As Valentine's Day rolls around again, the shops fill up with hearts, the florists sell their last roses, and a fleet of singletons have to sit through the celebrations. Valentine's Day is never fun for single people; at best, the day just passes by like every other one and at worst, it can be just plain depressing.
So to chase away the apathy, the sadness and the loneliness, we at Great Rail Journeys have come up with a list of what we think are some choice destinations for the solo traveller. Instead of pining over unrequited love or thinking about past loves, get your day dream on and find out where is the perfect place to visit on your own! These are just some of Europe suggestions
Norway is just superb destination full-stop. The amount of just stuff in this ancient Scandinavian nation is incredible. Fjords stretch like healthy veins along a spectacular coastline which rumbles with the crash of foam-ridden waves, and boats coast along the azure waters like speckles. We love Norway and most people who visit do as well. Oslo has the regular sophistication of a Scandinavian capital, Norway's Lapland might as well be an entirely different world with its northern lights and its snowscapes, and it has some of the finest rail journeys this side of Switzerland. Add all this to the fact that to the rest of the world, the Norwegians seem to have the complications of civilisation and modern life nailed to a tee, and you have the perfect recipe for the solo traveller. Nearly every Norwegian speaks a decent if not fluent level of English, and the opportunities on offer for solo travellers to get out and explore are easy to find and hard to refuse.
Solo travellers will have a lot to look forward to with a holiday to Scotland, the same with any traveller to be honest. Excellent rail links and transport can get you to some of the most remote areas in the United Kingdom, and by coincidence, some of the most remarkable. This is perfect for those who take their holidays to get away, not just from jobs and responsibilities and so on, but also from people in general. You can escape, and Scotland offers the perfect opportunity to do so. The islands to the north offer some marvellous views across the Scottish coasts, the ancient Lochs are perfect for some quiet introspection and when you've had enough of that solitude, both Edinburgh and the other large cities offer a series of thriving and lively hubs to explore. Travelling in Scotland should be on everyone's bucket list, including both solo travellers and in a group.
One of best ways to travel solo is to throw yourself into wherever you visit and get whisked away by the culture and the people of your chosen destination. Where better to do that than in the land of the flamenco, the fiesta and the carnival itself, in wonderful Spain? A naturally social people, the Spanish are also welcoming and inclusive. The cities are hives of activity and offer different sides to Spain in each one, from the golden colours of Seville to the vivid brilliance of Barcelona. Meanwhile, each region has its own take on Iberian sensibilities. Andalucía shows up an enticing platter of sun-drenched Moorish-tinged life, the Basque Country to the north provides a sea-shorn land of beautiful nature and the Catalan regions contain enough history to beguile even the most knowledgeable of visitors. Solo travellers can make the absolute most of their time away with a visit to Spain.
A diverse collection of different civilisations inhabits the spectacular mountain nation of Switzerland, and Swiss hospitality is famous across Europe. Whether you find yourself in the French-speaking western side of the country, or to the German regions in the north or even the Italian and Romansh sides to the south, Switzerland offers up a dazzling cocktail of contemporary metropolises, magnificent Alpine mountains and sublime railway journeys. As for solo travellers, the small size of Switzerland and the staggering number of sights to see per square mile means that it's easy to see a great deal in only a short amount of time. You've got some pretty incredible rail experiences like the Jungfrau Railway and the Glacier Express, you've got the pretty lakeside towns of Lucerne and Montreux, you've got the indomitable Rhine river, the mighty Matterhorn mountain - there's enough here to fill your plate for a while.
Finally on just a quick note on travelling solo, it doesn't matter where you go or what you do, exploring the world without anyone else to share your experience is a daunting matter. But once you step into the airport, or onto that cruise ship or on board that train, the magic of seeing new people, new cultures, new countries takes hold and all those worries about travelling alone melt away. Solo travelling means you get to pick - it's your holiday and where you want to see takes priority.