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15 Romantic Weekend Ideas Around the UK

Here at Character Cottages, we love enjoying weekend breaks in the UK with our loved ones. Our beautiful nation is a picturesque patchwork of lakes and valleys, woodlands and national parks, cultural cities and chocolate box villages. There’s simply so much to see and do, and with such wonderful greenery and untouched wildlife all around us, it’s the perfect destination for a relaxing and romantic getaway.

Reconnecting with nature is easy in Britain; yet city life, fine dining, arts and culture are all just a stone’s throw away. Whatever your heart desires, your perfect UK escape is effortlessly accessible and you’ll never have to travel too far for paradise.
Need some inspiration for your next romantic weekend? Here are 15 of our top romantic break ideas for couples who are looking to get away from it all…

1. Enjoy a Gastro Pub Crawl


If you and your other half enjoy a good tipple and delicious gastro pub dining, then why not spend your weekend enjoying an old England pub crawl? Some of the oldest pubs in the country, according to their claims, are Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem in Nottingham, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St. Albans, The Old Ferry Boat in Cambridgeshire, The Porch House in Cheltenham and the Red Lion Inn in Chipping Campden.
Here in the Cotswolds, you’ll find plenty of traditional pubs, complete with a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere, honest menus made up of locally sourced ingredients, and some of the best artisan beers, ciders and pale ales around. So if you’re after a romantic pub-crawl weekend with your loved one, the Cotswolds is definitely an area to consider.

2. Stay in a Chocolate Box Village

If you’re really looking to get away from it all, spend a few nights in a chocolate box village here in the Cotswolds – where cobbled streets and stone cottages with thatched roofs will be your backdrop. Leave the noise and crowded streets of the city behind and spend a quiet weekend in one of our favourite chocolate box villages.

Some of the best chocolate box destinations include Blockley, The Slaughters, Bourton-on-the-Water, Castle Combe and Mickleton. There are also many villages outside of our region worth visiting too, including Alfriston in East Sussex, Shere in Surrey, Cookham in Berkshire, and Chilham in Kent.

3. Theatre Trip to London


There are so many things to do in the capital, but one of our favourite ideas is to enjoy an evening at the theatre. It’s an opportunity to get dressed up and spend a romantic night with your other half. Book a pre-theatre dinner and enjoy cocktails or champagne at one of the many rooftop bars in the city. And spend the rest of the weekend shopping and sightseeing.

4. Explore the Islands of the Thames

The River Thames runs through some of South England’s most picturesque villages, covering more than 215 miles from Thames Head near Kemble at its source all the way to the mouth at Southend-on-Sea. It’s one of the most famous rivers in the UK and one of the most popular as a walking route through the Cotswolds region.

But what most people do not realise about the river is its many fascinating islands and eyots. A boating weekend on the Thames will take you to some of the best kept island secrets of the UK. And what’s more romantic than undiscovered destinations that no-one else knows about? The Isle of Sheppey, Chiswick Eyot, Eel Pie Island, Brentford Ait and Glover’ Island are just a few of the places you can explore during your journey on the Thames. We particularly love Oliver’s Island for its famous golden ale.

5. Head to the Seaside in Cornwall


The British coastline is ruggedly beautiful, and Cornwall has long been a favourite family destination. But it’s also the perfect place for a little bit of romance. Avoid the tourist honeypot resorts such as St. Ives or Penzance and head to the quieter beach spots instead, pack a picnic and enjoy a quiet day of sun, sea and sand. Secluded beaches such as Fox Cove, Lantic Bay, Kynance Cove, Praa Sands, Porthcurno or Prussia Cove are ideal for couples in search of a little romance by the coast.

6. Go Glamping

If you don’t find the ‘rough and ready’ element of camping romantic, why not try glamping instead? It’s the much more glamorous version of camping, but gives you the same rewarding feeling of going back to basics and reconnecting with nature. Whether you choose to spend a few nights in an Indian tipi, a gypsy wagon or an eco-pod, you’ll have all the necessary amenities and facilities on site, and perhaps a bit more space than you would have if you had a tent.

Glamping also means that you don’t need to pack loads of gear or spend precious time erecting the tent. Which makes it ideal for couples who just want to relax as soon as they arrive.

7. Enjoy a Spa Weekend


Spa weekends are not just for women. They are fantastic for couples who are looking to spend a few nights winding down and just enjoying each other’s company. Additionally, many spa resorts feature award winning restaurants so you can enjoy a candlelit dinner or other sports facilities such as gyms, indoor and outdoor pools, or even golf courses.

8. Visit the Lake District

Another area of outstanding natural beauty, other than the Cotswolds, is the wonderful Lake District. A popular destination for ramblers, hikers, fell walkers or those who just love spending their time on the water. It’s the perfect place to soak up glorious views of Britain’s greatest lakes whilst enjoying long walks and nature trails. Some of the best places to stay include the cute and charming Ambleside, beautiful Grasmere, the quiet parish of Coniston, the market town of Keswick, the quaint Hawkshead, and the famous tourist hotspot of Bowness-on-Windermere.

9. City Break in Edinburgh


Edinburgh is one of Britain’s most romantic cities, and is especially wonderful if you love food and drink. Because it’s made for foodies, and there are so many great places to dine. This hilly capital boasts a medieval Old Town, a stunning castle, and an elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. For sightseeing, it’s simply fantastic and you’ll never be too far away from a great pub or local restaurant serving up the most authentic Scottish delicacies. It also has a number of Michelin star restaurants to check out, such as The Kitchin by Tom Kitchin, Martin Wishart, and the Castle Terrace Restaurant.

The most romantic bars include Bramble Bar & Lounge, The Devil’s Advocate, The Dome, and The Bon Vivant. You can also take a canal boat cruise to enjoy the sights of the city at sunset – superb for any time of year.

10. Explore the Cotswold Water Park

One of the best things that the Cotswolds can offer is the combination of glorious lakeside walks and views together with lush greenery set on relatively flat terrain. So compared to the big fells of the Lake District or the summits of the Peak District, a break in the Cotswolds is so much more accessible and you won’t need to have any special hiking / fell walking training, and you won’t need to pack as much gear. Couples come here to relax, and that’s exactly what they’ll get anywhere in the Cotswold region.
There are easy to moderate walking trails dotted all over from North to South, but for something a little more adrenaline-packed, why not visit the Cotswolds Waterpark? This network of lakes not only offers the most spectacular lake views and wonderful wildlife, but there’s also a range of water sport activities available. With everything from swimming and sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking to water skiing and windsurfing.

11. Stay Overnight in a Lighthouse


Looking for something both romantic and quirky? For something completely different to your usual adventures, why not book an overnight or weekend stay at a UK lighthouse or a quaint lighthouse site. With nothing else around and no other sounds other than the crashing waves, you’ll be able to focus all your time on each other.

There are quite a few lighthouse stays available nowadays; including Belle Tout Lighthouse in East Sussex which is a lovingly converted 19th Century structure set on the chalky white cliffs of Beachy Head, Gurnard Cottage (part of St. Catherine’s Lighthouse) in the Isle of Wight, Pendeen Lighthouse and Solebay Cottage in Penzance, and Cromer Lighthouse with spectacular views of the Norfolk coastline. Many of these sites will include modern amenities to make it feel like a home away from home, so you won’t need to worry about being cut off from civilisation.

12. Wine and Dine in Bath

Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in Britain, and set on the southern edge of the Cotswolds, it’s easily accessible from any of our luxury cottage stays in the Cotswolds region. During the day, there’s much to see in terms of sightseeing. Such as the famous Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, the Royal Crescent, the Fashion Museum, the Jane Austen Centre, and the Victorian Art Gallery.

For an authentic spa experience with a rooftop pool, make sure you don’t miss the Thermae Spa – you’ll get great views of the city below. At night, you’ll be spoiled for choice for hip or upscale dining spots. Some of the best places to enjoy a romantic dinner are Menu Gordon Jones, Sotto Sotto, La Perla, Allium, Tilleys Bistro, or Casanis. You won’t be disappointed with the food quality, service and atmosphere.

13. Explore Stratford Upon-Avon

Stratford upon avon

For a Romeo and Juliet inspired weekend romance, visit the stunning medieval market town of Stratford Upon-Avon. Here you will find so much old world charm, and of course, the many homes and cottages related to Shakespeare. You can visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (his former wife), Hall’s Croft (the home of his daughter), Shakespeare’s Monument and Shakespeare’s grave at the Church of the Holy Trinity all in one weekend. There are also some fantastic places for shopping and eating out, so it’s the perfect destination to spend quality time with your beau.

14. Walk the Thames Path

This has got to be one of the most romantic activities for couples who like to go walking. Spend your weekend exploring the Cotswolds and begin your journey at the source of the Thames, Thames Head, located near the village of Kemble and easily accessible from Cirencester, Stroud and Bourton-on-the-Water. From the source, you will find a beautiful walk with incredible wildlife and you will have the soothing sound of trickling water all the way.
The official National Trail (184 miles) takes you as far as the Thames Barrier at Charlton so you’ll need at least a week if you’re trekking the entire stretch, but many walkers like to take on sections of the trail and stop off at the many beautiful villages along the route.

15. A Cosy Cottage in the Cotswolds

Fairview Cottage

We of course love the Cotswolds the most for a weekend getaway. It’s over half a century since the Cotswolds was declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and our charming region is still one of the most beautiful areas in the UK, and there are plenty of things to do. With a great mix of historic market towns, medieval architecture and lush greenery, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a journey back in time. A luxury cottage break means that you can do as much or as little as you like. There are plenty of romantic ways to spend your time here. Take a long romantic walks in the day and enjoy home cooked food and beers in a local pub at night.

For a romantic stay in a luxury home away from home, browse our beautiful Cotswold cottages and holiday homes now.