We like to think that you don’t have to go very far to find the most romantic places on earth. Sometimes it’s the very places right on your doorstep that provide the most magical setting for anniversaries, honeymoons, celebrations, first dates or proposals. So whether you’re planning your first holiday together, in need of a private getaway for your anniversary, or about to pop the question, don’t jet off abroad just yet. Because here are 21 of the most romantic places in England and of course, the Cotswolds is home to many of our favourite vacation spots below…
1. Cotswold Water Park
If we’re talking about romantic places, we have to start close to home in the Cotswold Water Park. It’s the largest marl lake system in the UK and our private lake offers one of the most peaceful settings in the area. With just 8 authentic Finnish holiday cabins thoughtfully placed around our 130 acre reserve for total seclusion, you’ll be sure to have a cosy time with lots of privacy. There are plenty of sports and water activities to do on the lake but most of our guests come here to do nothing at all but to simply kick back, enjoy the view from their private decking and pier, and to wind down in their own private lakeside hot tub…
2. Bourton on the Water
One of the most popular places for couples in our region is Bourton on the Water. And the drive from Winchcombe has been dubbed “The Romantic Road”. So if you’re looking for a lovely day out or a weekend stay in the area with a scenic drive to set you both in the mood, this is the perfect place to lay your hat. Bourton on the Water is famous for its chic and stylish craft shops, gift shops, pubs and tea rooms and whatever you get up to in the village, you’ll have the peaceful River Windrush and a series of beautiful stone bridges serving as your backdrop. The river and footbridges look just as pretty in the summer as they do in the winter, so it’s a great destination all year round.
Just a short drive from our lake is the quaint village of Bibury. Adorned with bluebell gardens in the spring and encircled with wonderful weaver’s cottages along Arlington Row, this charming little village is like something out of a storybook. It was once cited as “the most beautiful village in England” by artist William Morris, and we don’t think much of that beauty has changed today. It’s the place to go if you want to feel like you’ve travelled back in time to the 17th Century and it’s the sort of place where you can really get lost in the moment. We love it here and we’re sure you’ll find the old world streets and architecture to be utterly romantic.
4. Lake Windermere
Outside of our region, we take you to the world famous Lake Windermere. The Lake District is one of the most popular places to holiday in the UK and if you love ribbon lakes, rugged mountainscapes and cute cottages, it’s a great place to take your beau. Unlike our home in the Cotswolds, the Lake District is not flat so it’s a fantastic destination for fell walking and uphill hikes. For an al fresco lunch with the best lake views, head to the Wateredge Inn in Ambleside.
5. Covehithe, Suffolk
The UK is home to some truly beautiful beaches but our favourite kind of beach is the secluded kind. Travel to Covehithe in the Waveney district of Suffolk and you’ll feel like you’ve travelled to the end of the world where the cliffs drop dramatically into the ocean. If you want a beach with sun loungers, beach umbrellas and families building sand castles, you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you want raw, rugged landscapes with no-one else around but the two of you, then Covehithe needs to be on your bucket list. The beach and church nearby form a bit of an unkempt coastal ruin, but that’s all a part of the charm and you can find your own secret beach spot by taking the 100m footpath from the church and following the field edge to the coastline.
6. Foxholes Nature Reserve
When it comes to wild flowers, the Cotswolds is a gem in springtime. Our region flourishes with fabulous flora, and our country roads and woodlands are decorated with endless horizons of bluebells, poppy fields, cowslips and wild flower meadows. If you want to witness an undisturbed sea of pretty blue hues, take a walk at Foxholes Reserve in Bruern and follow the badger waymarkers to take the Wildlife Walking Trail. The woodland slopes down the River Evenlode and if you come here between mid-March and mid-May, you’ll catch the bluebells at their best. The views are like something out of a whimsical tale and if you find a quiet spot, it could even be the perfect place to propose!
7. Clos Maggiore, London
Clos Maggiore is a contemporary French restaurant in the capital (less than 2 hours by train from nearby Kemble) and it’s been named “the most romantic restaurant in the world” by multiple publications. The award winning menu has three AA rosettes to its name and it has a dining room setting to die for. The intimate venue is in a small blossom-filled conservatory which has a roaring open fire and trillions of fairy lights that come on after dark. The food is honest, locally produced, well-seasoned and beautifully presented – but never over the top. Perfect for an anniversary dinner.
8. Wastwater, Cumbria
This is the place for sunsets and quiet moments in time. If the pretty pubs and wholesome crowds of Windermere aren’t serene enough for you, make tracks for this remote spot in Wasdale in the western area of the Lake District National Park and take the 3 mile circular walk to soak up those glorious lake views. Unbelievable reflections bounce off the water’s calm surface and some of England’s highest mountains, including Scafell Pike and Great Gable, can be seen mirrored by Wastwater Lake.
9. Tintagel Castle, Cornwall
The medieval Tintagel Castle offers a dramatic setting for all of life’s moments; from first dates to proposals, there are fewer castles more beautiful than this one. But what we really love about this wonderful location is the varied landscapes and the choice of activities; burn off some nervous energy on the wild walks along the coastline before you pop the question, enjoy a romantic picnic on the quiet beach below or walk amongst castle ruins and learn more about Tintagel’s Roman past.
10. The Wild Duck Inn
Looking for the most romantic pub in England? We think we may have found it. It wasn’t easy picking just one when the Cotswolds is abundant in the most charming traditional public houses but The Wild Duck Inn certainly stands out as a favourite for many of our visitors. Just a stone’s throw away from our lake in Cirencester, this delightful watering hole is a popular pit stop for ramblers of the Thames Source, and the roaring fire, elegant dining menu and stunning outdoor garden create the perfect atmosphere for love birds looking to warm up, cool down, or refuel.
11. Blockley Village
Another chocolate box village in the Cotswolds, Blockley simply had to make our list of romantic places in England. Snuggled into a lush valley, Blockley is a great mix of cute couple-y picnic spots, easy walking trails, quaint village shops and a brace of pubs which are quintessentially British serving great food and drink. Blockley is less than 1 hour by car from Log House Holidays and it’s located close to both Chipping Campden and Moreton in Marsh.
12. Palladian Bridge, Bath
Palladian Bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in England and it’s also a popular place for lovers to take a walk. So much so, that’s it’s considered to be one of the best places in England to get down on one knee – if you’re looking for the perfect romantic setting, Prior Park Landscape Garden in Bath could be the ideal opportunity to pop the question! If you need to loosen up those legs, embark on the 6 mile Bath Skyline Circular Walk which goes by Palladian Bridge and don’t forget to find a quiet spot in the park for a well-deserved picnic break.
13. Kensington Gardens
Another city based park we need to mention is Kensington Gardens in London. Not only is it set along the most expensive road in the world surrounding the elegant Kensington Palace, but the park is also one of the best places to go in springtime – when the famous Lover’s Arch is blossoming with pretty foliage and flowers. For art fans, you will also find the Serpentine Galleries inside the garden grounds and there’s also a pond which has been decorated with spectacular Italian fountains.
14. Hayburn Wyke
If you’re a believer then this is the place to hunt for fairies. If you’re not, Hayburn Wyke is the place to hunt for romance. And you’ll find it at the bottom of the tumbling double waterfall down a wooden ravine off the old coastal cycle path from Robin Hood’s Bay. Take your loved one for an enchanted stroll with nothing but the soundtrack of willow warblers, woodpeckers and trickling streams – and don’t forget to pack a picnic.
15. Lower Slaughter
You can’t come to the Cotswolds without visiting the Slaughters; Lower Slaughter certainly has a place in our hearts because of its dedication to eco-tourism and conservation, just like our 130 acre reserve and our sustainable Cotswold log cabins! Lower Slaughter is one of the prettiest villages in England and at first glance, the hamlet seems so surreal that it’s hard to believe that people actually live here. It’s one of the most photographed places in the Cotswolds so don’t forget to bring your camera. And if you’re looking for a sleepy and peaceful setting for you and your beau, we promise that you’ll find it here.
16. Dalby Forest, North York Moors
For bike rides and walking trails, luxury glamping or adventure activities, summer BBQs and picnic sites, Dalby Forest has it all. If you want a magical mix of romance and outdoors, this attractive forest in the North York Moors is definitely worth visiting. There’s a visitor’s centre and car park so your trip will be stress-free and convenient, and there’s plenty to do in the surrounding areas too.
17. Lyme Park, Cheshire
For Jane Austen fans, Lyme Park is the epitome of fantasy, nostalgia and romanticism. This picturesque park is nestled on the edge of the Peak District and has over 1,300 acres of moorland surrounding its grand country house; more significantly, it’s the setting of the famous TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and offers a truly romantic day out for couples who have read the book and watched the film or TV series.
18. Sudeley Castle and Gardens
Sudeley Castle and Gardens makes a great day out for the whole family but it’s also the perfect little daytrip for loved up couples. Stroll through the incredible landscaped greenery hand in hand or explore the numerous rooms and exhibits inside the castle. You can even book a Cotswold afternoon tea for two with champagne (optional) at the castle’s Terrace Café to make your day extra special.
19. Cleeve Hill
Bringing you back to the Cotswolds for number 20, we’ve found another sunset spot that you can’t miss. Sunsets are pretty amazing anywhere in our region (especially from your own private hot tub at your log cabin overlooking our lake), but if you want a soaring vantage point then take the 1,083 ft. climb to Gloucestershire’s highest peak on Cleeve Hill. This scenic hilltop is a photographer’s dream and from the top, you’ll get panoramic views of Cheltenham, the River Severn and Winchcombe.
Set on the edge of the Shropshire hills and countryside, this pretty little town just west of Birmingham and Kidderminster is a sight to behold. Aesthetically alluring all year round, it’s ideal for weekend breakers but there’s more than meets the eye with this historical market town; Ludlow is foodie heaven. And if there’s one way to one’s heart, it’s through the stomach so it’s a gastronomical paradise for couples who love to wine and dine.
21. Coaley Peak
There are so many wonderful places to picnic in the Cotswolds, especially around our private lake! But if you want to work up an appetite and hike up great heights for the most glorious panoramic views of the Cotswolds, we recommend packing a few sandwiches and a flask to Coaley Peak Viewpoint which overlooks the Severn Vale and the Forest of Dean. There’s a lovely picnic site there and convenient parking so it’s made for lovebirds, and you’ll have 12 acres of grassland and wild flowers at your feet. Go in the summertime and you’ll cross paths with many different species of butterflies too.