Each year, Valentine’s Day comes along and spreads its infectious feelings of love and romance. Each year as the big day approaches, we struggle to know what to buy to show that special someone how we feel about them.
Chocolates, flowers, cards, teddy bears; aren’t you bored of giving and receiving the same generic presents? Why not plan something different this year? Explore somewhere new and make wonderful memories with your loved one.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip abroad, as there are many places in the UK that provide an opportunity to enjoy a romantic getaway that yearn to be explored. We’ve done some research and we’ve chosen four of the most romantic cities to discover with your partner this Valentine’s Day.
You’ve already fallen in love with each other but now it’s time to let a third love into your life.
The Cotswolds has been named as one of the most romantic places to take a break in the UK and is perfect for a Valentine’s weekend away.
Rolling gracefully across six counties, the Cotswolds is richly rural, with more than 3,000 miles of footpaths and bridleways to explore. Wander hand-in-hand through ancient woodlands and meadows brimming with wildflowers and stop off at quaint country pubs along the way. Breathe in the fresh country air, as you ramble up and down the secluded rolling hills, with nothing but bleating sheep to distract you.
These gentle yet dramatic hills are perfect for walking, cycling and horse riding. Indulge in a romantic afternoon tea, treat your loved one to a relaxing spa afternoon or even take a hot air balloon ride.
A glorious reminder of Cotswolds life in Medieval times, Chipping Campden is famous throughout Europe for being one of the most important wool-producing towns. The gracefully curved main street is skirted by a perfectly picturesque array of stone cottages, fine terraced houses, ancient inns and historic homes, which are constructed from the famous honey-coloured Cotswolds stone.
With such a bountiful rural setting, it’s not surprising that the Cotswolds is famed for its fresh, local produce and its fine dining experiences, so you and your partner can enjoy a romantically delicious meal for two. To treat yourselves to something sweet this Valentine’s Day, book a table at the Pudding Club at the Three Ways House in Chipping Campden. After choosing between three delicious mains, you’ll be faced with the prospect of dining on not one, not two, but seven puddings! And you can indulge in as many helpings are you can fit in.
If you are travelling to the Cotswolds via train, Cheltenham Spa and Gloucester are the closest train stations and are both serviced by CrossCountry.
Put the aww in Y’aww’kshire this Valentine’s Day by taking a trip to York with your loved one. A picturesque riverside city, steeped in history with stunning architecture, York’s winding cobbled streets and 13th-century walls take you back to Medieval England.
At its heart lies the awe-inspiring York Minster; the largest Medieval cathedral north of the Alps and one of the world’s most beautiful Gothic buildings. Legend has it that loved-up couples who kiss under the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’ window, will stay together forever. Tour the top of the tower, which will reward you both with breath-taking views over York’s historic streets.
Once you’ve got the perfect picture, you’ll find the famous Shambles of York just a short walk away. Dating back to the 14th century, the Shambles was once a butcher’s market but today is filled with quaint shops and quintessential charm. Another recommended stop is the small but characterful Clifford’s Tower built in the Norman period. You can climb its spiral staircase to see a panoramic view over the city and enjoy performances from actors, who humorously bring to life the castle’s stories of conflict and victory.
Wander the pedestrianised centre, where shadowy Medieval snickleways and ginnels run between cosy pubs and charming tearooms. Among the finery of ancient sandstone churches and paved streets, you’ll find a buzzing city centre where chic boutiques and big brand retailers stand beside cafés, galleries, and delis.
In recent years, Edinburgh has been named as one of the most romantic cities in the world, so it’s no surprise that this intriguing city has made our Valentine’s Day list.
At the heart of Scotland’s historic capital, Edinburgh’s Royal Mile runs through the centre of the Old Town and is a great place to start exploring the city from. It connects the majestic Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a base of volcanic rock, with the splendorous Palace of Holyroodhouse. It’s peppered with superb attractions like The Real Mary King’s Close or the Scottish Storytelling Centre, historical sites including St Giles’ Cathedral and some of the best eating and drinking spots in the city. For a truly authentic experience, check out one of the haggis and whisky establishments.
If you and your partner are active, walking up to Arthur’s Seat is a must. Climbing an extinct volcano may not sound romantic but when you see the view, you may change your mind. On a quiet day, you will find a secluded summit that provides the perfect setting for enjoying a bottle of champagne from. Before you leave Edinburgh, make your way to the Forth Road Bridge where you can lock a padlock and throw the key into the water below, symbolically locking your love forever.
The city is full of great hotels, swanky restaurants, adorable tea rooms and world class pubs, so you will be spoilt for choice when planning your trip.
When thinking of romantic cities, Sheffield might not be first to spring to mind, but the steel city offers a lot to entertain loved-up couples.
With 80 public parks and 650 green, open spaces, setting up a picnic is a perfect romantic way to spend an afternoon.
Stroll around the Botanical Gardens or enjoy panoramic views across the city from Meersbrook Park. Take a trip to the Arts Tower, the tallest university building in the UK and ride one of the country’s largest remaining paternoster lifts - a lift that moves constantly and doesn’t have doors - so the two of you have to hop on as it moves! Keep your eyes peeled for the famous Park Hill graffiti, which reads ‘I Love You Will U Marry Me’ and is an iconic part of the Sheffield skyline.
See what’s on at one of the cities theatres. As the largest theatre complex outside of London, The Sheffield Theatres (The Crucible, The Lyceum, and The Studio) welcome some of the most popular touring productions in the UK and will provide you with a thrilling night of live entertainment. For afters, pick one of the edgy eateries found all over the city. From the characterful boozers with open fires, snugs and roaring coal fires to modern craft beer houses serving the latest pale ales; you’re never far from a good pint.
A trip to Sheffield wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the Peak District. Jump on a 20-minute bus ride and you’ll find yourself surrounded by glorious, vast countryside. Enjoy long walks, wild swimming and bouldering; all with a breath-taking backdrop. End your day in one of the Peak District’s traditional pubs, sat by a roaring fire and enjoying some hearty Yorkshire food.
Just like a dog isn’t just for Christmas, love isn’t just for Valentine’s Day. You can visit these romantic cities at any time of the year with CrossCountry.
If you are planning a romantic trip away for your loved on this Valentine’s Day, take advantage of discounted prices on Advance tickets with CrossCountry.