/ Travel & Leisure

Love is in the air – jetting off for Valentine’s Day

A couple embracing beneath the northern lights

A romantic getaway can be a magical Valentine’s gift and there are some amazing destinations for loved-up couples. If you’re whisking your special someone away this week, where are you headed?

The Lake District has two out of the top four most romantic hotels in the world, if reviewers on TripAdvisor are to be believed.

Well, the Lake District is lovely. I’ve been there a few times, and once had a very romantic trip when the sun shone and the lakes were like rippling mirrors beneath the majestic mountains.

But the Lake District for Valentine’s Day doesn’t grab me. It’s the middle of February; those majestic mountains will most likely be veiled in fog and drizzle.

And I don’t think standing on a soggy hillside wearing a cagoule while rain runs down your nose is any way to declare undying love. I’d go for natural beauty and an isolated countryside, but I’d do anything to avoid rain and damp clothes.

Romantic nights beneath the northern lights

So, where to go for a romantic Valentine’s trip?  Here at Which? Travel we drew up a list of the best places to go for each month in 2013, and our entry for March applies equally well in February for me.

This is the best year to see the northern lights for more than a decade, so I think Reykjavik in Iceland is the place to go on a Valentine’s mission.

Picture the scene, the northern lights are dancing overhead, your partner’s looking up in awe and wonder at the heavens, and then you pop the question. It has to be a winner.

And even if the lights don’t perform to order, there is still the Blue Lagoon outside Reykjavik where you can laze in a heated geothermal lake, enjoy spa treatments and dine in a restaurant built into a lava cliff.

True, it’ll be colder than the Lake District, but the celestial displays and warming thermal waters should overcome that.

Turning up the heat

If sun and heat are absolute essentials for you, I’d suggest Kenya. Combine some beach time with an inland safari, and you’ve got natural wonders, stunning sunsets and the awe-inspiring Kilimanjaro. If you pop the question while sitting in a safari lodge with Sundowner in hand, watching elephants take an evening stroll to their waterhole, who could possibly say ‘no’?

Our 2013 destination guide has more ideas, and if you’re a Which? member you can get an idea of companies to book with by having a look at the results of our surveys into the best travel companies and best airlines.

But where do you think is the best spot for a Valentine’s trip away? And do you need to travel, or are you better off with a home cooked meal and some candles at home?


If I could go anywhere this weekend for a romantic break, it would have to be Bruges. It just ticks so many boxes: beauty, culture, good restaurants, nice bars and above all else, dozens of chocolate shops. It’s a wonderful place to be.