Okay, so Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone. 

Let’s be honest, it has become just another date in the commercial calendar – and who hasn’t feigned delight at a bunch of wilting flowers or an overpriced and mediocre meal at a busy and soulless restaurant? 

This year, instead of opting for convention, why not get back to basics and give the gift of time to your significant other? 

Forget about the usual Valentine’s Day traditions, book some time off work, ditch the mobile phone, and create a date to remember. 

The scene in Ghost where Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore get down and dirty at the potters wheel has gone down in movie history. 

You might not be able to recreate the hot and heavy moment, but that doesn’t mean a few hours spent at Elements Studio at Downhill won’t help you reconnect with your beloved. 

Overlooked by Mussenden Temple and located right next to Downhill beach, it’s the perfect place to book a private lesson for two and learn the art of throwing clay. 

At the end of the lesson, you can even take a stroll along the beach and there’s also an excuse to return to the north coast a few weeks later to collect your keepsake once it has been fired. 

If music is the way to your heart, then clear your diary on Saturday, February 11. 

For one night only, the Ulster Museum in south Belfast is playing host to one of a series of Candlelight concerts. 

Imagine cosying up to the sounds of romantic classical and pop favourites under the gentle glow of candlelight, with Moon River, As Time Goes By, and Kiss From a Rose all making it onto the playlist. 

Alternatively, you might want your Valentine date to be a bit more up tempo. 

If that’s the case, then make a reservation at one of Belfast’s newest bars with a twist. 

Southside Social combines its menu of beers, wine and cocktails with a Chinese takeaway from the Lucky Duck restaurant located at the back of the venue. 

And with a licence to stay open until 3am, there will be no need to cut short your loved up night out. 

How about getting away from the crowds and immersing yourself in the stunning scenery along Lough Erne with your significant other? 

You can hire an Erne Water Taxi for two with a variety of tours available, depending on your budget and how long you want to spend on the boat. 

Regardless, each tour offers a chance to unwind, enjoy one another’s company, while taking in the countryside, wildlife and history of the stunning lough. 

If you fancy sweeping your valentine off their feet, then there’s no more perfect date than a private helicopter flight. 

And Cutting Edge Helicopters offer a bird’s eye view of some of the best-loved and most breathtaking scenery. 

Think the Giants Causeway, the Wild Atlantic Way or the locations made famous by Game of Tours – this is the perfect date to get hearts racing. 

And if you can’t find a tour that catches your eye, you can create your own helicopter adventure, with a custom charter that provides unparalleled access to some of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular destinations. 

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