Valentine’s Day can be a good an excuse to spend quality time together as a couple, perhaps in a cosy holiday cottage by the river or a coastal retreat away from the crowds. Or maybe the perfect way to spend the day is with a romantic countryside walk through a beautiful landscape. This year, of course, things will be a bit different.
The coronavirus pandemic means that we are unable to travel and as a result those romantic getaways lie just out of reach. But fear not, as we’ve put together a virtual escape that will transport you and your loved one to some of the UKs most romantic landscapes, from pretty Cotswold villages and towns, to majestic waterfalls, peaceful rivers and charming woodlands.
Discover more virtual escapes
Our virtual escapes series brings together a collection of spectacular films, taking you on a visual journey through the British landscape. Discover majestic mountains, shimmering shores and peaceful rivers with our virtual escapes.
Britain’s most romantic landscapes
Ynys Llanddwyn (Llanddwyn Island), Anglesey
Llanddwyn Island is named after St Dwynwen, who retreated to the small tidal island off the coast of Anglesey in the early fifth century after an unhappy love affair. She had fallen in love with a youth named Maelon but her father, King Brychan, wanted her to marry someone else. According to legend, an angel visited her and gave her a potion that healed her loss and turned Maelon into ice.
Dwynwen was granted three wishes: firstly, that Maelon would be thawed; secondly, that true lovers would have their dreams fulfilled; finally, she would never marry. She then devoted her life to God and lived on the island until her death in AD465. She is remembered in Wales by the exchange of cards on 25 January – St Dwynwen’s Day – every year.
Discover Llanddwyn Island from the air with Anthony Bryant’s spectacular drone film:
Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
Straddling the coast at Bamburgh, this majestic stronghold was once the seat of the kings of Northumbria, and is today the largest inhabited castle in England. The first written reference to the existence of a fort on this whinstone outcrop dates to 547AD, when the citadel was captured by the Anglo-Saxon Ida of Bernicia – it was later built upon by Normans and later again by Henry II, all the while fending off raids from Scots over the border.
In the late-18th century, Joseph Mallord William Turner sketched the castle in his famed Romantic style. Today it stands proud and inimitable against the sky and sea, a magnificent relic of years of warfare and strife, and the Romanticism movement.
Watching this film by Michael Angelo Gomes, you can almost hear the wind whipping about your ears and taste the salt tang on the breeze:
Dedham Vale and the River Stour, Suffolk/Essex
The Stour in Suffolk could be the most celebrated river in the country after the Thames. Why? Because it features in one of Britain’s favourite artworks, The Hay Wain, painted by John Constable in 1821 – we could hardly mention Turner without also giving a nod to this iconic artist of the Romanticism movement.
Dedham Vale’s stout oaks, weeping willows, wildflower meadows and meandering rivers are well known to many who have never been there, thanks to landscapes painted by 18th-century artist, John Constable. Many of his most famous works, such as The Hay Wain, The Cornfield and The Leaping Horse, depict the romantic lowland countryside and charming villages of the Stour Valley.
Constable studied nature rather than artistic principles, often painting outside rather than working from sketches. Instead of enhancing and stylising his works in the manner of most contemporary artists, he sought to capture the exact colours of the countryside and fleeting effects of light and shade (which he used the Italian word chiaroscuro to describe).
Palm Savanna’s peaceful film of Dedham Vale and the River Stour perfectly capture the romantic landscape as it is today:
Waterfall County, Powys
The spilling water, mossy riverbeds and tree-shrouded caverns of Waterfall Country create the perfect settling for one of Britain’s most romantic landscapes. “I cannot call to mind a single valley that… comprises so much beautiful and picturesque scenery and so many interesting and special features.” wrote Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace.
Journey to the Vale of Neath on the southern slopes of the Brecon Beacons with this enchanting film of Waterfall Country in full flow by Ben Hawkings Photography:
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
Eilean a’ Cheó – Island of the Mist – or Skye, is the Inner Hebrides’ most dramatic island. Here, an aura of primeval majesty reigns, a force strongest at the mountainous heart of the island where even compasses swoon under the magnetic rocks.
Ethereal beings would not seem out of place on Skye’s jagged ridges, pinnacles and cliffs. And it’s easy to imagine fairies inhabiting the vibrant turquoise pools near Glen Brittle, at the foot of the Black Cuillin mountains.
Be transported to the romance and beauty of Fairy Pools with this film by Pesky Seagull Aerial Photography & Video:
The best thing about living in Edinburgh is having a favourite hill quite literally on your doorstep. Arthur’s Seat, situated just a stone’s throw from the city centre in Holyrood Park, is the remains of an ancient volcano and, at 250m high, it dominates the city’s skyline.
As you reach the summit, the views across Edinburgh and beyond are a treat and are particularly good in the afternoon, when the sun sets behind the Old Town and castle of a city lucky enough to have a volcano at its heart.
Journey to the summit of this romanic city peak with a film by DomsFlights:
Lake District, England
Few things in these islands can match the natural beauty of the Lake District. These stunning English fells stand tall, hiding lengthy lakes amongst sumptuous valleys. There are countless little villages worth staying in to get away from it all. It’s easy to see why the region inspired poets and writers like Wordsworth and Wainwright.
Lyme Regis, Dorset
The harbour in Lyme Regis, better known as The Cobb, plays host to an unparalleled panoramic view of the dramatic coastline. At sunset, choppy waters reflect light to create the perfect stage for romantic stroll – or even proposal should the mood take you! It is easy to see why this spectacular stretch of coastline which includes the dramatic Durdle Door inspires the famous novelist Jane Austen who holidayed in the area in 1804.