With Valentines day just round the corner, you might be thinking of how to give that someone special a memorable gift to mark this day for lovers.
Experience days are both unique, memorable and you can be sure to find something for just about anyone!
Thinking about getting your loved one a giant bouquet of flowers, or a big box of Belgian chocolates? Although nice, these gifts are probably what she got last year, and the previous years! Instead, you really want to be offering your lover an experience that she will never forget, and that you can enjoy together – as you should be on St Valentines Day.
Belgian chocolates? How about a chocolate making course, where you will learn how the best chocolates in the world are made, and get to taste the most fantastic melted chocolate from a fountain, before getting to make chocolates yourselves? Getting flowers? Try instead a picnic at Key Gardens, or at Buckingham Palace to live like a King and Queen for a day.
There are many experience days available which will make memorable Valentines Day presents, including ice climbing, champagne hot air balloon rides over the UK, pleasure flights in helicopters and planes over London, or even a cookery masterclass with one of London’s top chefs.
So tired of the usual gifts on display in the shops? Check out our list of 10 of the best experience days to give this Valentines Day which will really make your lover smile and provide a memorable experience for the both of you.
Top experience day gifts under £60
High Fashion Makeover
Sit back, sip Bucks Fizz and get a Makeover!Your makeover includes: Complimentary Bucks Fizz on arrival Mini Facial (To cleanse and condition the skin) Mini Manicure (File and polish. Bring your favourite colour) High fashion makeover Hairstyling Photo shoot with a top fashion photographer Location: Edinburgh (Scotland)£40.00
Dumper Truck Racing
Test your nerve and co-ordination by steering a dumper truck around a specially-designed course in this out of the ordinary driving experience. After a safety briefing you’ll be introduced to your earth-moving truck for some training. The dumper is a hefty four wheel drive, go anywhere vehicle, weighing in at over a tonne. Despite its weight, you’ll be surprised just how agile and nippy this huge vehicle is. You’ll race your dumper around a pre-determined course, aiming to beat the other drivers and avoid penalties. Then the fastest drivers go head to head in the final for a goodie bag prize including, of course, a baseball cap! Roll up your sleeves and beat the opposition.£49.00
RIB Powerboating on the Thames for One
The best way to see London is from the Thames. But if the tourist cruisers are too tame for you, leave them bobbing in your wake in a high-speed powerboat. After a safety briefing you’ll board your custom-built Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB). Heading upstream from the London Eye, you’ll see the Houses of Parliament before racing back down to Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf, with unrivalled views of Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London along the way. Your experienced skipper knows lots of stories about the layers of history that have built up along the river, and you’ll be pulling up sharply to learn some of the history behind the landmarks, and entertaining the crowds as you whisk around in 360-degree spins. Your skipper can tell you all about London’s darker past too: the bolt holes that tell tales of the criminals chained up to drown at high tide, and the Watergate dungeon entrance, known for over 300 years as ‘Traitors Gate’, which beckons menacingly!£45.00
Scuba Diving for Two
Learning how to scuba dive is a ticket to a lifetime of underwater adventure and this two-person experience is a perfect introduction to the sport. You’ll get expert instruction on safety and underwater mobility techniques, then you’ll learn how to breathe underwater and achieve weightlessness while getting used to the equipment. Courses take place in swimming pools under controlled conditions – and while it might seem a long way from diving in a tropical ocean, it’s the perfect way to get a basic grounding in diving and find out whether you like it. It’s also ideal for anyone considering taking a PADI Open Water Diving Course.£48.00
Champneys Express Manicure and Pedicure
Treat yourself at a Champneys venue. Enjoy a mini hand treatment to transform your hands and nails which includes nail shaping, cuticle tidying, an application of a nourishing hand treatment and is completed with your chosen nail polish or buffing. Then pamper the opposite end of your body with a mini foot treatment to transform often neglected toes into well pampered feet. Your treatment includes toenail shaping, cuticle tidying, an application of professional foot care products then your choice of nail polish or buffing. Leave ready to show off all those pampered digits. Complimentary herbal teas and water are available throughout your time at the spa.£40.00
Top experience day gifts under £100
Hillmotts Luxury Pamper Spa Day for Two
Once in a while everyone needs to indulge and spoil themselves and there’s no better way then a day at this country based health farm. You will each receive a 60 minute treatment and a 30 minute treatment. Sit back, relax and enjoy the unspoilt rural surroundings while a fully qualified therapist performs the treatment of your choice. Choose from the following selection (all are available for either 30 or 60 minutes): aromatherapy facial, aromatherapy full body massage, luxury or organic aromatherapy sugar body scrub, Indian head massage, reiki, reflexology, manicure or pedicure.£99.00
Go Karting for Two
Karting isn’t just for kids – it’s how many Grand Prix champions (including Jenson Button and current F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton) start out before moving on to fame and fast women. Whatever your racing ambitions, this experience is loads of fun; whether you’re a novice or an expert you’ll enjoy this fast and furious session, racing others head-to-head around a specially-designed track. You’ll start with a briefing and a few untimed practice laps to get you familiar with the karts and circuit (and get your competitive streak going). Then you’ll compete against other drivers in race heats, semi-finals and finals. The winners receive prizes at the end of the session.£95.00
Audi R8 Sensation
Get behind the wheel of the Audi R8 supercar – a true German motoring masterpiece. Audi’s leading designers have pushed the boundaries of racing technology, futuristic construction and luxury refinement to deliver a car which is as exciting to drive as it is stunning to look at. With a 4.2 litre V8 engine capable of reaching 187 mph, this car is sure to satisfy! You’ll kick off with a welcome and briefing on the circuit and driving techniques. Depending on venue, there may be some demo laps first. Then you will drive the R8 for between four and a half and six breathtaking miles. Complete your experience with a de-briefing session and presentation of a certificate to remember your day.£99.00
Ferrari Driving Thrill
Ever wanted to drive a supercar? What happens next depends on the venue you choose: at Prestwold Hall, you’ll tear around four laps in a Ferrari 360 or 575. At Three Sisters, Rockingham, Staffs or any of the Drivers Dream Day venues you’ll drive the 360 for a minimum of over five and a maximum of over eight miles around the circuit. At some venues you’ll also be taken round the circuit in a hot hatch or a sports saloon to find the best racing lines before you drive the Ferrari. It’s one of the world’s most coveted racing machines and you decide whether it lives up to expectation. You may finish off with a question and answer session and all venues award a certificate to take home.£99.00
Sightseeing Pleasure Flight over London
This experience gives you a unique perspective on the sights of London – and one that doesn’t involve being either cooped up on the tube or jostled on crowded pavements. After a short pre-flight briefing you’ll board a Piper Seneca twin-engine plane for a fantastic half hour sightseeing trip. After taking off in Essex you’ll follow the Thames west into the heart of the city, getting a view of the capital that most people only see on the opening titles of EastEnders. You’ll see the Millennium Dome, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, the towers at Canary Wharf, the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, then turn north to fly over Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and the royal parks, before heading back east to land in Essex. You’ll get an amazing perspective on the geography of the city and the beauty of its landmarks – and whether you’re a tourist or a Londoner born and bred, you’ll see the capital in a whole new way.£99.00
Top experience day gifts over £100
Hot Air Ballooning
Have you ever looked up to see a hot air balloon drifting silently overhead? With this experience it’ll be you in the basket of the balloon, looking down. First, with your feet still firmly on the ground, you’ll meet your pilot and get a flight safety briefing, before helping to prepare and inflate the balloon. Then you’ll climb into the basket ready for launching. You’ll fly at heights of up to 5,000 feet, enjoying beautiful views of the countryside below, and the restful peace and quiet (except for when the propane burners are going, that is). Because the balloon moves with the wind, you’ll feel no wind at all, just sheer enjoyment. After landing you can help the crew pack the balloon away, before a celebratory glass of champagne (or a soft drink) and being driven back to the launch site (who knows where you’ll land? – you can’t steer balloons!). You’ll be presented with a commemorative flight certificate, and some centres also offer the chance to purchase an in-flight photo.£199.00
Learn Circus and Cowboy Skills
This day will show you the skills required to be both Coco the Clown and Billy the Kid. In the morning try your hand at the skills which defined the cowboys of the Wild West – lassoing, whip cracking and knife throwing from ten paces. After lunch and a chance to get your breath back, you’ll learn the circus skills that entertain crowds worldwide. These include acrobatic balancing, juggling, tight wire walking and the amazing flying trapeze. Don’t worry; you’ll be under constant expert supervision, within a carefully controlled environment. All equipment hire is included. Just bring a sense of humour, bags of energy and willingness to look like a bit of a clown…£135.00
Extended Off-Road Land or Range Rover Driving
With a spirit of adventure at the core of its character, the great outdoors has always been the territory of the Land Rover brand. These iconic off-roaders weren’t built to sit nose-to-tail in rush-hour traffic – you need to get them off the tarmac to find out what they’re capable of. On this experience you’ll tackle some challenging terrain in one of the following king of the road vehicles – a Land Rover Defender, a Discovery or a Range Rover Sport. You’ll start with a thorough safety briefing (and tea and coffee is provided at most venues too) before your instructor shows you around your vehicle, explaining the impressive capabilities of these 4x4s. Then get behind the wheel yourself to conquer the muddy climbs, drops and hazards of an exhilarating off-road course, in stunning surroundings. Most venues have excellent facilities, including disabled access, catering, toilets, shelter and parking.£195.00
This gift voucher gives your favourite speed freak a selection of over 5 Red Letter Days turbo-charged experiences in some of the world’s most amazing cars. Enjoy the thrill of a Ferrari or the lightning acceleration of a Lamborghini. Or possibly you would prefer to savour the refinement of a classic Aston Martin, the breathtaking handling of a Lotus, the roar of the Audi R8 or the pure, monstrous clout of the V8 Vauxhall Monaro? With so many fantastic models to choose from, the only thing you will have to worry about is deciding which car to drive. Whichever one takes your personal fancy, this gift voucher is the ideal experience for all types of budding car lovers and so is bound to satisfy any driving enthusiast. We know it will be hard, but unfortunately you do HAVE to give the keys back at the end!£120.00
London Meal and Top Price Theatre for Two
Enjoy dinner and then settle into your top-price seats (either stalls or circle) to see a great show. Start with a two-course pre-theatre meal from the table d’hote menu at one of a selection of restaurants (usually Chez Gerard, Dial or Creation) offering fine European cuisine – all within easy walking distance of theatreland. Then see one of a selection of West End shows. There’s something to suit every taste so choose from our range including the star-studded, jazz-vibed Chicago; the Queen rock spectacular We Will Rock You; the moving social commentary of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers; historical 39 Steps; toe-tapping percussion with Stomp; the ghostly tale of The Woman in Black, high school musical Grease or Michael Jackson themed Thriller.£139.00
Pamper Spa Day
Once in a while everyone needs to recharge their batteries, and there’s no better way than a health spa day. You’ll spend a whole day at the health spa with unlimited access to the facilities, including the swimming pool, sauna, steam room and other heat treatments. If you’re feeling energetic, most health spas also have a fully-equipped gym, and some include exercise classes. Your health spa day also includes at least one beauty treatment and a healthy, tasty lunch. Your exact spa day experience will differ according to the spa you choose to visit, but we guarantee a relaxing spa day that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised. You won’t believe that something healthy can feel so indulgent!£105.00
Deluxe Spa Day
Once in a while everyone needs to recharge their batteries, and there’s no better way than a day at a health spa. You’ll spend a whole day at the spa with unlimited access to the facilities, including the swimming pool, sauna, steam room and other heat treatments. If you’re feeling energetic, most spas also have a fully-equipped gym, and some include exercise classes you can take part in. Your day at the spa also includes three beauty treatments so you really can pamper yourself and a healthy, tasty lunch is even thrown in. Your exact experience will differ according to the spa you choose to visit, but we guarantee a relaxing day that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised. You won’t believe that something healthy can feel so indulgent!£171.00
Top Gun Aerobatic Stunt Flying
Your experience begins with an intensive flight and safety briefing from your ex-military instructor, before you get kitted out in a Top Gun-style flight suit and a parachute. Then take to the air for a 40 minute flight with your instructor in an Extra 300, a high-performance lightweight aircraft which is one of the premier aerobatic planes in the world. Experience an airborne tactic demonstration and formation manoeuvres, accompanied by another Extra 300. Then you take the stick – your chance to try out some manoeuvres yourself and then tailchase the other plane. Get behind your ‘enemy’ and transmit ‘gun guns guns’, to see smoke billow from the aircraft in front. Back on the ground, there’ll be a full debrief and presentation of certificates.£500.00
Plane travel has become pretty commonplace – and even a bit of chore, with scrums for seats on low-cost airlines and interminable queues and checks. But a helicopter flight is still something that very few people have tried – pretty much reserved for royalty and the super-rich. With this helicopter flight experience you’ll join this select club (well, you’ll fly in a helicopter, we can’t make you a millionaire). After a briefing on helicopter flying techniques and safety, climb aboard a dual-controlled training helicopter, usually a Robinson R22. You’ll be accompanied by an expert pilot, so you’ll be in safe hands. The vertical take-off is astounding, and the thrills will continue as your pilot shows you how the chopper can move forward, backward, sideways or simply hover motionless in the air. Frankly, it makes planes seem run of the mill! At the pilot’s discretion, you’ll have the chance to take the controls on your helicopter flight, and feel for yourself the adrenaline rush of manoeuvring these amazing craft.£195.00
Have a great Valentines Day!