Plan the Perfect UK Valentine’s Weekend…
Posted on: 27 January 2012 by ABC DEF
Wondering what to do this Valentine's? Take a look at our suggestions...
Valentine’s Day is soon to roll round once again, giving you a chance to show your loved one just how much they mean to you! While flowers, gifts and expensive dinners are lovely, February 14th really ought to be about spending quality time with your Mr or Mrs- and what better way to do so than on a romantic walk in a location where you can both take in the beautiful sites of the British countryside? What’s more, it’s the perfect way to work up and appetite before heading out to a candlelit restaurant. So, don your walking boots and take inspiration from these romantic walks, recommended by Hi-Tec customers…
- Fladdabister, Shetland
Very few things say ‘I love you’ like beautiful flowers. So, instead of grabbing a last-minute bunch at the local petrol station, why not take a trip to the Shetland Isles where you can see wild flowers in all their natural glory? It’s illegal to pick certain rare and endangered flowers, but spokesman for Plantlife Dominic Price says: "it is not normally an offence to pick the 'Four Fs' – fruit, foliage, fungi or flowers – if the plants are growing wild and it is for your personal use and not for sale." so you could even treat your partner to a hand-picked bunch!
Fladdabister, meaning Flat Farm, is on the Shetland Mainland, close to the town of Lerwick. It’s well known for the fields of unusual wild flowers that can be found there and the fascinating Dutch-influenced ruins.
Walk Shetland recommends a 3.5 hour route which takes in the Loch of Fladdabister, the Mill Burn stream and impressive coastline. More information can be found here.
Head to Monty’s Bistro at Lerwick for ‘a relaxed, informal eating experience’. A Taste of Scotland says ‘The menu and blackboard specialities are well-balanced and full of Shetland's finest ingredients’. Call 0044 01595 696555 for more information and bookings.
- The South Downs Way, Sussex
Walking on the Downs gives you a perfect excuse for a weekend away in cosmopolitan Brighton- a city famed for couples’ weekends! There are plenty of stunning sights to be caught, from farmland to coastline to the famous Devil’s Dyke and the area is as beautiful in winter as it is in summer.
Brighton has long been a popular destination, with people visiting to bathe in the sea in the 17th century, to Victorians taking the train from London for a day at the seaside. Today, the city is a cosmopolitan hub, encompassing Hove and other suburbs such as Rottingdean, Deven Dials and Preston Park.
Pyecombe is a good place to start your walk- it’s just off the A23 and is a pretty village with a great pub. If you head towards Lewes, you’ll see the famous Jack and Jill windmills, dew ponds and Ditchling Beacon. A detailed route can be seen here.
After a day out in the British countryside, British fare ought to be a safe bet! Brighton’s award-winning chain of ‘Ginger’ restaurants are well worth a visit. Depending on where you’re staying there’s the Gingerman (Norfolk Square), the Ginger Pig (Hove), the Ginger Fox (Shave’s Thatch) and the Ginger Dog (Kemptown). See www.gingermanrestaurants.com for more information.
- Waseley Hills Country Park, Worcestershire
Sunset is the perfect pre-dinner time to head out for a walk, as demonstrated in the above picture which was taken in one of Worcestershire’s loveliest Country Parks. With the darker nights we’re currently experiencing, sunset generally falls at about 4pm so plan your walking route accordingly and ensure that you have a good viewpoint ready for those beautiful few moments.
Worcestershire is a great weekend destination- close to the Malvern Hills and the Cotswolds, as well as taking in two of the UK’s best-known rivers; the Severn and the Avon. Worcester itself has a beautiful cathedral which is worth a visit, and you’re not far from the metropolis of Birmingham should you wish to escape the countryside.
The Malverns are pretty tricky to tackle so stick to a gentle Valentine’s stroll along the Severn Valley. Walking Britain recommends a 5 mile walk which starts in the village of Grimley and takes you through beautiful countryside as well as letting you explore Holt Castle and Church. See here for full route details.
Saffron’s Bistro in Worcester city centre has rave reviews online, with one customer claiming ‘The food seems to get better and better!’ and others highlighting the cosy atmosphere and good service. Call 01905 610505 for bookings.
- River Derwent, County Durham
Water-based locations are the setting for many a romantic film scene, so head to the River Derwent and re-create your own. Just try to stay out of the water unlike Alec Harvey in classic flick Brief Encounter. If you’re lucky enough to catch a beautiful morning mist like the one in this photograph, be sure to wrap up warm!
County Durham has some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain and is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The area also has a fascinating historical and geological heritage as well as a unique collection of museums and galleries, ancient castles, historic houses and the world famous Cathedral. It’s also home to the lovely seaside town of Hartlepool where you’ll find the fantastic marina complex and plenty of dockyard history.
If you really want to work up an appetite, tackle the 11 mile Durham Heritage Coast route, as recommended by This is Durham. It takes you from Seaham to Crimdon and you’ll witness breath-taking views, including cliff tops, caves and unusual plants and wildlife.
Portofino Bistro and Pizzeria has been open since 1997 on Hartlepool’s beautiful quayside, just opposite HMS Trincomalee, Britain’s oldest warship which is now docked permanently. The food receives regular rave reviews and there’s a Valentine’s special menu on offer too. Portofino’s owners also run the popular Krimo restaurant and Casa del Mar Tapas Restaurant if you fancy something different! Call 01429 266166 for bookings.
- Bodnant Gardens, Wales
A trip to north Wales is perfect if you really want to feel like you’ve got away from it all for a few days. Colwyn Bay is home to the stunning Bodnant Gardens where you can see some more exotic plants up close. Be sure to pause underneath this stunning Laburnam Arch – it’s the perfect place to stop and enjoy a quick kiss with your other half!
Colwyn Bay and the surrounding area have it all- Blue Flag beaches, a long pier, a buzzy harbour and a long promenade to stroll along. Just along the coast there’s Llandudno too; Wales’ largest seaside resort. A must-do activity is a ride on the famous Llandudno cable car, which departs from the delightfully named Happy Valley to the summit of Great Orme (679ft). You’ll see breathtaking views of Llandudno, the Little Orme, the Conwy Estuary and much more on the journey, while atop Great Orme you’ll be privy to stunning views of Anglesey, Puffin Island and the mountains of Snowdonia.
The BBC recommends a 4 mile walk which starts at Llandudno’s promenade. It’s perfect for nature lovers as you’ll have the opportunity to spot guillemot, kittiwake, fulmar, cormorant and even feral goats! Paths on the walk are mixed terrain types and there are lots of stiles, kissing gates (how appropriate!) and wooden gates along the way. Click here for full route details.
When by the sea you simply have to eat fresh seafood! So head to Seahorse Seafood Bistro. It’s famed for a lovely atmosphere and good service, and dishes such as game terrine and steak are recommended for those who aren’t fish fans. Call 01492 875315 for bookings and information.
If you still need some walking inspiration, for Valentine’s or any other day of the year, take a look at Hi-Tec’s Inspiring Image Wall. It’ll show you beautiful pictures taken by people on walks in various UK counties and give you details on the best walking routes. Visit: http://www.hi-tec.com/inspiring-uk-walks/.