Chocolates and roses are great, but if you really want to impress, how about whisking your beloved away on a romantic city break? From exploring historical sights in Winchester to romantic river tours in Cambridge, these 10 romantic getaways are sure to make your heart swell. If holidays be the food of love, travel on!
At Holiday Lettings (part of TripAdvisor), we used a special algorithm to see every review on our site, identifying city destinations across the UK with the highest percentage of reviews mentioning romance—leaving us with some of the top romantic city breaks that travellers rave about. From classic couples’ getaways to some lesser-known spots that might surprise you, these cities are all perfect for a romantic night away, weekend break, or longer!
We also asked our readers to vote for their favorite! You can see the final results at the bottom of this post. Congratulations to all these incredibly romantic cities.
This historic city was once home to Jane Austen, whose books are bursting with romance. When you enjoy a romantic getaway in Bath it’s easy to see how the city could have inspired the author. To experience its Regency splendour, take a stroll around the Royal Crescent and then head to Victoria Park, opened in 1830 by Queen Victoria herself when she was just 11. A tour of the Roman baths and elegant Pump Rooms is a must, as is the Pulteney Bridge: a grade I listed structure with rows of shops on either side. If all the sightseeing has made you hungry, then stop off at Sally Lunn’s for a Bath Bun before heading back to your private holiday rental.
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway with plenty of things to do, Durham is a fantastic choice. A visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprising the cathedral and adjacent castle, is well worth it. For more fascinating history, head to England’s largest open air museum at Beamish – The Living Museum of the North. Relax with your other half in one of the city’s green spaces or take a refreshing walk in the Durham Dales. Foodies will be in their element here too, as the city has a huge choice of cosy cafes, traditional pubs and elegant restaurants where you can wine and dine to your heart’s content.
Home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is one of the most inspiring UK destinations to explore, and also an incredibly romantic city break. Known as ‘the city of dreaming spires’, the skyline of this beautiful city is breathtaking. Browse in Blackwell’s bookshop before being blown away by the Bodleian library. Explore the exhibits at the Ashmolean museum and the curiosities at the Pitt Rivers. In the evening, there’s a plethora of live music venues, theatres and restaurants so you’ll be able to enjoy this mesmerizing city into the small hours.
For lovers of history and architecture, Winchester is an excellent choice for a romantic weekend break. With its castle and a cathedral, there’s so much to see here you might want to extend your stay or come back for a return visit. Visit The Great Hall where you can see an interpretation of King Arthur’s round table, conjuring up all the romance of courtly legend. The Winchester City Mill is well worth a visit, as is the bustling cultural quarter of the city where you can watch a play or listen to live music. Head to the largest Farmers’ Market in the UK before cooking up a feast for your beloved, back at your cosy holiday rental.
From the Gothic cathedral to Magna Carta and atmospheric medieval streets, Salisbury boasts some brilliant historical sights. And if that wasn’t enough, the awe-inspiring site of Stonehenge is just eight miles north of the city. If you enjoy cycling, why not hire a couple of bikes (or a bicycle made for two!) and explore the pretty countryside. If you’re looking for a quiet spot in the city, head to the Cathedral Close; an oasis of calm tucked away behind wooden gates and stone walls. You’ll find some exceptional restaurants in Salisbury, but if you’d prefer to keep things between yourselves, why not pick up some local produce from the deli before nestling in for the evening at your private rental?
With its blend of old and new, amazing heritage landmarks spanning 1,000 years of history, and its cutting edge 21st-century architecture, Norwich is a city you’ll want to return to again and again. Visit the sublime Caen stone cathedral and 12th-century castle to find out more about local history. Love shopping? The wonderfully elegant Royal Arcade should never be missed on any trip to Norwich. And for a romantic dinner, sample some fresh, local produce at one of city’s famous gastro pubs.
Lincoln is a medieval cathedral city with history at its heart. And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, Lincoln is perfect for a romantic break. Visit the stunning cathedral where you’ll find a wealth of history, from fossils in the floor to the Magna Carta. At this time of the year, Cupid is kept very busy, but keep your eyes open for another mischievous creature hiding in the cathedral; the Lincoln imp is perched high on a pillar. Find out what he’s up to and how he came to be there on your visit. If you walked up the popular Steep Hill to reach the cathedral then you may be in need of a little pick-me-up. You’ll find a range of restaurants offering various cuisines so treating your other half to a meal out will be as easy as pie.
Sitting pretty on the Tay estuary, this small-but-perfectly-formed city is one of Scotland’s sunniest, so you might be lucky when it comes to the weather on your romantic break. Dundee’s highlights include the V&A Museum of Design and the seaside suburb of Broughty Ferry, with its romantic esplanade and sandy beach. In the evening, Dundee comes alive and couples will love bar hopping or taking in some live music. Whether you’re looking for a Valentine’s escape full of fun and excitement or a quiet stay in a relaxing rental, Dundee is well worth a look.
If the excitement of Christmas already feels like a distant memory, cheer yourself up with romantic night away in Inverness. This cosmopolitan city has so much to offer, you’ll probably want to stay longer! Go weak at the knees when you cross the river Ness via the Greig Street Bridge with its wibbly-wobbly sensation and spectacular views. For an easy way to explore the city, book a personalised trip aboard the double-decker sightseeing tour, or take to the water on a boat tour. At the end of a busy day enjoy a romantic meal for two in one of Inverness’s many restaurants and raise a toast to Scotland’s finest romantic poet, Robert Burns.
Jam packed with museums, atmospheric pubs and boasting a beautiful botanical garden, Cambridge is sure to keep you happy during your romantic city break. Its vibrant street food scene has a range of delights on offer, so if food is the way to your heart, you’ll love this university city. For a truly memorable experience, book a guided tour around the colleges by punt. A shared tour is a cheaper option but if you really want to push the boat out, an intimate, chauffeur guided tour for two maybe just what you’re looking for. And what better way to end the day than with a glass of bubbly (or two) at a romantic rental in the city?
Congratulations to Bath for winning our reader poll for most romantic UK city! Bath narrowly edged out Winchester to take the crown.