Valentine's Day Concert - The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Manchester-based symphony orchestra the Hallé, has been tugging at heartstrings since 1858. Their annual Valentine’s Concert is a season highlight, reintroducing amorous audiences to greatest hits from the finest musical love stories.

Music from Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Tosca, Madame Butterfly and West Side Story contribute to an evening of inspiring romance in a special venue. The Bridgewater Hall has a stunning auditorium built for perfect acoustics. It’s also in the heart of a city bursting with culture and a vast selection of restaurants and places to share a bottle of fizz. 

With the sound of Prokofiev, Mendelssohn, Puccini, Elgar and a stellar array of other great composers in the air you’ll be in the mood for love whether or not classical music is your thing.

Anna Reay at The Sage

An evening of super smooth vocals at an iconic venue could be just the ticket for romantic rail travellers. Anna Reay and her band are specialists when it comes to loved-up songs from every genre imaginable. With tunes from Puccini to Peggy Lee and Sam Smith to Stevie Wonder, this will definitely be a night to remember.

The Sage itself is a spectacular, purpose-built music venue and worth a visit in its own right. The fact it’s nestled on the south bank of the Tyne in easy reach of the city’s best eateries and trendiest nightspots is very handy too. Your options for a glammed-up pre-show drink or late supper are plentiful. The Michelin-starred House Of Tides - a few dance steps away from the Sage - is a current favourite. This casual yet classy Monday-to-Saturday venue is the perfect setting for a date night if you’re making a weekend of it.

Johann Strauss Gala, Liverpool Philharmonic

Forget the typical trappings of a commercial Valentine’s Day, classical romance is in the air with this audio and visual extravaganza. The Johann Strauss Gala features timeless music and a swirling display of dancing, performed in period costume. If it doesn’t get your partner in the mood for love, you’d better check for a pulse.

Hearts will almost certainly race to the slow-quick-quick beat of waltzes as well as music and songs from an era when the Strauss family filled the dancefloor with elegant masterpieces.

The experience is akin to a trip back in time to 19th century Vienna. The music is warm and familiar and contributes to an unforgettable afternoon. And when you spill out of this famous art deco venue you’re close to the heart of a city with much to offer romantic visitors. Liverpool’s reputation for excellent watering holes and good food is well deserved.

Twilight: Brief Encounter - Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Valentine’s Day is all about couples, so here’s a perfect pairing for the big day… Opera North is screening one of the great romance movies, Brief Encounter, and hosting a twilight concert just in case you need to top up your love potion.

Brief Encounter is a heart-breaking tale of a forbidden love between train station strangers. The enchanting soundtrack borrows Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 2, hence the concert to follow.

If you fall for one of the most celebrated British films, you can always make a pilgrimage to Carnforth station where much of the movie was shot.

The Howard Assembly Room, which hosts this double bill, is a special performance space in the centre of vibrant Leeds. It’s in the city’s Grand Theatre, just 10 minutes walk from the station and with lots of nearby bars you’ll be spoilt for choice.


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