If, like us, you are always after an excuse for an adventure with your other half, then look no further. We have compiled a list of Valentine’s Day adventures for him and for her that we hope will make for a Valentine’s day to actually remember this year.
Now I’m not one to make a big thing of Valentine’s Day. To me, it’s just another made up date in the calendar that tricks people into spending unnecessary amounts from their already dwindling cash-flow. Who reallywants another stuffed bear clinging desperately to a red velvet heart? Not sure if that makes me an old-fashioned romantic or a miserable cynic?!
Either way, my point is that it shouldn’t take a load of commercialisation and a made up date for us to make the effort to plan something special for our significant other.
So here are some ideas for fun and romantic adventures for any time of year. But seeing as it is the season, we might as well climb on that bandwagon and make a Valentine’s Day date out of it.
10 Valentine’s Day adventures that will both LOVE
Whilst each idea sits well with us, we also appreciate that there are lots of him/her crossovers. As a woman in a heterosexual relationship, one of my perfect Valentine’s Day adventures would be one of the ideas ‘for him’; a night hike and sleeping under the stars with a glass of port and cheese! Not for all women, but equally not for all men either. I have definitely made some sweeping generalisations and assumptions – so I hope that no offence has been caused and that we’re not too far off the mark for a cracking Valentine’s day adventure, whoever it’s for.
(Skip to Adventures for her)
Adventures for him:
Bring out the child in your man by setting a treasure hunt for him. Geocaching is a fun way to incorporate a bit of geeky tech into the adventure and makes it easy for you to set up and personalise. Once you’ve signed up on the Geocaching website, you can set up your own place to hide his ‘treasure’; a favourite viewpoint, the place you went on your first date together or somewhere you love and want him to experience too. Once you’ve hidden the gift, use the compass on your iphone to identify the coordinates of the location. Use these and some fun/cryptic/silly/personal descriptions to send him on an adventure quest to remember.
Top tip:you can set waypoints on your treasure hunt via places of interest; coffee shop, picnic area, restaurant, mountain peak etc.
Plan a bike ride with a Strava heart
If your other half spends his weekends in lycra exploring the countryside on two wheels, then why not get out and join him? Even better, plan the route for him via a very steep hill (road bikers love a steep hill). If you know you’ll struggle to keep pace on the hill then challenge him to do it twice by the time you get to the top. He’ll love the chance to demo the benefits of all his training and you can boost his ego even more by taking that hill real slow, letting him beat you to the finish.
Put a little bit of love into your route planning by choosing roads that will map out the shape of a heart. At the end of the ride take out a hip flask of his favourite whiskey to celebrate the day and ask him to check his Strava stats (road bikers love a good stat). He’ll love them even more when he sees the shape of your heart showing just how much effort you have put into making road biking something that you cando as a couple.
Top tip:plan a lunch stop at a good pub and give him free rein over bike chat levels!
Go on a canoeing trip
Valentine’s Day adventures don’t get much better than pottering on a river, Huckleberry Finn style. Even the cold of winter won’t stop a true adventurer from enjoying the tranquility of the water. Rent a canoe for the day and take your camping stove along to cook up a hot riverside lunch. Pre-make a hearty stew to reheat and enjoy with some crusty bread. Or get your chefs hat on and make a breakfast burrito or an easy one pot meal washed down with hot coffee.
While away the hours reminiscing on all your past adventures together and planning your future ones.
Top tip:if renting a canoe is proving more difficult to organise than it sounds, then maybe rent a rowing boat on a lake or river instead. Pack a traditional champagne picnic, basket and all, and enjoy relaxing under the comfort of a cosy blanket.
Plan an adventure film night
This is a good option if you don’t fancy venturing out in bad weather. There are loads of free adventure films available online so with a little research and planning you could put together an impressive and exciting programme. It’s also guaranteed to get the inspiration flowing for your next trip together, so the evening might even turn into an adventure planning session. Always fun!
Get some ski and snowboard videos in the film lineup for an excuse to theme your evening around the snow scene. I’m thinking bobble hats, winter jumpers, meat fondue, Weissbier and finishing it off with a gourmet hot chocolate with a cheeky kick.
Top tip:make a proper event of it by writing out a programme and having an interval for dinner. Check out our Inspiration section for some great film ideas to get you started.
Take a night hike and sleep out under the stars
Yes, a microadventure! This is one for the real planners amongst you. Firstly you’ll need to pick a night when the weather looks clear. Next, research your hike and maybe take a recce during daylight hours to find a suitably romantic spot to set up your sleeping bags. Waking up to watch the sunrise with a steamy hot coffee can be equally as romantic as nighttime stargazing, so consider that when choosing your sleeping site.
Once you’ve set up camp, surprise him with a cheeky glass (or two) of port and a selection of his favourite cheeses while you watch the star show unfold. Then be sure to whip up a hearty breakfast to accompany his dawn coffee. Check out our peshwari porridge recipe for something a bit different. It’s light to carry, warming and super easy to make.
Top tip: see Alastair Humphreys’ take on sleeping on a hill in his book Microadventures.
Adventures for her:
Take a hike to a remote beach or hillside and cook your lunch on a fire
Such a romantic idea and an ideal opportunity to show your true manliness. Wood collecting – grr. Fire starting – grrr. Meat cooking – grrrr! But don’t get too lost in your Bear Gryllsalter-ego. Let your sensitive side shine too and maybe tone it down by cooking a fresh fish or adding some foil roasted vegetables to the meat feast. Bring plenty of blankets and a bottle of bubbly and before you know it she’ll be snuggling in close to those pumped up manly muscles of yours!
Top tip:make sure you pack some backup layers for her and a flask of something hot. You may feel warm from all that hard work in making sure everything is just so. But she’ll be sitting still and cooling down fast.
Go horse riding
The romance of galloping through the open country with the wind in your hair is every girl’s dream. Even better, bare-back along the beach…
But in reality it’s actually pretty demanding and often uncomfortable if you’re not used to it. So start with a lesson or a low key pony trekking trip in some stunning terrain. Take a hip flask of her favourite tipple to calm the nerves and warm the belly and end the day with a home cooked steak, cowboy style.
Top tip:if sitting with a saddle between your legs for a few hours is new to you both then ease the aches and soothe the sores with a hot steamy bath to finish the day.
Hire a tandem bicycle
Being the stoker (person sitting at the back) on a tandem requires a great deal of trust in your captain. Here is your chance to be the captain she wants you to be and to take charge of not only the bicycle but also your date.
Make a picnic that tops all picnics. If it’s chilly then put a hearty homemade soup in a flask and bring some hot chocolate to finish off. Have a go at making a cheesy heart shaped pizza or some sweet heart biscuits.
Pack her favourite snacks and round it off with a glass of warming red wine or hot blackcurrant cordial.
The stoker has the luxury of not needing to keep their eyes on the road so make sure you plan a scenic route with lots of variety and a sheltered viewpoint for your picnic stop.
Top tip: before you head out, familiarise yourself with the responsibilities that the captain must take on when riding a tandem. It will make the stoker’s life much more comfortable and further instil her trust in your expert driving. Find out more here.
Take a dawn run to a beautiful spot for sunrise
This might be a bridge over a river, a city view from a hilltop, your local beach, a sea view from the cliffs or maybe just a pretty pond in your local park. Wherever you chose to watch the sunrise together, make sure you know it’s somewhere she’d chose herself.
Brownie points for proving that youcan get the weekend started without a lie-in ‘til noon. Double brownie points for whipping up a delicious and healthy breakfast whilst she freshens up in the shower after your dawn run. Go on, warm her towels for her too!
Top tip:Make sure you sow the seed the night before about an early start. If she’s dying for a lie-in and you’re there dragging her into her running shoes at 7am, the day may turn out very differently! Gauge her reaction and if she’s not in Paula Radcliffe mode then at least you’ve nailed breakfast and you could always suggest a run at sunset instead.
Cider and Slacklining
This is a fab option for the sporty outdoorsy type with an uncanny knack of picking things up quickly. Slacklining is super fun and relies on good balance and core strength. It’s a chance to let her have her moment of glory, putting her agility and coordination to the test from the get go. However, no matter how quickly she finds her balance, she’ll be sure to need a strong shoulder to lean on and open arms to catch her when she tumbles off. A win-win for you both!
Set the slackline up in her favourite spot in the park. Bring a waterproof blanket to sit on and use your pocket rocket stove to serve up hot mulled cider, or a non-alcoholic hot toddy, setting the tone for an afternoon of silliness and giggles.
Top tip: if you’ve no idea how to go about making this happen then check out what we have to say about trying it for the first time (slacklining, that is).
If you’re not quite sure your other half will love any of these Valentine’s Day adventures then take a look at these 30 adventures ideas that anyone can do. And if you’re still not feeling it, then maybe it’ll take some adventure advice from the experts to really get you inspired to get outside. Either way, may your Valentine’s Day adventures extend way beyond just the single occasion, and be something that you and your loved one do as often as possible.