8 Most Romantic Spots in Britain
Ever get the urge to just jump in a car and head somewhere really romantic? Britain is one of the most beautiful, inspiring islands in the world. With historic buildings, incredible coastlines and rolling hills, there are options for every kind of hopeless romantic. Whether you’re planning to propose, or just fancy a change of scenery, we’ve scoured these fair isles for eight of the most romantic locations in Britain, and a whole range of activities to try while you’re there.
Charly Lester is one of Britain’s leading dating experts. The Founder of the UK Dating Awards, and former Global Head of Dating at Time Out, Charly began her career in the dating industry when her blog ‘30 dates‘ went viral. The blog led to an editor’s job at The Guardian, and Charly still presents regular Guardian Masterclasses on blogging. Charly is a weekly columnist for Collectively.org.
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The ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ has been the setting for love stories for centuries now. With meandering cobblestone streets, and lush green quadrangles, Oxford is the oldest university town in the country , and time stands still within the college walls. Take a picnic hamper onto a punt, or cosy up for high tea at the Vaults and Garden café. For the best view of the ancient city, climb the medieval spiral staircase up to the top of the University Church.
Oxford is just an hour and a half’s drive from London, via the M40 and A40.
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With epic cliffs, rolling dunes and endless heathland, Devon is a goldmine of romantic locations. For a picture perfect British cove, head to Croyde Bay in North Devon. With crashing waves and sandy dunes, surrounded by grassy hillocks, the area is also home to numerous cosy pubs to lose track of time in. If you prefer your beaches pebbly, then head to Branscombe Beach on the south coast. And if trekking through green countryside is more your thing, check out the Doone Valley – the inspiration for the book Laura Doone: A Romance of Exmoor. Beautiful heathland, babbling brooks, ancient woodland, and fairytale bridges make for some of the most romantic countryside in Britain.
Devon is a three-hour drive from London, via the M3, A303 and A30.
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The beautiful walled Roman city of York is one of the most romantic in the north of England. Step back in time, weaving your way down the cobbled Shambles, or get lost in the quaint Snickelways, a maze of small streets and footpaths around the city. Climb the central tower of York Minster, for an incredible view of the city. Or head underground, and explore ‘The Undercroft’, the interactive chambers beneath the Gothic cathedral.
York is a four-hour drive from both London and Edinburgh. From Edinburgh, take the A1 and A19. From London, head north on the A1 or M1.
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If you’re looking for a traditional English village, then the Cotswolds have countless on offer. Each with its own unique high street, full of shops selling locally-made wares, the area is a goldmine of tradition, beauty and romance. Cosy up in an independent hotel or a hire a private cottage and then take a stroll down the main streets of Chipping Camden or Burford. Explore the grounds of the beautiful Bleinheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, or don your wellies and splash around in the picturesque ford at Upper Slaughter.
Bleinheim Palace is less than an hour and a half from London, via the M40.
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For more coastal options, head to Cornwall. The aptly named Lusty Beach is one of the county’s most beautiful. With crashing waves and glistening sands, the beach is a stone’s throw from Newquay. And if romantic views aren’t enough to tickle your fancy, the beach is also renowned for adventurous activities, including a 750 foot zip wire. Alternatively, head inland to the St Nectans Glan Waterfall in Tintagel. With ivy clad trees, and a meandering river, as well as the titular waterfall, this secret hideaway has ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ status.
Newquay is four and a half hours drive from London, via the A303 and A30.
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If you’re on the hunt for a picturesque location, in Edinburgh you will be spoiled for choice. Arguably Scotland’s most romantic city, it has it everything – epic views, cobbled streets, and ancient landmarks. Visit the city’s iconic castle, or simply marvel at it from afar. For a more physically challenging trek, climb Arthur’s Seat for a bird’s eye view of the incredible city. The hill is right at the centre of Scotland’s capital city, and a round trip to the top from Holyrood Palace will take around two and a half hours. For a more leisurely afternoon, head to the Whiski Rooms for whisky tasting and Scottish cuisine. Edinburgh has numerous beautiful monuments and sites of interest, but our particular favourites are the medieval Rosslyn Chapel, and St Bernard’s Well.
Edinburgh is a six hour drive from Birmingham, via the M6.
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Britain’s second oldest university city is just as beautiful as its elder sibling. Take a stroll along the beautiful city backs, or head through the stunning botanical gardens. Check out the grounds of Trinity and St. John’s, two of the largest Cambridge colleges, and wander the cobbled streets of the city centre. The best view of the city is from Great St Mary’s Church on Senate House Hill, and the best cakes are from Nadia’s Pattiserie on Silver Street. Walk down to the side of the Cam, and grab a drink at the Mill, or hire a punt from Scudamore’s.
Cambridge is an hour from London via the A1(M).
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Arguably the most beautiful and romantic area of the country, the Lake District offers a romance which has been captured by a hundred different novels, and has been the setting for countless marriage proposals. Check out the jetty over Windermere at the Brockhole Visitor Centre, or hike over the picture perfect High Sweden bridge, to the north of Ambleside. If you’re a fan of the water, take a rowing boat out onto Grasmere, or hire a canoe from the Coniston Boating Centre. Plus, you can even check out the spot where Bill Clinton proposed to Hilary … the shores of Ennerdale Water, also known as Wordsworth Country.
Ambleside is five hours drive from London, via the M40 and M6.