They say that oysters are the ultimate aphrodisiac, and there’s nowhere better to indulge in a plateful than at Butley & Orford Oysterage in Suffolk. On first appearances, it isn’t the most romantic-looking place, having changed very little since it first launched in the 1960s, but anyone who has eaten here will swear that these are the most delicious oysters that you will find in the entire country. The oysters are still fished from Butley Creek, and the fish that make up the rest of the menu is still prepared in the adjacent smokehouse, just as it has been since the restaurant first opened. Have your fill of oysters, washed down with quality wine, then retreat to your hotel or guesthouse for a romantic evening in.
Butley & Orford Oysterage, Market Hill, Orford, Woodbridge +44 1394 450277
The entire island of the Isle of Skye is one of the most romantic places in the UK, filled with beautiful scenery and (even now that tourists have descended by the coachload) offering remote, hidden corners for you to explore all to yourself. If you’re searching for the best place for a proposal, or even just a romantic stroll, head straight to the Fairy Pools, a series of clear blue rock pools and small waterfalls that are a delight to look at. They’re also one of the best spots of the island for a spot of wild swimming, although you’ll have to visit early in the morning or late in the evening to have the place to yourselves.
The Cotswolds are filled with beautiful villages, but none are as romantic as Bourton-on-the-Water. Sat on the banks of the River Windrush, this traditional village boasts traditional stone cottages and pretty bridges over the water. The abundance of greenery and trees lining the banks of the river make it the perfect rural setting for a relaxing stroll followed by a cosy meal for two, sat by the fire in a local pub.
Tucked away on the island of Tresco in the Scilly Isles, Abbey Gardens is one of the most romantic gardens in the UK. The 19th-century gardens are filled with a wide variety of plants, trees and flowers, including many species that can’t be found anywhere else in the country. The gardens are very pleasant to walk around, admiring the flora and taking in the views from the highest terraces, with plenty of hidden little nooks and crannies for sitting and relaxing.
Tresco Abbey Garden, Tresco, Isles of Scilly +44 1720 424108
There’s nowhere else in the world quite like Portmeirion, a tourist destination in North Wales built in the style of a traditional Italian village. The town itself is filled with colourful buildings and follies and is a delight to wander around, but it’s down on the beach and on the clifftop path that you’re likely to get the place all to yourselves for a romantic stroll. Take yourself up to the bandstand, huddle up together against the wind and admire the beautiful views of the estuary below.
Portmerion, Minffordd, Portmeirion, Penrhyndeudraeth +44 1766 770000
Set among grand grounds in the heart of the Peak District, Chatsworth House has got to be the most romantic stately home in the whole of England. Surrounded by green fields and beautiful woodlands, the house itself sits on the banks of the River Derwent, looming majestically among the countryside. Fans of Pride & Prejudice will recognise the house from its mention in the iconic novel while viewers of The Crown will notice some of the locations from the TV drama. For a romantic day out, take your time to explore both the house and its gardens together, admiring the intricate detail of the interior and the well-tended landscaping of the grounds.
Chatsworth House, Bakewell +44 1246 565300
For a romantic day out in Edinburgh, you’ll be spoilt for choice with so many quaint streets and charming restaurants at your disposal. To truly appreciate the city, however, head up high and take on the challenge of the climb up to the peak of Arthur’s Seat. The walk itself isn’t too gruelling and can be taken at a slow pace, stopping to admire the views along the way. At the top, take some time to stop and sit, gazing at the beautiful city far below.
There’s miles upon miles of beautiful coastline to discover in the UK, but nowhere is quite as romantic as Durdle Door. One of the most photographed landmarks in the country, the instantly recognisable natural archway offers beautiful vistas both from up on the cliffs and down on the beach. On a sunny day, bring your towels and enjoy an afternoon swimming in the sea together, or choose instead to take a stroll along the cliffs, stopping for a picnic and to admire the views.
Durdle Door, West Lulwort +44 7468 481225
What could be more romantic than spending a day at a vineyard, tasting wines, wandering among the grapes and perhaps even spending the night? There aren’t many opportunities to do this in the UK, but Three Choirs Vineyards in Gloucestershire offers a series of wine-tasting experiences that would make an excellent choice for anniversaries or birthdays. Tours include a walk through the vineyards, a visit to the winery and a chance to sample some of the wines.
Three Choirs Vineyards, Newent +44 1531 890223