A touch of nostalgia
On the Devon coast, the privately owned Burgh Island – actually only separated from the mainland at high tide – is the site of Burgh Island Hotel. This fine art-deco retreat was a favourite with such literary greats as Noel Coward and Agatha Christie, and offers an unusual setting for a Valentine's break. As well as the unmitigated glamour of the rooms and suites, the iconic white building perched on a cliff boasts a gym, sauna and spa treatment room and an original Thirties billiards room.
A right royal choice
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge began their married life on Anglesey, the island the Welsh know as Ynys Mon, off the far north coast of the Principality. This unspoiled setting is perfect for walks along deserted beaches followed by warming pub food at the local hostelries. Kensington Palace, the royal couple's London residence is currently closed for renovation, but the beautiful Kensington Gardens remain open and you can round off your walk with tea and cake – or champagne – in the eighteenth-century Orangery restaurant.
A favourite among rock stars, K West Hotel in west London offers special romantic mini-breaks for Valentine's Day that include access to the marvellous K Spa. The Portobello Hotel – whose 'Round Room' acquired legendary status after rumours that Johnny Depp filled the bath here with champagne for then-girlfriend Kate Moss – is another exclusive London location that's perfect for romance. Just an hour by train south from the capital is Brighton, a fashionable resort for over two centuries and a famed destination for romantic trysts. Why not visit the Pelirocco – described as England's most Rock'n'Roll hotel – and discover the city's bustling night life.
Nature and poetry
Bucolic green hills, lakes, hiking trails and cosy pubs, the Lake District has everything you could wish for to celebrate St Valentine's in a tranquil natural setting. The area has inspired poets and writers including Walter Scott, Coleridge and Thomas de Quincey, not to mention the Lake poet par excellence, William Wordsworth. He and his sister Dorothy stayed at Lancrigg, now a country house that has specialised in vegetarian and natural cuisine since opening as a hotel 25 years ago.
For architecture lovers
If you're planning a getaway, take a look at Living Architecture for some unusual options. 'A Room for London' is an original boat-shaped one-bedroom installation perched on the edge of the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at London's Southbank Centre, while 'The Balancing Barn' designed by the Dutch architects MVRDV teeters disconcertingly over the landscape on the edge of a nature reserve a few miles inland from the Suffolk coast.
Romance and Roman ruins
The quintessential English spa town of Bath boasts ancient Roman ruins alongside charming Georgian and Regency architecture and provides an elegant location for a classical romantic getaway. Unsurprisingly, this UNESCO World Heritage city is home to some of the best spas in the UK, as well as high-class restaurants and a superb choice of accommodation to suit all tastes.
One Day, the poignant love story by David Nicholls, told on screen in the film of the same name, starts and ends in Edinburgh, and the Scottish capital is a perfect setting for modern lovers to enjoy time out together. Jane Austen fans may prefer to make a pilgrimage to Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire's Peak District, whose exterior features as Pemberley, Mr Darcy's family home, in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice and where Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) unexpectedly bumps into the romantic hero – played by Matthew Macfadyen – at a hinge point in the story. Don't assume that all the loved-up couples visiting are fans of Regency romance, though, as the house has featured in films of other genres, notably The Wolfman, with Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.
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