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Romantic short breaks and weekends in the East of England by rail

Connect with your loved one – on the train

If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway then the best way to travel has to be by train. Fortunately in the East of England we have excellent rail services to superb destinations where you can switch off and enjoy some ‘you’ time together.

Take a punt on Cambridge

Punting on the river Cam

A perfect destination for a short break, Cambridge has more culture, history and great shopping than you can shake a stick at. And would could be more romantic than taking a chauffeured river Cam tour on a punt and heading for the covered neo-gothic Bridge of Sighs at St John’s College, built in 1831. From the river you can also see the famous ‘Backs’ and water meadows where cows happily munch away.

Take a guided tour of the city to include the various colleges and be like a local and hire a bike to explore a little further afield.

Traditional seaside Cromer

Cromer Pier at sunset

Nothing beats a walk along the seafront with your significant other. Get some fish and chips from No 1 Cromer or Mary-Janes and sit on the prom taking in the view. The sunsets are particularly spectacular. Oh, and make sure you eat some eponymous crab – they’re the meatiest and juiciest in the country because they feed from the chalk reef just offshore. At over 20 miles, it’s the longest in the world!

It was the advent of the railways that made Cromer famous and the Victorians bequeathed another legacy – the last end-of-pier theatre in the world. There are concerts year-round with variety extravaganzas for summer and Christmas.

Constable Country at Manningtree

Flatford

Alight the train at Manningtree, by the stunning Stour estuary, and you’re close to Dedham Vale, the beautiful countryside that inspired John Constable. The area is best explored by cycle, which you can hire at the station. You can take a short journey on the train to Ipswich, where Constable’s work is exhibited at Christchurch Mansion, and while there explore the stunning waterfront.

Riverside Woodbridge

The Tide Mill at Woodbridge

This historic riverside market town is our little secret. Off the beaten track and a little way from the coastal tourism path, it’s a relaxed community of independent shops, eateries and pubs and restaurants. Visit The Tide Mill Living Museum and enjoy a stroll by the water.

Just across the river Deben is Sutton Hoo, the National Trust site where an undisturbed ship-burial was found with a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artefacts, most of which are now in the British Museum. It’s still worth visiting and has lovely countryside walks.

Historic Bury St Edmunds

St Edmund's statue at Bury St Edmunds

Take in tours of the last Regency theatre in the UK, Moyse’s Hall Museum and the Greene King Brewery, stroll around the Abbey Gardens before heading into St Edmundsbury Cathedral, and enjoy superb shopping and dining. A good Instagram picture would be in The Nutshell, the smallest pub in the country.

Bury is the grandest of the ‘Wool Towns’, a group of medieval market towns that grew rich on the wool trade. And a grand time you’ll have.

Medieval and fashionable Norwich

Norwich Cathedral

The historical and the modern intertwine in The Fine City, with a magnificent Norman castle that sits atop the centre and a splendid cathedral, cobbled streets and a plethora of medieval churches, alongside shopping malls, the glass-fronted Millennium Forum, the independent shops of The Lanes, and the largest covered market in Europe.

With two universities, the city has a youthful vibe, with a flourishing music, arts and culture scene and a vast array of restaurants, bars and nightlife.

Maritime history of King’s Lynn

King's Lynn Lumiere

Take the rail service Her Majesty The Queen takes when she goes to stay at Sandringham to get to King’s Lynn. The town itself has a rich maritime history, it was part of the Hanseatic League, and has more graded buildings than any other in the country. Search out The Custom House, the Georgian Hanse House and King’s Lynn Minster.

Hire a bike and you can head out to the Sandringham estate, the house is open except when the Royal Family are at home, or visit Norman Castle Rising which has one of the largest and best preserved keeps in the country.