10 places to propose or pledge your love in Hampshire this Valentine's Day
PUBLISHED: 15:02 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:24 15 February 2019
Forget the snow and ice, love is the answer to the gloom of winter and there is nowhere better than Hampshire to share and express it
For a chocolate box setting, why not venture to Wherwell village in the Test Valley. This is not only an incredibly picturesque village with an assortment of beautiful buildings but it has a history and a legend too. It was once the sight of an abbey of Benedictine Nuns who ran the place like a manor.
The legend is of the cockatrice, a mythological creature with the body of a dragon and the head of a cockerel. It was said to be restrained in the dungeons beneath Wherwell Priory until some brace person was able to kill it. Nobody succeeded until a challenger by the name of Green showed the creature a mirror and it killed itself trying to fight its own reflection. Green’s Acres can still be seen today nearby and the cockatrice weather vane which once adorned the church is now in Andover Museum.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
If you cherish our heritage and traditions then what better place for pledging or plighting than the place where so many have done exactly the same throughout the centuries; often as they have parted company for a time. The atmosphere of the older parts of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard tell a million tales of adventure, daring and romance – exactly what is needed to pop the question or to tell someone how much you love them.
Like the sea but prefer somewhere a little quieter? Barton-on-Sea beach is the place for you. Not only is it an amazing piece of coastline but it has an incredible history of tumbling cliffs, WW1 Indian soldiers convalescing in beach huts and it is one of the key places in Britain for fossil hunting. It is a popular beach of course but not all the time, and if you want to be surrounded by breathtaking land as well as stunning seascapes as you open your heart to someone, you will never forget your special moment at Barton-on-Sea.
You can say it with flowers at Exbury Gardens but you might have to wait for a month as this beautiful arboretum does not open again until 23 March 2019. However, it is well worth waiting for, especially if you like the colourful spectacle of Azalias which provide a stunning backdrop for any proposal.
Sunset/Moon Rise Spots
This county has some beautiful sunsets and there are few more romantic spots than to stand at the top of a hill overlooking the Hampshire moorland and watch the sun go down in its full radiance. If you prefer to be beside the seaside then instead watch the sunset at Milford on Sea where there is a free grandstand view of the closing in of the night every evening. Or, you might prefer to watch the moon rise. They say that the moon in June is very romantic but it looks pretty good in February too, especially over the Solent where the white sails of the many boats almost become luminous as the moon majestically rises and smiles down on any couple who are embarking upon a journey of their own.
You might like to be married at sea but sadly that cannot happen on the Isle of Wight Ferry. However, the island does have some of the most romantic beach spots in Britain. One of those is Freshwater Bay, which even has its own unique sound caused by the waves splashing onto the flint and chalk pebbles. Smugglers once used the caves around the bottom of the chalk cliffs that are exposed at low tide and can be explored if you keep an eye on the returning tide.
There is more to the village of Beaulieu than the excellent Motor Museum. Stand hand-in-hand and look across the beautiful mill pond towards the famous Palace House and you will experience one of the most breathtaking and romantic views in the New Forest. You might well be interrupted by an inquisitive free-range pony but this is a spot where the world can stop turning just long enough for you to pop the question.
If it has to be on St Valentine’s Day and you would still like an amazing setting then head for Fordingbridge where Riverside Park has it all from fishing to ice cream kiosks. Not quite what you want? Well, the place will be a lot less popular in February and you will be able to share the beautiful surroundings, the serenity of the Hampshire Avon and the wonderful landmark of the town, the medieval bridge with its seven graceful arches that span the river.
Grand Parade, Portsmouth
Maybe you would like a witness when you make your pledge? Who better than Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who stands proudly in Grand Parade in Old Portsmouth. Even he was known to go down on bended knee and he would surely smile upon anyone else doing the same just in front of his statue. On that statue there is an inscription which simply reads: “HERE SERVED HORATIO NELSON – YOU WHO TREAD HIS FOOTSTEPS REMEMBER HIS GLORY.” Nelson’s love life might be open to debate but he never lacked courage. Go on, pluck up the nerve and pop the question.
The mighty Winchester Cathedral could be just the backdrop for your pledge or proposal. It has been there since 649AD and its survival throughout a history of civil wars and natural disasters right through to the 21st century can be such an inspiration for a long term relationship.
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