Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with your loved one, and there's few better ways to do that than taking a romantic stroll in one of the most beautiful spots in the country.
Here are our top picks for a sprinkle of romance:
The romantic side of Agatha: Valentine's at Greenway, 14 February, 2pm – 3pm
Under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, Agatha Christie wrote six 'bitter-sweet stories about love.' This Valentine’s Day, storytellers will be reading excerpts from these stories in the House Kitchen at her holiday home, Greenway. Stop by to hear some bitter-sweet tales while you take high tea.
Valentine’s Day afternoon tea, 11 & 12 February, 12pm – 3.30pm
The old library and tea-room at the National Trust’s Avebury Manor is the perfect place to treat your loved one to a romantic afternoon tea. Enjoy a cosy, period-style atmosphere complete with stacks of books and mismatched china. Afterwards, take a stroll around the world-famous prehistoric stones for a memorable day out.
Nestled on the edge of the Peak District and surrounded by expanses of moorland, Lyme Park combines architectural grandeur with wild beauty. It’s a setting that's full of romance – it was even used as a backdrop to where Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy in that much-loved TV adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Take the Pemberley Walk to follow in Mr. Darcy’s footsteps then head to the café for warming drinks and tasty treats.
Take a romantic trip to Claife Viewing Station, recently reopened after the National Trust restored it from dereliction. Up on the first floor platform you can gaze through pretty coloured glass over endless views of Lake Windermere. After, why not follow in Beatrix Potter’s footsteps and go boating on the lake, or find a quiet spot to try your hand at sketching?
London and South East
Throughout 2017 this National Trust property is celebrating a year of Princess Charlotte, the tragic Regency-era princess who was heir to the throne and who lived and loved at Claremont. This Valentine’s Day, follow the lovers' walk around the landscape garden that was Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold’s wedding present, ending at the "kissing tree" where you can hang a romantic memento. Look out for Charlotte’s favourite flower, the camellia, which blooms around Valentine’s Day.
This National Trust property was once home to the Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and his wife Mary Anne. One time, on her way to accompany the Prime Minister to an important speech, Mary Anne trapped her finger in the carriage door. So as not to distract him from the job at hand, she kept quiet. Later, when Disraeli found out what she’d done, he had the carriage door removed and displayed on the wall as a sign of the strength of their love. Take a walk around this beautiful stately home this Valentine’s Day and see the carriage door still on display in the ground floor corridor.
East of England
Did you know that during the Second World War the Bedingfeld family kindly offered the Oxburgh Hall chapel here to airmen from the nearby RAF base so they could marry their sweethearts before going back to war? Take a walk with your Valentine around this beautiful 15th-century moated manor and its surrounding gardens. The hidden walkways filled with snowdrops and aconites offer the perfect place to get down on one knee. Stroll through the woods to find the pretty chapel, which is filled with romantic stories.
Dunstable Downs and the Whipsnade Estate, Bedfordshire
Stargazing Night at Dunstable Downs Adult Evening, 11 February, 7pm – 9pm
What could be more romantic than an evening of stargazing? Discover the wonders of the universe at Dunstable Downs with Dark Sky Wales and their incredible indoor planetarium. Experienced astronomers will have telescopes set up to take you on an adventure across the night sky as you've never seen it before.
Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak, Derbyshire
Walk Ilam Park to the Stepping Stones in Dovedale, 2.5 miles, 50 minutes
Step across the stepping stones one, two, three! Discover the limestone countryside of the southern Peak District, famed for its wildlife and geology. Starting at Ilam Park, this easy walk leads to Dovedale, a spectacular limestone gorge carved out by the River Dove. For a memorable proposal spot or a great place for a cuddle take a detour up to the top of Thorpe Cloud hill.
Eyam Hall was built as a wedding present, so romance is at the core of this family home’s story. Take your loved one for a wander through the intimate walled gardens where there are some beautiful spots to admire. The borders and vegetable plots will just be beginning to come to life after the cold winter and make a pretty backdrop for a Valentine’s date. After, why not look around the craft centre in the stable yard where you can find high quality handcrafted items from local makers.
Thought to be one of Britain’s finest houses, this 18th-century country house is set in a romantic landscape park. The tale of ‘life below stairs’ is captured beautifully at Erddig, with the story of Lucy Hitchman and Ernest Jones, who worked there just before the First World War. They fell in love and took strolls around the park on their afternoons off. Today you can retrace their footsteps on the ‘romantic walk’; an easy, one-mile walk with plenty of kissing gates for that extra sprinkle of romance.
Brecon Beacons, Powys
Henrhyd Falls and Nant Llech walk, 3.5 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes
For outdoorsy couples this walk to Henrhyd Falls, the highest waterfall in South Wales, will make a perfect Valentine’s Day treat. Discover winter wildlife as you wander through the woodland and enjoy gazing up at the spectacular falls in full flow. If you’re looking for an extra special experience, you can even walk behind the 27-metre high curtain of water which formed the entrance to the secret Bat Cave in the big-budget Batman film, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.
Spend a memorable day with your loved one on Carrick-a-Rede Island this Valentine’s Day. Set on the North Antrim Coast Road, amid unrivalled coastal scenery, the 30m-deep and 20m-wide chasm is traversed by an amazing rope bridge that was originally erected by salmon fishermen. Visitors bold enough to cross over to the rocky island are rewarded with fantastic views of Rathlin and the Scottish Islands.
Explore this 18th-century landscape, complete with a pretty Gothic gate lodge, a small arboretum and lots of statues and temples. Perched right on the cliff edge, the iconic Mussenden Temple is a lovely spot for a romantic moment with your loved one. The sheltered lawns of the Walled Garden are perfect for a picnic if the weather holds out.
- There are more days out ideas in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday