So, it’s that time of year again when we declare our undying love to the lights of our lives! Whether you’re newly weds or been together for more years than you care to remember, the Cairngorms will have the perfect romantic spot for you.
We’ve pulled together 10 of our favourite romantic things to do in the National Park.
How many have you experienced?
1. A luxury Highland hotel experience
If you want to get some serious brownie points this Valentine’s Day, then check in to one of the Cairngorms’ luxury hotels where your loved one will get treated like a Prince/Princess. The Cairngorms National Park boasts some cracking hotels that will fit the bill.
For instance, The Sunday Times Hotel of the Year, The Fife Arms, is based in Braemar and has already earned a global reputation for its stunning interior design, artistic attention to detail and delicious menu. It is ‘celebrating love’ throughout February offering guests Champagne on arrival in their room, before pre-dinner drinks in the cocktail bar and a romantic set menu for 2. For more on this offer, check out their website.
2. Snuggle up in a lovely lodge
There’s nothing more romantic to do, especially in the early evening when snow is on the ground and night is beginning to draw in, than curl up in front of the fire. The Cairngorms is teeming with gorgeous, atmospheric lodges that are a perfect location for this. For instance, there’s Ardverikie Gate Lodge which is set on the the spectacular Ardverikie Estate. Check out all our Cosy Cottages or Luxury Lodges blog for more ideas.
3. Take a romantic ramble
You’re spoilt for choice for heart-warming walks in and around the Cairngorms. If you like a good old love story with your walk, too, then you’ll enjoy a stroll along River Ericht, just off the SnowRoads. The folklore goes that the Green Lady of Newton, in a quest for true love, made a deal with the fairies at the river and performed a ritual at the bank-side. Apparently this happened just past Cargill’s Leap, near Blairgowrie. (If you download the SnowRoads app, you’ll find that Cargill’s Leap and the Green Lady of Newton are both pieces of ‘treasure’ to collect on the road trip hunt).
4. Enjoy some fine dining
If the way to your lover’s heart is via their stomach, then a good place to head is Andersons Restaurant in the beautiful, picturesque village of Boat of Garten. Or you could dine in one of the luxury hotels mentioned in 1).
5. Take a leisurely drive together along the SnowRoads
Taking a road trip with your other half is a wonderful way to while away a few hours. The SnowRoads scenic route is particularly romantic Highland landscape complete with rugged moors, majestic mountains and mirror-like lochs. What’s more, there are some stunning viewpoints, such as art installation ‘Still’, from which to get trigger happy and get the perfect romantic shot. When lay-bys look like this, you’ll want to keep stopping! For inspiration, follow our Facebook feed here.
6. Get loved-up loch side
Water makes us feel much calmer and serene and, so, water-side locations are the perfect place for stoking up romance, not to mention the perfect backdrop for a Valentine photo. Particular favourites for couples include the stunning Uath Lochans, Loch Morlich, Loch Muick and Loch Garten. You never know, you might end up feeling so loved-up you decide to tie the knot, like this couple at the Uath Lochans…
7. Savour food with a view
How to make a loch-side location even more romantic? By enjoying food and drink, while also enjoying the view! Great places in the Cairngorms to do this include the Boat House restaurant at Loch Insh and the Rowan Tree Hotel by Loch Alvie. (The Rowan Tree is hosting a special 5 course tasting menu on Valentine’s night, £49.95 for food plus a Prosecco.)
8. Head for the hills for a picnic
Or, if you’re a more adventurous type and fancy a Wuthering-Heights-esque Valentine’s experience, then why not head for hills and moors with a picnic? Getting all windswept is bound to get you in the mood for searching out a bothy and snuggling up. And if you stick around long enough, you can add extra magic with some stargazing. Just don’t forget the fizz (and the blanket…).
9. Skinny dip in one of our (lesser known!) lochs
If you’re even more adventurous and want to spice up your love life, then why not head for one of Cairngorms’ idyllic lochs for a cheeky skinny dip? We’d advise you avoid the most popular, accessible lochs like Morlich or Insh and head slightly off the beaten track, as this lady has at Loch Muick, just off the SnowRoads. Other good options could be Loch Vaa and Loch Pityoulish. Remember your flask of hot choc for afterwards!
10. Get jiggy with it with some live music
They say music is the food of love and it’s certainly easy to feed it in the Cairngorms, with much free live music going on regularly throughout the week and weekends. Popular music venues include the Cairngorm Hotel, The Fife Arms, the Deeside Inn, the Winking Owl and the Old Bridge Inn.
These are just a few of the amazing places you can stay and eat & drink in the Cairngorms National Park over a Valentine’s break. If you’re still looking for inspiration for your honeymoon then check out our Cosy Cottages or Luxury Lodges blog for more ideas!
If you are visiting in peak holidays it is best to book well in advance. You can also use our accommodation finder. Start planning your escape to the Cairngorms!