Weekend trips for two
Cosy up in the Cotswolds
Cottage retreats in the Cotswolds often top the lists of romantic weekends away, but there’s still plenty of appeal for singletons. This rural area of the UK is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Cotswolds spreads far and wide on the map and includes the cities of Gloucester, Bath and Oxford as well as smaller towns like Cheltenham. Bourton-on-the-Water, in Cheltenham, is sometimes referred to as The Venice of the Cotswolds, as there’s a river running right through the village. While it may not the real deal, a train ticket to nearby Moreton-in-Marsh is likely to cost you less than a weekend break in the real Venice.
Batsford Arboretum, a dog-friendly 50-acre spread of private gardens is also nearby to Moreton-in-Marsh train station and open all year. So, leave the capital behind, grab your plus one and your pooch and and hop on a direct train from London Paddington in just an hour and a half. If in doubt, read up on taking your pets on the train here.
These chocolate-box destinations make ideal places to visit whatever the time of year. If you’re planning ahead for a particular date, use our app to find the best price for your tickets. We’ve got a nifty tool called Price Prediction, which can show you when ticket prices could rise or fall.
See Shakespeare in Stratford
As the birthplace of Shakespeare, the original hopeless romantic, Stratford-upon-Avon is sure to give you and your partner butterflies. Shakespeare was known for his comedies as well as his romantic tragedies, so if you’re looking for a giggle with your best mate Stratford’s a good choice.
The Royal Shakespeare Company, on the bank of the River Avon, is also an easy walk from the station and its year-long programme of plays, comedies and events mean there’s a wide choice of things to watch. Although this medieval market town is steeped in history, you don’t have to be. Choose our Mobile Ticket option when you book and your phone is all you need!
Lock up your heart in Liverpool
According to the Beatles, All You Need is Love. So, spread the love in Liverpool with your other half, your partner in crime, your mum, dad, aunt Nelly – whoever! For an unbreakable bond, you’ll need a padlock with your two names on it, and a train ticket to Liverpool. All along the Albert Dock, people have added their own padlock to the chains – a symbol that your relationship (whatever the kind) will last forever.
Once you’re bonded for life, have a nosey around the Tate Liverpool museum. Don’t worry if you’re not art buffs, it’s free entry, so you can spend as little or as long as you like here.
Travel with Virgin Trains and you can upgrade to First Class for just £10* – that’s a sure-fire way to add a touch of luxury to your weekend.
* All Virgin Trains services have First Class, which you can upgrade to for £10 on weekends and bank holidays.
Skip along the Seine in Paris
Catch a train from London to Paris and you’ll be in La Belle France in just two and a half hours. Now remember, a weekend away shouldn’t begin with a mad dash to the station. So, why not book a mid-afternoon Eurostar and arrive late-morning at London St Pancras to enjoy a leisurely bottomless brunch in Searchys St Pancras – the Champagne bar – before you check in?
The Gare du Nord is impressive from both the inside and the outside, so when you arrive in the French capital, be sure to wander out to the forecourt and take a photo against the station’s backdrop. For the romantics, the iconic Eiffel Tower, standing tall over the Seine, is just a 25-minute taxi ride away. But, if the weather’s nice and timing’s not an issue, take to the streets on foot. Go via the pedestrianised Rue Montorgueil and stop in at some local cafés and family-run pastry shops along the way. And, if you know the lingo, the used book stalls – or bouquinistes – sprinkled along the Seine could be a goldmine for finding a first edition novel from old.
Read on to find quirky and unusual places in Paris.
*Available everyday until 2nd April 2018. Bottomless brunch costs £35.
Savour sweet treats in Brussels
Belgium’s capital is within easy reach of London and with eight trains running from St Pancras to Brussels running a day, you can plan your weekend around you.
Hop into a horse-drawn carriage at the Grand Place, a four-minute walk from the station, and clip-clop your way around the city in Victorian style. A trip to Brussels wouldn’t be complete without a sweet treat and the Sablon region is where to head for the infamous chocolate and praline stores. There’s a whole square full of indulgent chocolatiers like Godiva and Marcolini – let the sugar coma commence!
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