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Plan your Valentine’s break now!
It’s never too early (and certainly not too late) to book this year’s Valentine’s Day celebrations. Whether you are a star-crossed lover looking to ask that all-important question on February 14, or are searching for somewhere to get away for some time alone together, we have a range of ideas to help you on your way.
And don’t hang around waiting to book. Availability for the best hotels always runs tight closer to the big day, so the earlier you act, the better your break will be.
Where should you go?
UK: Hot tubs and football frolics
In the UK, you can choose from a range of options – from a weekend stay in a small, cosy, romantic cottage in beautiful surroundings to a swanky hotel in London’s West End, or something in between. There are even beach-side chalets complete with your own hot tub if that’s more your romantic style. You just need to decide exactly what you want from your break before settling on a location or holiday type.
The big cities around the UK offer great restaurants (book now to ensure a reservation), nightlife, a huge range of hotels to suit every budget, and plenty to see and do, whatever your interests. So spoil your loved one by indulging them in a weekend of activities based around their interests and loves.
If you want great shopping and a spa, head to Bath; for history and scenery, head to Edinburgh; and for nightlife and entertainment, it has to be London. Alternatively, if your loved one is footie mad, a trip to Manchester to visit the National Football Museum with a tour of one of the North West’s Premiership grounds could be just the ticket. Or for true romance, consider a weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare, the writer of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, hailed from.
For countryside and romantic walks, head to the Lake District. In the winter months it may feel bleak to some people, but the scale of the scenery and lakes, along with great places to have a romantic meal, make it a special place to be.
Alternatively, a Cornish seaside village may just do the trick or you could consider a break in the Cotswolds with its golden stone villages and rolling countryside.
Europe: Re-enact your own love scene
Paris and Venice are the obvious choices here for a Valentine’s break. However, there are many other destinations worthy of romance.
Amsterdam is packed with galleries, has a canal setting and is home to the Anne Frank story. Florence was the setting for ‘Room with a View’ where Helena Bonham Carter’s character, Lucy Honeychurch, falls for George Emerson and their romance blossoms. Or why not go to Verona and re-enact your very own ‘Romeo and Juliet’ scene at the romantic Casa di Giulietta.
Budapest sits straddling the romantic Danube and has a wonderful old town packed with enchanting places to stay and visit. Or head to Vienna to learn how to dance the ‘Strictly’ way with waltz lessons and carriage rides, or take a trip to Antwerp to buy that special diamond you may be yearning for.
The key to success is to make your break exactly what you are looking for, so research the destination and ensure that it has the types of places you enjoy visiting and eating in to make your romantic weekend one to remember.
Further afield: Passion in paradise
If you are lucky enough to have more time on your hands, why not head to a paradise beach or one of the world’s big cities?
New York is always full of life and is packed with places to make a special break away. But what about places like exotic Marrakech in Morocco where you can visit the Majorelle Gardens, created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle and later owned and restored by French designer Yves St Laurent?
Or maybe a week in Buenos Aires which is a city built on the passion of the tango? Its colonial architecture and great places to stay and eat out make it a romantic city to visit. Alternatively, it’s Carnival time in nearby Rio on Valentine’s Day, where lovers laze on the sand at Copacabana Beach.
And, of course, you could pick from one of the many paradise beach destinations around the world for a week of romance with a tan thrown in. From St Lucia, Antigua, Mustique and St Barts in the Caribbean to Kauai in Hawaii, from the Maldives to Bali or the Great Barrier Reef to Bermuda, there’s a beach on an island waiting just for you.
Are you whisking your other half away this Valentine’s Day? Where are you taking them? Leave a comment below to let us know.
Please note: This is an updated version of a previously-published article