The January blues have officially set in… Christmas was only a few weeks ago and as a result it’s probably fair to say that none of us are exactly flush with cash to go booking a two-week, five-star holiday to Mexico in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Don’t worry though – you certainly don’t have to break the bank to escape with your partner and spend some quality time together.
There are plenty of UK getaways perfect for a romantic experience with your loved one; whether you’re up for walking and hiking in the mountains or sightseeing and eating, there’s certainly something every couple can enjoy.
A pretty market town in the Lake District National Park, Keswick is both a peaceful and romantic retreat for any couple seeking some time away from everyday life. Surrounded by mountains like Skiddaw, it’s the perfect location if you enjoy peaceful walks to take in the fresh country air or perhaps challenge yourself to a range of hikes that offer unforgettable views. Wrap up extra warm and head out in a wooden boat together to sail the lake and gaze in awe at the mountainous landscapes, followed by a cosy stop-off at a friendly local café to sip hot chocolate.
Wander Keswick market, open weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays from 9am to 4.30pm, to hand-pick fresh local produce and homemade goods. If you’re more of a historian then fascinate yourself at the Cumberland Pencil Museum or visit Keswick Museum & Art Gallery to discover local artefacts. Share a few glasses of wine with your partner with a walk around The Lakes Distillery or wander Lake District Wildlife Park to get up close and personal with some of the most beautiful wildlife. Lodge holidays are the most popular type of getaway in Keswick. After all, what’s better than snuggling up under a blanket with some roasted marshmallows, chocolate, and your most-loved?
Loch Lomond, Scotland
The surrounding area of the well-known Scottish lake Loch Lomond is a stunningly tranquil location and ideal for any loved-up escape. On the eastern shore you’ll find footpaths and fabulous cycle trails that criss-cross the craggy Ben Lomond mountain; great for those who like to stay active. There are a number of cosy stone cottages to enjoy a comfortable self-catering stay here, with great facilities and a countryside feel to welcome you. Walk hand-in-hand around the ornamental gardens of Balloch Country Park; feed the ducks and swans, and visit the gift shop to spot quirky souvenirs.
Take on the challenge of TreeZone Aerial Adventure Course and work together to make your way across the zip wires, hanging platforms, tightropes, and white-knuckle bridges. For some of the best panoramic views across Scotland you’ll have to head up some pretty big hills but rest assured the rewards are worth it. Find some of the best trails nestled within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Whether you’re an experienced rider or not, pony trekking is another great way to take in the breathtaking scenery at a leisurely pace. The shores of Loch Lomond are also bursting with opportunity; enjoy a range of indoor and water-based activities as a couple.
The characterful walled city of York is oozing with history and so much to experience at every turn. Shack up in a centrally located hotel to really get amongst York’s best things to do and see. Capture photos together outside the beautiful Gothic-style York Minster, take time to explore the unique shops and markets along the Shambles, and notice the vintage trains and exhibitions at the National Railway Museum if you’re into that sort of thing.
Head down to The York Dungeon to learn all about the city’s gruesome past but be sure to stick together as it gets pretty frightening down there! Pack a picnic of all your favourite savoury and sweet treats and make your way down to Rowntree Park for some time out or wander along the pretty River Ouse – don’t forget a thick scarf and hat as February is obviously quite chilly. Once you pay your way into Clifford’s Tower the views are second-to-none; admire York’s fantastic medieval walls in all their glory arm-in-arm.
Of course, England’s magnificent capital is probably one of the most popular destinations for, well, everything. From historic landmarks and panoramic views to some of the best high-street shopping and a world of restaurants and bars; it’s a city you’ll never forget. No visit is complete without seeing London’s national timepiece Big Ben – get up close and take a new couple’s profile photo everybody will be racing to ‘Like’.
Cross Tower Bridge for a truly mesmerising spectacle of the city or get up high and take a seat on the Coco-Cola London Eye for observations you can experience together in awe. Breathe in the crisp winter air as you follow each other around the sprawling greenery of Hyde Park, without forgetting day-trips to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and of course the fountains of Trafalgar Square. By night, London comes alive even more. Make a cosy dinner reservation and enjoy a premium cut of juicy steak over a bottle of red wine to share before heading out to see what the party scene is all about. Clink cocktails with your other half and see in the early hours in complete style.
A real example of the beauty of Wales, Snowdonia is a picturesque region set around the mountains and glaciers of the huge Snowdonia National Park. Discover spectacular rugged mountain scenery, gorgeous beaches and sand dunes, as well as picturesque valleys ideal for an active day out walking, running, or cycling. Reach the top of the infamous Snowdon with a five-mile journey on Snowdon Mountain Railway to pass through Hebron, Halfway, and Clogwyn along the way.
Those looking for an authentically Welsh experience might like to consider a comfortable stay at a quaint hotel, guesthouse, or B&B in the tiny village of Beddgelert; a favourite starting point for many scenic walks. Bala Lake boasts ideal conditions to enjoy adventures such as sailing, fishing, kayaking, and canoeing or take a stroll along the golden sand of Harlech Beach hand-in-hand as you watch the sunset.
So, where are you taking your loved one this Valentine’s Day? We’d love to know.