In the run up to Valentine’s Day, English Heritage has composed a list of its Top Five Most Romantic Spots for Lovers. Whether couples are looking for somewhere to take a romantic stroll or wish to revel in the history of some of England’s greatest love stories, English Heritage’s beautiful properties offer fantastic locations for dates with a difference.
Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, Warwickshire
The vast medieval fortress of Kenilworth Castle is one of the most spectacular castle ruins in England, set in vast grounds perfect for exploring. The ruins are best known as the home of Robert Dudley, the great love of Queen Elizabeth I. Dudley created an ornate palace to impress his beloved Queen in 1575. The newly re-created Elizabethan Garden, lost for 400 years, is now open to visitors once more. A paradise for garden lovers, wander through this sumptuous landscape as Queen Elizabeth I would have done herself.
The windswept and romantic ruin of Tintagel Castle is steeped in Arthurian legend, and the site has long been associated with the star crossed lovers, Tristan and Isolde. Tintagel is only accessible by coastal path, and makes for a truly romantic day out away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Set in the peaceful Wiltshire countryside beside a lake, Old Wardour Castle, near Tisbury, is a hidden jewel. The castle was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortified luxury residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment and was considered one of the most daring and innovative homes in Britain. Today with its delightful turrets, charming grotto and beautiful landscaped grounds, the castle ruin provides a relaxed day out for couples and is the perfect grand setting for any romantic gesture.
Queen Victoria’s love and adoration for her husband, Prince Albert, has been well-chronicled, especially through recent films such as The Young Victoria. Osborne House was the couple’s favourite holiday residence where the famously in-love royals experienced some of their happiest times. This Italianate house, which stands in magnificent gardens sweeping down to the sea, is still filled with original furnishings, priceless artworks and personal mementos, testament to the couple’s great love for one another and their children. The primroses in the woods, the hothouses containing exotic plants and the beautifully restored walled kitchen garden are also not to be missed, especially if you’re looking for a romantic spot to explore.
Tucked away in a deep wooded valley, the castle is the ideal romantic ruin and the perfect spot for lovers to watch the world go by. It was originally built with the intention to become the most spectacular house in Devon and to match Longleat and Audley End for beauty and location, but was never completed.
More info: English Heritage Valentine’s Day