Unique and Unusual Romantic Breaks in the UK

If you’re looking for something more distinctive than the usual dinner and movie, you’re in the right place.

Our comprehensive guide to unusual romantic weekend breaks in the UK showcases the diverse, unique and unexpected ways to steal away for a romantic weekend.

We’ve compiled an exciting list of experiences that promise to invigorate your senses and ignite your passion.

So, why settle for ordinary when the extraordinary awaits? Read on for some genuine inspiration!

Accommodation Ideas for a Romantic Break

You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to romantic break accommodation, from tree-houses to castle. Let’s take a closer look!

Treehouse Stay

Treehouse

When we think of treehouses, we often reminisce about childhood escapades and secret hideaways. But who said treehouses are just for kids?

Today, the UK hosts an array of astonishing treehouse accommodations perfect for a romantic weekend getaway.

These treehouses, cradled amidst lush foliage and nestled high in tranquil woodland canopies, provide an escape from the norm with a twist of luxury.

One such example is Chewton Glen in Hampshire, a destination renowned for its stunning treehouse suites suspended 35 feet above the ground.

This secluded paradise offers a blend of adventure and serenity, with each treehouse featuring amenities like hot tubs on private balconies, cosy wood burners, and even a dedicated treehouse service.

Whether you’re sipping champagne whilst soaking in the hot tub, or waking up to a breakfast hamper hoisted up to your suite, the attention to detail is a key part of the unique experience.

Alternatively, for those seeking a more modest and eco-friendly retreat, Tree Sparrow House in Cornwall might be the perfect choice.

Perched in an ash tree with sweeping views of Falmouth Bay, this fairy-tale dwelling offers a cosy, intimate space for couples.

Though smaller in size, this treehouse doesn’t skimp on charm and guarantees a weekend break filled with relaxation, fresh air, and stunning sunsets.

A treehouse stay is more than just an unusual romantic break. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with nature, experience the joy of simplicity, and create lasting memories in a unique, enchanting setting.

Whether you opt for luxurious splendour or rustic simplicity, a treehouse stay is a perfect choice for those looking to step outside the box on their next romantic weekend break in the UK.

Lighthouse Retreat

The UK is surrounded by stunning coastline, and what could be more romantic than staying in a lighthouse, where the waves lull you to sleep and the panoramic sea views greet you each morning?

A unique option is the Belle Tout Lighthouse, perched on the white cliffs of Beachy Head in East Sussex.

The lighthouse offers a B&B service with six beautifully decorated rooms, each offering an array of stunning views, encompassing the English Channel, the Seven Sisters and the South Downs.

Imagine relaxing with your partner, perhaps with a glass of wine in hand, as you watch the sun slowly sink beneath the horizon from the comfort of the Lantern Room.

In Wales, the West Usk Lighthouse near Newport offers another unique, charming bed-and-breakfast experience that’s ideal as a romantic getaway. 

A lighthouse retreat provides a unique blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty, offering an enchanting escape from the world.

With their unique charm and dramatic coastal locations, lighthouse stays make for an unforgettable romantic break, giving you a chance to enjoy the simpler things in life, all with a touch of nautical romance.

It’s no wonder lighthouse retreats make our list for unusual romantic weekend breaks in the UK!

Castle Stay

Transform your usual weekend getaway into an extraordinary journey back in time with a Castle Stay.

Picture yourself and your loved one stepping into a world of royalty, history, and luxury – a world that transcends ordinary existence and plunges you into a romance-filled fairy tale.

Consider Amberley Castle, located in the heart of the picturesque South Downs. It’s not just a 900-year-old magnificent structure; it’s an embodiment of a bygone era combined with the opulence of the modern world.

Every room in Amberley Castle tells a different story, with unique designs that complement the historic charm with contemporary comfort.

Think four-poster beds, stunning views, and whirlpool baths for that extra touch of luxury.

You might also find your hearts drawn to Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire – one of England’s most admired Tudor castles.

As you step inside rooms once graced by Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, you can’t help but sense the whispers of the past.

Dining here is an experience in itself, with a delectable menu served in a dining room that, quite literally, used to be a dungeon.

Devon’s Bovey Castle offers another immersive experience. It’s not just about luxury lodgings; it’s about living the castle life in all its glory.

You can partake in traditional pursuits such as falconry and archery, or try your hand at cider and sloe gin making.

A castle stay isn’t simply a unique romantic weekend break; it’s a tangible step into a world that most only read about in history books or see on the screen.

The chance to live like royalty and make memories in these historic retreats makes a castle stay an undeniably appealing choice for a one-of-a-kind romantic weekend break in the UK.

See our article on staying in a UK castle for some of the best short-break fortresses in the country!

Glamping

Glamping

Embrace the outdoors without giving up the comforts of a high-end hotel on your romantic weekend break with glamping.

Glamping (a fusion of ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’) redefines the traditional camping experience by adding a luxurious touch to it.

Across the UK, there are numerous glamping sites that cater to different tastes and preferences.

You can find everything from fully-furnished safari tents and geodesic domes to yurts and bell tents.

Many of these glamping sites offer comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, wood-burning stoves and even private hot tubs, ensuring that you can experience nature without compromising on comfort.

Located in the North Yorkshire countryside, the luxury glamping pods at the Little Seed Field offer a cosy retreat.

Each cabin is well-equipped with modern amenities and features panoramic windows that provide unobstructed views of the surrounding natural beauty.

If you’re looking for a more unique experience, the Loveland Farm in Devon offers eco-friendly geodesic domes.

These spacious pods come with an outdoor kitchen, a log burner, and a composting toilet, making it a sustainable yet comfortable glamping option.

For couples seeking a cosy, romantic retreat, a stay in a shepherd’s hut can be an ideal choice.

For instance, the shepherd’s huts at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire come complete with a double bed, en-suite shower room, and a wood-burning stove, providing a cosy, intimate space amidst the beautiful countryside.

Glamping offers a balance of adventure and luxury, making it an excellent choice for unusual romantic weekend breaks in the UK.

Boat House

Immerse yourself in the soothing rhythms of the water with a Boat House stay.

Picture waking up to the gentle lapping of waves and the call of distant seabirds – this is what a boat house stay promises to offer.

Ideal for couples seeking an unconventional romantic weekend break in the UK, boat houses provide the tranquillity of the waterside and the comfort of home in one unique package.

When you opt for a boat house, you embrace an exclusive world of privacy and serenity.

Your home is nestled directly on the water, offering the calming melodies of water and stunning panoramic views that change with the hour, from the fresh radiance of morning to the golden hues of sunset.

Boat houses across the UK vary in design and size, but each one carries its unique charm. Despite their rustic appearance, they don’t skimp on modern amenities.

Take, for instance, The Boathouse at Knotts End in Cumbria.

Here, you can find a luxurious retreat on the shores of Ullswater, the English Lake District’s renowned body of water.

Its features, including a private jetty and an outdoor hot tub, make it a haven for lovers seeking romantic weekend breaks in the UK.

Haunted Hotel

Does this count as an unusual romantic getaway? Unusual definitely, but romantic? Well, actually yes!

For those who crave a dash of the paranormal with their romance, a stay at a haunted hotel might be just the unusual weekend break you’re looking for.

Offering a unique blend of history, mystery, and thrill, haunted hotels across the UK provide a stay that’s as chilling as it is captivating.

The UK, with its rich and tumultuous history, has many hotels reputed to have permanent guests of the spectral kind.

Each has its own story, steeped in legend and whispered through generations.

Many of these hotels don’t shy away from their haunted reputation and indeed, celebrate their ghostly inhabitants, often with themed rooms or events.

For instance, Ettington Park Hotel in Stratford-Upon-Avon, is one of the most famous haunted hotels in England.

This neo-Gothic mansion, nestled within 40 acres of parkland, is as stunning as it is eerie.

Said to be haunted by several spirits, this hotel is not for the faint-hearted but perfect for those seeking a romantic thrill.

Dalhousie Castle in Scotland, the oldest inhabited castle in the country, is another hotel known for its spectral residents.

Here, you might encounter the Grey Lady, a friendly ghost who has been seen in the castle’s turrets and dungeons.

A stay in a haunted hotel isn’t just about potentially encountering the otherworldly; it’s also about soaking in the history and stories that these ancient buildings hold.

For those who seek a touch of the supernatural in their romantic getaway, a haunted hotel stay offers an unusual but exciting weekend break in the UK

Thatched Cottage Retreat

What better way to experience the authentic essence of English tradition than by immersing yourself in a thatched cottage retreat and soaking up the countryside charm.

These wonderful buildings graced with their iconic straw roofs and imbued with an irresistible old-world allure, propose an enchanting romantic weekend break.

What makes a thatched cottage an intriguing choice isn’t just its quaint aesthetics, but also the warmth and comfort it exudes.

Many of these havens have been meticulously renovated, blending modern conveniences with timeless features such as timber beams, traditional fireplaces and nooks and crannies.

Consider the charm of Elworthy Cottage in Salcombe – a Grade II listed property nestling in the heart of Devon.

It’s a tranquil sanctuary where time seems to slow down. Picture yourself basking in the warmth of the open fireplace, or relishing the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscapes from your own lush garden.

Similarly captivating is The Thatch, a Grade II listed dwelling in Hampshire. Oozing character, this cottage pairs historic elements with modern luxuries.

Imagine sinking into a roll-top bath after a day of exploration, or sitting by the wood-burning stove with your loved one, while the aroma of fresh English tea fills the air.

A stay in a thatched cottage isn’t just about the delightful accommodation; it’s a journey into the tranquil heartbeat of the countryside.

Hobbit House Stay

Hobbit House

Unleash your inner Tolkien enthusiast with a unique and whimsical Hobbit House Stay.

These earth-sheltered homes, reminiscent of the charming dwellings in The Lord of the Rings, provide an ideal setting for an unusual romantic weekend break in the UK.

Hobbit houses offer a unique blend of rustic charm and modern amenities.

Most of these accommodations are built into the landscape, providing a cosy, intimate setting.

They often feature circular doors, quaint windows, and interiors that create a magical, hobbit-like atmosphere while still providing all the conveniences of a modern getaway.

A great example is the Pod Hollow at West Stow Pods in Suffolk. This halfling-inspired dwelling is nestled in a scenic woodland setting, offering a unique stay with modern amenities.

The interior features two cosy bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a charming living area.

Another great choice for Lord of the Rings fans is Vineyward Hollow in Bodiam.

This charming, self-catered accommodation is built into a hillside and offers accommodation for two.

It includes two cosy bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchenette and a patio with garden views.

Whether you’re cosying up by the fire, exploring nearby woodland trails, or stargazing from your private garden, a Hobbit House offers a unique and romantic escape that’s sure to create unforgettable memories.

Coastal Retreat in a Fisherman’s Hut

Embrace the allure of the seaside, by way of an unconventional romantic weekend break in a fisherman’s hut on the UK’s stunning coastline.

These quaint huts weave together the raw charm of the seashore and the area’s rich maritime past, offering a singular way to savour the mesmerising beauty of Britain’s coastlines.

Often snug and steeped in authenticity, fisherman’s huts present an intimate backdrop for couples.

Behind their simple exteriors, many of these huts seamlessly incorporate modern comforts, ensuring a serene and delightful stay.

Take, for example, The Fisherman’s Hut in Whitstable, Kent. Perched with a view of the endless sea, this cosy haven blends impressive vistas with a comfortable interior and contemporary amenities.

Here, you’ll find a snug bed, a compact kitchenette for whipping up light meals and a private outdoor space perfect for inhaling the salty sea breeze and admiring the expansive view.

A coastal retreat in a fisherman’s hut promises a tranquil, unique and undoubtedly romantic seaside escape.

Private Island Stay

A Private Island Stay represents the epitome of an unusual romantic weekend break in the UK.

For those who crave seclusion, tranquillity and natural beauty, having an entire island to yourselves offers the ultimate romantic getaway.

Private island stays offer an unbeatable sense of peace and privacy.

Accommodations range from cosy cottages to luxury lodges, all set in stunning natural environments.

Despite the remote location, these accommodations provide all the amenities you’d expect for a comfortable and relaxing break.

One such place is Eilean Shona. This exclusive, unspoiled island is home to a collection of holiday cottages for one of those truly secluded getaways.

Complete with modern amenities, you can enjoy cosy accommodation, surrounded by breathtaking views and an abundance of wildlife.

Similarly, Osea Island in Essex offers a unique private island experience close to London.

With a range of luxury accommodation options and a host of activities, from beach walks to spa treatments, it promises an unforgettable romantic getaway.

Staying on a private island offers a unique chance to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy quality time with your loved one offering an unforgettable romantic weekend break in the UK.

Activity and Sightseeing Ideas for a Romantic Break

So what about things to do on your romantic weekend break? Here are some popular ideas.

Wine Tasting Weekend

A Wine Tasting Weekend presents an unusual yet delightful idea for a romantic weekend escape.

For those who savour the bouquet of a fine wine, this escape provides an exclusive mix of serenity, exploration, and an opportunity to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of diverse wines.

You have the opportunity to roam among the grapevines, gain insights into the fascinating process of viticulture and also sample the goods!

Many vineyards also offer comfortable accommodation and dining options, ensuring a complete and immersive wine experience.

As one of the oldest vineyards in the UK, Three Choirs Vineyards in Gloucestershire, is a great option..

You’ll be able to enjoy a vineyard tour and tasting, followed by a lovely meal at the on-site restaurant.

Similarly, Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey offers an unforgettable wine-focused getaway. With comprehensive wine tours and tastings, fine dining in their restaurant, and comfortable accommodation in their hotel, Denbies provides a full-package wine experience.

An intimate wine tasting weekend is about immersing yourself in the entire process, from grape to glass, providing a unique and delightful romantic break.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

A Hot Air Balloon Ride is an enchanting option for an unusual romantic weekend break in the UK as well as being one of the more popular bucket list experiences.

For couples seeking a dash of adventure blended with breathtaking panoramas, this experience offers an exhilarating and unforgettable escape.

Certainly, here’s a rewritten version of those sentences:

Drifting in a hot air balloon, you’ll get to appreciate the allure of the UK’s rural landscapes from an unmatched vantage point.

This experience typically commences at the break of day, offering you the chance to see sunrise.

Consider booking with companies like Virgin Balloon Flights or Balloons Over Britain, which operate in various locations across the UK.

These companies offer different packages that include champagne toasts, flight certificates and sometimes even the opportunity to help inflate and deflate the balloon.

A great example of a location for a hot air balloon ride is the city of Bath.

A balloon ride here will offer stunning views of the historic city, the surrounding countryside and even the Bristol Channel if the weather is clear.

Alternatively, a ride over the beautiful landscapes of the Lake District provides breathtaking views of its vast lakes, majestic mountains, and picturesque villages.

Combined with one of the accommodation options mentioned on this page, a balloon ride allows you to escape the ordinary as part of a romantic weekend.

Whisky Distillery Tour

Whisky Distillery Tour

Dive into the captivating legacy of whisky crafting with a Whisky Distillery Tour, a perfect pick for a unique romantic weekend getaway in the UK.

For those who appreciate the intricate flavours of the ‘liquid gold’, this experience promises a fascinating exploration into the soul of whisky manufacturing.

Such a tour provides a chance to wander through charming distilleries, discover the science and artistry of whisky creation.

Many distilleries further enhance the experience by offering comfortable lodging options, turning your whisky journey into an extended weekend adventure.

The cradle of whisky, Scotland, hosts a plethora of esteemed distilleries.

For instance, a visit to the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown offers a deep dive into the story and craftsmanship behind one of the globe’s most popular single malt whiskies.

With curated tours, tastings, and residential facilities, it’s a true haven for whisky aficionados.

Another notable stop is the Lagavulin Distillery on the Isle of Islay, acclaimed for its intensely peaty and smoky whiskies.

Here, you can participate in comprehensive tours, tastings led by experts and appreciate the striking sea views.

A Whisky tasting tour extends beyond just the whisky tasting.

It’s an experience that immerses you in the deep-rooted history, the expertise and the culture that pervade the world of whisky.

Vintage Steam Train Journey

Step back in time with a Vintage Steam Train Journey, an unusual yet endearing idea for a romantic weekend break in the UK.

For those with an appreciation for history and a love for bygone eras, this journey offers an opportunity to experience the golden age of rail travel.

A vintage steam train journey takes you through some of the most scenic parts of the UK.

As the steam engine huffs and puffs along the tracks, you and your loved one can soak up the beautiful views from your cosy carriage.

One popular journey is the Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland, better known as the ‘Hogwarts Express.

Running from Fort William to Mallaig, this journey offers stunning views of the Scottish Highlands, including the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Another fantastic choice is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Running from Pickering to Whitby, this journey takes you through the stunning North York Moors National Park.

Along the way, you’ll see beautiful moorland, quaint villages, and the ancient port of Whitby.

As you listen to the rhythmic chug of the train and watch the world go by, you’ll feel a unique sense of relaxation and nostalgia.

Combined with a stay in a nearby cottage or country inn, this can make for a one of those immersive experiences that are tailor-made for romantic breaks.

Spa Weekend Getway

Few things encapsulate the concept relaxing secluded getaways quite like a Spa weekend.

This is the perfect selection for couples seeking a haven of calm, restoration, and shared tranquillity.

It’s a cherished opportunity to slip away from the fast pace of everyday life and concentrate on rest and relaxation.

Spa weekend getaways typically encompass a variety of therapies such as massages, skincare treatments and body scrubs.

Many spa resorts also organise wellness activities like yoga, pilates, and mindfulness meditation.

These retreats can be found in captivating locations all over the UK, from rural estate houses to modern city retreats. Consider a retreat to the Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall in Durham.

This spa offers an extensive array of treatments, a generous pool, a fitness suite, and even hosts wellness workshops.

Its coastal location in Durham also provides plenty of opportunities for serene ambles.

An alternative luxury choice is the ESPA Life at Corinthia in the heart of London.

This acclaimed spa offers a variety of thermal experiences, a dedicated sleep pod zone, a fitness centre and a selection of innovative treatments.

Being centrally located, you’re ideally positioned to explore the attractions of the capital should you wish to.

A Spa weekend getaway extends beyond just the therapeutic treatments – it’s about carving out time to unwind, rejuvenate and rekindle connections with your partner.

Art and Sculpture Park

For couples who appreciate the blending of art, nature, and architecture, a visit to an Art and Sculpture Park makes for one of the more unique UK destinations for couples.

These parks offer an immersive experience that goes beyond traditional museum walls, placing art pieces in an outdoor setting that often enhances their beauty and impact.

One such place that combines these elements beautifully is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Sprawling over 500 acres, it is the UK’s leading open-air gallery showcasing works from renowned artists like Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

You can walk through the landscape, engage with the art, and appreciate the natural surroundings all at once.

The Jupiter Artland in Edinburgh is another delightful destination. It presents contemporary art installations from a variety of artists, with pieces seamlessly integrated into the landscape.

Wander through woodland paths, discover art tucked away in unexpected places, and lose yourself in the creative environment.

A visit to an Art and Sculpture Park is not just about viewing the artwork; it’s about immersing yourself in the experience.

These parks invite you to interact with the art, ponder the symbiosis between the art and nature, and share this unique experience with your loved one.

Coupled with a stay in a nearby boutique hotel or B&B, this makes for a culturally enriching and unusual romantic weekend break in the UK.

Stargazing in a Dark Sky Reserve

Star Gazing

For an enchanting and out-of-the-ordinary romantic weekend break in the UK, consider Stargazing in a Dark Sky Reserve.

Perfect for couples fond of starry nights and drawn to the mysteries of the universe, this experience allows you to observe the star-speckled heavens from some of the country’s darkest and most pristine locations.

A Dark Sky Reserve is an area purposely kept free of artificial light pollution and preserved for its astronomical significance.

The UK houses several such reserves, each providing a unique opportunity to witness the celestial grandeur of the night sky.

A prime stargazing location is the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, acknowledged as an International Dark Sky Reserve in 2012.

Here, you can be captivated by the Milky Way, far-off galaxies and meteor showers, all visible to the bare eye.

An equally fantastic spot is the Northumberland Dark Sky Park, Europe’s most expansive region of safeguarded night sky.

Here, you can utilise the potent telescopes at the Kielder Observatory to observe planets, clusters of stars, and nebulae in detail.

Horseback Riding in the Scottish Highlands

Looking for romantic adventures? How about horseback riding in the Scottish Highlands.

This is a brilliant choice for couples with a love for the outdoors and a taste for adventure, providing a unique way to traverse the rugged charm of the Highlands.

The Scottish Highlands are revered for their wonderful landscapes, deep bodies of water and towering mountains, all serving as a breathtaking canvas for a horseback ride.

The region is home to various horse riding centres that accommodate riders of all skill levels, ensuring a journey that is both safe and enjoyable.

Highland Horse Fun in Kingussie is one such centre, offering guided tours through the picturesque Cairngorms National Park.

From horseback, you’ll be able to take in sweeping vistas of mountains, forests, and native wildlife.

An alternative is the Borlum Riding Centre, nestled near Loch Ness in Drumnadrochit.

Here, you can embark on a guided journey through local woodland and farmland or opt for a lakeside ride along the globally recognised Loch Ness.

Hopefully, our ideas for unusual weekend breaks in the UK will be of some help. For more accommodation ideas see our range of holiday cottages.

 

Dale Shelabarger

Dale is the owner and founder of Cottages to Rent which he launched back in 2005. As well as promoting holiday cottages, Dale blogs regularly about top UK holiday destinations, visitor attractions and places of historical interest.