TOP TEN: Britain’s best Valentine’s Day getaways

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here is our top ten of Britain’s romantic retreats for 2015

Warwick Castle Tower Suite (Credit: VisitEngland)

A fairy tale night at Warwick Castle

There aren’t many Valentine’s Day ideas that seem original or truly special anymore but we reckon staying in a Castle that’s over 1,100 years old definitely makes the cut. Guests can stay in a range of historic suites within Warwick Castle; the truly regal and magnificent Tower Suites, decked with four-poster beds, medieval architecture and vaulted ceilings are a highlight. There’s also afternoon tea in the Castle’s lavish state dining room and walks through over 60 acres of landscaped gardens along the banks of the River Avon. Afternoon tea starts from £37pp and a night in the Tower Suite starts from £400, including breakfast and a private, expert-led tour of the Castle.

Follow in the footsteps of royal romance in St Andrews

The charming town of St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton first met and fell in love, is a great location for a romantic getaway. While you may well not stumble upon an eligible future King, the town’s windswept and romantic beach is perfect for lovers’ walks and the Fairmont Hotel, a luxury cliff-top resort where the young William and his bride-to-be enjoyed many a romantic rendezvous, is offering special Valentine’s Day 2015 deals. The ‘Recipe for Romance‘ package (from £164.50pp) includes accommodation, three-course Valentine’s meal in the Italian La Cucina restaurant and full access to the Signature Spa, while the ‘Food of Love‘ (£174.50pp) features the same treats but with a three-course meal in the Atrium’s Squire Restaurant.

Boutique Retreats

Boutique Retreats offer a broad selection of romantic bolt-holes for Valentine’s escapes. Traditional fishermen’s cottage Gylly Cottage is the epitome of seaside chic, Little Bamberoo is a luxury love nest in the pretty Cornish village of Gulval near Penzance, and Ochre is a retreat with spectacular sea views over ancient moors to the Atlantic Ocean.

Jane Austen’s House and Museum (Credit: VisitEngland)

A literary love affair in Hampshire

One of literature’s most romantic novelists, Jane Austen, created some of the world’s best and most famous love stories. So it would be rather fitting to spend Valentine’s Day being inspired by the great writer at Jane Austen’s House and Museum in Hampshire this Valentine’s Day. For 2015, Poet in Residence, Maura Dooley, will be reading love poems in celebration of the romantic holiday, a Valentine’s Day workshop (£15pp) will be available, and any of the secluded walks on the area’s six scenic trails are a must.

Valentine’s à la Mr Darcy

Lying on the edge of the Peak District, nestling within sweeping moorland, lies the magnificent Lyme Park, Cheshire. As the backdrop to one of the world’s most memorable on-screen moments, when Darcy emerges from the Lake in the classic TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, its obviously a rather iconic romantic setting. And with its remote but glorious location, it might just make you feel like you’re starring in a romance classic all of your own.

A dream honeymoon retreat at Polesden Lacey

King George VI and our late Queen Mother spent part of their honeymoon nestled at the grand Edwardian Polesden Lacey, Surrey, amidst the beautiful landscape of the North Downs. If it’s good enough for a honeymooning royal couple, it’s almost certainly good enough for us. What’s more, this spectacular place is still alive with the spirit of its most celebrated owner, Mrs Ronald Greville, whose famous liveliness and sparkle has set the tone ever since as a particularly fun and romantic venue. Take in its delightful formal gardens, including the blissful rose garden, for a relaxing and memorable Valentine’s.

Merewood Country House Hotel (Credit: VisitEngland)

A poetic retreat in the Lake District

As the home of the Romantic Poets, the Lake District has inspired many of the world’s great romances and you’d have to be a fairly cold-hearted character to not even feel a tweak of romance and sentimentality when looking out over its luscious landscapes. Set on a private 20 acre estate overlooking Windermere, Merewood Country House Hotel was originally built 200 years ago for the 1st Earl of Lonsdale. Its ‘Love Letters’ romantic break includes personalised love poems, letters and recommended romantic spots, a bottle of Champagne on ice in the room on arrival, a four-course dinner with canapés and coffee as well as breakfast in bed the following morning (from £445 per couple).

Churchill Valentine’s Tea at Blenheim Palace

For one week only, Blenheim Palace is opening the doors of its grand Indian room to offer a Churchill-themed Valentine’s Tea in the very house where the great statesman proposed to his darling Clementine.

Love through the ages at UK’s oldest pub in St Albans

The Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub you can still see today was built way back in the 11th-century, but its very foundations date back to the 8th century. Given its longevity, it would be fair to assume that it’s seen its fair share of budding romances and this year, the tavern’s new head chef Ian Baulsch has devised a sumptuous menu for lovers. Including Kilpatrick oysters as an aphrodisiac, chargrilled, dry-aged Black Angus fillet and pan-roasted halibut with lobster gnocchi, watercress and chive velouté, the exciting menu, enjoyed by the pub’s roaring log fire would make for an imaginative and impressive choice for Valentine’s Day.

A Tudor Valentine’s Escape: Hever Castle and Penshurst Place

Now that we’re all in the mood for Tudor romance, keenly tuning in to BBC2’s Wolf Hall every week to watch Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s courtship unfold, a Tudor Valentine’s escape couldn’t be more apt. Hever Castle in Kent, Anne’s childhood home, and Penshurst Place and Gardens where Henry stayed so he could be close to his beloved (also a filming location for Wolf Hall)  are both offering rare Valentine’s Day packages for 2015. Three-course meals, harpist performances, and champagne breakfasts are among the romantic attractions that will also give you a taste of Tudor indulgence.

Related articles

Celebrating Britain’s National Parks
Top 10 places to take afternoon tea
English country garden

Click here to subscribe!

Download BRITAIN Magazine to your mobile today

iOSAppStoreGoogle-PlayNo mobile device? Purchase directly on Zinio for your desktop!