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Going the distance this Valentine’s



London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has today revealed that despite the cost-of-living crisis, 58 per cent said they’d rather have a night away than a slap-up meal, with the nation choosing to go that extra mile (or 50) when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day.

And it seems couples are looking closer to home this year, as 53 per cent of respondents admitted they did not feel the need to travel abroad for a Valentine’s getaway due to the variety of places to explore in the UK. LNER data has also revealed an increase in couples travelling midweek on Valentine’s Day week.

Those not in a couple are still getting out to explore, with 69 per cent of those travelling with LNER this February booked on a single ticket.

The study from LNER has revealed that some of the most picturesque locations in the UK are topping the list for popular Valentine’s Day stays with the Lake District, London, and Edinburgh being the most popular romantic breaks. The research showed that couples are now choosing to take in the views and free attractions rather than spending out on flash meals and expensive European city breaks.

The top 10 includes:

  1. Lake District

  2. London

  3. Edinburgh

  4. York

  5. Dublin

  6. Brighton

  7. Cambridge

  8. Liverpool

  9. Durham

  10. Cardiff

More than three quarters (77%) said the cost of travelling abroad for a romantic getaway puts them off. And a further 50 per cent highlight environmental reasons for staying in the UK more this year.

David Flesher, Commercial Director at LNER said, “Our LNER routes connect customers to many of the top voted Valentine’s destinations across the country, unlocking new and exciting places that people may not have previously thought about visiting. From film set scenery and excellent shopping in London and Edinburgh, to Lochs and river walks, the LNER route plays host to some of the most iconic romantic hotspots in the UK.

We firmly believe that there’s no need to jet off on an expensive European city break when we have so many wonderful places to visit easily by train on our doorsteps. With the historic cathedral of Durham just three hours from London and the iconic Edinburgh Princes Street Gardens two hours from York, there are plenty of spots to discover with your loved ones.”

When polled, the UK population said they wouldn’t think to go to Lincoln (59%) or Harrogate (51%), and despite their stunning scenery, 36 per cent of the nation admitted they never even heard of Berwick-upon-Tweed, or Pitlochry 61 per cent. However, with such surprise romantic places only a train ride away, we’re missing out. These hidden gems offer just as much beauty, history, and culture as those in the top 10, whilst possessing an authentic, unspoiled charm.

Top 5 ‘alternative’ places to visit this Valentines

  1. Harrogate – Often called the ‘jewel of the north’, the charming Victorian spa town offers a peaceful atmosphere, while providing a range of things to do. Harrogate boasts four shopping districts, exquisite award-winning gardens, and their very own Turkish baths. Not forgetting the iconic Betty’s tearoom!

    1. Take a direct train from Leeds and arrive in Harrogate in just 30 minutes.

  2. Alnwick – Nestled in the heart of Northumberland, Alnwick is known for its unspoilt beauty, boasting spectacular coastlines, castles, and cobbled streets. Visit the famed Alnwick Castle - featured in the Harry Potter movies, explore its beautifully kept gardens, or have a brisk walk along the long sandy beaches of Alnmouth.

    1. Alnwick is just a short 15-minute drive from Alnmouth station, or just over an hour on the train from Newcastle.

  3. Lincoln might not be a destination you’d think to go on a romantic break, but what an incredible city it is with lots to do. Have a city-eye view climbing to the top of the cathedral, experience history with a tour of the castle, or a night out at the local jazz café.

    1. Get the train direct from London King’s Cross in as little as 1 hour 46 minutes.

  4. Pitlochry – A hidden gem on LNER’s route, as well as the town being a centre point of theatre performances in Scotland, Pitlochry is surrounded by a vast range of mountains, (making for incredible views, once drawing the likes of Queen Victoria herself), so it’s no surprise that hiking is a big part of Pitlochry culture.

    1. Travel to the scenic town of Pitlochry direct from Scotland’s capital in just under 2 hours.

  5. Berwick-upon-Tweed – Just a stone’s throw away from the Scottish border, the town has a rich history which can be experienced by walking the famous Elizabethan walls. The walls completely encircle the town offering mesmerising views of the three bridges across the River Tweed, the beautiful Georgian buildings on the waterfront, and of Bamburgh and Lindisfarne Castles on the distant coast.

    1. The most Northerly town in England is just a short 42-minute train ride away from both Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Although the nation are pulling out all the stops this Valentine’s Day, it seems they are more mindful about the costs than ever, with the data revealing that 25 per cent of couples used their Two Together rail cards when booking their Valentine’s trip this year – saving them up to a third off their trips. 11 per cent of those travelling between the 10th and 14th of February are travelling in a 4 using Two Together rail cards. The Two Together rail card is the most popular choice of rail card over this period. LNER remains committed to helping customers be savvy with purchasing tickets with innovative solutions including the recent launch of Deal Finder. Deal Finder which searches live ticket availability across the next three months on the LNER app and will find the best price available at that point in time according to the criteria used for the Deal Finder search. 

LNER has provided the following tips to help couples keep the costs down - offering a compromise so that customers don’t have to.

  1. Two Together railcard: If you regularly travel together as a couple, you can save 30% on train tickets with the Two Together railcard. It also includes discounts on first class tickets, leaving you no reason why you can’t travel in style!

  2. A first-class meal ticket: If you and your other half have an appetite for luxury, but conscious of the cost that comes with it, we recommend dining with us first class on the way to your destination. Your romantic weekend doesn’t need to start when you get to your location, as you can enjoy the journey with a chef-cooked meal - all for a slither of the price of a restaurant meal.

  3. Travel Off-Peak: If you don’t need to travel during commuter hours then look out for our ‘Off-Peak’ and ‘Super Off-Peak’ fares available on our LNER trains. These are usually the least busy travel periods and will give you great value tickets right up to a few minutes before departure.

  4. Advance tickets: As well as Valentine’s Day circled on your couple’s calendar, maybe you have an upcoming anniversary or special birthday to celebrate with your significant other? Planning ahead and booking an Advance ticket with us can help save you up to 51%. Remember, the earlier you book, the cheaper the tickets will be, and it will show your partner just how organised you are.

  5. Download the LNER app: Download or use the LNER app to have a celebratory drink on us, with £5 free plus 2% credit back every time you travel with us. And while we don’t want to see you ‘split’, we suggest using LNER Smart Save, where you access the same great savings as a split-ticket. The only difference is that we do all the hard work, meaning you can both sit back and enjoy a great saving without any of the hassle.

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