Best romantic destinations in the UK from countryside retreats to city breaks

There’s nothing like a romantic minibreak for spending quality time with your other half – but sometimes a shortage of annual leave or budget can make a weekend away seem like a distant dream.

However, it doesn’t need to be – forget a city break in romantic classics like Paris or Venice where prices get hiked up during peak seasons anyway.

Why not explore one of the UK’s most romantic destinations instead?

To give you a dose of inspiration, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite spots below…

The best part of a UK break is you can go last-minute, without having to fork out for air fares or extra travel costs. Not to mention you can use that budget to spend a little extra on one of the UK’s most romantic hotels instead.

1. The Cotswolds, England


Hire a cosy cottage and spend the days leisurely strolling hand in hand through the picture-perfect countryside, exploring the picturesque, quintessentially British villages with cobbled streets and colourful floral gardens.

Stop off for a spot of lunch in one of the snug pubs dotted around the landscape, and tuck into some proper British grub – or have a date night at one of the romantic restaurants for dinner instead.

Has the weather let you down? No problem – snuggle up by the fireplace instead and make the most of this peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

How to get there: Sykes Cottages has beautiful and romantic cottages across the UK, while TripAdvisor Rentals has snug retreats that are perfect if you’re saving the pennies.

2. Edinburgh, Scotland


The Scottish capital has long drawn in honeymooners from around the world thanks to its beautiful surroundings, local cuisine and eye-catching landmarks.

The more active can enjoy a hike up to Arthur’s Seat for unrivalled views of the city, while Edinburgh Castle offers the perfect location for whiling away an afternoon.

Then of course there’s the impressive foodie scene, from restaurants serving up traditional Scottish dishes (think haggis!) as well as modern gourmet dining options. You can also check out our Edinburgh city guide for more information.

Oh, and of course, Edinburgh is home to some seriously romantic hotels .

3. York, England


If your other half is a big fan of all things history and architecure, then York could be the ideal city break!

Packed with beautiful buildings and landmarks such as the York Minster cathedral, you can take plenty of guided tours of the city to see the highlights – or for something a bit different, why not try one of the quirky Ghost Walks?

In the evening you’ll have plenty of choice for date night from the bustling bars and clubs to cosy restaurants. Not to mention there are some beautiful boutique hotels throughout the city – including budget-friendly options too!

4. London, England


If it’s an action-packed weekend that you’re after, London’s sure to deliver!

Enjoy some of the city’s biggest attractions including the London Eye and Madame Tussaud’s, go exploring the wealth of pubs and bars on offer, and spend date night watching a dazzling West End show.

Despite a reputation for being expensive, which it can be, there are a few easy tricks for having a cheap day out in London , not to mention there are plenty of cheap hotels available too .

5. St Ives, England

St Ives, Cornwall, England
St Ives, Cornwall, England

There’s nothing like the fresh sea air to leave you feeling like you’re truly escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life.

St Ives in Cornwall is the epitome of a tranquil seaside resort with plenty of cosy bed and breakfasts, independent restaurants, and a wealth of picturesque views from the harbour to the beaches.

Check out these locals’ top tips for the ultimate holiday in Cornwall .

6. Bath, England


For the ultimate spa break, head to Bath! Spend the weekend exploring the beautiful historic city and make sure to stop off to explore the Roman Baths, and then why not treat yourselves and book into a spa hotel for the weekend and indulge in some treatments?

Bath has a whole host of brilliant spas – or if it’s a bit too far from where you are, then why not book an equally great spa break elsewhere in the UK ?

7. Peak District, England


With its spectacular sweeping landscapes, the Peak District provides an idyllic setting for any getaway – let alone for a romantic one.

While away an afternoon taking a stroll through the rolling green hills, challenge yourselves on a longer hike… or if it’s raining, why not snuggle up in a cosy cottage , or indulge at one of the luxury hotels (you can find some pretty decent prices at this time of year too!).

8. Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Isle of Skye has everything from rough and rugged hiking trails to pretty harbours – Portree is particularly beautiful – and waterfront villages.

It’s an idyllic retreat for couples who love the great outdoors thanks to the vast amount of hiking and walking trails on offer. Just make sure to pack plenty of layers as the weather can be quite volatile!

9. Llanddwyn Island, Wales


The final resting place of St. Dwynwen; the Welsh patron saint of lovers, it’s no wonder that plenty of couples journey here for a romantic break. (She’s basically the equivalent of St Valentine).

Not quite an island, Llanddwyn sits on the mainland of Anglesey, right on the water’s edge. Expect rolling dunes, eye-catching rocks and plenty of historic sites; it’s a brilliant picnic spot too if the weather holds out.

The mainland offers a wealth of romantic accommodation too, from chateaus to snug cottages.

10. Stratford-upon-Avon, England


Shakespeare wrote some of the world’s greatest love stories, and it’s not difficult to see where he got some of his inspiration when you take a stroll through the picturesque streets of this medieval market town in Warwickshire.

Visit the Bard’s birthplace or wife Anne Hathaway’s cottage, or check out one of the many museums and farms on offer.

Mills and Boons’ top picks of romantic destinations

Romance novel extraordinaires Mills and Boon have also provided us with inspiration as they revealed the UK’s top 20 most romantic hotspots across the UK. (And they’ve even released a short story set for each of the top 10 spots ).

A survey from the publishers found that there were five key factors for the ideal romantic break; beautiful views, luxury accommodation, warm climate, fabulous restaurants and amazing walks.

1. Fairy Pools, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Fairy Pools, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

It’s no surprise that these dreamy pools have topped the list with their striking green-blue waters that look like something out of a storybook.

Take a romantic stroll waterside or, on the warmer days, some of the pools have swim-friendly waters ideal for cooling off amidst the summer heat.

Looking for somewhere to stay nearby? TripAdvisor has a handy round-up of the hotels closest to the Fairy Pools .

2. Grasmere, Lake District, England

Grasmere, Lake District, England

If you’re both fans of the great outdoors and love being surrounded by the best of the British countryside, then you may want to head to Grasmere, a picturesque village in the centre of the Lake District.

While away a few hours walking through the rolling green hills, stop off in the cosy pubs for some proper British grub, or snuggle up in front of the fireplace at the end of the night and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Whether you’re after a cheap and cheerful break or looking for a luxury hotel to mark an anniversary in style, Booking.com offers up 30 brilliant hotels nearby to suit every budget.

3. City of Bath

City of Bath

Looking for a spa weekend? Then you may want to head to this beautiful historic city, home to the incredible Roman Baths.

There are some great spa hotels in Bath ( Check out top reviewed ones on TripAdvisor ) where you won’t break the bank, not to mention that if you do want to venture outside, the city is packed with brilliant bars, restaurants and boutiques for a lush weekend break.

4. Durdle Door, Dorset

Durdle Door, Dorset

One of Dorset’s most famous landmarks, Durdle Door makes for the ultimate backdrop for any romantic moment whether for a proposal or just a beautiful backdrop to a romantic break.

Then of course there’s plenty more of the Jurassic Coast to explore for scenic strolls or lazy beach days.

Expedia offers up some cosy and luxury hotels near Durdle Door that won’t break the bank.

5. Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Tresco, Isle of Scilly

The second-biggest island of the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall is a picture-perfect, postcard-worthy spot.

Think turquoise waters, lush greenery, white sand beaches, unspoilt landscape… the list goes on and on. The ideal spot if you’ve always dreamed of a holiday somewhere like the Maldives or Seychelles, but have a budget to stick to.

Check out this round-up of Tresco’s best hotels .

6. Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales

Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales

Tipped as one of the 20 incredible places in Britain , you’d be forgiven for thinking this spot was on Italy’s Amalfi Coast – but it’s in Wales!

This breathtaking village boasts a burst of colour thanks to the floral gardens, not to mention its beautiful fountains and pretty buildings with intricate architecture.

There are 14 cottages and two hotels for those visiting but Hotel Portmeirion can make for a romantic home away from home.

7. Bourton-on-the-water, the Cotswolds

Bourton-on-the-water, the Cotswolds

River Windrush runs through Bourton-on-the-water making for a seriously pretty riverside stay. The village is filled with charming boutiques, restaurants and bars, not to mention there are plenty of highlights to visit from the Cotswold Motoring Museum to the quirky Model Village.

Booking.com offers up plenty of hotels in Bourton-on-the-water no matter what budget you’re on for a romantic break.

8. Porthcurno, The Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Porthcurno, The Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Theatre buffs are sure to be blown away by the Minack Theatre’s beautiful setting; after all, the open air theatre boasts some incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Head down during the day and take in the breathtaking scenery, or even catch one of the live performances that are put on throughout the summer.

Check out our guide to holidaying in Cornwall for the best hotels, restaurants and things to see during your romantic getaway.

9. Cambridge and the River Cam

Cambridge and the River Cam

Cambridge has everything you could want for a romantic break of a lifetime. For a start the whole city is steeped in history thanks to its breathtaking colleges, while the River Cam is ideal for an afternoon of punting to take in the views.

And because it’s a student hub, Cambridge is also home to plenty of great bars, restaurants and shops for a city break that’s unlike any other.

For something extra special, check out the best luxury hotels in Cambridge on TripAdvisor.

10. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

A must-visit for any Game of Thrones fans , the Giant’s Causeway is a pretty epic sight – no wonder it was named one of the best UK experiences for any day out.

Surrounded by myths and legends , this UNESCO-listed site offers up plenty of iconic spots and breathtaking views – and it makes for a pretty incredible backdrop for those once-in-a-lifetime romantic moments.

Full list of 20 most romantic places in the UK 

  1. Fairy Pools, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, ScotlanD
  2. Grasmere, Lake District, England
  3. City of Bath
  4. Durdle Door, Dorset
  5. Tresco, Isles of Scilly
  6. Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales
  7. Bourton-on-the-water, the Cotswolds
  8. Porthcurno, The Minack Theatre, Cornwall
  9. Cambridge and the River Cam
  10. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
  11. Windsor Castle, Windsor
  12. Abereiddi’s Blue Lagoon, Pembrokeshire, wales
  13. The Dark Hedges, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  14. Leeds Castle, Kent
  15. Llyn Padarn (Llanberis), Snowdonia, Wales
  16. Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
  17. The Falls of Bruar, Perth, Scotland
  18. Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, Scotland
  19. St Nectan’s Glen, Cornwall
  20. City of Oxford

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