To celebrate Valentine's Day we're looking at our wonderful destinations with fresh, loved up eyes. Among their many other charms, whether urban or rural, modern or old-fashioned, these are all great places for popping the question. We've scouted out prime proposal locations in ten of them...
Manhattan: many a movie romance has taken place here and there are plenty of places you might want to ask for your loved one's hand. Central Park has plenty of proposal-friendly secluded spaces, but you could give things a more surprising edge just strolling round the city; stop off at Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE sculpture on the Avenue of the Americas perhaps.
If you want your partner to be a little more prepared (or at least sitting down), the River Café at Fulton Ferry Landing is a superb sundown spot with one of the best views of the city skyline.
Victoria Peak may be Hong Kong's great tourist draw, but the easy walk and incredible views still make it a prime proposal spot. Forget the Sky Terrace viewing platform (or at least wait until after you've been up there) and take a walk down the peak trail to the side. The views are still stunning, fewer people take this route and there are plenty of places where you can step off out of the way.
Thinking of proposing in the Golden City? Well, how about above it? Take your intended for a hike on Angel Island, following the trail to the top of Mt Livermore. Take in the 360-degree views of the city, the bridge and bay, let them have a seat at one of the picnic tables and get ready to get your knee dusty.
If you want something a little more down to earth, the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park is just as serene and gorgeous at any time.
Across the island, south of popular Montego Bay, lies the parish of St Elizabeth, home to the picturesque Santa Cruz Mountains. Where the mountains meet the sea in an almost vertical drop, stands Lover’s Leap. The spot, which is now home to the Western hemisphere's highest lighthouse, gained its name from a romantic legend with a tragic end, but the astounding views, where it becomes difficult to distinguish sea from sky, are definitely more likely to inspire new beginnings.
LA is busy all over, so if you have something special to ask someone special, book yourself a little booth in the sky. The giant Ferris Wheel at Pacific Park on Saint Monica Pier will find you 130 feet up at its peak, with a beautiful panorama of Southern California. Just make sure you're looking at your partner and not the view when you make your move.
As they go wherever the wind goes, hot air balloon rides will always be unique, with the element of surprise built in. Double the excitement for your beloved with a proposal made somewhere above, well, wherever the wind takes you. Balloon Aloft Sydney offer flights over the city itself or out in the Camden Valley, where you're afforded great views of the Blue Mountains and down under nature at its finest.
Compact, unspoilt, quiet and car-free, Lamu Island is Kenya's most idyllic retreat. The island has barely changed in 500 years and its old-world romance can't fail to charm. A sunset stroll along the white sand of Shela beach or a Dhow boat cruise around the peninsula will conjure up just the right mood.
If you like old-fashioned romance, the Coral Gables Venetian Pool will whisk you and your partner to another era. Iron gates and arching doorways open into a soothing space of coral rock and cascading water, surrounded by tropical plant life. The atmosphere will certainly calm your nerves for your big moment.
Grenada is another of those islands with more romantic spots than seems feasible given its size. Waterfalls are probably first choice on what's possibly the most love-friendly locale in all of the Caribbean: above or around Annandale, Concord or Mt. Carmel falls are all ideal asking spots for those with marriage in mind. The panoramic view of the Caribbean from the esplanade near St George's Market Square is also perfect. For the adventurous (and well prepared), how about an underwater proposal in the stretch between sister islands Carriacou and Petit Martinique?
The weird and wonderful sites of Tokyo are great to share with a significant other, but if you're after a place to propose, you'll want something a little more peaceful. Take an hour's train journey out to Sankeien Garden in Yokohama for a backdrop of pagodas and serene, sculpted nature. The large garden's beautiful foliage is balanced by historic buildings (transplanted from around the country), ponds, walkways and bridges, giving you plenty of potential sites to choose from.
For great deals on flights to all these destinations, log on to virginatlantic.com.
What do you think of our suggestions? Have you proposed or are you thinking of proposing in any of these places? Sought out a special spot? Let us know in the comments below.
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About the author: andrewAndrew Bowman
Andrew is an occasional contributor to the Virgin Atlantic blog. He lived in the Japanese countryside for two years until he could no longer resist the pull of London's galleries, pubs and clubs. He likes to pretend he can speak Japanese and also sometimes writes about music.