This European Vacation Spot Is The Ideal Valentine's Day Getaway For History Lovers

Planning a European vacation filled with gorgeous landscapes and vibrant culture is easy to do for those who travel to Scotland. Whether you're one for bagpipes and rich whiskey, or you're longing to admire the highlands, Scotland has the best of it all. It's also an ideal destination for Valentine's Day travelers looking to pair a shared passion for history with romance.

Scotland is filled with romantic castles to explore that stand as a testament to time. The country once hosted upward of 3,000 castles. Today, both ancient and modern castles can be toured during a Valentine's Day stay, but you won't want to leave without stopping at Culzean Castle. Sitting on a scenic hilltop, this inspiring castle belonged to the 10th Earl of Cassillis David Kennedy. It's an ornate example of 18th-century architecture surrounded by ponds, sandy coastlines, and captivating gardens.

If you're traveling to Scotland and happen to have a heart for royal history, a Valentine's Day tour of Edinburgh Castle might just be the highlight of your trip. Sitting squarely in the country's capital city, this castle houses the Crown Jewels as well as the Stone of Destiny which dates back to 1296. You can even live like royalty when you choose to book a romantic suite at the Inverlochy Castle Hotel. Located in the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland with a private loch to its name, this 19th-century castle-turned-hotel hosted Queen Victoria for a week in 1873.

Connect with natural history and local lore in Scotland

Author Diana Gabaldon brought global attention to Inverness, one of Scotland's historic towns near the Clava Cairns, when she wrote her "Outlander" series. If you're a fan of the love story she crafted, you can bring it to life alongside 4,000 years of preserved history when you visit the cairns over Valentine's Day. This Bronze Age complex still hosts gorgeous standing stones, ring cairns, and passage graves to explore.

Scotland is a destination of dazzling legends, myth, and lore. Many, like the stories around Loch Ness, are directly linked to the landscape and the history it embodies. If you're looking to immerse yourself in mystical natural history this Valentine's Day, Scotland's Glen Affric in the Highlands is calling your name. This is a place where visitors can walk through ancient Caledonian pinewood forests that tower above lochs and moorlands. There's a sense time has been frozen here in a place where trees can live upward of 500 years.

Yet another equally romantic and naturally historic stop to make when you're visiting Scotland over Valentine's Day is the Hermitage. Here, hiking trails are lined with impressive Douglas firs that lead the way toward breathtaking landmarks like Black Linn Falls. From the cascade, you can view Ossian's Hall which dates back to 1757. It's an ornate focal point within this landscape which was ultimately designed to delight the Dukes of Atholl in the 18th century.

Let love stories guide your Scottish getaway

Love stories have a way of connecting people through history and time. A great example in Scotland is Sweetheart Abbey which is worth visiting during your Valentine's Day adventure. Located in New Abbey, this destination is said to have been built at the request of Lady Dervorguilla of Galloway in memory of her husband who passed in 1268. Today, you can still tour the fascinating structure that hosts the remains of Lady Dervorguilla of Galloway. Doing so is an opportunity to admire over 750 years of architectural history while paying homage to a woman who wanted her love story to be told in the beautiful country of Scotland long after she was gone.

Viking history makes for a romantic stop in Scotland as well for those who set aside time for a trip to Isle Maree. Located in Northwest Scotland, Isle Maree is home to Loch Maree which is endlessly scenic and historically tragic too. It's said that here, a Viking prince named Olaf and the princess he loved met a Romeo and Juliet-type demise in the 9th century. A miscommunication between ship signals, when Olaf returned home from an expedition, left each believing the other was deceased. Unable to live with the idea, they took their own lives, and today, visitors to Loch Maree will find two stone slab graves marking their final resting place. The Viking star-crossed lovers are buried under faded Celtic crosses alongside beautiful waterways and richly forested terrain.