Backpacking your way around the world is one of the most inspiring things you can do with your time and money, but at some point, everyone needs some downtime. For those feeling particularly romantic, we’ve put together a list of ten cheap romantic getaways that are bound to earn you brownie points with your beau. It’s time to put the backpack down, reconnect and change the pace.
Cheap romantic getaways, UK
1. The Lake District
The Lake District is easily one of the most beautiful corners of England, a place where you’ll truly switch off, unwind and get to spend some uninterrupted time with that special someone. Climb to the top of Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, and take in the region’s jaw-dropping scenery and glistening lakes. It’s no wonder the likes of Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth found unending inspiration whilst in and amongst this sweeping landscape.
Stay at Derwentwater Independent Hostel, situated in the heart of the Lake District. The 230-year-old mansion is surrounded by its own woodlands and waterfall with stunning views across the lake. Cosy up and let in the fresh country air.
2. The Peak District
Located in the centre of England, the Peak District is home to some of England’s most attractive countryside as well as several quintessentially British villages and towns. If you’re foodies, make the trip to Bakewell to sample the famous Bakewell pudding covered in swathes of indulgent custard.
Stay at YHA Ilam Hall, a huge Victorian Gothic National Trust manor house that sits in 84 acres of country parkland right on the River Manifold. Whilst there, take the walk from Ilam Park to the Stepping Stones in Dovedale. Discover the Southern Peak District’s limestone countryside and spot the beautiful wildlife.
Stunning Bath has been a wellbeing hub since Roman times. If you and your partner are in need of some R&R then this is the city for you. Boasting the only natural hot springs in Britain, book yourself into the Thermae Bath Spa – don’t forget to book in advance! Visit the well-preserved ruins of the original Roman Baths, constructed around 70AD, where 1,170,000 litres of steaming spring water still fills the baths every day.
Stay at St Christopher’s Inn Bath, located right in the heart of the World Heritage listed city amongst the quaint medieval buildings.
Cheap romantic getaways, Scotland
4. Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye’s Fairy Pools were recently named the UK’s most romantic holiday destination, so it would be rude to leave it from our list. Found at the foot of the Black Cuillins near Glenbrittle, the Fairy Pools are made up of a number of low-lying waterfalls and crystal-clear pools. Though the water is undeniably cold – it’s Scotland! – many brave visitors can’t resist a dip. The walk to the pools is just as beautiful as the pools themselves, a 2.4km round trip it’s been deemed ‘short’ in length and ‘medium’ in difficulty.
Stay at Skyewalker Hostel where you’ll be surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty. A beach is within walking distance where there are regular sightings of whales, dolphins and basking sharks, as well as Skye’s famous eagles.
Pack a picnic with all your favourite goodies and a swanky bottle of wine (screw top!) and stride to the top of Edinburgh’s famous Arthur’s Seat. It doesn’t get more romantic than a picnic on top of an extinct volcano. Holyrood Park is found only a short walk from the city’s Royal Mile, and at 251 miles above sea-level you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the city.
Stay at The Baxter, a custom-built hostel with a unique style. With a modern, chic and vibrant interior, you’ll be happy to chill out here between wandering around ancient Edinburgh.
6. Fort William
Located in the western Scottish Highlands on the shores of Loch Linnhe, Fort William is known as the gateway to Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak. The Nevis Range Mountain Resort has everything from ski runs to forest trails, perfect if you’re looking for some serious outdoor fun.
Stay at Glen Nevis Youth Hostel where you’ll enjoy contemporary open-plan living space with log-burning stove and panoramic mountain views. The perfect nook to cosy up in after a day in the outdoors.
Cheap romantic getaways, Europe
Warsaw may seem a rogue choice for romance, and yet its restored market square with pretty-pastel coloured buildings, winding streets and wallet-friendly food (don’t opt for a starter or you won’t get through your main) makes it the perfect place for a romantic weekend away.
Stay at DREAM Hostel Warsaw for its location, bar and a breakfast that will set you up for a day of exploration. It’s the perfect base to pop back to for an afternoon nap following an indulgent lunch. For a bit of raucous fun, hit the Irish bar just next door to enjoy a brass band and table dancing. It doesn’t get more Polish than that!
It’s impossible to have a list of romantic European getaways without including the city of love itself, Paris. Paris is the perfect city to get lost in – start walking and see where you end up. Take a stroll down the Seine and check out the market stall tit bits; watch the world famous Eiffel Tower light up at sundown; climb up the steps of Montmartre’s Sacre Coeur and buy a bottle of beer from the street vendors to take in the views of the city. All this whilst gorging on French pastries, coffee and of course wine!
Stay at Le Regrent Montmartre for envied views over Paris from the heart of the action. Just moments away from the Moulin Rouge and Pigalle, you’ll be well positioned to soak-up Parisian life.
Get lost in the medieval Ribeira district filled with winding cobbled streets that take you past a series of boutique shops and independent cafes. The coastal city of Porto is famous for its grand bridges and it’s port wine. Impress your better half by stopping off at O Diplomata, one of the busiest places in Porto’s Baixa, and enjoy the best pancakes in town. Choose from six batter options and a wild array of toppings. Pure indulgence.
Stay at Selina Porto and book yourself a suite to make your stay that extra bit special. Located in Ribiera you’ll be at the heart of the city’s action. Don’t forget to book onto a port and wine tour!
As Spain’s third largest city Valencia offers the perfect balance between cosmopolitan life and romantic retreat. Wonder through the stunning 9-kilometre Turia Gardens, a riverbed turned green belt, that travels straight through the city. Spend your time delighting in local food, taking in the extravagant architecture and strolling along the long stretch of beach found in the Old Quarter.
Stay at Rooms Ciencias located where you’ll be just a spit away from some of the best bits Valencia has to offer.
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About the author:
I’m Freya, a freelance writer and consumer PR consultant. Having worked in the travel industry for three years I enjoy writing about all the wonderful things our world has to offer in the hope of inspiring other travellers. Based in London, my hobbies include writing, reading, films, walking, eating, shopping and of course travelling. Check out my website, www.freyabugeja.co.uk or follow me on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @fb_comms.