I’m a Norwich born student in Sussex and the similarities are surprising

Contrary to popular belief, we’re not all farmers, nor are we inbred

Aside from being the only English city ever excommunicated by the Pope, and featuring in a line of David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’, Norwich doesn’t seem all that intriguing. You need only watch one Alan Partridge sketch to know that many view it as the most backward backwater of the UK, the laughing stock of the East.

However, upon first arriving in Brighton, I soon discovered that the city known for being the 'London on sea', is much more familiar than I first thought. So, instead of continuously defending my home town to local Brighton residents and Sussex students alike, I made a list of several notable reasons to visit Norwich that are eerily similar to life in Brighton.

It has a huge music scene

Similar to Brighton, the music scene is Norwich's crowning glory. The two student run venues (The LCR and Waterfront) have featured some big names over the last couple of years, such as The Vaccines, Royal Blood, Bastille, Nothing but Thieves, Foals, and the 1975, to name but a few. With the on-campus venue packed with students every night, this gives a nice alternative to the typical club, providing that they can get past the occasionally sweaty and claustrophobic atmosphere.

Numerous bars such as the Owl Sanctuary or The Birdcage also give the opportunity for small bands to gig, whilst giving out free fish and chips on special occasions – what’s not to like?

The nightlife’s pretty good too

The many clubs along the infamous ‘Prince of Wales’ road mean that there’s an excuse to sesh on every single night of the week, with certain clubs tailored to certain music, whether that’s mainstream, soul, reggae or grime.

Alternatively, if you’re more of a sit-down-with-pre-drinks kind of person, Norwich can proudly boast not one, but three Wetherspoons, providing cheap food and alcohol. There are also a vast array of backstreet, insta-worthy pubs.

Everyone’s obsessed with café culture

There is an abundance of interesting cafés in Norwich, such as Café Britannia, situated next to the prison, where you will be served by inmates whilst overlooking the city. If you’re a fan of eating out, there’s also a crazy amount of restaurants -Turtle Bay (serving spicy Caribbean food) and The House (An authentic Thai restaurant) being two personal favourites.

It’s very student friendly

With the UEA attracting thousands of students worldwide, it’s no surprise that Norwich’s population is made up of approximately a quarter of young people.

To cater for this, Norwich is home to the largest open-air market in the UK, which is continually surrounded by buskers that would put the puppet man to shame.

It also has the best damn chips in the city. Like Brighton, Pride is a big deal here, with the grass-roots organisation putting on annual events to celebrate gay pride week.

The Canaries

Norwich City -made famous only by the fact that they’ve been relegated from the Premier League more times than any other team, play every other weekend at the stadium. Although this might not be a strong incentive to visit Norwich, the fortnightly match always makes for an entertaining day out, and you there’s always a possibility of bumping into Stephen Fry, Hugh Jackman Ed Balls, or Delia Smith – being our most avid famous football fans.

There are many, many shops

With two shopping centres, four cinemas, two bowling alleys and six theatres, entertainment is never lacking. Norwich’s very own Lanes is packed with cheap vintage clothes, hippie shops and bookstores to explore. It was also the place that gave rise to Ed Sheeran’s fame as a former street busker.

It’s in a decent location

Some geographical bonuses of being in Norwich include the fact that it’s merely a short drive away from the beach, plus the River Wensum running throughout gives the opportunity for endless water-sports activities. It’s also a 40-minute direct flight to Amsterdam, if you’re looking to forget a weekend.

The surprising amount of culture

If you’re an art nerd, the Sainsbury centre exhibits art from the likes of Degas, Giacometti, Mucha, Anthony Green and Henry Moore – plus it’s free. To add to this, the two Cathedrals and Norwich castle are perfect places for students to explore, with daily dungeon tours and spectacular views from on high.

It was additionally the first place in the UK to have postcodes, was home to the first women to have written a published book, and until the industrial revolution, could have been the capital of England.

The friendly atmosphere

Finally, Norwich has been voted the happiest place to work, the best place to raise a child, and has one of the lowest crime rates in the UK. Once you get used to the sound of the Norfolk accent (which was ranked 45th sexiest in England – at least we beat Birmingham) you’ll find that it’s actually a lovely place to live.