One romantic day in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 16:24 08 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:50 20 February 2013
Suggestions for 12 hours of romance in Norfolk
One romantic day
Rediscover those amorous feelings towards your partner and your county all over again, with Sarah Cassells suggestions for 12 hours of romance.
Few things in life feel more decadent and indulgent than dining out for breakfast. Serving it in bed might be the traditional romantic gesture, but one of you still has to do the washing up. So head to the Lifeboat Inn at Thornham instead, where you can order a full English of epic proportions the likes of which you would never be so thorough as to rustle up at home or choose the fish breakfast of smoked salmon or haddock, the buffet selection or continental options.
After dining in the 16th century inns cosy restaurant, youll be energised for the day aheads activities, but may wish to linger in the area for a wander across Thornhams wildly tmospheric marshes, sweeping sand dunes and tranquil harbour.
01485 512236; www.maypolehotels.com/lifeboatinn
Send your beloveds heart soaring with an once-in-a-lifetime journey into the heavens above. With unrivalled, panoramic views over Norwich, the open countryside and broads, a hot air balloon ride combines breathtaking scenery with a little adventurous thrill perfect for getting your pulse racing! During the flight you can cuddle together as you pick out the regions landmarks from up to 3,000 feet in the sky, take hundreds of photographs to remember your experience, and then toast your journey with a flute of champagne on your return back to earth.
Flights with Broadland Balloons start from 99.
01603 495004; www.broadlandballoons.co.uk
When did you last take the time to appreciate the beauty of your relationship and your region? Just like our partners, Norwich Cathedral is something were probably all guilty of taking for granted. With an hour to spare on your Sunday morning, spend time enjoying both your loved ones company and the architectural magnificence of the historic landmark with a stroll, hand in hand, through the medieval cloisters. A place of quiet splendour, the vaulted English Gothic archways, built between 1290 and 1430, make the perfect location for a little fairytale-style romance give each others hand a little squeeze every time you see one of the unique ceiling bosses.
01603 218300; www.cathedral.org.uk
Stimulate those loving feelings with a little chemical enhancement chocolate that is! Through Saffires Chocolate Experience, you can enjoy a hands-on chocolate-making workshop from the comfort of your own kitchen. Under the guidance of an artisan chocolatier, you and your partner will be given the opportunity to create your own bars, truffles and novelties from dark, milk or white Belgian chocolate. Release those natural mood-enhancing chocolatey stimulants later on by feeding each other the fruits of your labour.
Courses are 49 per person (plus travel costs). Book in advance to arrange your experience.
0800 043 6312/01603 483400; www.saffire-chocolates.co.uk
Prolong your amorous emotions with the help of another local aphrodisiac. Make a lunchtime appointment at Cookies Crab Shop in Salthouse and place two orders from their signature dish the lobster royal salad. This shellfishs passionate powers have yet to be proven by scientists, but who wouldnt succumb to the irresistible mix of good company and freshly-caught fish. You can bring your own alcohol to Cookies too, so dont forget to take something bubbly to mark the occasion, then meander down to Salthouse beach and write romantic messages to your partner in the sand.
01263 740352; www.salthouse.org.uk
Horseback riding conjures up all sorts of chivalrous historic imagery, from knights in shining armour to Bronte heroes. Its also the ideal means of transport to explore some of Norfolks more hidden corners, like Thetford Forest. There are several registered equestrian centres in the area which offer supervised off-road hacking into the forest, including Middle Harling Riding School, where you can both saddle-up a well-mannered pony and discover the woodlands squirrel, bird and muntjac deer residents.
One hour hack from 27.50 per person (hats and boots supplied).
01953 718756; www.middleharlingridingschool.com
Looking to stoke the fires of passion? Then how about a shared glass-blowing experience, where you can feel the heat together and leave with a treasured souvenir of your romantic day. At Caithness Crystal in Kings Lynn you can turn molten glass into a whisky glass, paperweight or vase (perfect for the flowers your loved one has treated you to) and choose to have it blown in your favourite colour. Alternatively you could immortalise each others hands in a casting, or have an item of crystal or glassware engraved with a personal message.
Glassmaking experiences start from 5.
01553 765111; www.caithness-crystal.co.uk
This year swap love tokens for book tokens and pick up a Norfolk-themed romance for your partner. Mike Butler from Jarrolds book department recommends The History of Us (7.99) by Gorleston author Philip Leslie. Nominated for this years East Anglian book awards, its a beautiful exploration of everlasting love, based on the experiences of a group of friends growing up in Norfolk. For those who enjoy true stories, he suggests Enduring Spirit (16.95) by Len Hedges, which tells the heart-warming, against-the-odds story of Henry Cabell and Susannah Holmes real people who fell in love while imprisoned in Norwich Castle in 1783 and were sent to Australia in the first fleet of convicts to the New World. Buy your book at the department store and then head to Exchange Streets Caf 33 to read aloud your favourite touching extracts over a glass of wine or homemade cake (with two forks).
The River Ant is the shortest and arguably most picturesque of Norfolks waterways; its also said to see some of the broads most magnificent sunsets. With this in mind, why not brave the elements in a row boat or day boat from Ludham and paddle your way to How Hill to watch the light sink behind the charming Turf Fen drainage mill. Arrive early and you will have time to moor at the staithe to take the many nature trails and riverbank walks to the hills preserved mills, or float serenely past How Hill House, a pretty thatched Edwardian mansion.
Book in advance, from 14 for dinghy, 36 for day boat hire for two hours.
01692 631011; www.ludhambridgeboats.co.uk
Valentines lore says that if you see a flock of doves on February 14 you will have a happy, peaceful marriage so imagine how lucky youll be after seeing thousands of swans! These elegant birds have long been held as symbols of enduring love and, when dusk settles over the Ouse Washes, up to 9,000 wild swans head to the Welney Wetland Centre for feeding time. Bring your own mate to the centres heated observatory to observe this natural spectacular, made up of resident mute swans, migratory whooper swans and even the odd shy Bewicks swan.
Floodlit swan feeds take place at 6.30pm (Thurs to Sun) until February 28. Admission is 6.30 for adults.
01353 860711; www.wwwt.org.uk/welney
Find out if your love is really written in the stars with an evening visit to Kelling Heath in north Norfolk. Set in 250 acres of woodland, the eco-friendly park has minimal light pollution and so boasts some of the countrys most breathtaking night skies. From this rural location you can enjoy crystal clear views of some of the universes most elusive sights, including the glorious Milky Way, huge interstellar dust clouds and distant galaxies. Pick a star from one of the glittering constellations and make a wish for your future together.
01263 588181; www.kellingheath.co.uk
I shall love you always until
the end of my life
Recreate your own version of Dr Alec Harvey and Laura Jessons passion in the 1946 golden weepy Brief Encounter, at the restaurant of the same name in Wymondhams historic station. Arrange your own ardent rendezvous in this beautifully-restored building and try to book dinner at one of its old-fashioned train carriage seats. Cinema stars Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard look on approvingly from the film and railway memorabilia decorating the walls. But why be brief? Linger instead and share your favourite memories from the day.