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SFP 2017 Christmas Lights C 55



Here in Norwich, the City of Stories, there is a very unique history of Valentine’s day celebrations. To continue the tradition, this year we’re offering you a once in a lifetime opportunity to have your 'declaration of love’ projected onto Norwich Castle for the whole city - and the person you love - to see.

Title image credit: Simon Finlay Photography 

In this city alone, Valentine’s Eve was celebrated in spectacular style, with the kind of ceremony that - back in the 19th century - rivalled Christmas for being THE event of the year. This time 200 years ago, Norwich would have looked spectacular as it geared up for the city wide celebration, which was not only for lovers, but also for families, friends and children too. Shops would have to take on extra staff, and the high street would have been resplendent with extravagant window displays. 


And why?


On Valentine’s Eve, after nightfall, the people of Norwich would anonymously leave gifts on loved ones' doorsteps, leaving only the note ‘Good Morrow Valentine’ with it. Cards and bits of lace would not do, either; instead lovers would give clocks, umbrellas, workboxes, vases, tea caddies and albums, shawls, jigsaw puzzles and even writing desks (because nothing says romance like working from home, right?). It was a huge deal - lovers fluttered around the city streets in the moonlight with their anonymous gifts, and pranksters would tie bits of string to empty parcels, in order to pull them away as the recipient went to pick them up (this was probably never attempted with the writing desk).


Now it’s your turn...


VisitNorwich, with Norwich BID, are opening a call out for a personal ‘declaration of love’, to be projected onto Norwich Castle on Valentine’s Eve. We’re inviting you to send us the 8 words you would like to light up the city, which - in some way or another - convey your love for someone very special. It could be a proposal, a poem, or meaningful words - as long as it’s short, sincere, and suitable for public consumption, we’ll consider anything.

The message will be revealed onto the castle at 6pm on the 13th of February, where the winning couple will be presented with champagne, chocolates and flowers. The following evening, Valentine’s Day, their picture will be projected together with the message from 5pm for the whole city to see. 


How to enter

  • Entries must be received via the competition page HERE by midnight Sunday 4th February or sent to Norwich Business Improvement District/VisitNorwich, 2 Millennium Plain, Bethel Street, Norwich, NR2 1TF.
  • Entries must include the projection message in eight words or less.
  • Entries must include in 100 words or less the reason why their 'declaration of love' should be selected for the projection (this is for the judging panel and will not be published).
  • Entries must include the full name of the entrant and their contact details plus the full name of the person the declaration of love is intended for. 
  • The winning couple MUST both be available to view the projection in Norwich Memorial Gardens, and happy to be photographed on Tuesday 13th February at 6pm in Norwich.
  • Full terms and conditions here.




Greater Anglia has Advance fares from £10 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Greater Anglia also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.

East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.

Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.


To plan a trip to Norwich check out our website