Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Live out your love story in Britain

Make your declaration of love to your beloved with either picture-perfect landscapes or rugged, wild scenery around you.

On the beach, at sunset
The sand at Bamburgh Beach turns a pinky hue at sunset, so pack a champagne picnic and pick a sand dune for your declaration of love. Bamburgh is home to a beautiful castle of the same name, and is located an hour’s drive north of Newcastle. Go in the summer months and you can see thousands of puffins here!  

Rhossili Bay in south Wales is voted by TripAdvisor as the world’s best picnic spot and one of the top ten beaches in the world. The water is refreshing and clean, and there’s a National Trust property, The Old Rectory, to stay in nearby.

St Bride’s Hotel or The Wedding Ring
For a beach option with a hotel on site, choose the St Bride’s Hotel and Spa in south Wales. The hotel is tastefully furnished, with a luxurious spa and an infinity pool looking over the sea to fully immerse you in romance. 

White stones mark out a heart shape known as The Wedding Ring in Lochgoilhead, Scotland (just over an hour’s drive north of Glasgow). It’s where the gypsies of Argyll used to hold wedding ceremonies, and those that have stepped inside are said to feel the strength of the thousands of lovers that have stood in the same place over the years.

Living out great loves of history and literature
Head into Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire if you’re a budding Robin Hood or Maid Marian – the pair are said to have been married in Edwinstowe Church, and there’s a statue marking the site of the event. 

Or else if your passion is matched by the love between Heathcliff and Cathy of Wuthering Heights (though with a happier ending in sight), you’ve got to visit the Yorkshire Moors, in the north of England. Explore Haworth and Brontë Country by steam train, and go for a walk in the wild moors among the characteristic purple heather.

For fans of the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, head to Mr Darcy’s stately home Lyme Park, or for those who loved the 2005 film, it was Chatsworth House that stood in for the mansion. Both are in the Peak District in the north west of England, and easily accessible by car from Manchester.

On the move – trains, planes and balloons!
Taking off and gliding over the Scottish landscape for 30 minutes before landing on water with a Loch Lomond Seaplane is truly special. Then, when you land just outside Cameron House, you can surprise your loved one by having made a booking for the night at the luxury hotel, and its Michelin-starred Martin Wishart restaurant. 

Or else glide over beautiful Britain in a balloon with your loved one. Bailey Balloons organise flights in south-west England and Wales, from Bath and Bristol, or else Llanart in south Wales. 
Really want to impress the number one person in your life? Book onto the British Pullman or Northern Belle, sister trains of the Venice Simpleton Orient Express, and the two of you will be whisked back in time to the heyday of rail travel. Relax in the vintage carriages that ran in the heady 1920s, sip champagne and enjoy a gourmet lunch on a glamorous journey!  

Say it with flowers
The British are renowned for their love of beautiful gardens, which make lovely romantic spots. Visit the rose garden at Blenheim Palace where the scents are intoxicating and the colours spectacular! 

Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, an hour’s drive from London, has stunning gardens, including a particularly romantic Camellia House, and a deer park with nine species of deer.

For something truly unique, transport your love to Italy-within-Wales, Portmeirion, an enchanting Italianate village in north Wales with pastel-coloured buildings, dinky alleyways, beautiful rhododendrons and exotic plants. Visit in Spring or Autumn when the colours are magical, or in summer when you can take a dip in the sea. 

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