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Weekend Picks: Valentines Book Signing & 1940s Swing Ball

Cordingley Hall, Telford, Shropshire: Saturday February 4th 11:00 to 23:00

Credit: ITV News.

The West Midlands Valentines Book Signing & 1940s Swing Ball takes place this weekend and it may be 10 days before the special day itself but February the 4th is set to be filled with books, romance, laughter, and live 1940’s style music.

With over 25 confirmed authors covering a wide range of genres there is sure to be something for everyone just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The doors close to the signing at 16:30 before reopening at 19:30 for the 1940’s swing ball where The Vintage Vocalist will take to the stage and take guests back in time with classics from The Andrew Sisters, VeraLynn, and Anne Shelton. (1940’s dress is very much encouraged).

And all proceeds from the event go to the Help the Heroes charity, spread the love this weekend, but be sure to book your ticket here.

Valentine's Day: Are you embracing it or boycotting?

A calendar shows the number 14 surrounded by petals Credit: Patrick Pleul / DPA/PA Images

Valentine's Day, also known as Saint Valentine's Day is upon this Sunday and ITV Central want to hear from you.

What are you planning on doing? Are you sharing the day with a loved one? Do you have any special surprises planned?

Or are you the opposite? Are you planning on boycotting the day?

If you're planning on popping the question and doing it abroad, then remember East Midlands airport have introduced a 'secret word' to ensure you get your ring through security discreetly.

Send us your comments and don't forget to let us know where you're from.

The Top 20 Valentine's destinations for Brits - full list

Birmingham is the fastest-growing UK city for lovers looking for a Valentine's getaway, climbing six places in the Top 20 since last year.

The boost in visitor figures puts the city at number 11 - above Marrakech, Prague and even Venice.

  • London (same)
  • Paris (same)
  • Amsterdam (up one)
  • New York (down one)
  • Edinburgh (same)
  • Dublin (up seven)
  • Rome (down one)
  • Barcelona (same)
  • Manchester (down two)
  • Berlin (same)
  • Birmingham (up six)
  • Dubai (down three)
  • Las Vegas (down one)
  • Venice (up five)
  • Marrakech (new)
  • Cardiff (new)
  • Prague (up one)
  • Istanbul (up two)
  • Liverpool (down five)
  • Glasgow (new)


So what's so romantic about Birmingham?

As new figures reveal Birmingham to be growing in popularity for a Valentine's getaway, here are some suggestions for how to spend a romantic weekend:

  • The Jewellery Quarter is full of quirky restaurants and bars - not to mention beautiful buildings and the wealth of glittering diamonds on sale.
  • They say chocolate is an aphrodisiac, so where better to head than Cadbury World?
  • If music be the food of love, London Concert Orchestra will perform Love Classics at the Symphony Hall.
  • Romantic classic Casablanca is showing at the mac cinema tonight and tomorrow.
  • Birmingham boasts a full range of everything from posh nosh to slap-up grub - so whether you fancy stellar views over the city at the Marco Pierre White restaurant at The Cube or one of Birmingham's signature baltis, you won't be short of choice.

Birmingham's 'romantic recipe' for lovers is a winner

Birmingham's a "romantic recipe" of architecture, music, jewellery and scenery has helped make it the UK's fastest-growing romantic destination this Valentine's, city tourism bosses have said.

A nighttime view of the Bullring, St Martin's Church and Digbeth Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

Emma Gray, marketing director at Visit Birmingham, said the network of canals and top-notch restaurants helped create a romantic atmosphere.

More and more couples are choosing to be charmed in Birmingham thanks to the city's romantic recipe of stunning architecture, world-class music and art and its famous Jewellery Quarter, offering priceless, bespoke presents for that special someone.

The canals near Brindleyplace, Birmingham Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

She added:

Visitors can soak up the sights while taking a starry-eyed stroll beside our city centre canals and enjoy the great collection of restaurants and bars to stop off at along the way.

Birmingham is the ideal place to spend your Valentine's weekend.

Fastest-growing UK Valentine's destination?...It's Brum

Planning a romantic weekend? Well, look no further than the Midlands - as Birmingham is the UK's fastest-growing Valentine's destination, according to new figures released today.

Birmingham at night, as seen from The Rotunda Credit: Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment

According to, Britain's Second City has moved up six places in the travel company's Top 20 Valentine's destination for Brits - the highest rise of anywhere in the country.

It follows previous research which found the Midland city was also the fastest-growing Christmas and New Year's destination, with bookings to the city soaring by 118 per cent over the festive period.

Dog's Trust look to play Cupid this Valentine's Day

Murray the five year old boxer Credit: Dog's Trust, Shrewsbury

The Dog's Trust in Shrewsbury are hoping to find a new home for desperate pup this Valentine's Day.

Five-year-old Murray, a Boxer, has been at the centre for over a year and it is time he finds a loving home.

Louise Campbell, the Rehoming Centre Manager said:

"Murray is very loyal, and as he loves humans so much he isn’t too keen on being left alone. He has such a huge heart; he would make the perfect companion this Valentine's Day."

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