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12 of the best romantic Valentine’s Day spots across the north and north-east

Wine and dine is out this year, let sparks fly at these stunning spots.

Image by Shutterstock.
Wine and dine is out this year, let sparks fly at these stunning spots. Image by Shutterstock.

Nothing beats a traditional wine and dine on Valentine’s Day.

But sometimes, finding – or agreeing on – the perfect restaurant can extinguish the flame a little bit. So instead of booking that table, couples should venture beyond the great outdoors to explore some of the most romantic spots across the region.

Duncansby Head, Caithness

You won’t find these sights at John o’Groats. Image by John O’Groat Ferries Limited.

Tempting as it may be to visit its nearby neighbour John o’ Groats, visitors should brave the extra mile towards Duncansby Head. The views are captivating, overlooking Orkney, John o’ Groats and Dunnet Head.

Along the clifftop fields is a sight to be savoured with the rocky Thirle Door and the jagged Stacks of Duncansby standing in their glory. Care should be taken when walking in the area.

Johnston Gardens, Aberdeen

Fit for a wedding. Image by Chris Sumner/DC Thomson.

Where could be better to spend Valentine’s Day than this fairytale dreamscape? Hidden in Aberdeen’s west end, the Johnston Gardens is a tranquil gem surrounded by flowers and shrubbery.

Romance blossoms here all year round. The garden is even a frequent champion in the Britain in Bloom competition, and is a popular location for wedding photography.

Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit

History is buried between the castle walls. Image by Shutterstock.

Uncover more than 1,000 years of history at Urquhart Castle. Located near Drumnadrochit, and south of Inverness, the scenery around Loch Ness is spectacular enough, but getting up close and personal to the castle itself is stunning. And there is a fantastic cafe nearby to sit back and relax after a day’s adventure.

Nevis Gorge and Steall Waterfall, Fort William

Even a muggle can find the magic here. Image by Shutterstock.

Though the idea of binge-watching all eight Harry Potter films at once might appeal to some couples, travelling to Steall Waterfall lets them embrace the magic. Potterheads will recognise the location as the Hogwarts Quidditch arena.

Listen to the thunderous falls plummet from the slopes of An Gearanach, which was featured in five movies within the popular franchise. Steall Waterfall is actually the second highest waterfall in Scotland at 390 feet – an ideal spot to snap some memories.

River Ness, Inverness

Capture the landmarks on your travels. Image by Shutterstock.

The route along the River Ness is filled with wonderous sights. Couples can explore both sides of the riverbank before heading upstream towards Ness Islands, a stunning collection of islands in the middle of the river.

Cross over one of the many bridges for alternating views of the magnificent Inverness landmarks, such as the Inverness Cathedral and Inverness War Memorial.

Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie

Home to the (fictional) Highlander himself, Connor MacLeod. Image by Shutterstock.

Arguably Scotland’s most famous castle, Eilean Donan has appeared on the big screen in the likes of Highlander,  Loch Ness and James Bond – The World is Not Enough.

The iconic castle is located on its own island, surrounded by the majestic forested mountains of Kintail.

Clava Cairns, Balnuaran of Clava

Live out your Outlander fantasies. Image by Shutterstock.

Couples visiting Culloden Battlefield, should definitely stop by the Clava Cairns. Visitors can connect themselves with the past at the ancient site, which is almost 4,000 years old. The location is also a must-see attraction for fans of TV series Outlander after featuring prominently on the show.

Northern Lights – Noss Head, near Wick, Caithness

Maybe the most romantic sight of all. Image by Venture North and VisitScotland.

What could be more romantic than watching nature’s fireworks? The far north Highlands have some of Europe’s darkest skies and Noss Head is a good spot to see the Aurora Borealis on a clear winter’s night or early spring.

This small headland is easily accessible. Seabirds and other migrating birds, such as pink-footed geese, can be found near the lighthouse and the ancient Sinclair Girnigoe Castle.

UK’s highest waterfall – Eas A’ Chual Aluinn, near Kylesku, Sutherland

Can you handle the trek to Eas a’ Chuil Aluinn? Image by Venture North and VisitScotland.

Hardy couples can make the long trek to listen to the cascading falls or take an invigorating dip beneath them.

A short detour leads to the hauntingly-named Wailing Widow Falls and the walk continues (along increasingly rough terrain) beyond the loch, to the top of the Eas a’ Chuil Aluinn which has dramatic views over the falls and down Glen Coul to lochs Beag and Glencoul.

Sandwood Bay, Cape Wrath, Sutherland

Ideal for Instagrammers to find their aesthetic. Image by Shutterstock.

The beaches around Sutherland and Caithness are some of the cleanest, most scenic and most Instagram-able in the country, offering romantic couples miles of open spaces to relax and refresh.

Sandwood Bay is reputedly the most beautiful and most remote beach in the UK, and is accessible by foot from Oldshoremore.

Loch an Eilein, Aviemore

Enjoy the peace and breathe in the beauty of nature. Image by Neil Mair

The shoreline of Loch an Eilein has seen many weddings over the years. It’s a prime location for couples who love exploring the outdoors and absorbing nature’s beauty. Settle down with a picnic beside the loch to take in views of the mountain and castle you won’t find anywhere else.

Nairn Beach

Invite the dog for a paddle in the sea. Image by Shutterstock.

Nairn offers an incredibly clean, peaceful long stretch of beach that’s also perfect to take your dog along to for a family adventure. The area has more than enough facilities around too, so couples can take their time with a leisurely stroll.