A three-course meal at a fancy restaurant this Friday will be for many people a wonderful experience.

The penthouse suite at one of Scotland's top hotels, with rose petals scattered over the bed and Champagne on ice, is bound to impress a fair few people later on.

But for those of us that aren't romantically inclined, Valentine's Day is just another date in the calendar.

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On the day when public displays of affection hit a yearly peak, it is perhaps worth giving some consideration to how to spend it efficiently swerving freakishly large bouquets of roses and cuddly toys bigger than the world's strongest man.

If the idea of Valentine 's Day gives you the boak rather than butterflies, then our list of the best unsoppy things to do around Scotland this Friday will keep you clear of anywhere loved-up people might frequent (though, avoidance of loved-up people not guaranteed. Bring a cross and garlic to ward off over-amorous couples if concerned.)


1 Gaze at the Aquila Milky Way in Galloway

Galloway Forest Park is the largest of its kind in Britain, measuring 300 square miles. It also earned its stripes as the UK's first Dark Sky Park in 2009, meaning it benefits from reduced light pollution and an increased nocturnal habitat. Even better, have a go at spotting The Big Dipper in the roll-off-roof observatory at the edge of the woods. Free. Pre-booking essential. www.scottishdarkskyobservatory.co.uk

2 Visit an exhibition on Glasgow's decaying buildings

Part of a month-long event, The Lighthouse will open its doors this Friday in a celebration of rotting, crumbling and broken-down structures in Glasgow. Great for architecture and design lovers interested in seeing images of buildings that are slowly fading from view. Free. 10.30am-5pm. www.derelictglasgow.co.uk

3 See a ghost (potentially)

Swedish artist Karin Gunnarsson's art examines the other-worldliness associated with ghosts at her exhibition in Edinburgh's Summerhall. Photographs and moving images of humans and animals are made all the more spooky given Summerhall's past as a one-time veterinary teaching college and hospital. Free. 11am - 6pm. www.summerhall.co.uk

4 Waltz with weans

Yes, you read that right. Why should little ones miss out this Valentine's day? Bishopbriggs Guide Hall welcomes mums, dads and babies to its event teaching the basic steps to salsa, ballet, boogie and a whole lot more. Just bring any baby carrier, a bottle of water and your best fun-loving attitude. £5. 11am-11.40am. www.dancewithbabies.com

5 Rock out like a bat out of hell

Hit up a practical joke shop for its best mullet wig, don the frilliest shirt money can buy and head down to Beat Generator Live in Dundee where Peat Loaf - Meat Loaf's most gloriously named tribute band - will be playing this Friday. £10. 8pm. www.beatgenerator.co.uk

6 Take a chemistry lesson in attraction

Held at the Satrosphere Science Centre, Aberdeen, invited academics will delve a little deeper into the scientific explanations behind falling in love during a tongue-in-cheek guide to increasing your chances of finding 'the one'. Happily, it's free, so that if the lessons don't work in real life you can't demand a refund. 7pm - 9pm. www.satrosphere.net

7 Enjoy a country music tribute night

The efficiently titled A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Kline evening at the Oran Mor is written and directed by Morag Fullarton, who was responsible for the recent stage adaptation of Casablanca. Afterwards, if your bottle's run out and you feel like Walkin' after Midnight (sorry), then head upstairs as the 'Mor does a great selection of malts. £18. 7pm. www.oran-mor.co.uk

8 Sing along to The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Limber up the vocal chords, because the Arbroath Musical Society is bringing the story of Annie to the Webster Theatre for the first time this Valentine's Day. Fans of scrappy dogs, redheads and happy endings - this one's for you. £12. 7.30 pm. www.webstertheatre.co.uk

9 Have your mind read

French eatery Le Bistro Beaumartin, on Glasgow's Hope Street, is offering an irreverent night of beautiful food (naturally) supplemented with some evening entertainment in the form of a magic show by mind reader Francis Girola. Keep dirty thoughts at bay unless you're into public shaming. Soiree Mystique, £45 (includes a three course meal and welcome drink). www.lebistrobeaumartin.co.uk

10 Find out the story behind the Fun Makers

Shown at the Dundee WASPS studios, Fun a Day is a collection of work that shows how 50 artists, designers, students and journalists translated a brief to add a little more creative fun to the month of January. Expect poems and hugging. Free. 6-8pm. www.funaday.wordpress.com