The marriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was a very romantic one, and it’s encapsulated in Osborne House, the summer palace that Albert built for his Queen. Designed in an Italianate Renaissance style by Albert in conjunction with Thomas Cubitt, the Prince used to remark that the view down to Osborne Bay reminded him of the Bay of Naples. You can almost imagine that the royal couple are still in residence when you visit their ornate country home, and the gardens are laid out as they would have been, including the pretty walled garden. Seek out the duo of sequoia trees that Victoria and Albert planted in different positions in the grounds. As one of the most beautiful places to visit for an Isle of Wight romantic break, wander down to the beach and have a romantic tryst in Queen Victoria’s alcove overlooking the sea. You could even get married here, if you’re planning your big day, and it would be the ideal place for a romantic proposal.
A walk down through the Devil’s Chimney might not sound like a Valentine’s Day or overly romantic outing, but the fairy-tale land of the Undercliff that it opens into is a wonderland of rocky sheer cliffs dropping into rambling woodland – the perfect romantic walk. At the top you can just glimpse the land beneath, as you enter the steep steps down through the sheer rock face. Make your way carefully down the stone staircase through the rocks, which is pretty idealistic in itself, and at the bottom the gap is just wide enough to get through and opens into the magic land beneath the cliff. Centuries of land movement have made this land an undulating adventure with mossy covered rocks and ancient trees – there’s even a cave to find if you’ve got time on your hands. Follow the path eastwards toward Shanklin and you’ll find the huge rock called the ‘Wishing Seat’ where people have wished for everlasting love for hundreds of years. Then walk on through the Undercliff to Shanklin Old Village to one of the pubs or tearooms.
How about making a personal perfume to give to your love on Valentine’s Day? A perfect pastime for a UK romantic weekend break, Tiny Homes Holidays offers one-day courses with Debbie Mulkern of New Forest Aromatics on natural perfumery and you get to make your own totally unique perfume to take home with you. Plus, you get to learn about the history of perfume, how scent is created, and you get to sample lots of wonderful natural scents – choosing the ones that you like the best for your personal perfume. Why not bring your lover back to Tiny Homes for a weekend too? Visit the Tiny Homes Holiday website for more details.
Book yourself, or both of you, onto a one-day course to make a silver necklace and earrings set at the Jewellery Barn in Chillerton. You’ll have a wonderful personalised gift made by your very own hands to give to the one you love. Jodie Mannion teaches you all the essential silversmithing skills you’ll need and helps you with ideas for your final pieces. Bring a packed lunch and drinks and homemade goodies such as flapjacks are on offer throughout the day. Find the latest dates and book online.
Visit the Spirit of the Orient at Robin Hill for the ideal romantic break (conveniently also around Valentine’s Day). Set in the woodlands of Robin Hill Country Park, Chinese lanterns and lights bring you down through the woodlands to the lake clearing, where four white lion performers, accompanied by a 50-strong pride of digital lions will give a spectacular, illuminated dance show and there will be a 12-metre long Chinese dragon procession. 3D magical water projections that ‘float’ on the lakes and Britain’s biggest Chinese festival lantern (made of smaller lanterns) are just some of the newer attractions, plus there’s a new ‘Cascading Bridge’ light exhibit including impressive omni-directional sound, light, projection and pyrotechnics – sounds like it might make an ideal photo opportunity for the two of you. Afterwards tuck into Chinese food around the firepit followed by hot chocolate and marshmallows that you toast over the flames. This is precisely what Isle of Wight romantic breaks are made of, what are you waiting for?