Yes, Valentine’s Day — or St Valentine’s Day as it is known officially — has morphed into a celebration of romantic love since it began as an occasion to honour early Christian martyrs.
Nowadays it’s a serious day for loved-up couples or those anxious to fire Cupid darts at those they would like to know a little more intimately.
It comes at a time of year when the weather in the UK is cool enough for log burners, blankets and good old hunkering down. Nothing speaks of romance better than a log cabin, shepherd’s hut or wagon.
So, pop open a bottle of bubbly, heat up the hot tub… and see how it goes. Our list of romantic rentals could help get you there.
Rustic: If you’re looking for a romantic rental to stay in this Valentine’s Day, consider a getaway to Dimpsey Shepherd Huts, set on a 30-acre farm in Somerset. Above is the charming Dimpsey Hither Hut
Champagne moment: Relaxing in the Hither Hut hot tub
The Dimpsey Shepherd Huts sit in their own fields on the owners’ 30-acre farm, near Combe St Nicholas in Somerset. Overlooking the Blackdown Hills, each of the three has its own charm, but it’s the newest addition, Dimpsey Dapple, that’s the most alluring. Lovebirds can cuddle up in the king-size bed, under the twinkly, starred ceiling, with music humming from the surround sound. Out on the wide decking of this double hut you’ll find a copper bathtub, ripe for a late-night bathe underneath the constellations. Poetic stuff.
Romantic clincher: Grab a map, hot drink flask and picnic on request, and head through the gate for a saunter through neighbouring fields.
Details: From £225 per night (minimum two-night stay); dimpsey.co.uk.
The two restored 19th-century shepherd’s wagons at Greenhill Camping enjoy glorious vistas of the Kent Downs
Nights in the wagons at Greenhill Camping are pretty spectacular, taking in views of the hills while huddled around a roaring fire pit
Greenhill Camping’s cabins ooze intimacy, with double beds, wood-burning stoves and goose-down bedding
On a quiet patch of chalk grassland in the Alkham Valley on the Kent Downs, these two restored 19th-century shepherd’s wagons at Greenhill Camping enjoy some glorious vistas. Tucked under the shade of trees, you’ll spot sheep and horses grazing, badgers roaming and hear a chorus of birds singing as you switch off.
The cabin oozes intimacy, with a double bed, wood-burning stove and goose-down bedding. Nights are pretty spectacular, taking in views of the hills, huddled under starlight and around a roaring fire pit.
Romantic clincher: The nearby White Cliffs of Dover provide a captivating spot to enjoy a packed lunch home-made by the owners.
Details: Huts from £160 per night; greenhillglamping.co.uk.
The five cosy cabins in the woodland grounds of Rick Stein’s pub in the village of St Merryn are perfect for a date night
Couples can enjoy the Scandinavian-style decor and glorious breakfast-in-bed hampers in the Rick Stein cabins
While shepherd’s huts normally spell isolation, five cosy cabins in the woodland grounds of Rick Stein’s pub, The Cornish Arms, make them perfect for a date night. Situated in the village of St Merryn, near Padstow in Cornwall, these classic green corrugated tin huts have their own private patio with chairs, primed for a morning coffee under a blanket with views of the undulating countryside.
Inside, it’s a proper lovers’ lair, with underfloor heating, Scandinavian-style decor and a glorious breakfast-in-bed hamper, with juices, bagels and Rick’s smoked salmon.
Romantic clincher: Brave a cold-water sea swim at Constantine Bay before heading back to the hut to warm up.
Details: From £220 per night (minimum two-night stay); rickstein.com/accommodation/shepherds-huts.
A mix of Nordic Igluhuts and traditional wooden shepherd huts make up Waingates Farm near Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Above is the Peddero hut
Waingates Farm’s huts are ‘earthy yet impressive cabins’, complete with wood-fired hot tubs and log burners
The interior of the Tayter hut at Waingates Farm
A mix of Nordic Igluhuts and traditional wooden shepherd huts make up Waingates Farm near Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Dark spruce shingle facades and traditional shepherd’s quarters make for earthy yet impressive cabins. For a more traditional affair, stay in Yain, Tain or Eddero — each has a wood-fired hot tub, log burner and a fire pit in the secluded gardens. And don’t forget to look up; you’re in a dark-sky reserve.
Romantic clincher: On a five-mile circular tramp along the River Ure, drop in at The Crown Inn in Roecliffe at the halfway point (thecrowninnroecliffe.co.uk).
Details: Sleeps two, from £160 per night; waingatesfarmhuts.co.uk.
The four off-grid Shoreside Alnmouth Camping Huts in Northumberland aren’t for the fainthearted but, if you want to hide away and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes, they are perfect. Situated a 15-minute walk from the car park, the site’s own gallery and showers (yes, that’s correct), you’ll have a composting WC, a small gas hob for a cuppa and a wood-burning stove.
It’s remote but that’s the point — this is proper just-the-two-of-us territory. Come night, drift off to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore close by.
Romantic clincher: There’s little else to do other than blow away the cobwebs on a refreshing stroll along the St Oswald’s Way coastal path, right on your doorstep.
Details: Sleeps two, from £105 per night (two-night minimum stay); alnmouthhuts.com.
The look of luxury: Check into one of three huts overlooking a lake in Dorset’s Lower Ansty, with allerdorset.com
The ‘sophisticated’ Aller Dorset huts feature lavish decor – think scalloped headboards and handmade cushions in luxe fabrics
The three overlooking a lake in Lower Ansty aren’t your usual rustic romantic getaways. Kitted out in lavish furnishings, from scalloped headboards to handmade cushions in luxe fabrics, this is a sophisticated bolthole. If you want to hunker down, there are floor-to-ceiling Crittall doors with great views of the spring-fed lake, plus rainforest showers and a minibar stocked with locally produced tipples.
But it’s the tiled outdoor bathrooms with rolltop baths sitting under fairy lights and starlit skies that are the real heart-stealer.
Romantic clincher: Order a ready-made three-course dinner for two to warm and enjoy over the firepit.
Details: Sleeps two, from £185 per night; allerdorset.com.
Cosy up in the warm and minimalist Cedar & Birch and Douglas & Birch Huts in Pembrokeshire
Hand-built by their owners, the warm and minimalist Cedar & Birch and Douglas & Birch Huts are in their own little haven at the bottom of their garden, 500 metres from the main Old Vicarage guesthouse, near Moylegrove, Pembrokeshire. Wrap up for a toasty winter evening by the fire pit, cooking dinner in the outdoor pizza oven or constellation-spotting through the big picture window. You’ll also have a hamper of local goodies, including homemade bread, butter, milk, orange juice and coffee, so no need to get out of your pyjamas.
Romantic clincher: There’s a lovely 30-minute wind-in-your-hair off-road walk to Ceibwr Bay, a small, isolated inlet.
Details: Sleeps two, from £118 per night; thepembrokeshireholidaycompany.co.uk.
Each cabin at Colchester’s Roebuck Cabins lies behind a wildflower meadow
The interiors are handmade in the three gloriously stylish Roebuck Cabins properties
Hot tubs are par for the course at Roebuck Cabins
Essex should take pride in the three gloriously stylish Roebuck Cabins near Colchester. A labour of love by the owners, the interiors — beds, tables, outdoor sofas — are handmade and each cabin lies behind a wildflower meadow and slow-flowing stream on the family farm.
The cabins are large so there’s plenty of space to relax, including swing chairs on the decking. Late-night dips in the hot tubs are par for the course, while dinners can be whipped up by a chef.
Romantic clincher: Take one of the paddleboards out on the private reservoir together for a moment of complete togetherness.
Details: Sleeping 2-6, from £120 per night; kiphideaways.com.
Carnish Cabins’ two half-moon curved retreats, Ebb and Flow, sit next to each other on the sands of Uig Bay on Scotland’s Isle of Lewis
If you’re more of a beach person come winter, you don’t need to travel as far as you might think for a couples’ retreat of white sands and turquoise sea. Carnish Cabins’ two half-moon curved retreats, Ebb and Flow, sit next to each other on the sands of Uig Bay, near Timsgarry on the Isle of Lewis. Otters and deer roam the stunning shoreline, just in front of the window. It’s modern inside and you have everything you need to hunker down; a kitchen, lounge area and double bed. If you want to be alone, you won’t get much more remote than this.
Romantic clincher: It’s less than a ten-minute walk to Abhainn Dearg Distillery, which means you can have a couple of warming drams to keep the fire burning (abhainndeargdistillery.co.uk).
Details: Sleeps two, from £595 for three nights; unique-cottages.co.uk.
Settle Norfolk offers three lovingly restored wooden railway carriages, which are stationed on private parkland on the edge of Shropham. The dreamy grounds feature pretty lakes and swathes of woodland with elder, crabapple and giant sequoia trees keeping you firmly ensconced in Mother Nature.
Inside, floor-to-ceiling Baltic pine sets the mood, while the wood-fired stove, cast-iron radiator and sheepskins provide warmth. There’s a Belfast sink, Victorian loo and whistling kettle for proper old-fashioned romance. Nights are spent on the decking outside, toasting marshmallows, while mornings are for tucking into the hamper of local goodies and sharing a proper brew.
Romantic clincher: Nearby Wyken Vineyards is the perfect place for a walk through vines and woodland, followed by a bottle over lunch.
Details: Railway carriage from £245 per night (two-night min); settlenorfolk.co.uk.