The turn of the year means that we are, once again, hurtling headlong towards the lazy days of summer, with a big helping of spring romance in between. Spring is often thought of as a bit of a cliché in romantic terms, with mammals coming out of hibernation, bees waggling their bottoms in stylised bee-dances, and people putting away their heavy coats and slipping back into their warm-weather wardrobe. There is also, of course, Valentine’s Day to look forward to and a growing number of couples are seeing this as an excuse for a romantic getaway, rather than just an overpriced meal in the local Italian restaurant. Getting away for a long weekend is becoming the norm, but the UK is a pretty big place, and you want to make it special, so just were should you and your partner head to?
How about the Cotswolds? Now almost considered to be the romantic heart of the country, the Cotswolds – defined as almost 800 square miles oof lush countryside and idyllic towns running through Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire – has romance indelibly stamped onto it. Not short of a great hotel or two, the area has everything you could possibly want when it comes to romance. With literally hundreds of hotels to choose from, picking just a few is always a tricky task, but could include Cowley Manor near Cheltenham, Buckland Manor close to Chipping Camden, and The Lygon Arms at Broadway. The Cotswolds is a fantastic mix of classic hotels, beautiful, indulgent bars and restaurants, and stunning views.
Of course, the residents of the Lake District would argue that they have all of those too, and we would agree. The Lake District is a mountainous region in North West England that is also a popular holiday destination. It is famous for its lakes, forests, and mountains, as well as its associations with William Wordsworth as well as with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin. UNESCO has recognised the Lake District National Park as a World Heritage and it is one of the country's most popular National parks. With photo-opportunities round every corner, luxury hotels like the Low Wood Bay Resort, the Samling Hotel, and the Wordsworth Hotel offer some of the best romantic experiences in this picturesque area.
The west country, comprising an area straddling the English Channel in the south and the Bristol Channel, Severn Estuary or Herefordshire in the north, but is also taken to mean the counties of Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset. It comprises a lot of rugged coastlines and is beloved of gastronauts, water sports enthusiasts and romantics alike. And this majestic land boast some spectacular getaways too, like the Stargazer Treehouse at Bratton Clovelly, the Gidleigh Park Hotel on Dartmoor, and, and the elegant Boskerris Hotel at St. Ives.
Up in Scotland, they are no strangers to romantic breaks and the highlands are home to many romantic getaways, with many nestling in the mountainous vistas. Here you can find the splendour of establishment such as the Kincraig Caste Hotel at Invergordon, the Tulloch Castle Hotel near Dingwall, or even Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire. Depending upon where you are starting out from in the country, Scotland may seem a bit of a way off, but as they say, getting there is half the fun, and once there, the splendour of the Highlands will captivate you and enhance the romantic feeling.
However, let’s not forget London and the South East. Home to some of the most opulent – and expensive – getaways in the country, the South East may not have the splendour of many other parts of the UK, but can still be an ideal place for a romantic short break. London hotels are great if you have other plans such as a romantic meal or a stage show, but the countryside is the epitome of romance itself. If you are considering a romantic getaway in the South East, you might well consider Cliveden House in Berkshire, renowned for entertaining everyone from Churchill to John Lennon, the supposedly haunted Mermaid Inn at Rye, or Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire, which featured in the Daniel Craig film Layer Cake. If you must stay in London, you could try the Bloomsbury Hotel, close to the British Museum, or the lavish Kimpton Fitzroy at Russell Square, if you want the extra opulence alongside the romance.
It really doesn’t matter where you go in the UK for a romantic getaway; you can have just as much romance wherever you are, if you make it so.