AS MILLIONS of men rip out their hair and fret over what to do for their special one this Valentine’s Day, drivers should be reminded they can sit back and relax – literally.
A drive to the coast, a slice of the English countryside or a romantic castle that princesses once strolled through will likely make a woman swoon.
So if you happen to have a somewhat conservative car – a Ford, Jaguar, Volvo or even an old-banger Vauxhall – you can spice it up by decorating the interior and improving its ambience.
Using two fruity, summer air fresheners should revive her feelings for you and remind her of a fresh new year. Throw a thin cotton blanket over the rear seats and two or three matching cushions too. Spice up the colour with some brightly-coloured red car mats.
In the boot, carefully fix in a wicker picnic basket filled with her favourite foods and drinks- along with a special surprise. Sprinkle fresh yellow and white flowers inside the basket with red roses filling the rest of the boot. It would be wise to remove any tyres, lubricants, engine oils or other car products some men would fatally consider romantic.
On the morning you set off, blindfold your lady, sit her in your car, and provide her with that special drink – perhaps something fruity and mildly mixed with alcohol to help calm her nerves and put her at ease. Steer clear of cider and beer.
Keep smiling (preferably not creepily), tuck her in, belt her up and reassure her she’s going to have an amazing day. If she persists on demanding where you are taking her, just say you are going to a special place and jump in for a passionate kiss when you have the right landscape for a beautiful backdrop – so memorable she will never forget it.
Take the scenic route through the country lanes of Kent to the Blean Woods near Canterbury, where you can select from 12 car parks before heading off to sit under a tree and make the day extra-special with a delicious home-made lunch.
Afterwards, take a scenic country road to Stalisfield Green, where you can both dine in The Plough – a secluded country pub with local produce at the hearts of its menu.
Or perhaps drive to the sea – Whitstable, Herne Bay, Ramsgate and Sandwich are nearly perfect on a sunny day while there are many romantic spots along the Great Stour – a river running through the quaint village of Chartham.
Easily accessible by road, The Goring Gap is a jewel for the people of Goring-on-Thames, who are spoilt with stunning views. Drive here, take a walk and hug her from behind while admiring the view. It’s worth burning more fuel just to get here more quickly.
What location commands better views of France than those from the South’s Seven Sisters? On a clear day, one can see our neighbours without binoculars and on a misty morning, the atmosphere is surreal. The dominating white chalk cliffs provide a view that will take your partner’s breath away. Combine this with some romantic gestures and you’re on to a winner.
On the way, there are various upmarket fish restaurants to choose from – with many roads surrounded by woodland.
With 16 sparkling lakes and the highest mountains in England, the appropriately named Lake District will this year again be a hit with romantic gentlemen wishing to romance their partners with poems and love songs in the land that inspired Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth to pen some of the greatest pieces of English writing in history.
Driving through the Lake District with a partner is a special classic that must be done by every romantic man in Britain at least once in their lifetime.
SCOTLAND AND LOCH LONG, ARGYLL:
While it still has a heavy military presence, The Royal Navy does not appear to spoil the beauty of Loch Long and its surroundings.
Surrounded by hills and a lake with super-still water 96 per cent of the time, the location has been used for many films and is perfect for a romantic getaway.
Drive through Garelochhead along the A814 until you reach Arrochar at the head of the loch, where your lover will be eager to jump into the back of the car and enjoy the mountain views with a spot of lunch.