Pucker up, my friend: if you want to take your loved one for an unusual romantic weekend break in the UK, somewhere a little off-beat, somewhere different from the run-of-the-mill romantic UK weekend getaways, then you’re in the right place.
Be prepared to woo your lover with our sexy suggestions for unusual and original romantic weekend breaks in the UK that’ll make you dizzy with excitement. Beware: this post does contain wild animals. Grrr.
Take your love to dizzying new heights with a nerve-jangling secluded cliff-side camping weekend in Dorset with Rise & Summit. You’ll be suspended over the English Channel, on the beautiful Jurassic Coast – sleeping overnight suspended in mid-air as the waves crunch into the rocks beneath you.
You’ll be sleeping on a ‘portaledge’, a hanging tent used by climbers when they’re spending multiple days on a big wall climb.
Although you do need to have balls of steel, you don’t need previous climbing experience for this unusual romantic weekend break. And, according to Rise & Summit, it is very safe; you’ll be in a controlled environment and safely attached at all times. So a bit like marriage then.
Runs throughout the year
All camping kit is included (you just need warm clothes, a torch and personal items)
Hot evening food and breakfast in the morning is provided
Your instructor will be nearby throughout the experience
With romance oozing out of its wedding cake-shaped walls, West Usk Lighthouse could be one of the best smooch spots in the country. Built in 1821 by Scottish architect, James Walker, it’s an elegant B&B with breath-taking views over the Bristol Channel.
The 4 wedge-shaped rooms are nautically decorated and thanks to 3ft thick walls you don’t need to worry about disturbing the neighbours (not that there are any). Secluded and romantic. And for the ultimate dreamy vista on your weekend of romance, head upstairs to the lantern room to toast one another under the stars. Best of all, a Rolls-Royce can be provided to take you to the local restaurant.
Just a short drive from the North Devon coast and minutes from Exmoor, you’ll find Sitting Bull and Dancing Deer – two luxury tipis that hold court amongst a sea of grasses and wildflowers. Together, they make up HARTA retreat – a beautiful 46-acre glamping site near Woolacombe created by Miranda and Aaron Cousins.
Each tipi has its own stunning signature look, so you can stay more than once and not get bored. For couples on a romantic UK getaway they are perfect: both come with heavenly king-sized beds under a soaring roof, roll-top baths in the interlinking ensuites (so you can share a tub and a glass of fizz), log burners and under-floor heating.
Best of all, you don’t have to cook for yourselves. Continental breakfast and a homemade curry can be delivered to your tipi by the owners (and trust us, both are flammin’ delicious).
Jutting out of the golden sands of Towan Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, like a giant granite tooth, is a romantic sweet spot known simply as, The Island. This New England-styled cottage is barely visible amongst the palms and only accessible by crossing a suspension footbridge. Ok, it’s not the cheapest romantic stay you can have in the UK, but the seclusion is worth splurging out on.
By day, families and beachcombers roam below; by night, the sea rolls in cutting you almost entirely off from civilisation – the ideal unusual romantic break. Smooch al fresco on the deck with heart-thumping views of the Atlantic Ocean, then head indoors for dinner in the beautiful dining room – raising the flag in the garden to let passing boats know you’re not to be disturbed.
Folded into sub-tropical gardens, overlooking the fishing-boat village of Mousehole in Cornwall, is a 1-bedroom romantic getaway bolthole sinful enough to bring the Devil to his knees.
This split-level design masterpiece is as decadent on the inside as any couple could wish for: floor-to-ceiling views across the sea, a sand-blasted oak kitchen (where you can relax as two chefs cook for you), antiquities plucked from the foothills of the Himalayas, original works of art, and a 2-person bathtub that just might be the best in the UK.
For a secluded romantic weekend getaway, The Fallen Angel is just the job. It sits above the village, on a hillside away from neighbouring houses and other holiday homes and is shielded from view by lush palms and banana plants. The only soles you see are seagulls roosting on chimney stacks through the binoculars. Oh, and if you want to bolt-on some extra-decadent treats, such as private chefs and a masseuse, you can.
Kushti Camping is a free-spirited, meadow-base Devon glamping site near Totnes with two vintage vehicle stays waiting for you to couple up in: The Truck (a Mercedes Eagle Camper) and The Trailer (an Airstream Safari). We love them both, but the Airstream gets our vote for an unusual romantic short break.
The interior has been lovingly and carefully handcrafted by owner, Matt, and features a super-sleek handmade kitchen, with dark wood floors and work tops, a large double bed space and a woodburner. There’s also a stylish dining area that easily becomes a second double bed (should you want to stay with the kids).
Better still, if you’re newly engaged you can bolt-on a wedding ring making workshop with Yumé, the owner of Kushti, in her Ashburton jewellery studio.
Make like a prince and princess at the stunning Roch Castle, set on a crag of rock overlooking St. Brides Bay in Pembrokeshire. This 12th-century castle is dramatic outside and spectacular inside, with enough Welsh history etched into its stones to write an anthology.
Today, the castle has six luxury bedrooms, five shiny stars to its name, an exceptional restaurant and lavish designer amenities and decor that’ll send you dizzy. Of course, if Roch Castle doesn’t float your boat, you could pop next door to neighbouring Welsh county Carmarthenshire for a luxury spa weekend at the Dylan Costal Resort and a mooch around one of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’s favourite town, Llansteffan.
Love locks take on a whole new meaning thanks to boutique hotel Malmaison in Oxford city centre. Housed in a former prison, this lovely hotel has 95 beautifully styled rooms and suites (that are all rather more spacious than your average jail cell).
Expect luxurious beds, super-fast Wi-Fi, drench showers and all the comforting amenities you wouldn’t get at any old house of correction. There’s also a contemporary restaurant for a spot of fine dining and a neon-lit bar for cocktails for two.
For added jailhouse rock, bolt on a Valentine’s Evening Tour & Mead Tasting at Oxford Castle and Prison for Valentine’s 2023. You’ll join the dashing Highwayman Isaac Darkin, or the infamous Mary Blandy, and journey through the prison cells and hear the story of Oxford Prison’s most infamous lovers. Tickets: £38 for 2 people.
How about this for an utterly wild weekend stay? Book into one of the two Tiger Lodges (Zemo and Zarka) at the incredible Port Lympne Nature Reserve, Kent’s largest wildlife park, and you can sleep within a whisper of tigers. Sensational, right?
Both lodges sleep up to 4 guests (with room for an additional cot), include a rustic lounge, luxe bathroom, log burner, private garden. But, best of all, both have panoramic windows so you can look out over the tiger enclosure.
As part of your romantic short break here, you get access to the two wildlife parks – Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, where you can meet the other animals. And all guests can enjoy a safari as part of their stay.
Naturally, this incredible tiger experience comes with a hefty price tag; fortunately, Port Lympne also offers more affordable stays amongst the animals. You can stay in a wigwam in Leopard Creek from £419pn, cuddle up in the stargazing dome, simply called The Bubble, from £439pn or check into Bear Lodge from £355pn.
£225 per night (midweek) and £275 (weekend) based on two sharing
Hudnalls Hideout is a perched paradise made for cooing love birds. Located in two acres of private woodland at St Briavel’s Common near Tintern, on the border of England and Wales, this unique treehouse is the first A-frame oak-clad build of its kind in the UK.
The adults-only hideout boasts almost 40 square metres of beautifully designed open plan living space: including tree-top canopy views from the king-size handmade loft bed, a Scandi-luxe vibe in the living room with its retro suspended fireplace, and wall-to-ceiling doors opening out onto the dramatic circular raised deck.
Outside, you’ll find a luxury Delivita wood-fired pizza oven set in a clearing of its own, as well as a firepit and grill ready for your al fresco dinner for two. There’s also a stunning copper slipper bath sitting in the open air, raised on a reclaimed wooden plinth, against a patinated copper wall.
Trust me, you’ll never want to leave that tub or this incredible place.
Woo your sweetheart with an unusual romantic weekend at the brilliant Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans sustainable campsite in beautiful Herefordshire. Once here, amongst the lush Wye Valley greenery, you can snuggle down in an eco-friendly, off-grid vintage van, dating from the 1930s.
Each van has its own name and personality – choose from Elsie, Gerty, Sybil, or Monty – and is furnished with everything you need to stay loved up: comfy beds, feather duvets and quilts, and woodburners. The site is also dog-friendly so if you want a romantic break with your four-legged friend, you can bring them along too.
A moment’s walk away from your van, you’ll find the showershack and campfire within a pretty piece of woodland. There’s also an honesty store selling bangers, bacon and burgers, farm eggs, freshly-ground coffee, and the best traditional method ciders from prize-winning local cider legends Greggs Pit. And should you want a little pampering, the site offers nurturing massages, facials and reflexology treatments in its beautiful lotus tent.
The incredible sunsets and endless views of the Black Mountains are thrown in for free.
If you’re looking for spot of murder mystery for your loved-up short break, then look no further than The Nare Hotel in Cornwall. This gorgeous beach-front hotel is set on Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And it’s here, that British spy-novelist, John Stock, set his 6th spy novel, To Snare a Spy.
Guests get the chance to play their part in this espionage thriller as part of The Nare’s ‘Espionage Package’, which you can bolt-on to your stay for a very affordable £25. Your mission: go undercover to expose the Russian mole working at the hotel.
As part of the adventure, you’ll undertake either an overland or maritime mission to find the drop that the previous agent left behind. You’ll then attempt to make covert contact with the mole – once you’ve worked out who it is – without blowing your cover story and spooking the mole.
Castles, coastline, the craggy majesty of the Scottish Highlands and England’s world-famous Lake District are yours for the taking as part of an epic Land Rover Defender Camping adventure with Overland Adventures.
Yours for the weekend is an iconic Land Rover Defender 100 XS – equipped with either one or two Howling Moon rooftop camping tents – and all the camping equipment you could ever need: foam mattresses, awning, sleeping bags and duvets, chairs, table, fridge/freezer, Primus Fire Pit/BBQ and even a hot water bottle. So your unusual romantic weekend under the stars will be as snug as it is spectacular.
The Overland Adventures team will also give you all the route guidance you need to make sure you have an unforgettable life-without-limits experience. All you’ve got to bring is your sense of adventure.
Malton in North Yorkshire is a dream for foodies. With superb local, farm-to-fork produce, award-winning monthly Food Markets, a Food Lover’s Festival plus some of the best food shops and restaurants in Yorkshire, it’s a year-round destination and makes a superb weekend break for romantic souls with an appetite.
Take a food tour of Malton, eating and drinking to your heart’s content, meeting Malton’s passionate artisan producers, then head off for a unique stay at BOX BNB. You’ll find the three ex-shipping containers that make up BOX BNB – The Rabbit BOX, The Duck BOX, and The Pig BOX – six miles away from Malton.
What were former shipping containers have each been individually transformed into contemporary and unique stays, sleeping 2 adults and 2 children. Best of all, they sit on working North Yorkshire farmland, under some of the best stargazing skies in the whole of the UK. The sheep here are real, the stars here are astounding.
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