Alternative Valentine's Day ideas for rural travellers

Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is just around the corner and here at The Rural Travel Guide, we're more about making memories than grand romantic gestures.

Our previous Valentine's Day excursions have included Woburn Safari Park, Sherwood Forest and even a gin workshop with Two Birds Spirits.

So, we've done a bit of digging and found some alternative date ideas for a fun-filled Valentine's Day that you'll remember for years to come.

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Love is in the air

- Branching Out Adventures

Hit the high ropes

For those who need a bit of outdoor excitement on February 14, a woodland adventure might be just the thing.

Set within two acres of oak forest at Halland, East Sussex (near Lewes), Branching Out Adventures combines a rural retreat with a little heart pumping adrenaline.

Ease into the trees on Branching Out’s low ropes course or go higher to appreciate the woodland from a different angle.  Or, if you want to spice it up a bit, daredevils will love the giant swing, zip wires and the Leap of Faith. 

Parking is free and cosy hot chocolates plus other locally-sourced refreshments are waiting when you’ve conquered the climbing wall, zipped through the trees or enjoyed the G-force of the giant swing.

So, why not break away from the heart-shaped chocolates and spend quality time with special someone in the heart of Sussex’s woodlands.

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Go on an adverture


Take the family on a treasure trail

Not quite the romantic break away, but it will save on travel costs and babysitters (if you want to involve the children - we're not saying you have to).

Treasure Trails are self-guided themed walking adverntures, ideal for discovering more about where you live or for taking on holiday.

There are more than 1,100 different Treasure Trials available throughout the UK, covering towns, cities and rural areas. Choose between three themes; a treasure hunt, a spy mission or a murder mystery. At the outset of each Trail, the ‘mission’ is given – to find the treasure, crack the code or discover ‘whodunnit’. You then follow an easy route and answer a series of clues involving some interesting, scenic and historical sights along the way to find the answers.

At just £6.99 each, they offer a great value activity that everyone, whatever their age, can enjoy doing together.


Combermere Abbey

- Combermere Abbey

Take time-out

If high ropes and adventures aren't your thing, why not use Valentine's Day as an excuse to get away from it all. If, like us, you're still frazzled from Christmas and you need to reconnect with each other, try taking a holiday in nature.

Not only are there are number of great camping and glamping sites that are open all year, for a touch more luxury, head to somewhere like Combermere Abbey.

Nestled in the idyllic Cheshire countryside, the award-winning and
historic Combermere estate, a former Cistercian monastery, is full of the benefits of the great outdoors.

Set in acres of stunning parkland, overlooking a 143-acre lake, Combermere is one of the most iconic holiday and accommodation destinations in the UK.

Switch of your screens, indulge in some local food and drink and get outdoors to blow away the cobwebs.


Rothay Manor

- Rothay Manor

Book an antiques weekend

Rothay Manor in Ambleside in the Lake District will be kick-staring an array of special interest holidays for guests to learn a new skill or enhance an old one this Spring.

From 25th February, take a five-day break focused on the wonderful world of fine art and antiques.

Hosted by Nicholas Merchant, it will be filled with interesting talks and historical venue visits, including the Golden Age of Dutch Art and the Jacobites.

Jenna Shail, co-owner of Rothay Manor explains: “Our antique holidays are designed for people with an interest in fine art and antiques, the emphasis being on a pleasant and relaxing break in the company of fellow enthusiasts, rather than formal teachings.”

Other experience holidays launching this year holidays include bridge with world champion Michael Byrne, chess and photography.

Rothay Manor has recently been refurbished to reveal original features and visitors are welcome to explore the beautiful area surrounding the hotel.

To book please or email or telephone 01539 433 605.

Megan is the owner of Rural Roots Media, specialising in rural tourism, where her passion for travel, heritage and a great visitor experience inspired her to start 'The Rural Travel Guide'.

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.