Everyone knows that there is no better time to sweep someone off their feet than on 14 February, the most romantic day of the year. Love letters, giant heart-shaped cards, balloons and teddy bears will circulate offices and homes all over the world – whether you like it or not. Yes, we can’t escape the fact that love is in the air this month, so why not come and celebrate in 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 everlasting memories.
Whether it is your first or 100th date, we’ve selected a few ideas to try while you take in some of Scotland’s best bits.
1. 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!
2. 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 a movie of your choice.
There are also plenty of theatre performances at venues across our cities too, if you fancy a bit of live performance.
3. One for all the culture lovers
Head to the Glasgow School of Art and explore the romantic symbolism of the magnificent exhibitions and displays. Explore this architectural wonder and learn about Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s life, his true love and the symbol of the rose.
There are plenty of museums and art galleries across the whole of Scotland too, showcasing an array of talent to admire.
4. 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.
5. See the Stars
Speaking of the skies, when dinner and a movie just won’t cut it, escape the bright lights of the city and spend an evening admiring the beauty of the stars at the UK’s only Dark Sky Park, Galloway Forest Park, in Dumfries & Galloway. Perfect for amateur stargazers and astronomers, embrace your surroundings and gaze up to the unpolluted skies where you can view the Milky Way and over 7,000 stars. Simply take a drive through the forest park, step outside and admire the natural beauty of the skies, all without the need for a telescope. Nothing says romance quite like a night spent stargazing!
6. Island wanderings
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.
7. Unforgettable dining
For a truly mesmerising dinner experience, whisk your partner away on a seaplane for a thrilling 40-minute flight from the River Clyde to Loch Lomond. When you land, enjoy a sumptuous fine dining meal by chefs Paul Tamburrini and Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond restaurant and spoil them even more by staying in a luxurious suite at the Cameron House.
Or, if you’re feeling brave and adventurous, why not try cooking up your own special meal using our romantic Scottish recipes as inspiration?
8. Make their heart melt
Calling all chocolate lovers! Embrace your inner chocolatier and create the perfect handmade gift, as nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like a big box of chocolates! And hopefully it’s less cheesy if you make them yourself – Cocoa Black Chocolate School in Peebles offers delectable chocolate making classes so you can make the day extra special.
9. Gal-entines Day at the spa?
If you find yourself without a Valentine come the 14th, or maybe you just want to spend some time with your besties, treat yourself and your friends to a relaxing day at the spa. From Blythswood Square in Glasgow, and the popular Stobo Castle in the Scottish Borders, to One Spa in Scotland’s capital, and Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa in Pitlochry, you’ve got plenty of choice. Why not make a weekend of it? Many spas are also hotels and offer overnight or weekend stays too.
For more Valentine’s Day inspiration, why not check out our 6 destinations for a romantic break in Scotland.
And, for more ideas, check out Top Proposal Spots in Scotland, Scottish Weddings and Unusual Wedding Venues in Scotland. Remember, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to take your partner out on a perfect Scottish date!
And, if you’re feeling the love this February, we want to hear about it! Feel free to add your own romantic experiences and stories from around Scotland to the comments below, or join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.