Whether it’s your favourite day of the year or you greet it with dread, whilst petting your cat, Valentine’s Day is a great time to take a weekend away. Cosy up in a warm countryside hotel or bundle up and explore medieval towns, however you spend Valentine’s Day make it one to remember.
We have put together some of our top hotel deals for this Valentine’s Day in cities around the UK and Ireland. So pack your bags and whisk your partner away for a romantic escape starting from £20 a night.*
York[caption id="attachment_9972" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Yorkminster Cathedral |andy (CC BY 2.0)[/caption]
On your trip to York, you’re sure to fall in love the moment you arrive. Another Roman city, York is most famous for its gothic and imposing cathedral, York Minster, the largest in all of Northern Europe. Other highlights of the city include the Shambles (not as shambolic as they sound), a set of winding lanes filled with coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars. Don’t miss feeling like a princess whilst walking hand-in-hand through the gardens of the beautiful Castle Howard, set in the rolling Howardian Hills.
Cork[caption id="attachment_9974" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] View of Cork | Photo by William Murphy (CC BY-SA 2.0)[/caption]
Often referred to by locals as, ‘the real capital’, Cork City is found in South-West Ireland and is a short drive from the wild Atlantic coast. Nestled on the banks of the River Lee, pretty boats and ships are often spotted majestically sailing their way through the city. The waterfront is a hot-bed of hipster coffee hangouts and further into the city the architecture is sublime. St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral and unexpectedly, Cork City Gaol are two of Cork’s architectural highlights whilst the surrounding countryside features breathtaking clifftop and beach walks.
Bath[caption id="attachment_9970" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] View of Bath | Photo by Stewart Black (CC BY 2.0)[/caption]
Is there anywhere more romantic than a Roman spa town, with a Georgian façade? Easy to get to and with plenty to see, Bath is the perfect place to spoil your special someone – even if that special someone is you. Highlights include luxuriating in the heated rooftop pool of Thermae Spa, exploring the remains of the Roman baths, and walking the Royal Crescent. Bath is often featured in Jane Austen’s novels so if you’ve not found your Mr. Darcy yet perhaps you’ll run into him on the cobbled city streets.
Oxford[caption id="attachment_9975" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Radcliffe Square, Oxford | Photo by Jun (CC BY-SA 2.0)[/caption]
If you can’t decide between brains or beauty you should go to Oxford – a city that has both in abundance. This university has over 70 unique colleges spread throughout the town centre, the architecture ranging from the neo-classical to the gothic. A visit to Oxford means you can stroll through meticulously groomed gardens, wow at the impressive libraries or relive scenes from Harry Potter in Christ Church or Magdalen College. Just out of town is the stunning Blenheim Palace, where Winston Churchill was born. The beautiful palace is full of history and boasts extensive grounds featuring lakes and expansive parkland.
Cardiff[caption id="attachment_9976" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Cardiff’s Millenium Centre | Photo by gordonplant (CC BY 2.0)[/caption]
Cardiff is a city with a roaring nightlife, a beautiful waterside and a castle full of medieval history. A highlight the city is the Millenium Centre, which houses the Welsh National Opera, theatre, orchestra and dance companies, shaped like a large bronze Armadillo it’s become an iconic figure in Cardiff. Situated in the harbour, the complex is surrounded by trendy bars and restaurants and is just a short walk to Cardiff’s nightlife hubs. If you do decide to check out the castle be sure to take a look at the Winter Smoking Room in the clock tower, where you can feel like you’re in a fairytale.
Edinburgh[caption id="attachment_9979" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Twilight over Edinburgh | Photo by Raphaël Chekroun (CC BY-ND 2.0)[/caption]
The Scottish capital is the perfect place to snuggle up under a tartan rug in front of a cosy fireplace with a glass of whisky and a box of chocolates. The city streets are filled with things to see and do. From the small winding lanes of the old town where all roads lead to Edinburgh Castle perched upon a hillside; to the wide streets of modern day Edinburgh where the shops, pubs and restaurants are upmarket and feature some fabulous architecture from the Georgian period. For a romantic Valentine’s meal head to The Dome, a very fancy art-deco restaurant that transports you back to the Roaring Twenties.
Dublin[caption id="attachment_9980" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Dublin by night | Photo by LenDog64 (CC BY-ND 2.0)[/caption]
Ireland’s capital, Dublin is filled with romantic strolls down quaint streets, incredible architecture, cosy pubs that nurse barrels full of dark Guinness and are frequented by friendly locals that’ll be the highlight of your trip. With lots of opportunities for shopping, Dublin has everything from boutique shops producing artisan clothing to unique markets selling almost anything you could want to buy. Don’t miss the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Phoenix Park, which is full of wild deer and Howth – a small but beautiful seaside village just outside of Dublin.
Blackpool[caption id="attachment_9983" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Tower Ballroom, Blackpool | Photo by Michael D Beckwith (CC BY 2.0)[/caption]
Despite being somewhat kitsch, Blackpool is experiencing something of a renaissance in terms of popularity. The seaside resort is renowned for its Pleasure Beach Amusement Park and what better way to test your undying love than on a vintage wooden rollercoaster. Aside from the amusement park Blackpool Tower is also a popular attraction, built in 1894 and inspired by Paris’ Eiffel Tower it has all the charm but less of the cliché of its French older brother. There is also a world-famous ballroom beneath the tower where you can dance the night away under the beautiful Victorian architecture.
Inverness[caption id="attachment_9984" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] View of Inverness | Photo by mendhak (CC BY-SA 2.0)[/caption]
Inverness is a vastly underrated city and escape north to experience a real winter. Simply bundle up, grab some walking boots and be ready to explore castles, cathedrals and hike around the infamous Loch Ness just 15 minutes south of Inverness. Other nearby attractions include the seaside town of Nairn, famous for its golf but also ideal for a bracing romantic stroll along the beach – just be sure to layer up. Another option is to take a cruise from the Moray Fifth down the Caledonian Canal to Loch Ness. The Canal cuts directly through the spectacular Great Glen making for some incredible scenery.
Share with us your favourite Valentine’s Destinations in the comments below!