England is probably not top of your list when you think of places perfect for couples. You’re more likely to think of Paris or Venice or Santorini. And while we agree that those places are wonderful, it might surprise you to know just how many romantic spots there are in England.
There are cities, big and small, where you can indulge in spas and luxury shopping. There are tranquil country cottages and island getaways where you’ll feel like the only people left in the world. There are ancient places filled with magic and legends of love, spectacular seaside spots, and remote wilds where you can snuggle under the stars.
Whatever your idea of romance, England has got you covered. So take a look at the 9 best places in England for couples, and pick your next romantic getaway!
The Cotswolds For Country Living
The Cotswolds are the picturesque England of the imagination. Rolling green hills and pastures stretch as far as the eye can see, interspersed with historic market towns, quaint hamlets, and more pretty villages than any other area in the UK. Out of those villages, Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire is regularly named the prettiest of all.
The River Windrush flows through the center of Bourton, crossed by many scenic bridges built from the signature honey-hued Cotswold stone. Many of the riverside cottages have been converted into tea rooms, antique shops, galleries, bakeries, and cafes, making for a wonderful place to eat, drink, browse and wander.
Stay overnight to enjoy this popular little spot after the day-trippers have gone home, and to make the most of the traditional pubs and excellent restaurants. You’ll find no shortage of b&bs in the area plus far more 4 and 5-star accommodation than a village of this size should have.
But fair warning: this is one of the best places in England for couples who want to start dreaming of moving to a little place in the country!
Nottingham To Rob From The Rich
Sherwood Forest, home of the legendary tale of Robin Hood and Maid Marian makes for a wonderful romantic escape. This ancient forest is a special place where myth, legend, magic, and history blend together until it’s hard to tell one from the other.
Spend a romantic break learning about one of England’s most loved heroes, visiting the witch who lives in the woods, and living your own Robin Hood dream with a lesson or two in archery.
Or, if you’re not so into the legends, just enjoy exploring this ancient forest and nature reserve which used to be part of the royal hunting grounds. Visit the Mighty Oak, estimated to be around 1000 years old, keep your eye out for native birds and wildlife and enjoy the miles of hiking and biking trails crisscrossing the forest. Then retire to your woodland accommodation, perhaps a log cabin with a hot tub or an old red brick coach house complete with a private pool and sauna.
Bath For Hot Springs And Spas
If your idea of romance is all about relaxation and pampering, you need to visit Bath, the original English spa city. Visit the wonder of the historic Roman Baths before retiring to the Thermae Spa, where you can luxuriate in the rooftop thermal pool. Enjoy incredible views over the city and visit at night for a truly unforgettable experience.
Once you’ve dried off, head out to explore the city of Bath. Marvel at the elegant architecture of The Royal Crescent, built from the honey-colored Bath stone that gives the city its unique appearance. Walk in the footsteps of Jane Austen’s heroines in the Assembly Rooms, then go shopping at some of the best independent retailers in the UK.
The compact city center is the perfect size for strolling around, hand in hand. But if you don’t fancy walking, why not take a horse-drawn carriage ride or hire a boat and view the city from the river. Perfect for a romantic evening excursion before heading for dinner at one of Bath’s many excellent dining options.
Northumberland For The Northern Lights
Northumberland is one of the best places in England for couples who love wide open spaces, wild nature, and rugged coastlines. Visitors can stroll the windswept beaches looking for resident seals and puffins, then hike through glacier valleys before stopping for fire-side drinks in a traditional country pub.
It’s also home to more castles than any other county in England, so it’s a must for history lovers. Visit Alnwick Castle, a filming location for Harry Potter and Downton Abbey. Or for an extra special visit, why book a stay, or even get married, in the beautiful, 14th-century Langley Castle.
And, maybe even enjoy one of the most magical experiences in the world, viewing the Northern Light! Northumberland is home to a dark sky reserve, the largest of its kind in Europe, and the lack of light pollution means it’s home to some of the clearest night skies in the world. At certain times of the year, and in certain conditions, the Aurora Borealis is visible from here. And if there’s anything more romantic than snuggling under the stars and watching a celestial light show, we don’t know what it is!
Cambridge For Punting
One of the most English experiences you can have is punting down the River Cam through the historic city of Cambridge. And it just so happens to be one of the most romantic ones too.
Hint – the punt is the name of the boat, and to punt is to propel and steer the boat via a long pole at the rear. If you fancy it, you can do the punting yourself, if not, hire a boat with a punter and let them do all the work. We prefer this option because it means you and your partner can just relax together and enjoy the trip, and also because the punters also tend to be experts on the city of Cambridge. They can guide you to the best sights, such as the much-photographed Mathematical Bridge and Queens College, and give you the history behind them.
Make sure you pack a picnic to enjoy on your romantic day out. Why not take it to the botanic gardens. Or head to The Backs, where you can sit beside the river and enjoy glorious views of the world-famous university, which has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any other city in England.
London For Urban Extravagance
If a romantic break for you is all about cosmopolitan excess, then London is the place for you. In the vast metropolis that is this country’s capital, you’ll find no end of activities and attractions that suit you as a couple.
Why not go sightseeing at all the famous spots like Westminster Abbey, or the houses of parliament, and enjoy trying to make a guard laugh outside Buckingham Palace. Take a picnic to Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens, or stroll through Little Venice for an oasis of tranquility amidst the urban madness. Shop for something extravagant at Harrods or catch a show at a West End theatre. Sip champagne on the London Eye, or dine in Michelin starred restaurant.
Whatever your couple’s vibe is, this city can provide what you’re looking for, especially if you are a non-traditional couple. London regularly tops the list of best places to visit in England for LGBTQ+ couples, and it’s well known for its diverse nightlife and inclusive entertainments scene.
Cornwall To Make Wishes Come True
Cornwall is always top of the list for vacation places in England, but it is especially perfect for couples. The combination of beautiful beaches, breathtaking scenery, delicious food, endless activities, and a little magic, makes for an idyllic romantic getaway.
Couples on the brink of a proposal should head straight for St Michael’s Mount. This tiny tidal island is a beautiful sight anyway, but it’s also said to hold some magic. If you climb to the top and make a wish, especially if that wish proceeds a proposal, it’s bound to come true! And who wouldn’t appreciate a little magical assistance before they pop the question?
For some more magic, head to Tintagel Castle, with its ties to the legend of King Arthur. Then to nearby St Nectan’s Glen to explore a woodland waterfall so beautiful that you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. Then spend your evening snuggled up beneath a star-strewn sky at the outdoor, clifftop Minack Theatre.
The picturesque fishing village of St Ives is the most popular spot for couples to stay. With its quirky shops, cobbled streets, famous art galleries, eclectic dining scene, and boutique accommodation, it makes a charming place to explore.
Devon For The English Riviera
The English Riviera is a 22 mile-long stretch of glorious Devonshire coastline. It was given its evocative name by the Victorians. They likened it to the French Riviera for its warm climate, palm tree-lined promenades, and beautiful scenery.
The riviera encompasses four main resort towns where you’ll find all the elements of a classic British seaside vacation. Visit the pier and amusement arcades of Paignton, stroll the cliff-top promenade at Babbacombe Bay, and explore Brixham’s busy fishing boat harbor. Eat traditional fish and chips on the blue flag beaches of Torquay, and be sure to keep your eyes on the water for a glimpse of passing seals and dolphins. And if you ever tire of the seaside, nature lovers should head inland to the wild expanse of Dartmoor National Park.
Take your pick of accommodation in everything from campsites to boutique b&bs to luxury hotels. And enjoy an eclectic food scene, which blends traditional English fare with Mediterranean favorites.
The Isles of Scilly For Secluded Escapes
Want to feel like you’ve left England behind altogether? How about a trip to the Scilly Isles? Just off the coast of Cornwall lies an archipelago of over 100 islands, only 5 of which are inhabited. This little cluster of islands feels a world away from the mainland and is one of Britain’s best-kept secrets.
These islands make a beautiful getaway at any time of the year. In the summer, the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters will transport you to somewhere far more exotic than the UK. In the Spring, they are a riot of new life and natural abundance. The autumn brings migratory wildlife and rich colors to the landscape. And in the winter months, they’re an isolated but beautiful place where you and your partner can stroll windswept cliffs above stormy seas and feel like the only people in the world.