Valentine’s Eve


This Valentine’s, Norwich Business Improvement District (BID)/VisitNorwich is giving true romantics the unique chance to win a personal message of love projected onto Norwich Castle, one of Europe’s most important 12th century buildings. Launching the start of the BID’s 2018 projections series, the search is on for the country’s most romantic couple to have their message projected onto the castle at 6pm on the 13th February, otherwise known as Valentine’s Eve – a true Norwich tradition.

Projections onto Norwich Castle proved so popular at Christmas that Norwich BID is planning a whole series in 2018. Commemorating important dates and events as well as creating some experiential opportunities, BID hopes the projections will inspire exciting social interaction with the general public. When Norwich Castle was built in 1067 – then built as a fortification – little did it know some 950 years later as a museum and art gallery it would be used as a backdrop for creative illuminations.

In this city alone in Victorian England, 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. 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, shawls and jigsaw puzzles. It was a huge deal – lovers fluttered around the city streets in the moonlight with their anonymous gifts. It is therefore fitting that come darkness on 13th February 2018, one modern day romantic will ‘leave’ their romantic gift not on a doorstep, but on the exterior of a magnificent medieval castle in the heart of Norwich.

The winning message will be the most heartwarming and honest declaration of love as judged by a panel, it is hoped that with Norwich being UNESCO’s first English City of Literature, entries will be inspiring and creative. It might be a proposal, a poem or meaningful words, but whatever it is, it must be written in eight words or less. The message will be revealed onto the castle at 6pm on Valentine’s Eve where the 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 all to see.

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director, Norwich BID said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to make a grand gesture to the one you love this Valentine’s Eve, with a unique and one-off declaration of love projected onto one of Norwich’s most loved and iconic buildings, the Castle.  The projections commissioned by the BID over the Christmas period were showstoppers and now we are offering the general public the chance to win a personalised projection, so please release your inner romantic and get creative!”Nick Bond, Head of Tourism, VisitNorwich said, “Nick Bond, Head of Tourism, VisitNorwich said, “Norwich is a romantic medieval city, a UNESCO City of Literature, and a city steeped in heritage. This unique opportunity to have a personal projection onto one of Norwich’s most iconic buildings represents everything Norwich stands for – creativity and a brilliant mix of medieval history and contemporary life, for a very complete visitor offer.”

How to enter

Entries must be received via the competition page on or sent to Norwich Business Improvement District/VisitNorwich, 2 Millennium Plain, Bethel Street, Norwich, NR2 1TF by midnight Sunday 4th February.

Entries must include the projection message in eight words or less.

Entries must include (in 100 words or less) the reason why the entrant wants to give their loved one a romantic, projected message (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 together from Norwich Memorial Gardens outside City Hall and be happy to be photographed on Tuesday 13th February at 6pm in Norwich.

This is open to UK residents aged 18 years and over.

Full details on

Full terms and conditions –

Valentine’s Eve is a Norwich tradition, the date when Victorian’s presented their loved ones with beautiful trinkets, paraphernalia and exquisitely embroidered cards. The full story plus examples of gifts and Valentine’s cards are on display at The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell, a sister museum to Norwich Castle part of Norfolk Museums Service.

Projections commissioned by Norwich BID feature on Norwich Castle, one of the city’s most iconic buildings.  30,000 lumens deliver 70ft tall projections with geo adjustment for unique screen surfaces. The projections offer a unique way to catch people’s attention through innovative animation and shows.

About VisitNorwich

VisitNorwich is the destination management organisation for the Norwich area and is the tourism destination marketing function of Norwich Business Improvement District – and

VisitNorwich is a discreet membership organisation within Norwich BID and its activities are funded by members, public sector stakeholders, including Norwich City Council and South Norfolk Council, and directly by Norwich BID.

VisitNorwich’s sole focus is to promote and develop the destination and support its members through collaborative marketing, research, information and business advice.

Total value of tourism in Norwich is £731,036,375 including 11,635,900 trips (day and staying) – Destination Research: Economic Impact of Tourism report 2016.

In 2018 Norfolk/Norwich featured in The Guardians hotlist for Where to go on holiday in 2018 – the hotlist.

In 2012 Norwich became England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. This accolade is a permanent status. In July 2018 the country’s first The National Centre for Writing will open in one of Norwich’s medieval trading halls: Dragon Hall.

About Norwich BID

Established in November 2012, the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) is run for local businesses by local businesses.  It is a simple, tried and tested way of increasing economic prosperity for companies of all sizes through collaboration.  The BID covers a defined area of Norwich where businesses plan how to improve their trading environment, identifying additional projects and services that develop the city centre and trade. Norwich BID is a not for profit company limited by guarantee funded by a levy on its member businesses.