Hand-holding, long romantic walks, nothing but peace and quiet. This Valentine’s Day, make sure you’ve chosen one of these romantic locations and sweep your partner off their feet.
A trip to the seaside: Cornwall
The English seaside will always be romantic, whatever time of year you go. Even in blustery winds there’s a wistful hideaway feeling to it. Cornwall is the perfect getaway for romance – secluded beaches, long country walks with beautiful scenery, and some restaurants so good they’re renowned across the world – Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant is in Padstow. You’d be hard pressed to find a hotel more idyllic than Bedruthan’s luxury hotel The Scarlet. It’s aimed at couples, not families and you’ll be spoiled by outdoor hot tubs, infinity pools and one of the best hidden beaches in the country.
The most romantic city in the world: Paris
It might be a cliche, but that doesn’t stop Paris worthy of every single romance award going. It’s all that red wine and candlelight, it makes our heads fuzzy. What is it that makes makes the Eiffel Tower the top Valentine’s destination? No one is quite sure, but that doesn’t stop love birds flocking there every February. For splendid views of the most famous tower in the world, head to Cafe Marly next to The Louvre for a glass of champagne.
The other most romantic city in the world: Venice
The jury is still out over the crown for the most romantic city. There are figurative fisticuffs between Paris and Venice around this time every year. But let’s be honest: boat trips and sunsets are brilliant in Venice and it might just be a little bit warmer. Of course, if you opt for Venice, you’d do worse than to book tickets to an opera at Musica a Palazzo. If you do opt for Venice, check out our blog here.
It’s like something out of a fairy tale: Bruges
It might not get as much attention as Paris or Venice, but Bruges is an incredibly charming city and only four hours away on the Eurostar. Take a canal trip, a horse and carriage through the city or just stroll about the alcoves and chocolate shops. Make sure you pop into Patisserie Academie for excellent brownies and Dumon, the tiniest and most adorable of all the chocolate shops. Say hello to the swans.
The romantic English countryside: Kent
The garden of England is deserving of its name. Kent is home to some of the most unspoilt countryside in England. It also has the added bonus of being on London’s doorstep so you can hop on a train after work on Valentine’s weekend and still enjoy a whole weekend away. Head to Whitstable for quirky seaside walks and a stay in a fishermans hut or Leeds Castle for medieval romance and then take a romantic countryside road trip (picnic and a mix tape compulsory). Find five reasons to visit Kent on our blog, here.
The perfect winter hideaway: Sweden
The best thing about being loved up in winter is snuggling when it’s cold. Where better to do snuggling than Sweden’s Ice Hotel? Every inch of the hotel is made of ice, even the beds! You sleep under furs to keep warm and some of the rooms have saunas in them (no, we don’t know how the ice doesn’t melt, it’s probably Narnia magic or something). If things get a little too cold, or you’re sharing your ice bed with a duvet stealer, you can opt for a warm room in one of the chalets.
The place where no one will find you: Aran Islands
If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway is the ideal destination. The most secluded of the three islands is Inis Meain. At its widest point it’s just 5km. But just because it’s secluded doesn’t mean you have to rough it. South Aran Cottages is a bright (and affordable!) hotel and ideal for exploring. It’s also a cookery school, so if you fancy learning to make Irish soda bread or how to cook with seaweed, now’s your chance.
The hidden town: Erice
Sicily already has a lot going for it. Volcano visits (no, really, volcanic lava is the exciting sort of romantic) are a must and the local Trattorias have so much charm – just sit back and dine on whatever the chef has made that day, you won’t get a trite three course Valentine’s Day menu. Erice is utterly charming. It’s a short journey from Trapani and that journey is rather special – you’ll need to take a cable car up to this medieval mountain town. And when you’ve reached the top, there’s a luxury castle for you can stay in like a loved up Princess who gets to celebrate Valentine’s day with a massive pizza.
Words by Sian Meades
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