Forget about West End shows in London, romantic walks along the Seine in Paris or deep-friend Mars bars in Edinburgh – get creative with your Valentine’s breaks and check out some of the more eclectic cities you can reach from Scotland’s airports.
It’s not too late to snap up a trip with one of the airlines flying to some of the destinations you might not have considered – but which can throw up memories to rival those of the well-trodden city break favourites.
Whether it’s marking the Brexit transition in Luxemburg, sipping city-grown wine in Vienna or gawking at the largest – and, arguably, ugliest – parliament building in the world in Bucharest, Scotland has a selection of short-haul destinations that’ll keep you talking well beyond 14 February. Stop posting pictures of your over-priced steak and chips on the ’gram and create some real memories instead.
Plus, you can hum along to classics from Ultravox, Craig Armstrong and the forgotten 1950s Hans Christian Anderson biopic as you do so. What better way to set the tone for a serious love-fest?
Make the most of the Brexit transition by visiting one of the three seats of power in the European Union and the birthplace of negotiation meister Jean-Claude Juncker, courtesy of Ryanair’s link from Edinburgh. Small but perfectly formed, the Grand Duchy actually covers 2,586 sq km, making it a giant compared to tiny Liechtenstein at 160 sq km or football failure San Marino at 61 sq km.
Do your best Midge Ure impression by singing Ultravox’s 1981 hit at the top of your lungs while strolling around the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire thanks to flights from Edinburgh on budget Austrian airline Laudamotion, perhaps triggering Kylie Minogue renditions too. Fun fact: Vienna has 700 hectares of vineyards within its city boundaries.
A beach break in Poland’s landlocked capital? Turns out the city has been building artificial sandy pleasure sites along the banks of the Vistula, the country’s longest river, which can be accessed via Ryanair’s flights from Glasgow.
You have to see it to believe it – Bucharest’s “Palace of Parliament” was commissioned by Communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and covers 365,000 sq m, making it the largest parliament building in the world and also the heaviest building on the planet, weighing in at more than four million tonnes. Megalomania eat your heart out. Fly from Edinburgh on Ryanair.
Get your Shakespeare on with an EasyJet hop from Edinburgh. It’s compulsory to hum Scottish composer Craig Armstrong’s “O, Verona!” from Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 cult classic Romeo + Juliet as you step off the plane and stroll around the northern Italian city.
May I have this Gdansk? A trip to this Polish port city makes for a surprisingly romantic gesture. It’s not short of precious stones, sitting at the heart of the Baltic amber trade. Gdansk was also the nerve centre of the Solidarnosc movement which was instrumental to bringing down the communist regime. And you can discover why there’s more to ancient orange tree resin than simply the plot for Jurassic Park .
Hop on a Loganair flight from Glasgow to Ireland’s north-west extremity and follow in the footsteps of Luke Skywalker. Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley may have filmed scenes for Star Wars: The Last Jedi at Skellig Michael in County Kerry but, once the shoot wrapped, the crew headed to Donegal’s Malin Head on the Inishowen Peninsula, Ireland’s most northerly point.
Hailed as “the best culinary destination in the world” by The Food Trekking Awards, Bristol is also the birthplace of street artist Banksy and home to two of the country’s most-impressive engineering feats: the Clifton suspension bridge and Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Steamship Great Britain , the world’s first great ocean liner. Probably quicker to take Loganair’s flight from Glasgow, rather than sailing there though.
“Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen!” or so the old song goes. Find out if the 1952 classic HansChristian Andersen got it right by boarding an SAS flight from Aberdeen and landing in Denmark’s capital. If you can drag yourself away from the pastries and the open-top sandwiches for long enough then you might even visit the statue of the Little Mermaid on the quayside. She’s a bit like Greyfriars Bobby, but with a slightly fishier odour.
If you work in the oil and gas industry then it’s probably old hat but, for the rest of us, Nordic regional airline Wideroe’s service from Aberdeen acts as a gateway to the dreamy fjords of south-west Norway. The city is home to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum and the world’s largest drill bit, measuring 90cm in diameter and tipping the scales at 1.7 tonnes. Now if that doesn’t scream Valentine’s day romance then I don’t know what does.