Valentine’s, Pal-entine’s or Gal-entines … whatever you call it, and whoever you celebrate with on 14 February, the day of love is going to look rather different this year.
Gone are the usual plans for romantic restaurant dining, cinema dates and fun days out. This year will be all about celebrating with your favourite person, whether that be in person or via a screen. There are some great ideas out there for celebrating at home, including home delivery afternoon teas, four course fancy takeaways and M&S’s famous ‘Love sausage’. What more could we need?
One day we will be able to get back out there, treating our loved ones to days out and showing just how much we appreciate them in person. So, for now, we want to look to the future, to brighter days and dream of some romantic adventures we can enjoy in Scotland when it’s safe to do so.
This pretty seaside town is just 30 minutes from Edinburgh by train and truly feels like an escape from the city. The gorgeous, long sandy beach overlooks the island of Craigleith and the Bass Rock, providing lots of space and great views if you fancy bringing a romantic picnic with you. If you would rather indulge in a traditional fish supper by the sea, there are plenty of fish and chips shops to choose from. And of course, ice cream shops are aplenty too. No trip to the seaside is complete without a 99!
Silver Sands of Morar, near Mallaig
The West Highland Line isn’t noted as being one of the most stunning railway journeys in the world for no reason. There are beaches aplenty all the way up the coast with some truly spectacular ones around Arisaig and Morar, a couple of stops before the terminus station of Mallaig. The Silver Sands of Morar have featured in many films and are the perfect place for a romantic stroll. A little bit further down the coast, the beaches at Camusdarach and towards Arisaig are stunning. The long white stretches of sand and turquoise waters overlook the islands of Eigg, Rum and Skye. Truly a romantic haven!
Back on the beaten track, you just can’t go wrong with a day out at any of the many beaches in Fife. Aberdour, Burntisland, Kinghorn and others have gorgeous beaches to take a picnic, or a hot coffee and sit awhile with a loved one. There are some lovely cafés and bakeries around Fife’s towns where you can get some delicious goodies to take with you to the beach. After all, the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach! A beach and delicious food is the recipe for a memorable day out.
Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven
Dunnottar Castle is one of our favourites. It’s the perfect place to take a loved one to really wow them! Sat atop a clifftop overlooking the North Sea, the ruins of the castle, dating back to the 15th century, provide a breath-taking backdrop to a memorable day out. To get to the castle, it’s a 45-minute walk along the gorgeous Coastal Tourist Route from Stonehaven station.
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
We can’t talk about castles and not mention Scotland’s most famous, Edinburgh Castle. Nestled right in the heart of the city, a visit to the castle is a brilliant addition to a day out in the capital. Even just visiting the esplanade provides amazing views over the city, the surrounding hills and over the Firth of Forth to Fife. For a history lover in your life, Edinburgh Castle will enthral them. To get to the castle, it’s around a 15-minute walk from Waverley Station.
Dunrobin Castle, Sutherland
For our final castle, we’re heading way up north to enjoy the magic of Dunrobin Castle, overlooking the Dornoch Firth. Imagine picture-perfect scenery, a grand stately home and stunning Victorian gardens that were created for strolling through hand in hand. The estate dates back to the 13th century and has been home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland and is still a family home to his day. Once we’re free to travel again, escaping to the far north of Scotland would be a wonderful way to enjoy a romantic break with a loved one. The scenery is simply mesmerising!
Cottages, log cabins, lodges and chalets are aplenty in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. They're ideal for a romantic overnight or long weekend exploring this breath-taking area. Imagine sipping some fizz in your own private hot-tub or strolling hand-in-hand along the loch, taking in the beautiful surroundings. Loch Lomond is a great choice for a cottage getaway in Scotland. And with Balloch station less than an hours train ride from Glasgow, it's so easy to get to.
Aviemore is the perfect spot for exploring the Cairgorms National Park and there's an abundance of self-catering accommodation on offer, including romantic holiday cottages for two. It's famed for its skiing breaks and winter wonderland packages, but the range of outdoor activities on offer means it can be enjoyed whatever the unpredictable Scottish weather throws at us. Plus, Aviemore station is centrally located, and can be reached in just a few hours from central Scotland.
Scotland's biggest city is famed for its 19th-century Victorian architecture, which is teamed with early-20th-century "Glasgow Style" developed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. This makes the city an excellent choice for strolling through the streets arm-in-arm admiring the surroundings. Or if window shopping isn't your thing, head to the city's west end to Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, which boasts of an impressive plant collection. Fancy something a bit more active? You could hire a couple of bikes and enjoy a cycle along the River Clyde together.
Why not head up north to the capital of the Highlands? Inverness is always worth a visit in our eyes. It has a compact, cosmopolitan city feel and is soaked in Scottish history and culture. The city also boasts of some pretty impressive architecture including Inverness Castle and St Andrew's Cathedral. Maybe when you're visiting, you'll even get a glimpse of the infamous Loch Ness Monster, 'Nessie', while strolling along the banks of the River Ness!
We hope that it’s not too long before we can travel again, meet up with people and make up for lost time in each other’s company. Never again will celebrating or showing someone how much you appreciate them be taken for granted, and we certainly don’t recommend just saving it for one day a year to show someone how much you care. However you celebrate this Valentine’s Day, we hope you have a lovely day with your loved ones either in person or virtually.
Happy Valentine’s Day
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