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Ideas / Gifts / Valentine
Valentine's Day (14 February): Ideas for presents

In 2009 Valentine's Day (14th February) is on a Saturday

The origin of Valentine's Day

Valentine was a priest in Rome in the third century, during the rule of the emperor Claudius the Second. A lot of wars were breaking out in the Roman Empire, but not enough men were joining the army. The married men wanted to stay with their families, so the emperor decided to ban marriage and forced the men to get ready to go off to war. Many couples went to Valentine asking to be married, and he continued to perform the ceremony secretly. Eventually the emperor heard about what was happening and sent his soldiers to arrest Valentine. Valentine was killed in prison on 14th February 270. He was later made a saint, and represents the ideas of love and sacrifice.

Valentine's Day traditions in the UK

In the UK, both men and women may send cards and presents to someone they love on Valentine's Day (14th February). Traditionally you do not write your name on the card or gift (it is meant to be secret, like the marriage ceremonies which the priest Valentine performed). You may want to have them delivered directly or left in a place where he or she will find them. Inside a card you can say how you feel about the person, and you might include a love poem or part of your favourite song. If possible, arrange some time to meet - for example, have a candlelit meal, go out to see a show, or plan to travel somewhere together. If you are apart from your loved one, you can send flowers or chocolates to most parts of the world (always check delivery times if you want the present to arrive before Valentine's Day).

Gift ideas for Valentine's Day:


Hotel Chocolat
High quality chocolates which can be delivered either in the UK or worldwide.

Alternatives: Thorntons or Cadbury Gifts Direct


Flowers delivered anywhere in the UK

Personalised card or gift

Choose one of the existing designs or use your own digital photo. Choose the text on the front or inside the card.
The card can be sent directly to your Valentine. This is a good way to send a card anonymously ...

Alternative: Getting Personal (for example: a personalised romance calendar using your partner's name)


La Senza
Buy your partner some attractive lingerie, night clothes or swimwear.
Make sure that you know her size (or ask her to help when ordering), and check the returns policy before buying.

Alternative: Knickerbox

Clothing / jewellery

Gifts for her: Marks & Spencer

Gifts for him: Marks & Spencer

Beauty / fragrance

John Lewis
Get a bottle of his or her favourite fragrance or beauty product.

Tickets to a show

Buy a pair of tickets to see a show together. You can put your partner's ticket in a Valentine's card.
Theatre and dinner packages are available for some shows.
Alternatives: Ticketmaster or London Theatre Direct or SEE Tickets


Give your partner a CD of his/her favourite music, or something romantic.
Alternatives: CD Wow!


Get some DVDs, so you can stay in and watch films together. For example:
Romantic comedy films (click this link for a selection of romantic comedies)


Balloon in a box with a personalised message, sent to a UK address

Experience days

Virgin Experience Days
Give your partner an experience to remember, for example:
Relaxation day - Drive a rally car - Make a parachute jump - Go sailing or scuba diving - Balloon flight
You can also give vouchers so he/she can make the choice.
Alternatives: Red Letter Days

Hotel break
Arrange a short break just for you and your partner.

Book a hotel room in the UK/Europe at a discounted price (up to 3 months in advance)

Eurostar break

Package deals for trips to France or Belgium by Eurostar train, plus hotel

Alternatives: Short Breaks

Organised group tour

How about going on an organised group tour together with your partner (for example, go on a 3-day trip to Paris, or a weekend trip/day-trip within the UK)? For details of tour dates and options, see: Travel/Tours/Dates
Book early, and make sure you have checked visa requirements if you are travelling outside the UK.
If you want to share a room with your partner, mention this when you book.

Coach travel in the UK

National Express
Buy a pair of tickets to go somewhere together with your partner, or go to visit him/her if you are in different parts of the UK.
For more information about National Express services, see: Shop/Company/NationalExpress
For ideas about places to visit, see: Travel/Tours

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Events in February: Ideas/Events/February
Personal relationships: Personal/Relationships
Tours in February: Travel/Tours/Dates/February

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