As February 14 falls on the weekend this year, what better way to spend Valentine's day than to get out for a bike ride with that special person in your life? Active travel organisation Sustrans has come up with 10 suggestions for romantic rides on the National Cycle Network, which it looks after.
These are spots where you can watch a stunning sunset, find a spot for an intimate picnic or explore your own secluded beach, providing the perfect setting for a memorable Valentine’s Day.
Best for watching the sunset
The Burgh by Sands to the Solway Coast route could be the perfect place to watch the sun go down. This ride offers 24 miles of beautiful saltmarsh and farmland before arriving at beaches designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. At Bowness-on-Solway there is Campfield Marsh, an RSPB nature reserve with 360 degree views of the Solway Plain.
Best for a wintery picnic
Sustrans Ely to Wicken Fen route takes you to one of Europe's most important wetlands. Lose yourselves in the flowering meadows and find the perfect secluded spot for a romantic picnic.
Best for a tour the city at dusk
London is the ideal backdrop for a romantic walk or bike ride at dusk. With its historic buildings, romantic parks and cobbled streets the city really comes alive at this time of night. Sustrans Tower Bridge to Greenwich route ends at Greenwich where you can visit the Royal Observatory and go star spotting with your loved one.
Best for exploring your own secluded beach
Sustrans Alnmouth to Druridge Bay route hugs the beautiful Northumberland coastline and ends up at the picturesque Druridge Bay. Seven-miles of pristine dunes and sandy beaches where you are likely to have the place largely to yourselves, this undiscovered gem is a must.
Best for visiting a romantic castle
The Cardiff to Castell Coch route takes you to the 19th century castle built on medieval remains. Situated on a hillside surrounded by beech woodland, its conical turrets rising about the trees give it a beautifully romantic fairy-tale appearance.
Best for hiring a tandem for two
For those wanting a fun day out, why not try hiring a tandem for two in Lancing on the South Coast and cycle from Worthing to Brighton. On arriving in Brighton you can join National Route 20 which takes you past the beautiful and ornate Royal Pavilion.
Best for a romantic weekend away
The perfect weekend away, the epic Devon Coast to Coast route combines the beaches and estuaries of North Devon with lush green valleys. The route also skirts round the western flank of Dartmoor offering superb views of Cornwall and the surrounding area. Largely tracing the course of former railway lines, the route takes you through tunnels and across breathtaking Victorian viaducts and bridges.
Best for a country pub and roaring fire
The Cotswold Line takes you into the heart of the Cotswolds and through the quaint village of Kingham – where you can stop in at the newly opened Wild Rabbit pub. This stylish yet traditional pub is the perfect pitstop. Relax into one of the large leather chairs in front of the fire and sample beers from local artisan breweries.
Best for the adventurous couple
If you fancy some alone time, then the challenging Challander-Killin route is for you. Showcasing Scotland’s natural beauty, the route takes you past waterfalls, glens, lochs and heather clad mountains.
Best for a travelling abroad
Cycle to Paris, the romance capital of the world! Starting at the London Eye and ending in Paris, the 250 mile Avenue Verte route takes riders on a challenging but rewarding journey through towns, villages and beautiful countryside on both sides of the Channel.
To plan your own romantic ride this Valentine’s Day and find out more information about routes on the National Cycle Network go to www.sustrans.org.uk/ncn/