Alternative Valentine’s Day date ideas
Sometimes fluffy teddies and heart-shaped chocolates just don’t cut it on Valentine’s Day, and coming up with activities to make your beau or belle feel special can be a daunting task. So to help you win some serious brownie points, we’ve rounded up our favourite alternative Valentine’s dates. Here are our suggestions for a romantic and fun-filled day…
Book a couples’ surf lesson with Raven Surf in Bude and learn to ride the wave of love with your other half. The sea temperature may not be very hot but the sizzling chemistry between you will make it feel warmer, and appearances will have to be put on hold while you’re clad in rubber head to toe. The instructors are all qualified in lifeguarding too, so there’ll be no pressure to perform a knight-in-shining-armour moment.
JUMP OFF A CLIFF, OR CLIMB UP IT
Add a little thrill to your relationship by scaling a cliff, or jumping off it into the sea. Book a coasteering or rock climbing session, during which trained professionals with an in-depth knowledge of the local area will guide you across, up or off cliff faces. Excursions along the coastline can be booked with Shoreline Extreme Events, who can tailor the experience to your preferences.
Make a unique gift for one another at one of the multiple creative hubs based in Bude. Recreate Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s clay wheel scene at The Pottery Box, where you can make a selection of clay-based crafts, from terracotta pots to kitchen tiles. The Kitchen Front also has opportunity for crafts, offering kitchenware painting sessions, lino printing and much more, with tea and cake in plentiful supply too. For glass workshops, Beau Nidol will take you through the steps to creating your own fused glass items, from sculptures to wall art.
TOUR AND TASTE
Head to a brewery, distillery, vineyard or cider orchard and sample the delights made on-site. Cornwall has a wealth of independent brewers that allow guests to watch the process of real ale, craft beer, wine and cider-making, with the chance to try it too. Watch the staff collecting the fruits, stirring the barrels, and, most importantly, pouring a drink for you to try. Choose from nearby Bude Brewery, Winkleigh Cider, Camel Valley Vineyard, or Southwestern Distillery, or you could make it a road trip through Cornwall following this map. You’ll be sure to discover a new favourite somewhere.
FEEL LIKE ROYALTY
Pretend you’re the King and Queen of the estate with a tour of a local manor house or castle. The National Trust and English Heritage maintain a number of properties nearby, including Penhallam Manor, Launceston Castle, Lanhydrock and Tintagel Castle, the supposed birth-place of King Arthur. Tours can be booked in advance, or you can wander around yourself and wear crowns without judgement.
TAKE A SCENIC DRIVE
Make the journey across the Devon-Cornwall border to Clovelly, a privately-owned village only 30 minutes drive from Bude, complete with harbour and traditional cottages. No public cars have access down through the village and donkeys were once the main form of transport, however they have since been replaced with a much more modern Land Rover, which acts as a taxi service for visitors daunted by the walk back up the hill. In the opposite direction along the coast into Cornwall, the National Trust harbour of Boscastle is a great day out, and the drive there from Bude is one of Visit Cornwall’s most scenic drives in Cornwall.
HIT THE BULLSEYE
Have a go at Cupid’s favourite sport: archery. With Shoreline Extreme Sports, you’ll master the art of shooting a bullseye and impress. Learn your ‘nock’ and ‘pile’ from your ‘quiver’ and ‘fletchings’ in what can be a fun and friendly session with your other half, or a competitive past-time for a competitive couple.
BOOK TICKETS TO A FESTIVAL
Show your commitment and book something you can both to look forward to, like a weekend ticket to Leopallooza, a ridiculously fun grass-roots festival held in July near Bude. It may not be a pastime for Valentine’s Day, but we’re pretty sure a ticket to Leopallooza will be on every festival-lovers wish-list, and the promise of a weekend of fun together is a winner for any relationship.
RIDE A STALLION
Channel your inner Ross Poldark trotting across moorland, or race your other half across a sandy beach on horseback. Broomhill Manor Stables offer horse-riding excursions, with tuition if you’re not so confident taking the reins. The romantic movie moments you could re-create are endless, just avoid Runaway Bride…
ADOPT AN ANIMAL
If you’re not quite ready for kids, keep the pressure off by adopting an animal that you don’t have to take home. For only £3 a month, you could adopt and visit a monkey baby at Wild Futures monkey sanctuary. You’ll receive an adoption certificate and regular photos of your adopted monkey to frame for the mantelpiece.
BOOK A STAY WITH US
What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than taking a trip to the beautiful North Cornish coast and spending some quality time with your favourite person. Book a stay with us for as little as £125 per night and let us take care of the rest, with a bottle of bubbly on arrival. Call 01288 389800 to speak to a member of staff. Simple.