Valentine's Day is looming closer, and you best be prepared. If your plan is to wow the woman (or man) in your life and take them on a romantic break, then you've come to the right place.
Student loans have just come through, so putting your partner up in a hostel probably isn't going to wash it this time round. But, you don't need to break the bank and whisk them off to Paris. There's a fair few options around the UK - and in easy reach of uni so you don't have to think about travel costs too.
Consider what setting would make for your break – then plan accordingly.
We spoke to Charles Millward, chief executive at Rural Retreats(featured in mentioned in Bridget Jones: Mad about The Boy, natch), who offered his expert guidance to plan the perfect trip.
1. Have a plan
Put some thought into your romantic break. Keep in mind factors such as location, sightseeing and local restaurants – there are so many options for a dreamy getaway, especially in the UK. From idyllic country cottages, to historic manor houses and castles, consider what setting would be perfect for you and your partner.
The Gatehouse, Shropshire
2. Be active
Don’t spend all of your time away holed up – get out and explore, and be active. Use your break to try something different with your partner. At Rural Retreats, many of our luxury romantic getaways are perfectly positioned to try hiking, riding, fishing, golf, sailing, river trips or swims in the ocean. You’ll be surprised how new experiences or challenges can bring you closer.
3. Keep it secret
Everyone loves a good surprise, so after you’ve chosen your destination and booked the trip, do your utmost to keep it a secret from your other half.
If you need time off work or university, drop some subtle hints about how it would be nice to get a few days of quality time with each other – without revealing that you’ve planned a break away. If all goes to plan, you’ll have the perfect gift to surprise them with, getting your romantic trip off to a great start.
If you have to give them notice (to book the time off) then keep some feature of the time together a secret.
4. Don’t stress
The best laid plans can unravel. The odds are, at least one thing will go wrong during your time together. Don’t let these mishaps impact upon your time together. Laugh them off – they might become a fond memory of that amazing weekend you had.
5. Capture the memories
Make sure you take pictures of your weekend away together – they are a great way to remember your time and reinforce the happy experiences you have shared. When you’re back from your romantic getaway you can use these images to refresh your memories.
And if you'd rather just spend Valentine's Day with friends, then there's always the party house option..