For all you lonesome souls currently living life as an independent singleton, anxious to opt out of a day reserved for fortunate romantics, follow in my footsteps and take the fifty minute train to Edale!
Last year my friends and I decided to escape the relentless reminders that Valentine’s Day is not for everyone and took to the Peak District. It’s easy to forget that our busy city is in fact situated in the dark depths of one of the country’s most popular walking destinations but it is, and it is oh so accessible. Trains run every other hour from Piccadilly so there’s no need to pre-book a ticket; grab one at the station (a return is little over a tenner).
Take the scenic choo-choo to Edale or Hope and you will find yourself confusingly plonked in another world, far from the perils of self-soothing and Netflix for one. The Peaks scream of a serenity and beauty above and beyond anything that another drab date night could possibly bring to the table. There are many recommended oxygenating routes all over the net (try out Walking Britain, or some of the links below for inspo) and Edale has a bunch of quaint, cosy pubs (‘The Rambler Inn’ is a real treat) to reward an afternoon of gallivanting.
I realise this is not for everyone; my friends mother was woundingly baffled by last year’s adventurous expedition, and would rather she was “spending the evening with a good-looking boy” (direct quote) but pay no attention to such conformists, there is enough love and endorphins in a countryside gamble as in any overrated relationship type thing! Nor is money a valid excuse; you could get a Dominoes or two bottles of wine or half a Topshop t-shirt for the same price.
If particularly inspired by my wholesome plea, take it a step further and stay in one of the many B&B’s the area boasts. I disclose the following with trepidation and am appealing to the intrepid Fallowfield community, but there are also a number of campsites shockingly still open for bookings.
This might, however, be taking such optimism a cheeky step too far; we in Manchester are destined for a glorious, never-ending near future of heavy rain and temperatures dropping to 3 degrees.
A few have inevitably (and, admittedly, tragically; RIP friendship) dropped off the single bandwagon, but those of us exhaustingly left behind are making the bittersweet return to the hills 2K16,and we hope to see you there.
Long live solitude.
P.S. The peaks are currently capped with snow, so hurry while the offer lasts.
Kinder Scout, approx. 5 hours
Grindsbrook & Edale Head approx 2.5 hours