Valentine’s Day for swooners and cynics

Loved up or fed up? We’ve got 10 Valentine’s Day ideas to enjoy whatever your relationship status…

Valentine’s Day is a bit like Marmite.

Valentine’s Day is a bit like Marmite. But love it or hate it, there’s no avoiding it. Whether you’re Sally to someone’s Harry, or you’re totally off the dating scene, let us entertain you. 



1. Stroll on: Give your love a worthy backdrop with a scenic stroll. Primrose Hill offers beautiful views across London, while Calton Hill in Edinburgh is perfect for those north of the border. Link arms, huddle close and gaze adoringly. Say things like ‘it makes you feel tiny, all this’ and then gaze moodily off into the distance for added effect.  

2. Fish and chips: Forget ‘fancy shmancy’ dinners, proper romantics prefer bracing sea air, clifftop benches and grub eaten from newspaper with a wooden fork. Share haddock and chips in Tynemouth bay. As you bid for the last chip, distract your better half with views of Tynemouth Castle – ‘it’s 2,000 years old you know…’ then pounce!

3. Intimate eats: The seaside isn’t for everyone. Splash out and make a statement with posh nosh. Show you’re not-at-all-showy by choosing a rustic restaurant rich in low-key intimacy. Harry’s Place in Grantham is a Sunday Times top 10 restaurant in what feels like someone’s front room. Our 5 fave restaurants along the East Coast Main Line

4. Go up the country: Unplug your heads with a weekend in the country. For fresh air and solitude, the Highlands are hard to beat. We love pretty Pitlochry for its dreamy scenery, fine food and superb hotels. Tell your partner Prime Minister Gladstone loved Pitlochry, and hope they’re in some small way impressed. Set the mood by travelling luxuriously in one of our First Class coaches

5. Great Gatsby: Channel the romance and decadence of the Jazz Age with a night at London’s Ritz. The famous and fashionable have been celebrating Valentine’s Day at this iconic hotel for over a century – isn’t it time you joined the party? Soak up the Great Gatsby glamour in 5 star indulgence, with afternoon tea or dinner in their Michelin-starred restaurant.

Picture of a monkey sniffing a red rose


1. Make friends with a cat: Given up on the opposite sex? Why not seek the friendship of a cat? They make great sofa partners – and love a spot of telly. They’re good listeners, too. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home make it easy with their ‘Feline Lonely’ event. The Cat Rehoming team will be your Valentine's cherubs for the night, matching you with your purrfect cat companion over a glass of bubbly.

2.  Solo cinema sofa: Whatever. Loved up couples don’t ‘own’ the cinema just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Hit up an Everyman Cinema and take up valuable swooning space by booking a sofa for 2, surrounded by nachos and popcorn. But perhaps choose an action movie like John Wick: Chapter 2 rather than Fifty Shades Darker, ahem.  

3.  Share your distaste: Hate Valentine’s? Meet like-minded souls at the Anti-Valentine’s Day Party at Bounce  in London’s Farringdon. Bounce are well-established as anti-Valentine’s experts and they’re hosting an epic party with ping pong, face painting, group games and a DJ. The ‘Love Police’ will be patrolling for any imposters so you’ll be safe in this cynic’s cocoon.

4. Murder mystery: Romance certainly is dead on a Jack the Ripper walking tour. Forego the bright lights and fancy restaurants in favour of dark alleyways and back streets. You certainly won’t feel all warm and fuzzy as you visit the historic murder sites and learn all about the man, the myth, the legend.

5. Treat yo self! Go shopping and spend the money that you would have wasted on a soppy card, unnecessary presents and an overly-expensive dinner, on yourself. Get some new threads or splurge on something that you’ve wanted for ages but always seemed too extravagant. Leeds is the shopping capital of the north, while London is one of the world’s best cities to shop (‘til you drop).