The Best Places in the UK to Spend Valentine's Day
A perfect romantic getaway a little closer to home...
February 14 falls on a Saturday this year, making a weekend break an ideal way to celebrate with a loved one - and why look further than our own lovely shores? Whether you're in need of luxurious pampering, a wild return to nature or excitement and adventure, we've got your Valentine's Day travel covered.
Best for: walks in the wild - Lake District, Cumbria
Image by Peer Lawther under Creative Commons license.
If you like nature to set the scene, there are few places more beautifully romantic than North West England's Lake District. Here you can find easy outdoor walks and more rugged climbs up hills and mountains that overlook some of Britain's comeliest views. The Lakes were an inspiration to a generation of English poets, and to many courting couples since. Pack your walking boots for an energising Valentine's Day hike and then head back for a relaxed supper in front of a real log fire - try Augill Castle in Kirkby Stephen for a truly unforgettable weekend.
Best for: rest and relaxation - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire
Image by Simon Q under Creative Commons license.
This exquisite Victorian mansion in Taplow has been home to dukes, earls and countesses and the author and socialite, Nancy Astor. It's now home to one of the UK's most luxurious health spas, set in stunning gardens and a short stroll away from the woodlands of rural Buckinghamshire. Enjoy a soak in the whirlpool followed by a range of relaxing beauty and massage treatments, before retiring to your exquisitely-furnished period bedroom. If you're motivated to pop the question while you're there, Cliveden House can also be used as a wedding venue.
Best for: a cheeky elopement - Gretna Green, Dumfries and Galloway
Image by Amanda Slater under Creative Commons license.
Gretna Green, in the south-west of Scotland, became famous for runaway weddings during the 18th century, when parental consent was required for anyone under 21 years of age to get married in England and Wales, but not in Scotland. Laws have since changed, but this pretty village is still a hugely popular location for weddings £150; and is also a charming place to visit in its own right. Be sure to pop into the famous Blacksmith's shop where couples used to tie the knot "over the anvil"!
Best for: strolls along the seashore - St Agnes, Cornwall
Image by Thomas Tolkien under Creative Commons license.
The picturesque village of St Agnes sits on the north coast of Cornwall, a short hop down the coast from Newquay. The coastline here is stunning, and you can enjoy it from afar on a hilltop walk, or up close on one of the four pretty beaches in the area. Foodies will enjoy the fresh, local seafood and seasonal specialities served up at Taste on Vicarage Road, a charming place for a romantic supper.
Best for: rugged natural beauty - Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides
Image by Vanessa under Creative Commons license.
Skye, the largest of the Inner Hebrides, is famed for its breathtaking natural beauty. The island is ringed with miles of basalt cliffs, weathered peninsulas and clear, deep blue waters. The landscape here is more ruggedly sublime than prettily picturesque, but somehow all the more romantic for it. Skye is great for active couples - walking and climbing are popular activities here - and wildlife spotters should definitely bring their binoculars and a camera. Skye is a wonderfully scenic drive from either Inverness or Fort William; for maximum romance take the ferry "over the sea to Skye" from Mallaig on the mainland.
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Written by Lise Smith, a former contributor to Lonely Planet's India guidebook - she's seen her fair share of hotel rooms (both grotty and glamorous!). She learned to walk in a hotel corridor in Tunisia, and at the age of three had been on more aeroplanes than buses. Lise writes for a number of local news, technology and arts publications.Top