After so long spent without being able to enjoy a holiday, romantic getaways are on everyone’s minds. Whether you’re arranging a birthday or anniversary trip with your other half or planning to pull out a halo engagement ring and pop the question, finding a romantic destination is the first step of the perfect plan. With travel restrictions still limiting foreign holidays, staycations are a great alternative if you’re looking for a romantic break with your loved one. Interest in staycations has, unsurprisingly, rocketed over the past year, with many holidaymakers uncovering hidden gems very close to home. According to Google search data, searches for “staycation” increased by 83 per cent between June 2020 and June 2021. Searches for “staycation UK” increased by an even more impressive 173 per cent. Clearly, we’re all keen to discover new parts of the UK. When it comes to a romantic getaway though, which places should be at the top of your staycation travel list?
Thanks to new data from Angelic Diamonds, we can now reveal the most romantic spots in the UK. From the twinkling lights of the most romantic metropolises to the best-kept secrets that you might not have considered for a romantic holiday, we’ve got you covered.
Big city breaks
Big cities can offer so many romantic opportunities. From high-end dining to evenings at the theatre, they are always a great choice for a getaway if you and your partner are looking for some excitement! To find out which big cities topped the romance charts, Angelic Diamonds researched the number of restaurants and hotels in the “romantic” category of Tripadvisor for every city and large town in the UK. Here’s what the data reveals.
It will probably come as no surprise that London came out on top as the ultimate romantic staycation destination. With 281 romantic hotels to choose from and an incredible choice of romantic restaurants (1,870 in total), there’s something to suit every couple. Whether you’re eager to catch a West End musical, take a ride on the London Eye, or enjoy a romantic dinner in Notting Hill, there’s plenty to do to and romantic sparks are sure to be flying.
For a fairy tale-worthy romantic getaway (castle included), you can’t go wrong with Edinburgh. Scotland’s capital came in as the second most romantic place in the UK and it’s easy to see why. With 104 romantic hotels and 286 romantic restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you opt for Edinburgh for your next holiday. If you can’t decide between a city break and a romantic weekend in the country, Edinburgh is a great compromise. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile, or get out of the city centre and hike Arthur’s Seat at sunset for an incredible panorama of the historic city.
Scotland’s done it again, proving that this part of the UK is the perfect choice if you’re planning on visiting a few different places on your romantic getaway. Glasgow is the fourth most romantic UK destination (after London, Edinburgh and one of our best-kept secrets – keep reading to find out!). Glasgow boasts 212 romantic restaurants, including Cail Bruich, the first restaurant in Glasgow to earn a Michelin Star.
For a big city break in the heart of Yorkshire, consider a romantic break in Leeds. This city is perfect if you’re looking for romance with a little bit of adventure and quirkiness. With so many romantic restaurants to choose from (184) and your pick of 11 romantic hotels, Leeds has a lot to offer for a couple’s getaway. For a stylish dining experience and beautiful views of the city, make a reservation at Angelica on the sixth floor of the Trinity centre.
With 176 beautiful places to eat for a date you’ll never forget, Birmingham is another superb staycation option. This city also has plenty to offer in the way of romantic activities – you could organise a canal boat trip around the city (Birmingham is said to have more canals than Venice, after all), see a performance at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, or enjoy scenic canal-side dining at Mailbox.
As well as the buzzing cities, there are plenty of smaller destinations in the UK which would be wonderful for a romantic getaway that’s slightly off the beaten track. If the bright lights of city life aren’t for you and you’d prefer a slightly more laid back romantic trip, try one of these smaller destinations — they’re sure to pleasantly surprise you!
If you’re looking for a romantic weekend away to a slightly unexpected destination, Salford could be the perfect option for you! This city in Greater Manchester was ranked third in terms of romance, placing it above Glasgow and many other major UK cities. So, what is it about this large town that makes it so romantic? The main thing that has boosted Salford up the charts is that it is home to an impressive 291 romantic restaurants. From Lugana to Platzki, the romantic restaurants in Salford cater to every taste and offer a range of formal or more laid back atmospheres. As well as great dining options, Salford has many other staycation activities to offer, from a trip to the historic Ordsall Hall to seeing a show at the Lowry theatre.
Another strong contender for the UK’s most romantic destination is the West Yorkshire city of Bradford. Like Salford, Bradford won a surprise spot in the top five, becoming the official fifth most romantic place in the UK! Again, the main appeal of Bradford for a romantic getaway appears to be its abundance of restaurants that are sure to set the scene for a beautiful evening to remember. You’ll have plenty of options when taking your other half out for a delicious meal in Bradford, with 212 Tripadvisor approved romantic restaurants to choose from.
Another destination that may surprise you is Southampton. With 86 romantic restaurants and three hotels that are tailor-made for a romantic getaway, this city on the south coast of England is a hidden gem when it comes to staycation options. From elegant wine bars like Porters Wine & Charcuterie to locally caught seafood and stunning sea views at The Jetty, Southampton has some unique locations that are sure to make for a weekend to remember.
With 11 romantic hotels and 69 restaurants that are perfect for a holiday date night, Oxford is another serious contender in the competition for the most romantic destination in the UK. Although it comes in at number 22 in the rankings, this number is impressive considering its small size and the large cities it races ahead of (including Aberdeen and Swansea). In Oxford, there are plenty of romantic activities to choose from, such as a picnic in Port Meadow or a trip to the historic Turf Tavern.
If you’re intrigued by traditional and picturesque towns like Oxford, Chester is also a great option! This city in the northwest of England was built as a Roman fortress and is a wonderful place to explore cobbled streets and find hidden wonders. With 15 hotels that are perfect for couples and 63 romantic restaurants, Chester is a wonderful staycation option if you’re planning a holiday and want to go somewhere a little different.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere off the beaten track or you’re gravitating towards one of the UK’s favourite cities, there are plenty of romantic options for you and your loved one to choose from. Staycations can be every bit as romantic as a tropical holiday, as long as you know where to look!