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Your Complete Guide to Spending Valentine’s Day in London
Ah, Valentine's Day. A time when we all go that extra mile to show the ones closest to our hearts just how much we love them.
For some, that might mean doing something sweet and traditional; the age-old box of chocolates and rose bouquet never fails, does it? For others, it might mean lavish jewelry and expensive dinners, whilst for other still, the greatest gift we can give to our beloved is the chance to really get away from it all and indulge in a luxurious, romantic city break.
Think of romantic cities, and chances are your first thoughts turn to the Capital of L'Amore, Paris, France. Or perhaps you think of Venice, Italy with its gondolas and gorgeous canals. Maybe it's even the beautiful architecture and magical charms of Prague in the Czech Republic that sets your heart all aflutter.
For something a little different however, look no further than London, England.
Though certainly more famous for its fascinating history, art, and culture than for its air of ardour, that's not to say that London doesn't have plenty to offer those looking for the perfect Romantic Valentine's getaway in one of the world's most visited cities.
Thinking of treating your loved one to something truly special this February 14th? Here's your complete guide to spending Valentine's Day in London in 2017.
What Are Your Valentine's Day Plans?
Where to Stay
First things first, let’s start with the important stuff, shall we? After exploring the sights and taking in everything else we’re about to discuss in this article, the last thing you want to be doing is dealing with the long train journey home, which makes booking a London hotel in advance a must for your pre-visit To-Do list.
Besides, it’s Valentine’s Day, and what better way to really spend some quality time with your significant other than by leaving the usual pressures of home behind in favour of a luxury hotel.
When it comes to booking, there’s a simple rule you need to remember:
The closer a hotel is to the city centre, the busier and louder you’ll find the area.
So, if money really is no object for you, central locations like Covent Garden offer some of the most beautiful surroundings you’ll find anywhere in the capital, though you will have to share the area with a whole host of tourists.
Venture further out of the centre, and you’ll discover that London hotels not only reduce in price, but are typically less busy, all whilst offering the same incredible scenery, along with the added bonus that the main sights and attractions are within just a short journey via tube.
Speaking of which…
How to Get Around
As every visitor to London knows, by far the easiest, quickest, and most affordable way to travel is via the London Underground, or what the locals commonly refer to as ‘The Tube.’
If you are visiting just for the day, you’ll be fine with purchasing a single day travel card which allows you to traverse the city on as many journeys as you like on just one ticket.
If you’re in London for a few days, a week, or longer, weekly tickets serve up the best possible value for your money.
That being said, cramming your way onto the tube is hardly the best way to spend your time on a romantic break in London
For transport with a little more amore, look out for companies offering horse drawn carriage tours around London, or take a boat ride along the Thames.
Where to Go
You could spend literally weeks in London without ever seeing everything there is to do, but for the sake of today’s subject, let’s focus on those areas, venues, and attractions which are ideally suited for romance on February 14th.
Reaching for the heavens off London Bridge, the iconic Shard building stands as the tallest building in the UK and offers a truly breathtaking view across the whole of London. The company running the venue do offer private viewing sessions that are ideal for spending a little romantic alone time looking out across the capital.
Elsewhere, you might want to journey to St. Pancras Station, where you’ll find 'The Meeting Place,' a nine-metre bronze statue of a couple in the throes of embrace, situated in the midst of one of the world's busiest train stations. For us, it serves as a perfect reminder to stop and appreciate the ones we love, even in the middle of our own hectic-paced lives.
Speaking of the frantic nature of London life, the perfect way to escape all of that is to head to the great outdoors, basking in the beautiful surroundings of Hyde Park, Kensington, Kew Gardens, or the banks of the Royal Observatory, more of which in a moment.
What to Do
Based in Greenwich, the Royal Observatory is a must-visit attraction at any time of year, but come February 14th, the venue really offers something special for starry-eyed lovers. Ever told your guy or girl that you love them to the moon and back? Here's the best place to prove it.
Other great ideas for your Valentine's Day itinerary include sipping champagne as you journey towards the clouds on the famous London Eye, surprising your beloved with tickets to their favourite musical or West End show, or splashing out on a luxury shopping trip along London's Oxford Street.
Where to Eat
All that excitement is bound to make you hungry. Luckily, London is almost as famous for its plethora of top restaurants and boutique diners as it is for Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
Look to areas like Soho, Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea for the most exclusive and prestigious restaurants in town. A word of warning though, given the demand at this time of year, many of London’s finest eateries are guaranteed to be booked up well in advance, meaning it pays to book a table as early as you can.
The good news at least, is that many of those leading restaurants offer a special Valentine’s Day menu, making a candle lit dinner for two the perfect way to end your romantic London city break.