Whether your idea of romance is a stroll in the countryside or a sunset cocktail over one of the world’s greatest cities, the United Kingdom isn’t short of romantic spots. Here are our favourites.
Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
If paradise is strolling out of your back door and straight into the mountains, then the Brecon Beacons is your nirvana. Holiday cottages situated within this seemingly boundless national park offer couples with outdoorsy spirit a chance to commune with nature. Walking, mountain biking and pony trekking are fun ways to explore the uplands and valleys of the Black Mountains and if you’re not tired-out from the day’s adventures, the area is scattered with proper pubs boasting serious cheffy credentials.
Seeking the ultimate city break? Look no further than London. Smart, edgy and bursting with multicultural swagger, the diversity of this buzzing heartland is perhaps its star quality. The Shard’s viewing platform is a magnificent way to soak up some atmosphere with your amore, but you can cop a thriftier view by boarding the Thames Clipper from Tate Britain to Tate Modern or taking a stroll up the infamous Parliament Hill to watch the sun go down over this sprawling city.
Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, England
In the most far-reaching corner of the British Isles dwells Cornwall, known fondly for its sandy beaches and cream teas, but also as a county that exudes myth from every mound. Tintagel Castle is perhaps the most evocative, as one of the greatest medieval sites in the entire country, and alleged birthplace of King Arthur. Think wizardry, tales of damsels in distress and knights in shining armour. The winding paths and sea views along Tintagel’s ruined battlements are simply enchanting.
Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, England
Escape to the wildly romantic Peak District for a rural sojourn. In August, when the moorlands yield vibrant purple heather, this hearty hinterland – stomping ground of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre – is breathtaking. Make sure you book into one of the many characterful cottages available in the area and spend a day at the stunning stately home of Chatsworth House, the historic seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and setting of many famous love stories.
Bath, Somerset, England
A UNESCO World Heritage site interwoven with literary history, the Georgian city of Bath is the perfect setting for a weekend liaison. Stroll through town to the Royal Crescent and observe Palladian architecture at its most magnificent before visiting The Pump Room for champagne tea overlooking the Roman Baths. Browse independent galleries and shops for a memento and end the day with a soak in the naturally warm rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa – the twinkling city views from here are awesome.
Orford, Suffolk, England
This small Suffolk town with its Norman castle and picturesque quayside is pretty and quaint in equal measure. Stay at the King’s Head Inn, a quality Bed & Breakfast owned by Adnams Brewery, or head to The Crown and Castle hotel for a cosy stay with castle views. Breakfast at the village’s celebrated Pump Street Bakery and get a heady dose of aphrodisiac at the Butley and Orford Oysterage – a local institution serving up the freshest oysters in an unpretentious setting.
The Isle of Skye, Scotland
Undulant and unspoilt, the rugged scenery of Skye is some of Scotland’s most captivating. The island’s hub is Portree, a picturesque town of colourful harbour buildings and a good base for those looking to explore the island. Keen wild swimmers should head for the enchanting Fairy Pools near Glen Brittle – a memorable spot for taking the plunge. And whisky fans mustn’t leave without a trip to the Talisker Distillery, where you can warm those cockles with a tasting tour.
The Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Journey to the northeast coast of Northern Ireland to see the sun set over the horizon from atop Giant’s Causeway. A brisk walk will bring you to this remarkable natural phenomenon, created by an ancient volcanic eruption, where approximately 40,000 hexagonal columns interlock to produce an undulating ridge of basalt rock. If the symbolism of perfect natural unity isn’t enough to get you all gooey eyed, the aura of myth and legendary stories surrounding this site will surely captivate your hearts.
Elope to Scotland’s capital for an elegant weekend away and to experience the fabulous contrast of medieval and cosmopolitan. You’ll find chic bars and restaurants nestled amongst landmarks steeped in centuries of history. Book a table for dinner at The Outsider with a castle view to enjoy modern Scottish cuisine in the heart of the Old Town. A climb to the peak of Arthur’s Seat (an extinct volcano) will reward you with stunning views of the city and Edinburgh Castle.
Durdle Door, Dorset, England
For the British coastline at its most arresting, pitch up on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth. Here you’ll find campsites with far-reaching sea views and private beaches. The picture-postcard limestone arches of Durdle Door make this weather-beaten landscape a dreamy location for long cliff-top walks, fossil hunting and a blustery picnic or two. Come twilight, cuddle over a campfire and if stormy weather threatens to cloud your stay, take shelter in the nearest cheerful pub – of which there are many.