I’m under pressure to come up with ideas for romantic gestures as this will be the 10th Valentine’s day since I met my wife. Since I’ve been giving this some thought it seemed only fair to share some of these ideas on the Blog in case it gave inspiration that might help some other guys (or gals) planning something special in Scotland to surprise their other half.
The first idea is maybe not out and out romantic, but it is cute and it shows your sensitive side, or at least enables you to pretend you’ve got one. At the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary (UPDATE - the Sanctuary closed in 2018) they have a special unit where they take in abandoned seal pups. To help with the costs of looking after the pups, they run an adoption scheme so you could make a present of a seal pup. If you like this idea, you’ll need to check that you are visiting at the right time of year and the best times to see seal pups at the Sanctuary are June to August and late September to December.
If you prefer to see seals in their natural habitat you can still combine this with a romantic meal for two by booking a table in the “conservatory” of the Badachro Inn. So far as location goes, this has to be one of the most romantic restaurants in Scotland as you can enjoy your dinner whilst watching the sunset over Badachro Bay. And the chances are pretty good that you’ll see some seals popping their heads out of the water to see if your seafood dinner is better than theirs!
What could be more romantic than cuddling up in front of fire in your own thatched roof Highland cottage hide away. Fortunately, the National Trust for Scotland has the perfect place for this on the Isle of Skye. Unfortunately, it isn’t a particularly cheap option, but we have a plan B for the old fashioned romantic on an old fashioned budget. It might mean sharing a dormitory, but you can enjoy much of the same old world crofter’s cottage charm in the SYHA Hostel on the small island of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides. This is the same place that we picture on our Accommodation page.
If you are a real Scrooge, but want to make grand gesture, you should like this next idea as it is free! Up at Smoo Cave in Durness, a tradition has been running for several years where visitors have gathered pebbles from the beach to write messages on the grass banks that line the entrance way to the cave. So you could, if you are able to sneak away from you other half for a couple of hours, declare your love in large letters on a hillside and then see if your partner notices!
Staying in the Durness area, you might actually wish to tie the knot with a wedding ceremony in the romantic and very picturesque ruins of Old Durness Church. This ivy clad 17th century ruin overlooks the lovely sweep of sand at Balnakeil Bay. It is quite an exposed spot so do bring waterproofs if you plan to follow this idea.
And if you are getting married, why not do it in style and get the wedding rings delivered by an Owl. I’m not sure if it’s something that Andy Hughes of the Falconry at Dunrobin castle offers as a service, but there are certainly other places we know of that can do this. Just picture the scene, you are walking through the gardens of Dunrobin Castle. You get down on one knee, and just as you are about to propose an Owl swoops in and your girlfriend freaks out / delivers the engagement ring.
On the subject of rings, you could continue the Scottish theme by getting a ring made by Sean Cameron on Skye (UPDATE - Sean's shop has now closed). Sean’s jewellery is inspired by Celtic art and the Highland landscape, so it is distinctive and unique. Even if she doesn’t like it, she will surely be impressed by the effort you’ve gone to.
I hope this Blog is of some help and do remember to contact Secret Scotland if you need any help with planning a special romantic trip to Scotland.