With its dreamy coastlines and scenic sights, the South West of England makes for the perfect romantic getaway with your partner. Whether you both love city sights or idyllic country staycations, there’s something for everyone, as we’ve outlined below…
Each spot on our round-up is accessible by train, so why not spoil yourselves with first class seats for a luxurious start to your trip.
Romantic City Break
If you’re looking for a romantic weekend bursting with variety, then a city break to Bath or Southampton could be just what you’re looking for.
Day Trip to Bath
Steeped in history and named a World Heritage site in 1987, the city of Bath is oozing with culture and charm, making it the ideal destination for a romantic city break.
Things to do in Bath for couples
Indulge in a couple’s spa treatment at the Thermae Bath Spa, and take a dip in the rooftop pools as the sun sets. Pre-book ahead of your visit as this popular romantic attraction gets booked up.
For a truly memorable experience, hop on a romantic champagne-paired hot air balloon flight over Bath to see the idyllic sights from above. To book, contact Bath Balloons or Bailey Balloons, but be sure to check the status of flight availability ahead of time.
Art aficionados will love The Victoria Art Gallery that hosts a collection of local artist’s paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, dating back to the 1700s. Follow your cultural morning with a picnic at Royal Victoria Park and a stroll through its Botanic Gardens.
Round off your day trip with a romantic dinner but be sure to book in advance. Enjoy a sumptuous meal while overlooking the bustling Kingsmead Square at Thai Balcony, or head to Green Park Brasserie for live jazz while you dine. Seafood-lovers can visit The Scallop Shell, where fish and chips are a must-have, while vegans can enjoy an ever-changing, plant-based menu at Oak’s. Foodies looking for a flavoursome meal without the frills will love Nepalese Yak Yeti Yak.
Accommodation in Bath
If a day in the city leaves you wanting more, extend your trip with an overnight stay. For a decadent night away, choose The Bath Priory, complete with a spa, from £150 per night. Boutique hotel Henrietta House costs just £70 on average per night and is located in the heart of the city. Another excellent budget option is centrally located Z Hotel Bath, which is just £50 per night.
Whether you’re looking for something fun, romantic or a combination of the two, Southampton ticks all the boxes.
Things to do in Southampton for couples
Fancy doing something a little different? Put your brains – and teamwork – to the test at the Exciting Escape Rooms. Then unwind and let the adrenalin wear off with a blissful walk through the beautiful Riverside Park.
Spoil your partner with a special shopping spree at Southampton’s Westquay shopping centre, and end your evening by kicking back in the reclining seats at the Cinema de Lux with a film and VIP bar service.
Alternatively, ramp up the romance with waterside cocktails and sharing plates at Pitcher and Piano in Ocean Village, or enjoy the perfect sunset spot of Banana Wharf.
Other delectable dinner options include the luxurious Oxford Brasserie and Lakaz Maman, which serves up Mauritian and Creole specialities. Burger lovers will love budget-friendly The Rockstone, and try their craft beers, too.
Accommodation in Southampton
For a romantic treat, splash out on a stay in the shabby chic boutique hotel The PIG-in the wall, encased in the city’s medieval walls, from £160 per night. Or pamper yourselves with a spa retreat at the four-star Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour, from £70 per night. Novotel Southampton is just £60 per night, on average, and is perfect for city-dwellers on a budget.
For a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, surprise your loved one with a dreamy countryside escape in Dorset or Exeter.
Romantic break in Dorset
Fall in love with picturesque Dorset on a romantic getaway, as you explore everything the coast and countryside has to offer.
Things to do in Dorset for couples
For a truly magical treat, sample award-winning wines at the vineyards of Langham Wine Estate, followed by nibbles at the Vineyard Café. Or take a romantic stroll to Corfe Castle, while immersing yourselves in over 1,000 years of history.
For breath-taking sights and a potential spot to pop the question, head to the magnificent limestone archway of Durdle Door and wander along the pebbled beach. Or sit back and relax on a Jurassic Coast boat tour that shows you the spectacular sights from sea.
After a busy day of exploring, revel in a romantic dinner at one of these top spots. Enjoy a sophisticated supper at The Eastbury Hotel & Spa’s award-winning Seasons Restaurant. Or try The Boat That Rocks for coastal views, and offerings from the land and sea. To get an authentic feel of Dorset, dine in The Saxon Arms, a traditional pub serving British fare.
Accommodation in Dorset
With so much to do and see in this coastal county, why not stay an extra day? Pull off the most magnificent break with a stay at the heavenly 10 Castle Street in Cranborne, where each room has its own personality complete with unbeatable views, from £145 per night. Alternatively, enjoy an intimate escape at Summer Lodge Country House Hotel in Evershot, with vibrant rooms from £212 per night. You’ll also feel right at home in The Bull Hotel in Bridport, with cosy rooms starting at £130 per night, or if you fancy a night on the coast, try the Hotel du Vin in Poole, with rooms from £91 per night.
With its beautiful historic buildings, outstanding scenery and location on the River Exe, Exeter is the ideal destination for couples looking for a city-meets-country break.
Things to do in Exeter for couples
Couples with a love of history will enjoy exploring Exeter’s underground passages; a unique network of medieval tunnels built to supply the city with fresh water. Debrief in the evening over a cider tasting board at The Stable, curated by their Cider Masters.
If a fairy-tale escape is more to your tastes, devour a special afternoon tea and sample Devon’s unrivalled clotted cream at Wear Park Restaurant. Follow this with an adorable bike ride on a vintage Pashley bike, available to hire from Darts Farm Cycle Hire, to the seaside resorts of Exmouth or Topsham.
At the end of your day, settle in for a special meal at one of Exeter’s many eateries, and be sure to pre-book a table. Foodies will love the fine fare at Queen St Dining at Guildhall, where you’ll find a multitude of local food to sample. Pink Moon is a fun stop for couples looking for delicious food in chic surroundings, while the Old Firehouse is cosy as can be and buzzing with atmosphere.
Accommodation in Exeter
Extend your Exeter visit with a night at the Mercure Exeter Rougemont Hotel for a classy-but-budget stay from £40 per night. For bold-coloured rooms with plenty of personality, Hotel du Vin Exeter is the place for you, and rooms are just £60 per night on average, while if you really want to lavish your loved one, stay at the stunning Mill on the Exe, a converted riverside mill house that costs around £100 per night.