Oh Valentine’s Day, it only comes once a year which can be a curse or a blessing. Love it or hate it, the day is renowned for bringing people together with so many things to do, and being a great excuse to treat yourself and someone you like to a nice dinner.
Dating back to the year 496 with a Roman festival called Lupercalia. Children were thought to originally draw names out of a box, with many even growing up to become married! The festival marked the beginning of springtime for the Romans, and when the church began to celebrate it too, they thought it would be a great way of remembering St Valentine at the same time. His name gradually became the one people used to express their love to each other (and it’s also a little easier to pronounce than Lupercalia), and viola, Valentine’s Day was born.
Moving into 2020 however, Valentine’s Day has slowly taken on a new meaning. With more thought being given to love in all its forms, and not just in the traditional sense. Not only has the ‘who’ changed in this regard, but also the way in which you show it.
You don’t have to go far in order to see an report about how experiences bring you far more joy than physical possessions. So it stands to reason that giving experiences and holidays has become far more popular in recent years than giving gifts – especially when you like the person you’re giving the gift to.
So, if you’ve ventured up to the Lake District and surrounds, but haven’t the foggiest how to spend you precious hours here when with a loved one – fear no more. Here are our suggestions for things to do in the Lake District and surround this Valentine’s Day:
1. Go on an adventure
Being an area of natural beauty, you don’t have to go too far out of your way to find that truly breathtaking place. Often not bumping into anyone for hours, there are so many great walks you can go on (dog in tow too!) that allow for a serene escape like no other.
2. Visit a cosy pub
We all have that favourite local back home – but what about when trailing the Lakes and surrounds? Depending on where you visit there will be a different pub of choice, for example, the Hare and Hounds in Levens (near Kendal) serves fantastic food & has a great atmosphere.
Similarly, George and the Dragon (Penrith) features fantastic country dishes and a beautifully decorated setting, perfect for a treat. We could go on for hours, so check this list from the Telegraph’s top Lake District Pubs and get something booked!
3. See something new
From seasonal stars to year round favourites, the diversity of wildlife is fantastic in our neck of the woods. Expect to catch a glimpse of red squirrels, kestrels, fantastic butterflies, Otters, Ospreys, and more animals when traversing round here. Not only animals, but also the huge range of flora that paints our landscapes is a great thing to behold. Recently, more and more foraging courses have been popping up too, and although not prolific in February, could be a nice surprise from April.
If you have never been to see a waterfall in real life either we highly recommend Aira Force or Ingleton Falls. These two sites only get better with the rain too, so if you think your plans exploring the lakes have been scuppered by precipitation – think again!
4. Sip Prosecco on a lake
Recently more and more experiences have been appearing around the Lake District that are actually on the Lakes themselves. For example, you can now book a place on an Ullswater ‘Steamer’ with a bottle of Prosecco to toast and sip away at whilst you watch the scenery roll by – ahhh bliss.
5. Have a different day out
Head to the West coast to experience a side of the Lakes that not many people venture out to experience. The coastal scenes and vibrant communities which call it home is fantastic for those looking for something new. Ravenglass Railway now has a whole host of experiences and events too for you to try out, with a little something for everyone:
- Footplate experiences: Choose from full or half day experiences where you go behind the scenes and truly find out how the railway works from preparing your engine in the morning to taking it out for a spin. Buy an experience here.
- Afternoon Tea: Head into the cafe for a little mid day treat before carrying on your journey – a great way to break up a long day and take stock of everything you’ve seen. Buy a voucher to surprise a loved one here, or surprise them a little more with a touch of sparkle.
- Gift experiences: Redeemable for train tickets or in the shop are great if you just can’t make your mind up – get yours here.
6. Treat them to dinner
The classic, when all else fails, you can never go wrong with a gorgeous dinner at one of the many award winning restaurants in the Lake District and surrounds this Valentine’s Day. From formal to cosy casual, we’ve got all the gastronomic goodness at our finger tips, you just have to know where to look.
Some of our favourites include 1863in Pooley Bridge for a truly stellar dining experience – perfect for those looking to visit the Ullswater area. Or maybe venture to The Punch Bowl Inn at Crosthwaite which undoubtedly serves the best raspberry souffle we have ever encountered last time we visited.
If they’re all booked up, fear not, there is a great run down courtesy of BBC Good Food here.
7. Keep it flexible with an IOU… (one gift voucher)
Along with many other businesses in the Lakes, we recently launched our brand new gift voucher online store which is currently stocked full of experiences and holidays for you to choose from and personalise. If you know someone who would love a spontaneous adventure, but doesn’t have the calendar to match, a gift voucher is the perfect way to keep things flexible, whilst still showing you care. But don’t just take our word for it – see the shop for yourself here.
So we hope that has given you some ideas for things to do in the Lake District and surrounds this Valentine’s day and will help you create some truly unforgettable memories this year.