In her novel Mansfield Park, renowned writer Jane Austen wrote: “She thinks of nothing but the Isle of Wight, and she calls it ‘The Island’, as if there were no other island in the world.” When you take your loved one to the Isle of Wight for a Valentine’s Day retreat, you truly forget the rest of the world exists. It’s even got Benedict Cumberbatch’s approval — the Sherlock and Doctor Strange actor wedded Sophie Hunter on the island in 2015! Here’s some inspiration for your romantic escapade:
Massage your cares away
It’s adults only at the Melville Hall Hotel, a spa hotel where you can both switch off from the endless hustle of modern life and indulge in luxurious relaxation. Dine and unwind, get perfectly pampered, and lose yourselves in the heated indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, solarium, and spa bath.
Alternatively, you can bring the spa experience to you — Isle of Wight-based holistic therapist Hannah Davies runs Relax, a professional beauty service which she brings to whichever hotel the two of you choose to stay in. Your own personal pamper party!
Boat rides and dining at sundown
Get a little quirky with a visit to a World War Two signal station atop a cliff where you can enjoy cake and tea. Then hop into a chairlift and get lowered to Alum Bay before boarding a boat for a tour around the breathtaking natural formations of The Needles. A unique day out in every sense.
As evening rolls around, follow the coastline north to find The Waterfront, a restaurant/pub with a special Valentine’s Day menu to treat your loved one to — or to get treated to! The eatery offers stunning seaward views, so time your visit for sundown.
The Valentine’s menu at The Waterfront ranges from pan-fried duck breast and mussel chowder to sirloin steak and toasted coconut crème brûlée.
Seaside town strolls
Start in East Cowes, where even Queen Victoria came to relax at Osborne — once the monarch’s holiday home, she’d retreat there with Prince Albert. The English Heritage attraction now makes for a fascinating stroll through history, and has its own charming beach which is yours to enjoy with your loved one. Victoria said that it’s “impossible to imagine a prettier spot.”
Later in the day, travel to West Cowes and wander through the winding market streets and along stretches of calming seaside promenades and pebble beaches. Then wind down with good food and good ale at the warm, cozy Anchor Inn.
One of the Isle of Wight’s ultimate sweet-tooth havens is the Chocolate Apothecary, a charming family-run seafront business in Ryde. Everything tastes incredible, from the chocolates and candies to the cakes and desserts. There are gluten-free options available, too. It’s a brilliant starting point for a couple’s day out in Ryde — a seaside town ideal for rambling beach walks.
Appley Beach offers the absolute best views across the Solent, and the walk from the Wightlink terminal to land along Ryde Pier is marvelous, especially when the sun is setting. Climb Appley
Tower, a distinctive gothic landmark doubling up as a fantastic seaward vantage point, and then venture to The Three Buoys for a romantic dinner. Call 01983 811 212 to book for Valentine’s.
Valentine’s Day at The Royal Hotel
Renowned for Valentine’s visits, The Royal Hotel are running a special offer for 2018’s most romantic holiday: wine and dine your loved one over Saturday 10th or Wednesday 14th February for prices starting at £430.
The offer includes return car ferry fare, two nights in a classic room, a Valentine’s tasting menu, a three-course dinner on one evening, a delicious English breakfast, and entertainment provided by pianist Alan Young.
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