Love is in the air - Valentines Day destinations

The National Trust has fallen under a romantic spell this month and here are three <br/>special places to take the person of your dreams for a Valentine's Day to remember...

Chartwell, WesterhamThe beloved home of Sir Winston Churchill, Chartwell became the treasured country retreat that allowed him to escape his many political duties in town.  Here he was able to indulge other loves, such as a passion for painting and his affection for his children and family.  12 February: Valentine’s Day dinner, �39.95 per person; couples can enjoy a three-course meal in the Mulberry Room accompanied by soft music. Booking essential %01732 861161 Ightham Mote, near SevenoaksThis medieval moated manor house was built in 1320 and has doubtless provided the backdrop for many a love scene over the centuries. This month, enthusiasts of the undisputed queen of romantic literature, Jane Austen, can learn about her strong connections with Kent.12 February: Jane Austen lecture and two-course lunch, �22.50 per person, Booking essential %01732 81037812 and 14 February: Valentine’s Day dinner, �35 per person; enjoy a three-course meal in inspiring, historic surroundings.Booking essential %01732 811314White Cliffs of DoverThe dramatic White Cliffs of Dover are one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks, offering sweethearts a great choice of bracing walks and stunning views out to sea, not to mention plenty of beautiful places to stop and pop the question.12 and 13 February: the Visitor Centre will be full of special treats to tantalise the tongue and romantic gifts to treat loved ones.%01304 202756Other Kentish gemsMeanwhile, Kent is also home to some truly lovely gardens, which will be starting to show the beginnings of spring life.  Vita Sackville West’s glorious creation, Sissinghurst Castle Garden near Cranbrook, is a charming place to enjoy a Valentine’s Day stroll, while Scotney Castle Garden on the outskirts of nearby Tunbridge Wells offers a dramatic view onto a ruined medieval castle and moat.Knole, Vita Sackville-West’s grand childhood home, is also steeped in romance, with tantalising links to royalty, while the humbler Smallhythe Place is no less deserving of a Valentine’s Day visit, home as it was to one of England’s leading Victorian actresses, Ellen Terry.  Her vast collection of theatrical costumes and memorabilia is perfect inspiration for couples dreaming of their own enduring love stories.  n

Chartwell, Westerham

The beloved home of Sir Winston Churchill, Chartwell became the treasured country retreat that allowed him to escape his many political duties in town.  Here he was able to indulge other loves, such as a passion for painting and his affection for his children and family.  12 February: Valentine’s Day dinner, �39.95 per person; couples can enjoy a three-course meal in the Mulberry Room accompanied by soft music. Booking essential 01732 861161 

Ightham Mote, near Sevenoaks

This medieval moated manor house was built in 1320 and has doubtless provided the backdrop for many a love scene over the centuries. This month, enthusiasts of the undisputed queen of romantic literature, Jane Austen, can learn about her strong connections with Kent.12 February: Jane Austen lecture and two-course lunch, �22.50 per person, Booking essential 01732 81037812 14 February: Valentine’s Day dinner, �35 per person; enjoy a three-course meal in inspiring, historic surroundings. Booking essential 01732 811314

White Cliffs of Dover

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The dramatic White Cliffs of Dover are one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks, offering sweethearts a great choice of bracing walks and stunning views out to sea, not to mention plenty of beautiful places to stop and pop the question.12 and 13 February: the Visitor Centre will be full of special treats to tantalise the tongue and romantic gifts to treat loved ones.01304 202756

Other Kentish gems

Meanwhile, Kent is also home to some truly lovely gardens, which will be starting to show the beginnings of spring life.  Vita Sackville West’s glorious creation, Sissinghurst Castle Garden near Cranbrook, is a charming place to enjoy a Valentine’s Day stroll, while Scotney Castle Garden on the outskirts of nearby Tunbridge Wells offers a dramatic view onto a ruined medieval castle and moat.

Knole, Vita Sackville-West’s grand childhood home, is also steeped in romance, with tantalising links to royalty, while the humbler Smallhythe Place is no less deserving of a Valentine’s Day visit, home as it was to one of England’s leading Victorian actresses, Ellen Terry.  Her vast collection of theatrical costumes and memorabilia is perfect inspiration for couples dreaming of their own enduring love stories.  

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