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If you’re looking for the best place for a romantic weekend city break in the UK, then you’re in luck. Norwich is a characterful city that exudes romance. An evening stroll down the City of Stories’ cobbled lanes after a beautiful day enjoying the scenery, brilliant food and drink, and a unique experience or two is sure to get your paramour’s heart racing.
Not sure how to plan your romantic weekend escape in Norwich? We’ve put together the perfect Norwich romantic break itinerary for you. So, you can treat your loved one to a wonderful trip (and don’t worry, we’ll let you take all the credit for planning it!)
A luxurious and relaxing hotel to rest in after a busy day exploring the city is vital for a romantic break away. And luckily, Norwich does not disappoint with its offering.
The Assembly House is a gorgeous Georgian listed building which instantly wows with its pretty courtyard terrace and grand entrance hall. For a truly sumptuous experience, we’d recommend room 12 or 16 – both have four poster beds, luxury furnishings and spacious bathrooms. The Assembly House is also famed for its themed afternoon teas, which always feature a delicious selection of homemade sandwiches, savouries and delicate cakes. Add a glass of prosecco or two and you’ve got the perfect romantic treat.
The Maids Head Hotel oozes charm. As Britain’s oldest hotel, it’s full of historic features which are fabulous for creating an intimate atmosphere. Characteristic ceiling beams anyone? For a truly gorgeous room, book the Filby Junior Suite, which is nestled in the eaves of the hotel, complete with roll top bath and views of Norwich Cathedral. The Maids Head also has its own Bentley and offers complimentary Bentley tours of the city to guests – a fantastic and unique experience that’s ideal for couples. Or if you like to get more active, you can hire Bobbin Bikes from the hotel for free, where you’ll be provided with a helmet, high-vis vest and a map of Norwich so you can plan your own adventure.
Start off your first day in the city by enjoying a delightful breakfast at your hotel, before heading out to explore.
Spend the morning taking in the beautiful sights in Norwich. Elm Hill is the most complete medieval street in the city and is a beautiful introduction to the city (plus a great spot for Instagram selfies). Stop for coffee at the characterful Britons Arms if you fancy.
Norwich is a walkable city, so you can easily stroll through many of the city’s beauty spots in a morning. Norwich Cathedral is a must-see, and a walk along the river is ideal when the sun is shining. Or you can head to the Norwich Lanes to get a taste of Norwich’s independent shopping scene (and maybe buy a gift or two).
For lunch, head down to Norwich Market and take your pick from tantalising street-food eats from across the world. For the true romantics, we recommend heading to Bread Source for freshly baked bread and pastries, CJ’s for locally sourced fruit, The Cheese Man for indulgent cheese and chutney, and Substrata Wines for a bottle of some of the finest wine around. Then take your haul a short walk away to The Plantation Garden. This hidden Victorian Garden is the perfect place for an intimate picnic – with lush greenery, a stunning gothic fountain and an Italianate terrace.
The afternoon would be the perfect time to indulge in a cultural activity or two. Norwich Castle is home to a unique collection of artefacts and art galleries, while the Museum of Norwich is a great introduction to the history of Norwich. (Adult admission £7.40). The South Asia Collection on Bethel Street is also brilliant for a couple to wonder around and is free to enter. An old Victorian roller-skating rink now filled with jewellery, textiles, art, furniture and more – there’s plenty to see and enjoy (as well as unique trinkets to buy too).
On your first evening, head to Brix and Bones (Weds – Sat) or The Ivy Brasserie for a special dinner. Brix and Bones is an independent eatery above popular bar Gonzos (which you could always visit for cocktails after dinner). The menu features eclectic and bold flavours inspired by world travels, with the ingredients locally sourced to ensure quality. Most dishes are cooked over fire and are complemented by carefully paired wines and cocktails. The Ivy Brasserie meanwhile brings a touch of je ne sais quoi with its sophisticated all-day dining. The stunningly decorated interior paired with the high quality of food will surely make it a special occasion.
After a day exploring what the city has to offer, now is the perfect time to make some memories and enjoy a memorable experience or two.
The Gyre & Gimble Gin Academy Shop is located in The Royal Arcade and offers the opportunity to create your own gin. Only £75 per person, this 2-hour experience will see you learn the history of the spirit, enjoy three gin and tonics, and create, distill and bottle your own gin, which you get to take home with you. Talk about a unique souvenir!
If you’re a fan of adventure, why not book Pub & Paddle? Hire out your own canoe for two for several hours and have a cruise along the river – seeing Norwich from a whole new perspective. You can even moor up at a pub and enjoy a drink or a spot of lunch! We recommend The Ribs of Beef, which has a pretty riverside terrace to sit out on when the weather is nice.
Finish off the weekend with a truly special dinner at Benedicts. Benedicts chef and owner, Richard Bainbridge, has worked for Michel Roux and in 2015 won BBC’s Great British Menu – so you can be sure of some real gastronomical delights here. Tasting menus start from £59 and feature dishes crafted from seasonal produce such as Cornish Cod with Norfolk Asparagus. Delicious.
Alternatively, if you didn’t opt for a picnic lunch on day one (or you just really like picnics), you could enjoy one in the evening and enjoy a glorious sunset at the same time. Head up to the viewing point on Mousehold Heath for some of the best views of the city – the ideal place for an intimate and unforgettable moment.
To keep the night going, head to one of Norwich’s theatres. Norwich Theatre Royal has an extensive program which ranges from national ballet companies to touring West End musicals. While Norwich Playhouse is the place to go for the best up and coming comedy talent.
There’s so much to do in and around Norwich, so if you’re able to extend your weekend break by a day (or two) – we say go for it! Here are just a few more romantic activities you can enjoy: