Valentine’s Day may look a little different this year, with many parts of the UK still in a lockdown; hotels and restaurants closed, unable to welcome couples and friends for romantic meals and getaways. We’ve rounded up some suggestions for those who want to treat their loved ones to an experience they can look forward to sharing together once restrictions lift.
The romantic Scottish Highlands at The Torridon
Give the gift of Torridon with a promise to escape the restrictions of daily life. Gift voucher experiences start from £50. The natural playground of the Scottish Highlands offers space to roam and reconnect with loved ones in the rugged, romantic setting of the wilderness.
Stargazers can enjoy a celestial experience with local astronomer Stephen Mackintosh offering the opportunity to cuddle up under the stars discovering the cosmic chemistry of the night sky together. After a chilly night, the five star Torridon Suite includes a double bath so couples can warm up side–by–side. Stargazing experience from £500 for two people.
For those wanting a spin around one of the best driving routes in the UK, a classic Morgan 4/4 is available for hire to take on the winding North Coast 500. With the top down and a delicious picnic strapped to the back, guests can take a pitstop at woodland waterfalls in the Fairy Glen, Rosmarkie, or stop at the elegant Dunrobin Castle and landscaped gardens inspired by the Gardens of Versailles. Morgan 4/4 hire from £350 per day. One-night stay from £295 per room, including breakfast. 01445 791 242, www.thetorridon.com/
Sweets for my sweet – from £124 at Hotel Indigo York
Indulge in a romantic trip to Hotel Indigo York, set to melt hearts with award-winning design inspired by the city’s rich confectionery history. Couples can enjoy a stroll through historic York, with its quirky alleys, independent shops and vivid history, before settling in for a cosy three-course meal and cocktails at the hotel’s No.88 Walmgate restaurant. When booking a Romance Package, guests receive a room upgrade, a bottle of Prosecco and chocolates in the room and a full Yorkshire breakfast the next morning, followed by a late check out to really make the most of an indulgent stay. Package from £124 per room including breakfast, subject to availability. 01904 231 333, www.hotelindigoyork.co.uk/
Retreat to Malvern at The Cottage in the Wood
Treat a loved one to an adrenaline-filled adventure with The Cottage in the Wood’s new Driving Experience in partnership with Land Rover. The ideal gift for anyone looking for passion, adventure and fun, couples can drive through 66 miles of trails in the beautiful grounds of Eastnor Castle in a new all-wheel drive Land Rover, learning new skills together, before enjoying a relaxing and romantic evening at the hotel set high in the hills.
The Cottage in the Wood’s Land Rover Experience includes an overnight stay with dinner, breakfast and driver experience for two guests from £459 for two and can be booked by calling The Cottage in the Wood. 01684 588860, www.cottageinthewood.co.uk/
Embrace City Charm – from £149 at Vanbrugh House Hotel, Oxford Oxford is awash with the promise of romance and inspiration, perfect for love-struck couples keen to explore winding alleyways and arcades, filled with small boutiques and unique shops. A romantic leisurely punt down River Cherwell or a walk round the breath-taking splendour of Blenheim Palace is the perfect precursor to a relaxed evening at the chic and intimate Vanbrugh House Hotel, with its 22 elegant bedrooms and suites, each with en-suite rainfall shower. The Romance Package includes upgraded accommodation, prosecco and chocolates in the room and late check out for a long, lazy morning. Package from £149 per room including breakfast, subject to availability. 01865 244 622, www.vanbrughhousehotel.co.uk/ for more information.
A literary journey through Edinburgh – from £114 at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh York Place
For literary lovers, Edinburgh is a breeding ground of creativity as authors including Robert Louis Stevenson, Ian Rankin, Kenneth Grahame, J M Barrie and of course J K Rowling have all called Edinburgh home. The hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from Picardy Place where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born, close to where Robert Louis Stevenson grew up, and Alexander McCall Smith set his 44 Scotland Street novels a short walk from the hotel. Couples can enjoy a Romance Package with a room upgrade, a bottle of Prosecco and chocolates in the room and a full Scottish breakfast the next morning, followed by a late check out. Package from £114 per room including breakfast, subject to availability. 0131 556 5577, https://edinburgh.hotelindigo.com/.
Virtual Fitness with Lensbury at Home
The Lensbury Club in South West London has unveiled ‘The Lensbury at Home’ App to encourage both its members and local community to stay safe, well and active throughout the current national lockdown. Offering a flexible virtual membership priced at £40 per month and a free trial for a limited time only, the platform provides users with unlimited access to the exclusive classes The Lensbury Club is renowned for, each led by the club’s expert trainers and instructors. Perfect as a gift for a fitness fanatic or for couples looking to do some fun, virtual classes together during lockdown. For more information on The Lensbury at Home and how to join, please visit www.lensbury.com/club-sports-leisure/the-lensbury-at-home/