Whether you want to keep it low-key, shout it from the rooftops or curl up in a ball and pretend that Valentine’s Day isn’t happening – February is always the time when love hearts, banners and teddy bears follow you everywhere. Yes, we can’t escape the fact that love is in the air this month, and there’s no better place to celebrate than Scotland.
With miles of coastline, fairy-tale castles, magical islands and atmospheric cities, our landscape has been the inspiration for generations of love stories, poems and songs. From the clear, starry skies of the Galloway forest to the turquoise seas of the Isle of Harris, Scotland is filled with beautiful places for couples to create romantic, brilliant moments.
Don’t just take our word for it! Dumfries and Galloway was recently voted one of the most romantic places in the UK by the Royal Mail. After careful analysis, loved-up residents of the region were found to send the most Valentine’s Day cards last year.
Whether it is your first or 100th date, we’ve selected a few ideas which serve to impress while you take in some of Scotland’s best bits.
Break the ice
If you’re suffering from first date nerves, why not settle them by joining an expert-led whisky tasting session? Learn about the ancient processes in the Scotch Malt Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and expand your knowledge while sipping on a delectable whisky cocktail at the Whiski Rooms on the Mound. Read more about the art of whisky tasting and impress your date with fascinating facts!
A night at the movies
For a slightly more relaxed evening, enjoy a night of cosy comforts at the historic Dominion cinema in Morningside, Edinburgh. Sit back in the luxurious reclining armchairs, be served cocktails and watch the movie of your choice. Gentlemen, why not let the lady choose?
One for all the culture lovers
Head to the Glasgow School of Art and explore the romantic symbolism of the magnificent Mackintosh Building and take advantage of special offers available until 17 February. In guided Valentine’s tours over the weekend, explore this architectural wonder and learn about Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s life, his true love and the symbol of the rose.
A trip to the skies
Imagine drifting gently through the air, feeling the breeze on your face as you ascend higher and higher into the sky. Sharing a hot air balloon allows you to admire Scotland’s magnificent views from a different perspective – so don’t forget your camera! Many companies offer the experience in February, depending on the weather. Alternatively, you could surprise your partner with gift vouchers that are valid for a year – if you’d rather go in a warmer month! If you’re planning a flight to celebrate something really special, some operators even throw in champagne with your ballooning experience.
If you both share a passion for the great outdoors, why not head to the Isle of Mull and enjoy a romantic amble through one of the island’s forests? Look out for the local wildlife on your stroll, as Mull is home to an array of wildlife including golden eagles, which often mate for life! After your exhilarating walk, head back to the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa for some relaxation and pampering.
For a truly mesmerising dinner experience, grab your significant other and whisk them away on a seaplane for a thrilling 40-minute flight from the River Clyde to Loch Lomond. When you land, enjoy a sumptuous meal in the renowned Michelin star Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond restaurant and spoil your partner even more by staying in a luxurious suite at the Cameron House.
If you’re feeling the love this February, we want to hear about it! Feel free to add your own romantic experiences from around Scotland to the comments below, or join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #brilliantmoments as we celebrate Romantic Scotland Week!