Seven of the best places to go for a Valentine’s date on the East Coast mainline
1. Stay a night in London’s gin hotel
With beautiful rooms overlooking Notting Hill, a short walk from Portobello Market, plus a minibar boasting some of the finest victuals London has to offer, a night at The Distillery can be as romantic as it is fascinating. With over 100 gins on the menu, plus the opportunity to join in an expert tasting session, a stay in the home of the world-renowned Portobello Gin should be on every gin-loving couple’s bucket list.
Who for: Gin lovers
2. Dine at the North East’s only two Michelin star restaurant
In the rural hinterlands of County Durham and only a short taxi ride from Darlington is an unremarkable stone-brick house covered in green ivy. What this façade keeps secret is one of the best restaurants in the North East – the Raby Hunt. Even with just one menu (albeit containing up to 15 courses), it has been awarded two Michelin stars and was named one of The Independent’s Top 50 UK restaurants for 2019.
Who for: Foodies
3. Enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in York
What better way to spend a romantic day than to tread the ancient cobbled streets of York before settling down for a civilised afternoon tea in Bettys. Serving a sumptuous selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones, Bettys has two locations in York City Centre – one is directly opposite the church of St Helen Stonegate while the other, more intimate café is on Stonegate itself. Or, if you don’t fancy battling the Valentine’s Day crowds in York, you could always try Bettys in Northallerton or Harrogate – both easily to reach on an LNER train.
Who for: Cake lovers
4. Snuggle into Glasgow’s most intimate cinema
Tucked away down the eclectic Ashton Lane, in a skinny former printer’s building, is the remarkable Grosvenor cinema. There’s simply no better place for two film buffs to enjoy a romantic evening. Get up-close-and-personal with new and classic films in this delightfully retro cinema, complete with leather chairs plus its own café/restaurant serving everyone’s favourite Valentine’s Day staple – brunch.
Who for: Film fanatics
5. Test your love in Soho’s little Las Vegas
Once you’ve had enough of Soho’s fantastic restaurants and thronging bars, why not dip into the Las Vegas Arcade and challenge your loved one to some of the great games on offer – everything from In The Groove to air hockey. What better way to say I love you than to pip your partner to the finish line in a game of Mario Kart?
Where: Soho, London
Who for: Gamers
6. Stroll along the Northumberland Coast from Alnmouth
Alnmouth is one of the lesser-known stops on the East Coast mainline, and yet one of the closest to the sea. This picturesque village lies in the middle of the Aln Estuary, at the Northumberland Coast AONB. It’s the perfect starting point for a hike up England’s East Coast, through other equally as romantic villages as Boulmer, Howick and Craster.
Who for: Walkers and adventurers
7. Spend the day in Edinburgh doing… anything, really
If there’s a more romantic city in the whole of the UK, no one sent us the memo. Once you arrive at Waverley Station, the city invites you to explore every single nook and cranny on foot. Start at the Castle where you can admire the view before heading down the Royal Mile past breath-taking sights of St Giles’ Cathedral and the Royal Mile Market. Then take a detour back up Victoria Terrace for a spot of tea before moseying on over to the Museum of Scotland, through the University of Edinburgh and George Square Gardens, before finally arriving to eat in any one of Edinburgh’s fantastic restaurants. There’s simply no better place in the world to watch true love come to life!
Who for: Everyone