February 14th – the dreaded day for single souls across the world where a bunch of love-struck men will be found struggling to find the perfect gift or date to wow their loved one.
Red roses are not very original anymore and a love heart necklace screams childhood sweetheart. Don’t cop out of the annual event with a date to the cinemas or a bowling alley.
In 2015 men accounted for 73% of flower sales in the lead up to the day, according to statistics from the website stvalentinesday.org.
The annual festival of love also achieves number two on the highest holiday for card giving after Christmas. The celebration of a saint whose identity remains a mystery is recognised worldwide. The banning of marriage raised an injustice in the mind of Valentine and therefore he went against the law to continue to perform marriages. This is the reason we celebrate love throughout February.
The most romantic locations around the north of England, perfect for your Valentine’s Day.
York, England is a city rich with medieval history. The cobbled streets and slanting buildings line each path,conjuring a mystic setting for any date. Cocktail bars, classic pubs and romantic restaurants fill every nook and cranny. English heritage is proudly shown in the beautiful setting of York Minister that sits proudly at the centre of the city. Enjoy a meal and a drink or two along the river bank to celebrate the time of year. Evil Eye is a perfect cocktail lounge and has an outstanding menu to suit many tastes.
Heading towards the Yorkshire coast, St Hilda’s Boutique Hotel in Hinderwell offers a cosy night away in a variation of international-themed rooms. From Los Angeles to Paris and Cairo, each individual suite offers something for everyone. Four poster beds, jacuzzi baths, LED showers and circular beds accompany the rooms to make your stay memorable and out of the ordinary.
Across the Pennines, Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa is situated in acres of beautiful grounds within Keswick, Cumbria. Relax with a bottle of champagne after a day of spa treatments and leisure. Or simply take a stroll around the gardens and lake to celebrate with your loved one.
Whinstone View log cabins are located in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire and afford a fantastic opportunity for couples to relax in style. The lodges are stylishly designed and host modern amenities along with being in a beautiful location. Whinstone View also includes a top rated restaurant within the grounds and offers meals for guests and the public.
For your adventurous side.
Travelling further afield, there are some astounding locations worldwide to truly celebrate the occasion. Here are my top places to spend Valentine’s Day overseas – even without a loved one.
Rome: The Eternal City oozes history as well as an incredible artist heritage. A romantic meal is never far away in a city that is famous for it’s pizzerias and ice cream parlours.
The Italian capital comes alive at night with bars and cafes to start your adventure within the inter-twining streets before heading to tasteful cocktail bars and clubs.
Valentine’s Day originates from the Romans – so what better place to spend the day?
Santorini: A picturesque volcanic island within the Mediterranean. Known as a perfect location for couples to holiday, with vibrant nightlife mixed with a relaxing setting. The pebbled beaches shape the terrain whilst the white washed villas provide a stunning backdrop to the town.
A stroll along the coloured beaches at dusk, followed by cocktails in a candle-lit bar would surprise your loved one in the best way possible.
New York City: Situated on the East coast of the United States, if you want an energising break in a pulsating city this is the perfect place. The sky is lit by the towering sky scrapers and the streets are alive with the buzz of tourists and locals. Fancy restaurants line most streets if a romantic meal is your aim for Valentine’s.
Take a boat ride on the Hudson to see the Statue of Liberty or ride the lift up to the top of the Empire State Building to see the beams of the sky scrapers. Or why not spend the day simply sitting in Central Park watching the city go by?
Venice: Filled with Italian charm, built on canals that crisscross the city there is an undeniable intimacy to the historic port that is infecting. The extraordinary blend of architectural styles -from Gothic to Palladiun – create a fantasy world for tourists to venture into from Palazzo Ducale to classic churches that surround the city.
A location perfectly set for the chime of wedding bells – just ask George Clooney and his bride Amal Alamuddin who tied the knot there in 2014.
Paris: The French city of love, so fitting for Valentine’s you may even bump into Cupid.
Take a romantic stroll up the steps of the Eiffel Tower for a bird’s eye view or attach a padlock engraved with your lover’s name to a bridge between Notre Dame and the Left Bank on the Pont de l’Archevêché. Do not forget to throw the key into the river if you want the relationship to last for ever. Afterwards enjoy candle lit meal and get a taste of the many fantastic cuisine in one of many local restaurants.
Prague: The perfect location to stroll along cobbled streets and gaze upon its unmissable beauty. Courtyard after courtyard fill the streets with bars and cafes to experience some of the quality Czech beers.
The quirky city attracts large crowds in the summer months but for a truly unique Valentine’s Day the location is simply perfect.
Madrid: With a positive reputation for its credible night life and energising way of life, crowds of tourists and locals dance throughout the night filling each bar and restaurant with the buzz of happiness and laughter. For a meal to remember Madrid has some of the best cuisine in Europe and many restaurants will provide you with a deluxe culinary meal.
Monaco: A tiny principality beloved of the super-rich offers culture and a setting out of proportion to its tiny size.
The perfect break for a glamour based few days, restaurants line the beautiful harbour along with bars the take you into the night, as perfect place to watch the sunset.
London: The British capital holds history and innovation mixed with gardens and some of the busiest shopping streets in the world. Fine dining is not a problem, neither are the vast opportunities for nightlife. Culture spreads throughout the landmarks of the city from Covent Garden to Leicester Square and Chinatown, opening your eyes to a world within a city.
Nice: The French Mediterranean port city is the one time home of artists Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse and retains its cultural reputation to this day. Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais or indulge in a little retail therapy in the many chic boutiques.
Valentine’s Day is a world wide celebration, so why not spend it somewhere new?