If you really want to get away this Valentine’s Day, leave the traffic, crowded hotels, and overbooked restaurants behind and make a break for one of these picturesque destinations instead.
We’ve zeroed in on the most popular rural retreats for a romantic escape this year, whether you’re pining for a peaceful holiday in the mountains, a dreamy weekend by the sea, or a charming stay in the heart of a historic market town.
Thanks to the brilliant selection of countryside cottages and coastal homes available on HolidayLettings, finding a swoon-worthy hideaway (and scoring brownie points with your significant other!) is the easy part. Choosing just one of these lovely spots, on the other hand? We’ll leave you to it.
Popularity ranking reflects the total number of bookings on HolidayLettings for stays between 11 February 2017 and 18 February 2017.
Recharge your romance with an adventurous escape to Aviemore, the perfect base for exploring Cairngorms National Park. Choose from a rustic selection of chalets, lodges, and log cabins with cosy amenities like wood-burning stoves, stunning mountain views, and forest walks nearby. Of course, the scenery isn’t the only part of this getaway that will steal your breath. Take a winter mountaineering course or conquer the pistes at Cairngorm Mountain Ski Resort to rev up your heart rate, then treat yourself to a well-deserved tipple at the Cairngorm Brewery Company.
With miles of soft, sandy beach and cliff-top views of the coast, Filey promises an unhurried holiday by the sea. This traditional resort town is known for its gardens and parks, but it also makes an ideal getaway for birdwatchers, history buffs, and walkers. Bundle up and explore a portion of the Cleveland Way, a beautiful coastal trail, or take a romantic stroll through town and marvel at the Victorian architecture.
Need a place to relax and reconnect? Pack your bags for Keswick, a Cumbrian market town nestled on the shores of Derwentwater. You’ll adore the cobblestone streets and snug cafes (not to mention the breathtaking ridges and rock fences surrounding this charming destination). Indulge in a couples massage at a luxe local spa, then catch a show at the Theatre by the Lake or hike to Castlerigg Stone Circle for breathtaking views of nearby fells.
A day spent wandering the dreamy streets of Cirencester—past honey-coloured stone buildings, period homes, tea shops, and tiny antique stores—reveals this quaint town’s charm. The Capital of the Cotswolds is full of beautiful nooks and hidden treasures, from Abbey Grounds Public Park to the collection of relics at the Corinium Museum. Love to shop? You’ll appreciate the unique mix of independent stores and occasional bazaars. Don’t miss the Friday Charter Market, one of the oldest in the country.
In this old-fashioned resort town, it’s easy to choose your own (romantic) adventure. Catch a bird’s eye view of the city from the Jurassic Skyline tower, or go underground to explore the passageways of Nothe Fort. Prefer a quieter holiday? Enjoy the easy rhythm of the off-season with a walk through the harbour or along the seafront Esplanade. Thanks to a range of pubs and restaurants serving up everything from fish and chips to fancier cuisine, you can make dinner as casual—or candlelit!—as you wish.
If you love a long walk on the beach, you’ll fall head over heels for Brixham, a colourful fishing port on the English Riviera. But Breakwater Beach isn’t the only thing this coastal hot spot has going for it. For starters, there’s the quayside market and bustling harbour beyond, where fishing trawlers have docked for decades. If maritime history strikes your fancy, Brixham Heritage Museum is packed with interesting artifacts and exhibits. (Of course, if you’d rather charter a boat than learn about one, there are also plenty of charming coastal tours and fishing trips available.)
Saundersfoot is fast becoming a foodie destination thanks to chefs with a passion for local ingredients. But don’t get us wrong: takeaway fish and chips are still in high demand—and when it comes to picnic backdrops, the scenery in this seaside village is hard to beat. Indulge your sweet tooth (or your sweetheart) with a visit to Chobbles Traditional Sweet Shop, a vintage spot stocked with all the old-fashioned favourites.
The art scene in St Ives is nothing short of historic, and the landscape that inspired James McNeill Whistler and Barbara Hepworth continues to thrill artists today. Steal away with your other half to browse local galleries or wander hand-in-hand through the Tate St Ives. To see this seaside town from a different angle, take a pleasure boat trip to Godrevy Lighthouse or Seal Island, home to a colony of beautiful grey seals.
Treat your Valentine to a holiday on the north coast of Kent, where long pebble beaches and weatherboard cottages provide a quiet escape from the bustle of everyday life. Book a home by the sea to enjoy amenities like cosy, sun-warmed patios and balconies overlooking the waves. Don’t leave without sampling the legendary oysters, a delicacy once exported across the Roman Empire.
This Cotswolds market town strikes a timeless balance between olde-worlde charm and modern elegance with its ancient stone buildings and sophisticated shops. Stroll down High Street, at the heart of Chipping Campden, to pop into little stores and cafes, or walk a portion of the Cotswold Way National Trail. To experience the town’s iconic architecture for yourself, book a quaint holiday cottage with original stonework, polished oak beams, and a flagstone floor. You might just find yourself smitten.