OK lads, it’s that classic situation all over again: you’ve promised that special someone that you’ll show them a Valentines’ Day to remember. You’ve both made sure you have the evening free to go out and do something extra special as a couple, and as the gentleman you are, you’ve promised to organise the whole thing. Then reality hits when you. You remember that sleepy, old Lancaster isn’t exactly Paris, London or Venice. Instead of a Gondolier using his ‘rèmo’ oar to push you both dreamily down a Venetian canal, Lancaster boasts an array of shopping trollies visible in the River Lune at low tide; instead of a Parisian merchant offering a ‘flower for the lady’ from his fresh bouquet, you get offered an overpriced, cheaply-made, artificial rose in the toilet of a club under the sales-pitch that it will help you pull.
Don’t let this contrast put you off from planning a memorable evening with your partner in Lancaster though, as there are a few hidden gems within the small town’s cobbled streets. First is the collection of restaurants around the town: we’ve all been to our fair share through sports or society socials, friends’ birthdays or flat evenings out and even the most unsociable Fresher would have heard of a few of the places Lancaster has to offer. Trying one you’ve heard of or seen before but never been to would be a great shout to make your evening original and enjoyable. If you think taking them out for a meal is the ultimate Valentine cliché, why not show off your culinary skills in the kitchen by cooking the meal yourself? Be careful with this one though, it can be potentially disastrous resulting in fire engines on campus again, and the rest of the house won’t thank you for making them come outside when they may have had other Valentine plans. Alternatively, preparing, cooking and presenting your partner with an original and interesting dish could seal the deal in making it a memorable Valentine’s Day.
If you’re sick of the usual places in Lancaster, don’t be afraid to venture out of the town’s one-way system. A walk to the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park might be one of those places you’ve seen but never been to, as could a walk to Galgate (there’s more than The Plough there!). Believe it or not but Morecambe boasts a few hidden gems itself and is an easily accessible decent day trip (see if you can find the Carleton by day-light too). With buses to Preston and Blackpool also regular in Lancaster, there really are so many opportunities to break free from Lancaster if this article hasn’t convinced you of the town’s own offers. But ultimately (and I know it’s the cheesiest classic cliché), it genuinely shouldn’t matter what you do or where you go but as long as you’re together on this lovey-dovey day. (Just remember it’s the 14th February though…)