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Disabled Valentine's Day holidays

There’s no better way to show the one you love how much they mean to you than booking a Valentine’s Day getaway – the only question is, “Where?” With so many choices available, it can be hard narrowing it down. That’s why we’ve handpicked some of the best destinations and experiences to inspire you, all with your accessibility needs in mind.

Edinburgh / Bath / London / Lakeside cabins / Florence / Venice / Paris

Valentine's Day meal on the beach

Valentine’s Day trips in the UK

Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh

Boasting stunning views, hidden courtyards, gourmet dining, and a storybook castle overlooking the city, Edinburgh is an ideal destination for a romantic break north of the border.

It’s also well known for its parks and gardens, the most impressive being the extensive Royal Botanic Garden. The grounds have a unique beauty in February, with many of the year’s early-flowering plants heralding the onset of spring – and if the weather’s still a bit nippy, you can stop off for a bite to eat and a hot drink to warm up at the various café spots across the site.

The Garden welcomes disabled visitors and goes out of its way to ensure everyone enjoys their visit, providing special scooters and wheelchairs to those with mobility issues. There’s seating at regular intervals throughout, as well as water points for assistance dogs. All reception spaces have low counters, and for those with sensory impairments there are pens and paper and magnifying glasses at the Visitor Welcome centre.

Before going home, you might also want to take advantage of an idyllic wheelchair-accessible canal cruise, with a two-hour tea and cake journey onboard the Lochrin Belle.

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Path and flowers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

Take a dip in the hot springs in Bath

Home to some of the country’s grandest Georgian architecture, the spa city of Bath is a top destination for couples who appreciate the finer things in life.

The city is famed for its natural hot springs, which have drawn visitors here ever since Roman times. They can be seen in all their glory at the Roman Baths, which have recently been renovated for increased accessibility for the disabled. Features include a lift to the lower-level museum, level access and ramps across ancient Roman obstacles. There are also BSL handsets available free of charge and audio guides compatible with the “T” switch on hearing aids. Printed copies of the audio tour are offered, as well as an enhanced descriptive audio tour and tactile sculptures and models. Companions of disabled visitors can enter free of charge.

To try the waters out for yourself, head over to the neighbouring Thermae Bath Spa. The spa is the only place in Britain where you can bathe in natural thermal, mineral-rich waters, just as the Celts and Romans did over 2,000 years ago. It’s also very accessible, being wheelchair-friendly, with lifts, level floors, and ramp access to almost all areas.

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Couple in a thermal bath

Catch a show at the Royal Opera House in London

London is full of things to do on Valentine’s Day. This year why not take in a spectacular performance at the Royal Opera House, in Covent Garden? Home to two of the world’s great artistic companies – The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet – it was extensively redesigned in the 1990s, optimising facilities for the disabled.

Today the complex features wheelchair access and auditorium spaces for wheelchair users, lift access, and seats with their own surtitle screens so you can keep up with all the action. Highlights for Valentine’s Day 2018 include Carmen, Tosca and Giselle.

If opera isn’t your thing, there’s the Orchids Festival at Kew Gardens. 2018’s exhibition runs from 10 February to 11 March and features a bright Vanda tunnel and arches decorated with multicoloured orchids in the tropical Princess of Wales Conservatory. The conservatory has wheelchair access, and the exterior gardens are largely flat, with tarmac paths in most places. Most of the other buildings, and all the cafés and shops, have level or ramped access.

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The Royal Opera House, London

…or just kick back and relax by the lake

If you would rather just unwind and take it easy, why not enjoy a soothing break in an accessible waterside cabin? Share a private hot tub overlooking a peaceful lake in the Lancashire countryside, near the quiet village of Hambleton, and let all your troubles ebb away…

See our full range of lakeview cabins in Hambleton

Disabled lakeside cabin in Hambleton

Valentine’s Day trips abroad

Watch the sunset over the russet roofs of Florence

With its iconic, red-roofed Renaissance architecture, its many galleries, and a wealth of elegant restaurants and bars, there’s no shortage of things to see and do for couples in Florence.

One of the best experiences has to be watching the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square), the city’s premiere vantage point. Overlooking the south bank of the Arno river, the square can be reached via an accessible taxi and provides incredible views of the skyline and surrounding countryside. Bring some wine and a picnic (and your camera), and enjoy an evening to remember.

Don’t miss experiencing some of the sights up close either. The Uffizi Gallery and Accademia contain world-famous artworks, including The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, and Michelangelo’s David. Both museums have ramped access for wheelchairs and offer free admission to disabled guests and a companion.

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View looking over the red roofs of Florence

Take an accessible gondola ride through Venice

Sharing a gondola ride along the canals of Venice is one of the most romantic experiences there is – but until recently it was impossible for people with mobility needs.

That all changed in 2016 when Gondolas4All set up a specially adapted pier for wheelchair users. Situated next to the Piazzale Roma, on the edge of Venice’s historic city centre, the pier has a mechanical lift that can lower one wheelchair into the gondola. You and your sweetheart can then sit back and watch the city’s sublime scenery glide past as you’re serenaded by a traditional gondolier.

If you can tear yourself away from your canoodling, you might also want to take in two of Venice’s most popular tourist attractions – the extravagant St Mark’s Basilica and intricately beautiful Doge’s Palace. Both are conveniently located on St Mark’s Square and are wheelchair accessible.

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Gondola on a canal in Venice

Enjoy an unforgettable meal for two in Paris

An intimate getaway to the City of Love can make for the trip of a lifetime, especially when combined with a Valentine’s Day date in one of its many world-class eateries. From luxury three-star Michelin restaurants to quintessential little Parisian bistros, there’s a wealth of choice for that special evening.

If you want the setting to match the food, why not try one of the two restaurants in the Eiffel Tower? Situated 400 feet up the iconic landmark, Le Jules Verne and the 58 Tour Eiffel both complement their excellent menus with breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

There’s no shortage of places to go for the rest of your trip either – Paris has some of the world’s best attractions with disabled access, including the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Palace of Versailles, Champs-Élysées, Notre Dame Cathedral and many more.

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Blossoms in front of the Eiffel Tower, Paris

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