, we were doing separate days for each or splitting up days but decided to open up every slot every day for both so people have more opportunity."

Tickets to the tours cost £13 for adults and £7 for children and the escape game starts at £40 for two players - book at theshoebox.org.uk

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