UK holiday destinations for couples

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer

1. Scotland is packed with options for short breaks – check out McKinlay Kidd. Try a whisky tour on the island of Islay, keep your eyes peeled for Minke Whales, otters, seals and porpoises off the west coast on a Mull Wildlife Experience or take a nostalgic trip on a steam train through the Highlands – otherwise known as Hogwarts Express.

2. If you want a fun, relaxing short break, head to one of these 14 country house and seaside hotels in England and North Wales. Each hotel is for adults only and has activities from archery to wine tasting, plus  live shows featuring artists such as Michael Ball, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Hot Chocolate. See the latest special offers.

3. Our writers love the family-owned Gilpin Lodge in the Lake District – it’s a luxurious, relaxing hideaway with some thoughtful contemporary twists. It’s a big draw for foodies especially, with 3 AA Rosette dining. Not far from Windermere, the hotel has 22 acres of gardens beside moors and woodland.

4. Explore some of the beautiful canals and rivers that criss-cross Britain. Black Prince rents out canal boats including some that sleep two. Check out the latest special offers.

5. You may think that you have to travel to France for a wine-tasting break but take a look at the Three Choirs Vineyards in Gloucestershire, one of England’s leading wine producers. As well as gorgeous rooms, you can expect top quality food, 100 acres of quiet, scenic countryside and wine-tasting, of course.

6. If you want to take your four-legged friend with you, there are a number of places where dogs are welcome. Canine Cottages has hundreds of pooch-friendly properties dotted around the country, all with lovely walks on your doorstep.

7. For something a little different, join a small-group cultural tour with Martin Randall. Each tour is led by an expert in art, music or architecture. You could attend a classical music festival, visit some of England’s finest stately homes, or follow in the footsteps of Sir Winston Churchill.

8. i-escape has put together a great collection of boutique hotels in the UK from a groovy guesthouse in Brighton to a luxury spa hotel in the New Forest, and a boathouse for two in the Lake District. See the latest special offers.

9. If you love walking in the woods, rent a luxury lodge in Sherwood Forest with your own outdoor hot tub.

10. If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion with friends and family, why not make like the cast of Downton Abbey and rent an historic house in England, Scotland or Wales. It’s a great option for birthdays or anniversaries.

11. Set on the Shropshire-Wales borders, Pen-y-Dyffryn is a stylish Georgian country house hotel with cosy bedrooms, an excellent restaurant and great walking on its doorstep. See the latest offers.

12. Another superb place to stay in Shropshire is the Castle Hotel in the lovely market town of Bishops Castle. Think gastro food, 12 modern rooms and nearby hiking trails.

13. Take a flight or ferry to the gorgeous island of Jersey which is easy to reach from across the UK and has a great restaurant scene, fascinating historical sites and sandy beaches. Stay at the Pomme d’Or Hotel in busy St Helier, or chill out at the Greenhills Country House Hotel.

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Last updated: 2 August 2022

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