Virtual escapes: romantic landscapes

Take a virtual journey to Britain's most romantic holiday destinations and landscapes with our selection of short, love-stirring films, featuring picturesque waterfalls, beautiful coastal views and charming castles.

Published: February 1st, 2022 at 10:34 am
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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.

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For some, this may not be possible, or perhaps you would rather celebrate Valentine's Day from the comfort of your home. If that's you, fear not, as we've put together a virtual escape that will transport you and your loved one to some of the UK's most romantic landscapes, from pretty Cotswold villages and towns, to majestic Welsh waterfalls and peaceful Suffolk rivers.

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 landscape films

Ynys Llanddwyn (Llanddwyn Island), Anglesey

Lighthouse on rocky coastline
Llanddwyn Lighthouse on Llanddwyn Island on the coast of Anglesey/Credit: Alamy

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

Bamburgh Castle and reflection in Bamburgh Beach tidal pools, Northumberland, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Bamburgh Castle and reflection in Bamburgh Beach tidal pools in Northumberland/Credit: Getty Images

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

River Stour Dedham Vale Essex sussex
River Stour Dedham Vale under a low winter sun/Credit: Getty Images

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 – one of the most 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. 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 captures the romantic landscape as it is today:


Waterfall County, Powys

Brecon Beacons waterfall, Wales
Waterfall Country is one of the great wonders of the Brecon Beacons National Park/Credit: Michael Murphy, Getty Images

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:


Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland/Credit: Getty Images

The largest and most northerly island of the Inner Hebrides, Skye is larger than many of its brothers at 639 square miles, and has a bustling island life to match. Skye is tethered to the mainland by Skye Bridge on the A87, but ferries run from Mallaig for those who want to cross by water. There’s plenty of choice for gourmets, too – the Three Chimneys in Colbost and Kinloch Lodge in Sleat both offer Michelin-star treats.

Frequent boat trips offer sea angling experiences and wildlife tours for spotting sea eagles and dolphins, while golden eagles are sometimes visible on the mainland. The more adventurous visitor can try their hand at climbing the Cuillin ridge, a climb stretching 12km from end to end with sumptuous views, visit the rocky pinnacles of Northern peninsula Trotternish, or aim slightly lower with guided gorge walking – the perfect way to experience all Skye’s nooks and crannies.

Be transported to the romance and beauty of the Isle of Skye with this film by Sudo911:


Edinburgh, Scotland

Loch, hills and city
St. Margaret's Loch situated in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh/Credit: Getty

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

The Lake District's Blencathra mountain
The Lake District's Blencathra mountain/Credit: Getty Images

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.

Experience the Lakes in all their glory with this cinematic aerial film by Michael Lazenby:


Lyme Regis, Dorset

Stone harbour wall on coast
The Cobb at Lyme Regis/Credit: Alex Fieldhouse, Alamy

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.

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Sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the romance of the Dorset and Hampshire coast with this film by Ancient filmworks:

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