Anti-Valentine’s: The best places to go with your fave pals

Ah Valentine’s Day – it divides the nation like Marmite, doesn’t it? Some absolutely love it. Others? Well, just the thought of seeing a loved-up couple smooching in the middle of a restaurant makes them want to throw up. Find yourself falling into the latter category? You’re in luck! Here’s the very best anti-Valentine’s destinations to take your favourite pals instead…

LONDON

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    Experience anti-Valentine's at The Drunken Monkey

    Renowned for its mouthwateringly good dim sum, The Drunken Monkey in Shoreditch will be holding their very own anti-Valentine’s party for you and your friends to enjoy. With supersize cocktails that are perfect for sharing and the best party tunes playing all night long, The Drunken Monkey is sure to provide an anti-Valentine’s night to remember.

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    Jump on a Thames party boat

    You and your mates want to go out-out? Then surely the sound of a three-floor boat party has got to hit all the right notes? With a fully-stocked bar, electric heaters and an abundance of free roses being given out, this London boat party has got to be one of the most stylish ways of celebrating anti-Valentine’s day while taking in the spectacular sights.

    Image credit: thamesboatcruises.com

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    Watch a West End show

     

    Got a girly weekend on the cards?  Then a weekend in London has just got to involve seeing a show, right? Whether you want to cry your eyes out to a cult classic like Billy Elliot or laugh until your belly hurts at the likes of The Book of Mormon, Guys and Dolls or Kinky Boots, the West End is where it’s at!

    Image credit: thestage.co.uk

BIRMINGHAM

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    Have a boozy brunch at Loft Lounge

    No weekend away would be complete without a boozy brunch to kick things off and that’s exactly where the Loft Lounge comes in. As one of Birmingham’s trendiest retreats, the Loft Lounge is the perfect place to enjoy a platter of champagne or a cheeky cocktail alongside your favourite mid-morning treat.

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    Belt out your favourite song at the Viet Moon Karaoke Bar

    If you’ve got a singer amongst your group then a visit to a karaoke bar is a must. Catering to a vibrant crowd, we wholeheartedly recommend Viet Moon. Serving traditional Vietnamese you can grab a tasty bite to eat before unleashing your inner Whitney.

    Image credit: Facebook/Viet Moon

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    Cater for all at Alfie Bird’s

    If you’re part of an eclectic mix then pleasing everyone on a trip away can be tricky. Thankfully we’ve got it covered. Get yourself over to Alfie Bird’s three interwoven rooms where you can grab a slice of pizza, settle down with your favourite cocktail, or dance the night away as the DJ rolls out all the biggest hits.

    Image credit: alfiebirds.co.uk

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OXFORD

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    Humour your group’s culture vulture with sightseeing in Oxford

    Known for being one of the UK’s most beautiful cities, Oxford is the perfect weekend break location if you’ve got a culture vulture in your group. With the Bodleian Library, Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford Botanic Garden as well as all the various colleges you’re bound to score an amazing backdrop for that all-important group photo.

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    Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Oxford Fudge Kitchen

    As Oxford’s luxury fudge maker, there’s no better place than the Fudge Kitchen to satisfy your sweet tooth. With over 50 flavours of fudge, from your favourite to the extraordinary, there’s no way you can visit Oxford without picking up a packet or two. Our favourites include the sea salt and the peanut butter varieties, if you were wondering.

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    Take a walk along the canal

    If you’re anything like us then you’re a real sucker for pretty scenery which means a walk along the Oxford canal needs to be on your list of must-dos. Meandering through the picturesque countryside, you won’t find a nicer place to walk off that hangover.

    Image credit: homeaway.co.uk

BRIGHTON

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    Walk a Llama on Valentine's Day

    If you’re looking to do something different this Valentine’s Day, this is definitely it! Take a trip to the Llama park in Brighton and you can actually spend the most loved-up day of the year walking a Llama. Now, that’s something to tell the colleagues at work about come Monday morning.

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    Fall in love with the cute animals at Drusillas Park

    Animal lover or big kid in your group? The Drusillas Park in Brighton is guaranteed to go down a treat. With hundreds of zoo animals that you can feed and pet, large slides, netted walkways and various other attractions, a day at Drusillas Park is tons of fun.

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    Pick up kitsch clothing down The Lanes

    We all have that one quirky dresser in the group so a quick trip to the cute, twisting alleyways that are known as The Lanes is sure to make their weekend. Full of quaint stores and jewellery shops, they’re sure to pick up a one-of-a-kind gem.

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BATH

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    Relax at the Thermae Bath Spa

    If you ask us, a weekend away is the perfect excuse to relax and the Thermae Bath Spa is right at the top of our list. With state-of-the-art facilities and a beautiful rooftop bar, we can’t think of anywhere better to spend our anti-Valentine’s Day as a single pringle.

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    Enjoy Afternoon Tea at Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms

    Okay, we admit it, you can have Afternoon Tea near enough anywhere these days, but at Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms you can enjoy something a little bit different. Putting a vintage twist on the traditional image of afternoon tea, spending Valentine’s Day eating doorstop-sized pieces of cake amongst kitsch 1940’s memorabilia with our best friends sounds like a great idea, don’t you think?

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    Embrace your alternative side in the Artisan Quarter

    Full of independent galleries, eclectic stores, vintage clothes and fascinating foodie havens, Walcott Village has been known as the home of vibrant, alternative life in Bath for the last 50 years, and is perfect for anyone who likes to stray away from the mainstream.

    Image credit: coolplaces.co.uk

MANCHESTER

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    Shop ‘til you drop at the Trafford Centre

    When it comes to girly weekends away, none of them would be complete without some kind of all-day shopping spree. Of course, we always choose to go to a big mall. With everything under one roof, from our favourite shops and restaurants to somewhere to charge our phone when we run out of battery, the Trafford Centre covers all bases.

    Image credit: visitmanchester.com

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    Bash into your best mate’s bumper car at Funscape

    Want to laugh until your belly hurts? Then Funscape in Manchester should be your first point of call. With bumper cars, ten pin bowling and tons of other attractions, it’s the best place to go for laugh-a-minute entertainment.

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    Sip on your favourite tipple in a secret location

    Okay, so it’s not that secret, as we know it’s in Manchester, but Dusk til’ Pawn is renowned for being one of Manchester’s best ‘secret bars’. From the outside it looks like your average pawn shop but once inside it actually serves some of the best cocktails you’ll ever find. With a chilled, speakeasy vibe, you’ll forget it’s Valentine’s Day completely.

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And the best bit? Well, whether you’re a Valentine’s Day lover or hater, you can get to all these amazing UK locations and many more for as little as £5! How will you be spending your Valentine’s Day? Let us know @nationalexpress.