Looking to whisk your loved one away on a romantic staycation? We know finding the perfect place can be a challenge. But, as savvy snaptrippers will know, the UK is actually brimming with dreamy little hideaways and secret spots. The key is knowing where to look.
From romantic strolls on sandy beaches and nights spent gazing at the stars to discovering a new favourite city together or snuggling up by a cosy fire, nothing can beat an amorous escape à deux. Read on to discover Britain’s most romantic getaways, just the ticket for your next couples trip.
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The Lake District
Best for: Romantic rambles and lovely lakes
The majestic mountains, shaded forest glens and, of course, tranquil lakes of the Lake District are shrouded in myth and legend. A longtime favourite with the UK’s writers and poets, you’ll soon see why this is the ultimate romantic destination.
Wandering through vista after stunning vista, every corner you turn will lead you to another postcard-worthy scene. Spend your day hiking in the hills, soaking up the spectacular views. Or else take a relaxing ramble along a riverbank, picnic hamper in tow of course!
Where to stay: Set in the picturesque village of Grasmere, which William Wordsworth called home for 14 years, The Old Coach House is the ultimate spot for a romantic break. Admire the stunning scenery from the comfort of your front room, or else light some candles and take a dip in the rolltop bath.
Where to eat: Ask any of the locals and they’ll tell you that you can’t go wrong with Tthe Jumble Room. The decor is red and eclectic, the food fresh, locally-sourced and utterly delicious, and you’ll often find a band playing in the evening. Serving Grasmere residents for the last 23 years, this kooky little spot is guaranteed to steal a piece of your heart.
Best for: Punting on the River Cam
Head to Cambridgeshire for the ultimate romantic weekend away. Start your trip in the famous city of Cambridge, losing yourself in the magic of its ancient streets. If the afternoon is nice, then commandeer a punt and lazily wend your way down the River Cam.
Once you’ve soaked up enough of the city, head out to the countryside and explore the quaint villages nestling in the gently rolling hills. Don your wellies and set off for a picturesque ramble through lush countryside, rolling hills and enchanting forests. On your return, make a beeline for a local pub and spend a cosy evening snuggled up next to a roaring fire.
What to do: Hire a tandem and take to the streets of Cambridge, marvelling at the ornate buildings and prestigious colleges as you pass by. Later on, while away the afternoon with a short walk around the Fen Drayton Lakes, keeping your eye out for otters, dragonflies and swans as you go.
Where to stay: If you’re a fan of the film Moulin Rouge, then you’ll know how romantic windmills can be. So, what could be better than staying right next to one during your sultry sojourn? Just nine miles away from the city of Cambridge, Millers Rest is an idyllic retreat just for two.
Where to eat: If you’re feeling flush, then treat your loved one to an exquisite meal at Restaurant Twenty-Two in Cambridge. Set in a beautifully-restored Victorian townhouse, this is fine dining at its very finest.
Best for: Nights spent stargazing
Nature lovers will be delighted by a tranquil weekend break in the beautiful Brecon Beacons. Put down your phones, switch off from the outside world and reconnect with each other instead. Spend your time hiking or cycling through the local countryside, stopping off at quaint old villages and lively market towns along the way.
What to do: Hike up the majestic Pen y Fan, sample some Welsh whisky at the Penderyn Distillery and rifle through second-hand book stores in Hay on Wye. Due to the lack of light pollution in the area, Brecon Beacons is the perfect spot for stargazing. So, as the night falls, star-crossed lovers should turn their gazes skyward.
Where to stay: Hop aboard for an amorous escape on The Orient Express. Originally a railway carriage, this cosy little cabin has been made for two. Set on an organic farm and surrounded by stunning countryside views, you couldn’t find a more romantic spot if you tried.
Where to eat: The village of Crai is tiny, so make sure you stock up on essentials before you set off. However, there are a couple of good pubs to be found just down the road in Defynnog – the Tanners Arms Inn and the Old Yew Tree are both great options for dinner and drinks.
Best for: Indulgent spa time
One of the loveliest city breaks in the UK, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath is about as romantic as it gets. What’s more, surrounded by stunning countryside and with plenty to do in the town itself, this versatile city promises to please every taste.
The streets here are lined with beautiful honey-coloured buildings and interesting boutique shops – perfect for a lazy afternoon of browsing. If you fancy reconnecting with nature, then set out on the Bath Skyline Walk. Not only will you pass fields of wildflower, Iron Age forts and magical pockets of woodland, but you’ll also catch some incredible views of the city along the way.
What to do: A well-being destination since Ancient Roman times, Bath’s famous waters have always drawn visitors from all over the country. So, do as the Romans did, and head to the incredible Thermae Bath Spa for an out-of-this-world spa break. Without a doubt, watching the sunset from the spa’s stunning open-air rooftop pool will be the highlight of your trip.
Where to stay: Make your other half feel like royalty with a luxury apartment in the majestic Royal Crescent, one of Bath’s most iconic landmarks. A stunning example of Georgian architecture, over the years this Grade I listed building has been lived in by a host of famous and influential figures.
Where to eat: Finish off your dreamy getaway with a candlelit dinner for two at Sotto Sotto. Set in a vaulted cellar, this unmissable little restaurant serves up the most delicious Italian food.
The Scottish Highlands
Best for: Wild, windswept beauty
The rugged and remote beauty of the Scottish Highlands is the perfect setting for a romantic holiday. Leave the hustle and bustle of modern life behind and spend your time exploring Scotland’s stunning scenery and reconnecting with one another.
From dramatic clifftop castles and picture-perfect lochs to vast, untouched stretches of sandy beach, this extraordinary country really does have it all. After a busy day of adventuring, spend your evening in a nearby pub, rubbing shoulders with the fierce-sounding (yet incredibly hospitable) locals, or else retire to a cosy corner just for two.
What to do: Keen hikers may want to consider tackling Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak. If you’re looking for something a little more leisurely then visit the beautiful tidal island of Eilean Shona and the mystical ruins of Castle Tioram – located on a tiny isle in Loch Moidart.
Where to stay: The Scottish Highlands abound with snug log cabins, quaint cottages and grand country houses, meaning you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to stay. Luckily, ‘The Turret’ is a spot which ticks all the boxes. Part of the magnificent Kinlochmoidart Estate, you can spend cosy evenings reading by the open fire, eating in the rustic farm kitchen and gazing out the fairytale turret window at this gorgeous property.