AS a spooky Oxford landmark once home to incarcerated criminals, it might not seem the obvious venue for love.

Yet Oxford Castle, rumoured to be haunted by ghosts from centuries past, has proved to be one of the most popular spots for Valentine’s Day dinner.

Couples wanting a change from the cosy romance of a restaurant will tonight dine in the castle’s old prison cells, enjoying a hearty three-course feast fit for a medieval king.

The Valentine’s Lock-in will set back couples between £80 for a cell or £110 for the whole crypt, and has sold out.

Saffron Bowdler, sales and marketing manager at Oxford Castle Unlocked, said:”We are thrilled it’s been so popular.

“The Lock-In is a really special way to spend Valentine’s Day with ‘the old ball and chain’.

“It’s definitely Oxford’s quirkiest way to spend Valentine’s Day.”

Though the venue off New Road might seem to lend itself better as a location for Hallowe'en celebrations, she said the castle’s intriguing past makes for a good Valentine’s Day fit.

She said: “There is something wonderfully romantic about exploring historic sites together.

“Our castle and prison wing are incredibly atmospheric - they are steeped in history.”