Dramatic landscapes of the British Isles star in myriad great romantic films and TV shows. Many of the filming locations are set within rural cottages, castles and country houses, as well as hamlets, villages and towns.

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Once the film crew have departed, these locations – and the people in them – return to their everyday lives. Country pubs serve beer, village shops sell milk, and overnight inns, once bustling with actors and cameramen, open their doors once more to the public.

There is, however, an element of romance that remains in these quiet corners of the countryside, making them a fitting place to visit with your loved one. For the ultimate romantic night away, you can even stay in some of these places. Here are a few ideas to get your started.

Britain best romantic film locations to stay in

Lyme Regis, Dorset – Persuasion (1995)

Stone harbour wall on coast
The Cobb in Lyme Regis is one of Persuasion's biggest stars/Credit: Alex Fieldhouse, Alamy

Jane Austen was so fond of Lyme Regis, she set the bulk of her novel Persuasion (1817) in the coastal town. The BBC’s 1995 adaptation puts Lyme Regis in the limelight, notably the Cobb – the iconic harbour wall where Anne Elliot’s assertiveness at the scene of an accident seals her in Captain Wentworth’s affections. Stay at the Alexandra, a Georgian hotel with private gardens overlooking the bay.


Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Powys – The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (1995)

Actor climbing a hill
Hugh Grant plays an English cartographer in the film The Englishman who Went up a Hill but Came down a Mountain/Credit: AA Film Archive, Alamy

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (1995) is a rom-com starring Hugh Grant about two English cartographers who cause a stir in a Welsh village when they tell locals their mountain is only a hill. Filming took place in the remote village of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, where you can stay at the Wynnstay Arms, a former coaching inn that serves a full Welsh breakfast.


Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire – Testament of Youth (2014)

Stone jetty in coastal village
The Bay Hotel sits in the heart of Robin Hood's Bay, the setting for Testament of Youth/Credit: Stuart Black, Alamy

In the 2014 film adaptation of Vera Brittain’s First World War memoir Testament of Youth, the dramatic cliff-backed beach at Robin Hood’s Bay serves as the location for Vera’s reunion with her fiancé Roland, newly returned from the front. Tucked away in The Dock you will find the Bay Hotel, a homely pub and hotel right on the water’s edge.


Snowshill, Gloucestershire – Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

Pretty village in the countryside
Snowshill was used in Bridget Jones’ Diary to portray Bridget’s parents’ home village/Credit: Andy Roland, Getty

In Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001), this pretty Cotswold village serves as the snowy backdrop for Bridget’s parents’ home, where she is reacquainted with the haughty but dreamy Mark Darcy. In the village, a stone’s throw from the pub, you can stay in the honey-coloured Apple Cottage, complete with an open fire, idyllic views and a welcome hamper.


Leith Hill, Surrey – Emma (2020)

Filming Emma at Leith Hill
Anya Taylor-Joy plays Emma in this adaptation of a Jane Austen classic/Credit: Entertainment Pictures, Alamy

“Badly done, Emma!” Mr Knightly’s scolding words to his friend on Box Hill’s summit form the most dramatic scene in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815). The 2009 TV adaptation and 2020 film, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, use Leith Hill as the location for the disastrous picnic. Find locally sourced food and ensuite rooms at the nearby Plough Inn in Coldharbour.


Porthgwarra Cove, Cornwall – Poldark (2015 onwards)

Sunrise on coast by sea
Enjoy an early morning sunrise at Porthgwarra Cove where Ross Poldark took an early morning dip/Credit: Helen Hotson, Alamy

This tiny fishing cove – with its rugged backdrop, crystal waters and cobbled causeway – is used in several scenes of the TV series Poldark, the most memorable being when Ross takes an early morning dip while Demelza secretly looks on. Porthgwarra is part of the St Aubyn Estate, where you can stay in one of its cottages perched high above the sea.


Duns Castle, Berwickshire – Mrs Brown (1997)

Castle and green lawn
Duns Castle was one of the main filming locations for Mrs Brown/Credit: Allan Wright, Alamy

While not strictly a romance, Mrs Brown (1997) tells the story of a deeply affectionate friendship between a grieving Queen Victoria and the unconventional Highlander, John Brown. The exterior scenes at Balmoral were actually filmed at Duns Castle on the Scottish Borders. You can stay in one of the castle’s 12 bedrooms or in one of the characterful cottages on the 1,200-acre estate.

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Authors

Abigail is a freelance writer and editor based in Hereford.

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