Although I dislike Valentine’s Day, for the commercial scheme it is, I am still a romantic and have a few suggestions of what to do that are not nauseatingly sweet. Whether you’re looking to reignite the spark, woo a new flame, or just go on a wee adventure with the one you love, Scotland has many romantic spots perfect for this special occasion.
Falls of Bruar
This series of waterfalls, immortalized in Robert Burns’ poem “The Humble Petition of Bruar Water,” is found at a gorge after quite a strenuous but beautiful hike passing through trees and over old bridges.
There’s plenty to do in this charming city – head to The Gardeners Cottage restaurant, see an art-house film, pick up some handmade chocolates at Coco of Bruntfield, or take a stroll at Calton Hill, a central spot with a panoramic view of the city and many historic monuments.
Loch Lomond offers spectacular views, cycle trails, horse riding, mountain paths, fishing, boat rides, and forest walks. Conic Hill is a sharp summit and has great views over the entirety of the loch and is a good spot to watch the sunrise and sunset. Take the scenic route to the Falls of Falloch where photo opportunities are abundant and picnic spots are plentiful.
This compact town boasts many great cafes and venues. Visit Perth’s castles, concert halls and theatres for a great day and night.
West Highland Line
Scotland’s most scenic train journey – you will pass Loch Eil in the center of the highlands, the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis, the Glenfinnan viaduct, which is featured in the Harry Potter films, or take a line that goes past Loch Ness.
Skye was voted the fourth best island in the world by National Geographic; its landscape is outstanding with an array of wildlife and picturesque pastel harbor and geology. Go for hill walks or snuggle in the freezing sea breeze.
Another place in which you can escape into the wilderness is this magnificent stretch of water that spreads from glens to forest and moors and waterfalls.
Rolling hills, lush green inland forests, majestic red deer, soaring ospreys, and friendly towns fill Galloway. Stay in a little cottage nestled in this quiet corner in the southwest of the country.
For a weekend trip that will definitely make you question if you are in Scotland, head to the beaches on the Isle of Harris with white sands and aquamarine water – have a picnic on the lovely rocks looking out over the velvety sand and the turquoise sea.
Glasgow is unbelievably underrated – the architecture is refined and sublime, the city is highly cultured, the parks and gardens are distinguished. Walk under fairy lights around Royal Exchange Square. Keep walking through Kelvingrove Park and pack a flask of tea to stop wherever you please, and check out the view from the Necropolis. What more appropriate place to celebrate the day than the city with the church St John Duns Scotus where the real St Valentine’s bones rest.
For those of you looking to plan a local date for your significant other, consider heading to the mansion and gardens at the Hill of Tarvit in Fife for a luxurious day.
If your love loves animals, stop by the St Andrews Aquarium beside the sea with seals, reef sharks, piranhas, seahorses, penguins, alligators, reptiles, and many other species; and if you’re searching for a gift for your special someone, consider helping out the animals by adopting one and visiting it whenever you’d like.
For a day of peace and tranquility, I would highly recommend the Fife Coastal Path – it offers easy strolls as well as demanding hikes, but whichever footpath you follow, you will encounter picturesque villages, beautiful coastal views, lush greens, rugged cliffs, and a ton of fun.
St Andrews is a little lovers’ cove. With its quaint terraces, the cathedrals and towers that rise to the sky, the castle by the sea, deep colors seeping in through the fog, flushed streaks of light in the rain – as much as I love traveling, St Andrews is more than romantic enough, so if you can’t travel this weekend, then by all means, be homebodies.