Shoppers in Basildon are feeling loved-up this Valentine’s Day as new research shows they’ll splash out more than £3.3m on gifts, wining and dining, and mini-breaks.

A survey of 2,000 people by British Land, owners of Mayflower, found that nearly half (42%) of Basildon residents will celebrate the most romantic day of the year, with one in five (20%) planning to treat their loved ones the weekend prior.

With this in mind, Mayflower has dubbed the weekend of 10th and 11th February the ‘weekend of wooing’ as Basildon’s retailers and restaurants prepare for a surge in visitors.

But Basildon love birds expecting to be woken up with a romantic breakfast in bed may be disappointed as just four per cent say they’ll be making breakfast in bed this year, with one in ten (10%) preferring to put their culinary skills to practice for an evening meal.

When it comes to choosing the perfect Valentine’s gift, it seems Basildon residents are hopeless romantics, as traditional presents - greetings cards (40%), flowers (12%) and chocolates (12%) - remain among the most popular ways to say ‘I love you’.

And it’s not just other halves that will be treated this year either as, in some cases, best friends (8%), mums (4%), and pets (4%) can expect to receive a Valentine’s gift too.

Giancarlo Ussi, centre manager at Mayflower, said: “Valentine’s Day is a busy time for our retailers and restaurants as shoppers look to celebrate and treat their loved ones.

"With one in five of residents likely to be celebrating the weekend prior to Valentine’s Day this year, we’re looking forward to spreading the love, whether that’s helping people choose the perfect gift or welcoming friends and couples for a romantic meal.”