Valentine’s Day can turn into a costly occasion, with pressure to fork out on lavish bouquets, pricey meals, or five-star mini-breaks.
But this February 14 doesn’t have to involve remortgaging the house for a trip to Paris; some of the best romantic views you’ll find are on home soil, and most of them don’t cost a penny to enjoy.
Here’s our pick of some of the most picturesque places to tell that special someone you love them…
1. Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
Climb to the highest point of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park, 251m above sea level, and you’ll be rewarded with excellent views of this beautiful and historic city. Bring a picnic for two – if the February winds aren’t too bracing.
Stay slap bang in the centre of the city at the city's Novotel, which is offering an exclusive Valentine’s break; the package includes a romantic three course dinner for two with bubbles, breakfast for two and a late checkout until 2pm. Talk about bliss.
2. Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
Natural, rugged beauty abounds in this stunning stretch of coast. You’ll find 18 miles of spectacular scenery – breathtaking cliffs, unspoilt sandy beaches, and, of course, the world famous Giant’s Causeway. Visit the Mussenden Temple, perched right above the sea, for the most romantic view of all.
3. Richmond Park, London
Visit King Henry’s Mound and look out all the way to St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of the City. It’s officially protected, so new building is allowed to impede this unique, tree-framed view. Let’s hope your love life is more successful than King Henry VIII’s, though.
4. Telegraph Hill, London
Most people flock to the famous Parliament Hill when looking for a great view of London, but those in the know venture to Telegraph Hill in the south-east of the city. The poet Robert Browning agreed – he once lived in a cottage at the foot of the park.
5. The Kent Downs
The Kent Downs offer dramatic and panoramic views across estuaries, open countryside and the sea. There are also more sheltered valleys if you prefer a secluded spot to serenade your Valentine.
6. Leeds Castle
You can enjoy wonderful views of this almost 900-year-old castle and its gorgeous moat from the Castle View restaurant, with its 17th century, oak-beamed setting.
7. Alexandra Palace, London
Alexandra Palace, nicknamed Ally Pally, is well known for playing host to darts tournaments. But it’s also home to great views of the capital, a boating lake and, of course, the impressive Victorian palace backdrop.
8. Cave Hill, Belfast
Named after the five caves on its hillside, this Belfast landmark offers great views of the city and lough beneath it. It’s thought to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift’s novel, Gulliver’s Travels, because it reminded the author of a sleeping giant.
9. Ambleside, Lake District
Walk to Jenkin’s Crag and you and your date can enjoy a great view of Lake Windermere. Ambleside itself boasts quirky shops and quaint stone houses, perfect for a special day out.
10. Burgh Island, South Devon
Burgh Island Hotel is an art deco hotel on this Devonshire island, overlooking Bigbury On Sea beach. It has boasted guests including Agatha Christie and Noel Coward, and has been voted the most romantic hotel in Britain by contributors to the Good Hotel Guide.
11. Kynance Cove, Cornwall
This small sandy cove, with its white sand and turquoise waters, is one of the most photographed and painted beaches in Cornwall. Be sure to keep an eye on the time, though – the beach disappears almost completely at high tide.
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