Hidden heart-shaped walks, panoramic tower views and Tudor countryside feasts have been unveiled as the top marriage proposal destinations in Warwickshire this leap year.
An extra day is added to the month of February every four years to ensure the annual calendar matches the solar year – creating a leap year – and with it comes a centuries old tradition where women used to propose to men on February 29.
And with Valentine’s Day on the horizon too, what better time to explore Warwickshire to find inspiration for those wanting to capture their lover’s heart and pop the big question – or to simply spend some quality time with loved ones.
Brinklow Marina, Kingsbury Water Park and Warwick’s Kingfisher Pool have all been named as the top destinations in the county for couples to enjoy a romantic heart-shaped stroll.
Sunrise over Kingsbury Waterpark
Brinklow Marina is the largest of the walks at seven miles. It starts on Rugby Road as it meets Fosse Way, heading down towards Brinklow Road, through Hungerfield, across The Oxford Canal and past Brinklow Marina, before looping back through Kings Newnham towards the starting point.
A good nearby spot to refuel is The Bulls Head Inn – a traditional British pub offering great quality home-cooked food. Brinklow Marina walk route.
Kingfisher Pool - which is a short walk from Warwick Castle along the River Avon – is a hidden heart-shaped pool, and an ideal spot to ask the big question after roaming round one of the UK’s oldest medieval attractions. More information on the route – which is a two-mile round walk.
A quiet walking route at the heart of Warwickshire’s premier water attraction, Kingsbury Water Park, is a 0.5 mile heart-shaped trail around the perimeter of Cliff Pool South.
It is located around a two-mile round walk from the main entrance to Kingsbury Water Park, providing a great romantic work out, finishing off with a coffee and cake from the Old Barn Coffee Shop.
Indulge in a Tudor feast at a countryside retreat
Coombe Abbey Hotel’s award-winning medieval banquets are a hit all year round, but are bound to impress the other half on Valentine’s Day weekend, and are perfect for working couples and larger groups.
Credit: Victoria Beddoes
The night is filled with bawdy fun, food, wine and music as actors take guests back to 1539 with a full stage show and a post-banquet disco.
Enjoy a four-course feast fit for a king and queen, a mead cocktail on arrival, beakers of wine and ale with your meal.
Dishes range from marinated rib of swine with sage, cider & honey; quarter roasted fowl rolled in mace, tarragon & crushed black pepper in a sharp lemon and mead sauce; and apple & apricot crumble with elderflower cream.
Combine your Valentine’s merriment with a stay at the former Cistercian monastery, which dates back to 1150, and explore its stunning grounds with formal gardens designed by Capability Brown set in 500 acres of glorious Warwickshire countryside the next day.
Marriage proposals don’t get much more romantic than at the home town of Shakespeare. Take things up a level by venturing up the RSC Tower on the banks of the River Avon.
Credit: Sam Allard
The tower stands at 32 metres above street level, and boasts panoramic views of Stratford-upon-Avon, where on a clear day almost 20 miles of Warwickshire countryside can be seen.
The tower and viewing platform is free to experience and is open from midday to 4pm, except on matinee days or during bad weather. More details on the tower adventures walk.