Flowers and candy are certainly nice and candlelight dinners have their place. But if it's all beginning to seem a bit deja vu, could be you need some fresh romantic
ideas to surprise your significant other. Cast your eye over these romantic things to do in the UK for inspiration - Then check out my latest list of More Dash than Cash Valentine's Day Ideas
Have a Brief Encounter
David Sim @victoriapeckham flickr.com Creative Commons License
in Lancashire stood in for Milford Junction in that classic British weepie, Brief Encounter
. The station has recently been refurbished, with full respect to its position as a historic cinema location and you can meet up under the clock featured in the film.
Or, have a more modern brief encounter of your own at London's newly refurbished St. Pancras International Station. Meet by Paul Day's 30 foot tall statue, The Lovers
, then drink champagne at the world's longest champagne bar
, on the station platform.
Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images
...and have it custom made in Birmingham's amazing Jewellery Quarter. At least 40% of the jewelry made in the UK - including much that finds its way to the exclusive shops of London's Mayfair, is made in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. The area is full of designer-makers - some trained in the district's own jewelry college - working out of small, glamorous shops, who will create a piece to your own specifications - usually for much less than you might expect to pay for custom work. A unique piece of jewelry is a very special gift - for a man or a woman.
Picture Courtesy of Britain on View
The Cerne Abbas Giant, could well be the sexiest ancient monument in the British Isles. Best let the National Trust, that most respectable of British institutions, describe him - "A huge outline sculpted into the chalk hillside above the village of Cerne Abbas representing a naked, sexually aroused, club-wielding giant."
Childless couples and those hoping for a bit more spice in their relationships have been drawn to amorous encounters near the Giant's most upstanding feature. In the past, some even spent the night there. If you are tongue tied on Valentine's Day, consider that some pictures - even ancient ones carved out of chalk - can speak a thousand words.
Picture Courtesy of Amberley Castle
You just can't move without bumping into a castle or a castle ruin somewhere in the UK. More amazingly, loads of them have been turned into unique luxury hotels. Imagine a room in a turret with ancient stone walls, a roaring fire, baronial hangings all over the place. Of course, nowadays, most Castle hotels are a bit more of the boutique hotel genre. But you'll still find four poster beds, gorgeous bathrooms, historic landscaped views
, moats, battlements and lots more to keep those romantic fantasies going.
Courtesy of Simpsons
Ever since I saw the lusty eating scene in Tom Jones (the old Albert Finney version), I can't help thinking there is something terribly romantic (not to mention sexy) about dining well and then slipping upstairs to a romantic room for dessert. A small restaurant with just a few rooms - what the French call an auberge - is the perfect setting for a seduction. If you aren't convinced, try watching the famous lusty eating scene
from the film "Tom Jones" on YouTube, then book yourselves into a Romantic UK Restaurant with Rooms.
The nice thing about walking along a beautiful beach
is that it's just as romantic in cold - or even stormy weather - as on a bright sunny day. The UK has some really gorgeous beaches, carved out by wind, by the glaciers of the ice age and by long distance Atlantic currents. In fact last year, The National Trust of Wales
named some of the top landscapes to pop the question, and most of them were beaches. Check out some of the most beautiful beaches in England and Wales.
Book the Honeymoon Suite
Courtesy of Ardanaiseig Hotel
Why should Valentine
's Day be the only time you run off for an intensely romantic break in a lovely, glamorous room or suite? And why should honeymoon suites be reserved for honeymooners? The most romantic places are full of other loving couples around Valentine's Day. Sort of like joining a club and where's the private, intimate romance in that? Book a romantic break for some other time - honeymoon suites are very reasonable in mid winter or early spring - and give your significant other the reservation, tucked in a box of chocolates, perhaps, as a Valentine's Day gift for the future. Some very romantic places we've liked -
Lose Yourselves in a Maze
© Ferne Arfin
The English are great creators of elaborate hedge mazes and they're not just family attractions. Back in the heyday of English maze design, three or four hundred years ago, mazes were places for flirtation and secret lovers trysts. Go when the kids are in school and have plenty of private time for snogging (that's British for smooching), between thick walls of yew hedges. Try one of these:
Vacation rental - or self-catering - is not just for families and groups. Cottages in the country can be great hideaways for couples. Think of it, all by yourselves beside a roaring fire, beautiful views, loads of privacy. Reading through the offerings of some of our favorite vacation rental listing companies
, we've come across some real romantic gems. Check this one out for starters:
...or tulips, poppies, peonies, orchids - any one of thousands of gorgeous displays at the Chelsea Flower Show.
It may not be scheduled until May but the tickets are already on sale online by Valentine's Day at the Royal Horticultural Society's website
, Why not tuck a pair of flower show tickets into a fresh bouquet of English roses (maybe tuck in some plane tickets too!) for a romantic surprise.
Photo courtesy of The Deep
The Two Rivers Restaurant at at Yorkshire’s award-winning waterfront aquarium – The Deep - offers weekend dining against the backdrop of sharks, rays, and thousands of colorful fish. For Valentine's Day, one lucky couple can dine in the Twilight Zone in the company of The Deep's pair of wolf eels. These world weary looking creatures, who dwell in a region of the sea barely reached by sunlight, mate for life and look out for their unhatched brood together. They may not be pretty but they are a memorable couple and the ultimate marine love story.