Plan your perfect Valentine's Day

Visitors beside the lake at Sheffield Park, East Sussex

Even though we won't be holding any Valentine's Day events this year at places we care for, there's lots you can do to celebrate. From romantic stories inspired by places we care for to unique gifts for loved ones, we've got you covered.

Thoughtful gift ideas, tasty recipes and inspirational stories from history. Here are our top tips for a memorable day.

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you travel.​

Valentine's Day gifts

Flatlay of Roses and Rose Gardens book by Claire Masset

For garden lovers 

Roses are a classic symbol of romance. Roses and Rose Gardens, written by Claire Masset, documents the many varieties of rose and rose gardens in our care. Not only will you get to know the gardens we look after, the book also spotlights 20 varieties of rose in detail. Garden lovers will appreciate the gardening tips and tricks, such as where to grow each variety and suggestions on how to combine them with other plants.

Share the love in different ways
Cheescake is shown from birds eye view, decorated with grated chocolate love heart

Recipes to sweeten your heart 

Why not try out some of our favourite recipes for a Valentine's Day breakfast in bed or after dinner treat? You might be inspired to try something new this year – we've also got some mouth-watering ideas for vegetarians and vegans for the ultimate romantic home-made meal.

Zohir Uddin getting ready for a run at Stowe

A Valentine's gift to protect nature 

Zohir took out a joint membership with his wife Abida for a Valentine's Day gift. This rekindled a love for the natural world for them both. Now, Zohir's taking on a fundraising challenge to protect the places they love for future generations. You can read his story here.

Give a unique Valentine's gift Explore gift membership
Trees in winter at Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

Plant a tree 

For a truly unique gift that gives back to nature, dedicate a tree to a loved one and you'll be helping to plant 20 million trees by 2030. You can plant a tree from just £5 and you'll get a certificate to commemorate your gift too. Your dedication will ensure future generations can enjoy these green spaces for ever.

Romantic stories at places we care for
The lake and south front of Lyme Park, Cheshire

Re-enact romantic scenes 

Many of the places we look after have been seen in film and TV adaptations of romantic classics. Whether you fancy yourself as Mr Darcy stalking through the grounds of Pemberley, or Anna Karenina living in a grand Russian mansion, there are plenty of places where you can re-enact romantic scenes.

Detail of the Flemish tortoiseshell cabinet

Revealing the art of romance 

To mark Valentine's Day, discover tales of love and romance in our collections, including a sculpture of doomed lovers, paintings of romantic ruins and portraits of women whose unconventional relationships shocked and challenged societal norms.

Painting of Lord and Lady Scarsdale of Kedleston, Derbyshire

Uncover stories of love  

Who doesn't like a good love story? Many of the places we care for are brimming over with tales of romance and intrigue, from medieval legends up to more recent decades. Maybe you’ll even find some inspiration for your own love life.

What we get up to on Valentine's Day

Every Valentine's Day, we do an annual flower count in the south west, and 2020 marked 15 years of this tradition. Gardeners counted the different species and varieties in bloom in their gardens, then compared the results to previous years. 2020 saw a 13 per cent increase in flowers across the South West in comparison to 2019. Some of the top performers included Cornwall, where there were 918 blooms compared to 795 in 2019, and Devon, where there were 1,136 blooms counted compared to 1,050 in 2019.

'The flower count really marks the start of our season of blooms at Lanhydrock,' says Tommy Teagle, Head Gardener for Lanhydrock. 'Not only have we seen more than 155 species in flower, 84 of them are different varieties of camellia.'