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National Trust News: Valentine's Day With The National Trust

Memorable days out for Valentines Day donít have to cost the earth. Spend time with the National Trust this year and discover everything you need to make the day special, suggests Phil Harper.

Hereís a little secret: if you want to really impress someone, give them an unforgettable experience. The National Trust has everything you need to make Valentines Day really special this year. With breathtaking backdrops, enticing events and centuries of romantic tradition, we have everything you need to treat your loved one to a memorable day out.

Hereís a selection of our top tips for romance:

Spend the day together

Thereís nothing more important on Valentines Day than spending time together. Take an exhilarating bike ride at Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, or wander hand in hand through the spectacular landscape garden of Stourhead in Wiltshire. Whatever you choose, we have everything you need to get away and spend time with each other.

Follow in the footsteps of romance

With fantastic tales of love and romance amongst our idyllic places, why not get inspired? Discover Polesden Lacey in Surrey, the honeymoon destination of King George VI and our late Queen Mother, set amidst the beautiful landscape of the North Downs. For love letters and poetry, discover the ardent passion of Rex Whistler and his unrequited love for Caroline Paget at Plas Newydd, Anglesey.

Hollywood romance

Itís not called the romance of the silver screen for nothing. Thrill your loved one by taking her to the scene of one of her most loved movie scenes. Lyme Park in Cheshire is our favourite; as the backdrop to where Darcy meets Elizabeth in the ever-remember TV adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, this glorious setting reflects romantic mood.

Think about the backdrop

A memorable day out needs a memorable setting. The breathtaking ruins of Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire, combined with the Studley Royal Water Garden, are guaranteed to capture the imagination. For a fairytale day out, choose the romantically evocative Bodiam Castle in Kent.

Make a stay of it

Why settle for an afternoon out? From apartments in stately homes to little 18th-Century cottages, cap off a great day out with a stay in a National Trust Holiday Cottage, such as the romantic bolthole in the South Wing at Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire, with fantastic views and extra access to the grounds.

The little details matter

A romantic trip out followed by dinner in a fast food restaurant just doesnít send the right message. Why not warm up for an afternoonís adventure at Uppark House, West Sussex by eating delicious, fresh, local produce in the restaurant while taking in views across the grounds and onwards to the Downs.

It doesnít have to cost the earth

You donít have to break the bank for a great day out. With hundreds of coast and countryside places across the country, a stunning location may just be right on your doorstep. A walk in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, like Blakeney Point, Norfolk, can be just as romantic and special.

Find a quiet space

With extensive grounds on magnificent country estates, not to mention stunning walks on the coast and in the countryside, you can always find a secluded and romantic corner. With 480 acres of magnificent grounds to explore at Dinewfr Park and Castle, thereís plenty of space to find your special moment.

Fantastic flowers

From delicate white snowdrops to colourful winter gardens, you can see stunning displays of seasonal flowers at some of our places. Dunham Massey in Cheshire is Britainís largest winter garden, and fills with delicate snowdrops in February; much more memorable and impressive than any bouquet.

Give a thoughtful gift

Rather than something impersonal, pick up something special to remember your day by. With a great selection of handmade delights and fine local produce, shops like the one at Tyntesfield, Somerset, are a great place to pick up a memento of a memorable day.

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