The most romantic car-free itineraries in the UK

‘Love your planet’ is the message from environmental charities this Valentine’s. Ahead of the day, our car-free columnist maps out trips by train and bus

Catch the 59 bus to Doune from Stirling (around half an hour by train from Edinburgh or Glasgow). Once there visit grey-walled Doune Castle (£9/£5.40), by the riverside. It’s a beautiful place – even if you’ve no interest in its film and TV connections – with views from the top of the walls across the leafy Teith valley. Much of the first season of the raunchy Outlander was filmed here and the time-travelling romantic fantasy returns to Amazon Prime for a fifth season this month. Actor Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser, has added to the castle’s original audio guide narrated by the much-missed Terry Jones (the castle also starred in Monty Python and the Holy Grail). Afterwards, stop off at water-powered Deanston Distillery, one bus stop back towards Stirling. It’s open all-year with hourly tours until 4pm (£12.50 including a taster).
Stay Neoclassical Hotel Colessio (doubles from £64 room only), not far from Stirling railway station.
Next day Explore Stirling, especially atmospheric around Valentine’s with its huge (and very different) castle (adult £16, 5-15 £9.60) rising out of the mist above the frosty trees and river.

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