New takes on Valentine’s Day around England
Whether it’s with a partner, your mates or on your own, there have never been more diverse ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day all over England. VisitEngland has rounded-up a selection of the newest and most interesting ways to enjoy the occasion, from the slushy to the downright defiant.
New ways to get loved up
Sex in the Garden – talk and dinner including optional insects, Kent
Enjoy a three-course meal with optional insects, followed by a talk by Dr Erica McAlister from the Natural History Museum, in the cosy, candlelit surroundings of the Blooming Green shed. Scientist, author and media star, Dr McAlister will share her love of insects and tales of the fascinating and often shocking behaviour going on right outside your back door. Beforehand, guests will be treated to a bug-themed menu including a welcome cocktail, ‘insect roulette’, canapés, main course and dessert. Edible insects will be provided by Eat Grub, a boundary-breaking sustainable food brand that aims to revolutionise Western food culture. Bring a bottle, £75 per person.
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre evening, Leeds
This 1920s-themed murder mystery evening at the Queen’s Hotel includes a three-course meal alongside some murder and mayhem! Chicago just ain’t safe, and with the Moran gang on the loose who knows what could happen… Expect the unexpected on this night of murder and mischief for those who love mobsters and molls. Guests are encouraged to dress to the theme, with a prize for the best dressed, so grab your feather boa and fringed dress or spats and fedora for an evening to die for.
Valentine’s Masquerade Ball at Denbies Wine Estate, near Dorking
Guests to the masked ball at this Sussex vineyard will enjoy a sparkling canapé reception followed by a three-course meal – with wine, of course, and live music by popular 15-piece band Perfidia. Price £57 per person.
Starry-eyed Valentine’s Dinner, Northumberland National Park
Enjoy a romantic three-course meal in the Sill Café at the National Landscape Discovery Centre, before star-gazing into the heavens from the terrace or rooftop. Telescopes and binoculars will be available, please bring warm clothes and footwear and a torch.
New romantic retreats at Holkham Estate’s Lodges, Norfolk
Holkham Lodges, part of the Holkham Estate, offer visitors the chance to stay within its extensive, 25,000-acre grounds. Comprising four, originally-styled, pet-friendly lodges, each sleeping two and unique to their setting and original purpose, the lodges come with a bespoke welcome hamper packed with local artisan goodies, seasoned logs for the stove, and complimentary continental breakfast for the first morning. From £765 per week.
Pottery Date Night, Stoke-on-Trent
Come along with your loved one for a bit of Ghost-inspired fun, as teacher Jon French guides you through four-handed throwing to create your own couples pot. Enjoy champagne, canapés, chocolates and mood music as you celebrate Valentine’s Day in a way you’ll never forget; all you’ll need is a change of clothes you don’t mind getting dirty! Price £60 per couple, book in advance.
Introduction to Perfume and Botanical Extracts, Dorset
This half-day session at Keyneston Mill gives a fascinating introduction to the creation of perfume ingredients and methods of distillation. You will come away understanding more about fragrance families, the structure of fragrance, how perfumes are constructed, and how Parterre create fine fragrances, from seed to bottle. Price £50pp.
Partner Yoga, Bath
Take your Valentine or palentine along to Bath’s Combe Grove to find out how in tune you are, at their Partner Yoga Workshop. With exercises and poses devised especially for partners you can stretch and strengthen your bodies together, cultivate a connection by building trust, and improve your own concentration and balance.
Oxford Castle & Prison Valentine’s Lock-in
If you’re looking for the ultimate intimate and unique surroundings for Valentine’s Day, enjoy a romantic three-course meal inside Oxford’s thousand-year-old castle and prison. From £80, booking required, 6:30pm or 9:00pm.
‘Love is in the Air’ high tea at the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
New this year, couples can enjoy an evening high tea on the Spinnaker Tower’s View Deck 1. Put the ‘high’ in high tea as you enjoy views of Portsmouth, the Solent and the Isle of Wight from 100+ metres above sea level, and enjoy sunset views as the city lights twinkle on. Alternatively, down at ground level the tower is hosting its Valentine’s Comedy Night, which this year features Tez Ilyas, Paul McCaffrey and local talent Ben Robson.
Horse-drawn carriage rides in Windsor Great Park
10, 14 and 17 February
Snuggle up with cosy lap rugs on a romantic, 30-minutes open-topped carriage tour through Windsor Great Park, with Champagne & Grand Prix Rose. Thinking of getting engaged? The carriage stops by a tranquil 18th-century Lake for a short stroll to the Georgian Footbridge, complete with Diamond Balustrade, the perfect spot to pop the question! Rides last up to 1 hour, £80 per carriage or £130 including half-bottle of champagne & Grand Prix Rose (non-alcoholic drinks available on request).
Drive-in movie: A Star Is Born, South Shields
Ignite a mood of old-school romance with a special drive-in movie screening of the tragic love story of the season, A Star Is Born, at Bents Park. Snacks including hot dogs, popcorn and nachos will be available. From £27, VIP tickets which provide a parking space near the front £32.
Fall in love on a self-guided Treasure Trail
Take your partner or even a first date on a unique Valentine’s adventure with Treasure Trails. Work as a team, bond over hard-to-solve problems and enjoy beautiful, romantic locations around the country, including Grasmere in the Lake District, Durdle Door in Dorset, Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds and Porthcurno in Cornwall. Best of all, each Treasure Trail costs just £6.99 (plus P&P if required).
Make it ‘Palentine’s’ Day, or hit the town solo
Valentine’s-themed cycle, Newcastle
Hosted by Cycling in the City, the ‘This Girl Can’ Valentine’s Day evening pedal is the perfect way to get your heart racing. Valentine’s themed dress-up and even themed bike accessories are encouraged (though not mandatory), and hot drinks and cake will be available afterwards. Don’t have a bike? Free bike-hire is available.
Radical Relationships guided tour, People’s History Museum, Manchester
This alternative Valentine’s tour will navigate the People’s History Museum revealing the stories behind some of the most radical of historical romances – whether it’s the meeting of kindred spirits fighting the same fight or a love forbidden by class and society. Stories include Mary Wollstonecraft, who strongly opposed the treatment of women within 18th-century marriage, and her radical lover William Godwin, and Friedrich Engels, who found love when researching working class Manchester. 2.00pm and 6.30pm.
Charity Palentine’s Day, Junkyard Golf, Oxford
This Valentine’s Day, join us as we send ALL golf proceeds to our partner charity Love Support Unite. Expect sweet cocktail specials, the ultimate ballad playlist and the joy of putting around our three mashed-up courses with a sound conscience. Regular prices, boyfriend or girlfriend 100% optional.
Anti–Valentine’s screening of True Romance, Newcastle
Experience Tony Scott’s cult classic in the unique surroundings of The Assembly Rooms, one of Newcastle’s oldest and grandest Georgian buildings. Screenage Kicks will transform the venue into The Beverley Ambassador hotel from True Romance, with a themed pre- and after-party at Zerox – one of the newest and quirkiest bars to hit Newcastle. Fancy dress is heavily encouraged: think trashy, leopard print, Hawaiian shirts and Vegas Elvis! The event starts at Zerox at 7pm, solos, couples and groups welcome, from £22.
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