This Valentine’s Day, why not escape to one of these spectacular locations.
Here is our guide to some of Britain’s most romantic places to explore…
Few things in these islands can match the natural beauty of the Lake District. These stunning English fells stand tall, hiding lengthy lakes amongst their 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.
The view from Haystacks with High Stile separating Ennerdale and Crummock Waters, The Lake District, Cunbria, England.
Almost everywhere in Lakeland offers relaxing isolation and hill walking of all varieties, from gentle strolls along winding rivers, to tackling Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak from which you can see Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Isle of Man on a clear day.
The New Forest in Hampshire is, to some, deceptively named. Far from a thick green blanket of trees covering he majority of this country, it is a balance of woods and open countryside. While there are wooded areas of varying sizes and densities, it is largely made up of heathland, smattered with heather and horses.
New Forest Pony and reflection
It is area brimming with wildlife as well as livestock and domestic animals that you will encounter at regular intervals as you amble along the attractive, level landscape that stretches out from the coast at Lymington, up towards Salisbury.
In the north west of Wales, on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, the village of Port Meirion is an enchanting place. Its vibrantly coloured cottages look quite continental in their design, while Victorian castellated mansion Castell Deudraeth looks as British a building as they come. Port Meirion offers a quaint base from which to explore this stunning region.
Landscape from top of Cadair Idris mountain in Snowdonia National Park over Llyn y Gader with cloudy stormy sky
Swallow Falls in Snowdonia National Park is regarded as one of the country’s most beautiful natural locations. Elsewhere, the beautiful Cwm Pennant valley provides a little more seclusion for the romantics who want to forget the outside world for a while. Hunker down in some of the valley’s comfy cottages on your return from conquering Mount Snowdon.
For a quaint country escape you can’t go far wrong with to the Wye Valley, an area of outstanding beauty that straddles the English and Welsh border. With meandering river valleys, forests and not too far from the Black Mountains on the Welsh side, this is where British tourism was, apparently, born in the 18th century. With the nearby attractions of the Forest of Dean, Tintern Abbey and the Vale of Usk it’s no wonder people have been exploring this are for centuries.
The Yorkshire Dales offer glorious hills, stunning waterfalls (Hardraw Force, Janet’s Foss and Aysgarth Falls in particular) and pretty farm villages populated with many a pleasant pub. Again, it’s an area of northern England that is perfect for hill walking, although here the peaks are considerably less high than those in Lakeland.
Stonesdale Beck flows below Stonesdale Bridge on Stonesdale Moor in Upper Swaledale, part of Yorkshire Dales National Park
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 an enviably Hollywood proposal.
Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast, Dorset, England
The Cairngorms teems with towering trees, shimmering lochs and busy wildlife. Take a hike through this vast, untamed area of Scotland with our list of the area’s best walks.
Loch Morlich Cairngorms ©Alamy
Alternative adventures to celebrate Valentine’s Day
Enjoy a play at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Perched high on the cliffs above the bellowing ocean, this incredible stone theatre is one of Cornwall’s most stories – and romantic – spots. Over Valentines weekend, old smuggler’s yarns will be told at storytelling events at the Minack. Learn how to “sow a crop”, how to tell a smuggler your house is safe, and how to use a goose to your advantage, then go exploring the hidden coves of Cornwall’s beautiful coastline. https://www.minack.com
Share a campfire dinner
If you can brave the cold, why not cook up an outdoors feast for your beloved? Wrap up warm and head outdoors – you could try roasting potatoes in the embers of a campfire, cooking a stew on a tripod or just toast marshmallows to have with hot cider from a thermos.
Go on a full moon walk
On the night of the 13th February a full moon will beam down on Britain, and the sun will set at 5.55pm. If it’s a clear night, wrap up, strap on head torches and head somewhere wild to see the starts. Just make sure you’ve got a warm pub in mind to warm up in at the end of the adventure or pack a flask of hot chocolate.
Watch the sunrise at Avebury, Wiltshire
Avebury is Stonehenge’s smaller but much quieter and lovelier brother, consisting of three stone circles you can still ramble around without a gift shop in sight. Get up for sunrise and you’ll see these ancient monuments glow under a pink sky. Sunrise on the 13th February will be at around 7.30am.
Share a cosy camping pod
If cold weather camping isn’t really your thing, why not kip in your own pint-sized house in the great outdoors over the Valentines weekend? Camping pods are small but perfectly formed abodes which are perfect for a couple. Cool Camping have a great list of posh pods to choose from. Visit: coolcamping.com/campsites/glamping/pods
Take a ride on the Caledonian Sleeper from London to Scotland
Escape the city in style on the Caledonian Sleeper. Go to sleep in a comfy bunk in the big smoke and wake up amongst the wild hills of Inverness or Fort William. Spend the weekend hiking, biking or just whiskey tasting by a peat fire. Visit: www.sleeper.scot
Spend a night in a bothy
Head to the hills to spend a night in a bothy. Free to use for walkers, the UK’s bothies are often in incredible locations, from the remote corners of the Northern Highlands to Wales. Facilities can be basic, but that’s part of their charm. Often a multi-stove and fire making facilities will be provided. If you’re lucky you could find you have the bothy to yourself for the night, but in the peak months they can get busy, so pack a tent just in case there’s no room to be found. Visit: mountainbothies.org.uk
Get on your bike!
Bike touring – particularly on a tandem bike, is a fun way to spend time with your partner. Enjoy a day of riding along one of Britain’s off road cycle routes, such as the Camel Trail in Cornwall or Tarka Trail in Devon. Or if you have more time on your hands, why not spend a couple of days riding in the beautiful British countryside? Just don’t forget to pack a romantic picnic to enjoy on route. Visit: cycletourer.co.uk/cycletouring