Whether you are planning your honeymoon, celebrating a special occasion, or simply want a relaxing break – there are many reasons as to why you might be on the lookout for the perfect romantic getaway to enjoy with your partner. However, while you may be dreaming of white sand beaches and tropical sunshine, government-mandated travel restrictions mean that many of us will have to look for romance a little closer to home.
While travelling in the UK has changed recently, it’s much easier (and sometimes even cheaper) to book and prepare for a staycation during this time – and it can still be a lot of fun.
With that in mind, here are some top tips for planning the perfect romantic getaway!
Think about the kind of break you are looking for
There are hundreds of different types of holidays, from adventurous outdoor breaks where a new challenge lies around every corner, to cosmopolitan city breaks in the heart of the action. If you want to get away from everything, relax, and unwind in the countryside, you might like to consider looking at walking holidays somewhere like the Lake District, or Exmoor, where the wilderness is not only romantic, but balm for the soul too. On the flip side, if you prefer a bit of a buzz, with urban architecture, world-class restaurants and plenty of entertainment option, then maybe somewhere like London or Manchester would tick those boxes for you.
You can make the planning process much easier by deciding exactly what you are looking for ahead of time. Plus, places in the UK are getting booked up faster than normal at the moment, so try and factor in as much lead time as you can, to avoid having to make do with the dregs that are left.
Choose unusual accommodation
You’ve probably stayed in a great number of hotels during your lifetime, so why not add an exciting twist to your trip by looking for alternative accommodation? For example, you could stay in a countryside log cabin with a hot tub and combine a love of nature with a luxury treat. Alternatively, there are castles, treehouses, and even caves you can sleep in if you’re looking for something super quirky.
There are lots of sites online that offer exciting and unusual accommodation listings (here’s a great example), so think outside the box a bit and see where you end up. It’s the sort of experience you’ll be dining out on in years to come.
Plan your travel
Once you have decided where you wish to travel to within the UK, it’s time to start thinking about how you will get there, especially if the journey is a long one. While it’s perfectly possible to take to the open roads in your car, you could also research public transport routes and book train tickets if you want a responsibility-free trip. Booking your travel tickets ahead of time is a great way to save money – and you can use sites such as split ticketing to drastically reduce the cost of train journeys.
Of course, not all locations are easily accessed by train, so you could look into combined bus journeys, or even hiring a car locally at your destination to save you the hassle of a long road trip. Sometimes it’s even cheaper to book an internal flight, especially if you’re travelling the length of the country, for example from London up to Scotland.
Make sure you know what route you’ll be taking ahead of time, arrange taxi transfers if required at the other end, and keep an eye on live travel updates so you’re aware of any diversions or delays.
Surprise each other
Add an extra special touch to your romantic getaway by finding small ways to surprise your partner. For example, you could take it in turns to plan what activities you participate in each day, but keep it a secret until the last minute. This is a great way to make the most of your trip and make long-lasting memories.
If you’re staying in a hotel, ask the staff to secretly arrange flowers, chocolates, or Champagne (or all three!), or try and smuggle something special in your suitcase for a big reveal during your stay.
You could take the surprise to the ultimate level by booking a romantic holiday somewhere like Northumberland or Cornwall without telling your partner, with the instructions to just pack a bag and be ready to leave at a certain time on a particular date. Now that would be romantic! Obviously with that one you will need to know that they can take time off work if needed, so just be a little careful your plans don’t come crashing down before they’ve even begun.
Reduce costs by dining in
Romantic getaways can be expensive, especially if you are dining out every evening. However, you can cut down costs by cooking your own meals, which of course is easy if you’re staying somewhere with self catering facilities. Remember, this doesn’t mean you have to have the same dishes you have every week at home – in fact, it is the perfect time to experiment and try something new.
Skip a supermarket trip and visit local butchers, markets or grocers and try your hand at recreating local dishes. There are also often lots of delis sourcing regional produce that can be a treasure trove of culinary delights, from cakes and biscuits, to pastas and pies. This is a great way to support small businesses after a difficult year and try something new! Who knows, you may discover a new favourite food!