After the end-of-year rush, it pays to break out of your go-go-to routine and get away. Here, seven romantic weekend escapes in the U.K. that will get you and your partner back on track.
Despite being Scotland’s capital, both politically and culturally, Edinburgh still feels like a blast from the past. You might forget what era you’re in while walking through medieval Old Town’s narrow, cobbled lanes, centuries-old bookstores and townhouses lived in by the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Alexander Fleming, and imposing hilltop castle.
Nearby, New Town’s Georgian architecture, charming squares, and newer boutiques retain a charm all their own. Embrace Scottish culture at The Witchery, a gothic, candlestick-lit dining room that wouldn’t look out of place in Harry Potter, where diners have chowed down on fine Scottish cuisine (Isle of Mull scallops with ginger and lemongrass; wild mushroom-and-chicken-mousse-stuffed lamb Wellington) since 1979.
Insider’s tip: Skip dessert and take the six-minute walk to Mary’s Milk Bar, whose hot chocolate ice cream floats have become legendary.
The Cotswolds, England
The Cotswolds are the definition of quintessential English country retreat—a six-county collective of idyllic rolling meadows and tiny villages lined with stone cottages and old-world churches that have inspired writers, poets, and painters for centuries.
The romanticism lies as much in what is here as what is not: no car-clogged main streets, no throngs of tourists vying for space at that hot new restaurant or big-ticket museum exhibit.
Instead, days are best spent enjoying the company of each other during hikes on surrounding trails, popping into local tea and chocolate shops, and making visits to nearby castles—Sudeley Castle, where Henry VIII’s last wife lived, is a favorite for its gardens—and medieval market towns like Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare.
Those who heed the siren call of the sea need not feel trapped by the countryside. A three-hour drive from London will drop you by the English Channel in Dorset—a scenic, windswept region known for its miles of beaches, moorlands, and a sunny, temperate climate.
Its most famous landmark is found—where else?—by the sea: the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, is one of Britain’s most stunning natural wonders, with chalk cliffs, secluded coves, and a natural limestone arch found at Durdle Door beach.
Bath may be best known for its natural thermal springs, where Celts and Romans bathed more than two millenniums ago, but the town itself is just as enchanting—lanes lined with cute restaurants, ancient churches, and 18th-century Georgian residences built from honey-colored Bath stone.
The famous Roman Baths, first built in 75 B.C. and one of the best-preserved, of its kind, are still open to the public.
What could be more romantic than days and nights on the town in London — one of the best cities in the world? Lighten your wallet on Oxford Street, picnic in Hyde Park, then book yourself a table at Sketch—an IG-ready restaurant complex comprising a Michelin-starred restaurant and gastro-brasserie—before toasting to love with drinks (and the city’s best view) at the Aqua Shard.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
There’s arguably no landscape more inherently cinematic than the Scottish Highlands, where “Outlander,” “Skyfall” and “Harry Potter” have all set their most visually arresting shots.
The best way to take it all in is slowly, either by car up the A6 or by train. The West Highland Railway can take you from Glasgow over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct to Mallaig, where you can (and should) continue on to the Isle of Skye.
Every island in the Inner Hebrides is broodingly beautiful—think basalt crags, glistening lochs, and sweeping valleys—but Skye is one of the best. Here, you can take in the peaceful harbor town of Portree, explore the picturesque hills of Cuillin and the Storr cliffs, and hike by waterfalls and fairy pools.
Snowdonia National Park, Wales
King Arthur’s lost sword, Excaliber, is said to be hidden somewhere in the misty mountainscape of Snowdonia National Park, a snowy, glacial region in northern Wales.
Even if the rumor is never confirmed, the magic surrounding this primeval corner of the world, which has inspired many a Welsh folktale, is still very much alive. Nature lovers can revel in hikes past rushing waterfalls, though thick forests, and up Mount Snowdon.
This article was published through a partnership with Jetsetter magazine. Read the original story: 8 Romantic Weekend Breaks to Take in the U.K. by Lindsey Olander, a regular contributor to Jetsetter.
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