Alternative guide to Valentines Day

Studio shot of young beautiful woman holding artificial heart. Professional make-up and hairstyle.

Another year, another box of heart-shaped chocolates. If you are fed up of Valentine’s Day and the cliché attempts at ‘romance’ that come with it – or just fed up of the tradition altogether – then emergency contraception brand ellaOne has the solution: your ultimate V-Day alternative guide. Whether it’s cocktails in an old apothecary or an after-hours exhibition, this smart girls guide has you covered – you won’t find any candlelit meals for two here… promise!

Feline Lonely, Battersea cats and dogs. (London) 14 February 2017

This rescue centre has been inviting cat lovers to this successful late night event for the last two years. It’s an easy way to make new friends, both human and feline and who knows, you may even find yourself going home with one of the 3,000 abandoned cats they rescue every year! Tickets are £7 and include a glass of bubbly.

Birds and Bees, Valentine’s at the Grant. (Museum of Zoology, London) 14 February 2017

Join this after hours, animal seduction themed event (£6 at the door which includes a glass of wine) whether you are single or trying to impress your loved one. They will have Valentine’s themed specimens and you will have the chance to check out their new exhibit: Weird and Wonderful Wildlife.

Midnight Apothecary Valentine Night. (The Brunel Museum, London) 11 February 2017

Held in The Engine House, this event is perfect for couples or singletons. The museum also opens the rooftop garden where you can enjoy cocktails, food and live entertainment. Tickets are £7.

Jack Whitehall: At Large. (Various locations) January – February

Prefer to laugh in the face of romance? Comedian and actor Jack Whitehall is on tour throughout Jan and Feb. Be prepared for a night full of laughter and tears at this all new show from three time British Comedy Award winner. Tickets range from £29-£37.

Orchid festival, Kew Gardens. (Richmond, Surrey) 4 February– 5 March 2017

Explore the vibrant colours, culture and plant life of India as this year’s festival features giant floral displays using exotic orchids, decorative rickshaws, Indian soundscapes, films and more. Tickets £12.50.

SPECTRA, Aberdeen’s Festival of Light. (Aberdeen, Scotland) 9 February –12 February

Experience the signature winter event of the year in Scotland. SPECTRA, is Aberdeen’s stunning annual light show which celebrates the creative culture of design and technology in the city. This artistic event is guaranteed to add some light to the depths of winter. Free event.

Belgrave Feast. (Leeds) 11 February 2017

Perfect for fickle hearts and taste buds. Why not make Valentine’s Day a more chilled out affair this year, by rounding up a group of good friends to tuck into delicious street food from around the world. Free event.

…And for those planning to partake in a more traditional Valentine’s past-time:

Whether you are single or in a relationship this Valentine’s Day, make sure you’ve got your contraception covered if you decide to have sex.

With 15 methods of contraception to choose from, there should be one that’s right for you. If you are using an ongoing contraceptive method such as the contraceptive pill, injection or implant, make sure you also use a condom to protect yourself from contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if you decide to have sex with a new partner.

What to do if you’ve had a contraceptive mishap…

Accidents can happen to anyone so if you’ve had unprotected sex or your contraception has let you down and it is not the right time in your life to have a baby, you are right to consider emergency contraception.

ellaOne® (ulipristal acetate) is the most effective morning after pill at preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. ellaOne consists of one tablet which should be taken as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days (120 hours) after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure.

ellaOne is available directly from the pharmacy, without a prescription. ellaOne is also available from the GP, Family Planning Clinic, walk-in centre, or out of hours service. 

ellaOne does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

For more information please visit

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the organisations, events and individuals listed above are not affiliated with and do not endorse ellaOne in any way.

ellaOne is an emergency contraceptive pill. Take one tablet as soon as possible after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.