We can’t think of anything better than whisking people off for a romantic getaway, for a day, weekend or even a week. For us, those pleasant and memorable trips begin with a perfect train journey. Travelling by rail can also help to relieve some of that travel stress and make the voyage an extra getaway treat.
Below we've chosen our best UK city breaks for couples. Here's a taste of what to expect:
Read on to discover more about these romantic getaway destinations.
York is renowned for Vikings and the stunning buildings, such as the York Minster Cathedral and even the train station. However, if you fancy discovering a hidden gem amongst the architecture, then why not visit the Bar Convent Hotel and its not-so-secret chapel tucked away inside. While this is now a hotel, it’s also one of England’s oldest working convents, having been founded in 1686 and it’s still going. The chapel itself is both ornate and humble but comes complete with a priest hole, which was once used to hide priests from persecution.
If hidden chapels aren’t for you, then why not take a walk around the city perimeter, via the wall. The medieval walls of York offer the longest stretch of preserved boundary building work in the UK. It’ll take you roughly two hours to complete the full circuit, but you can opt for shorter routes as well. The walls are generally open from sunrise to sunset, which means that opening times vary depending on the season. This is a fantastic way to view the whole of the city and keep on top of your steps too!
You don’t have to be a university student to savour the delights and wonders of Cambridge. As far as romantic breaks go, the city is a great place to explore. For that extra element of ease and pleasure, you can always opt to upgrade your ticket to First Class and treat that Mr. or Mrs. to something special.
One of the most popular attractions is punting on the River Cam. If you’ve never done it before, then you can book onto one of the many guided punts. Alternatively, you can purchase a variety of edible delights from the city market and head down to the river for a picnic made for two.
If you and your beau want to try something different on your city break, then why not join the circus for the evening? The Cambridge Community Circus opens its doors every Sunday evening for people to try their hand at juggling, balance or aerial skills. The circus is slightly out of town, but can easily be accessed on foot or bus.
Put down the books and make your way to the beautiful university city of Cambridge.
Getting there: It's easy to reach Cambridge by train. Frequent train services connect London to Cambridge in 1h 19m, Liverpool to Cambridge in 4h 13m, Ipswich to Cambridge in 1h 22m, Norwich to Cambridge in 1h 20m, and Birmingham to Cambridge in 2h 47m.
When the Romans built the baths of Bath, it would be nice to think that they did so knowing that this great city would one day become one of the best UK city breaks for couples. Bathing frivolities aside, Bath is a picturesque, romantic city, located in the beautiful rolling hills of Somerset.
The Roman Baths and the Grand Pump House form one of the most popular attractions for the city, but for that added sprinkling of romance, we recommend sitting down to tea at Sally Lunn’s House. The house is one of the oldest houses in Bath, and its also home to the famous Bath Bun. Sally Lunn is rumoured to have been a refugee who set up her home in the city in 1680 and brought the recipe for this lovely sweet treat with her. The Sally Lunn Bun was famously mentioned in The Chimes by Charles Dickens.
Bath is also home to the Theatre Royal, which was built in 1805 and is thought to be one of the oldest working theatres in the UK. The playhouse offers a full variety of shows to enjoy, and afterwards, why not pop next door and enjoy a bite to eat at the Garrick’s Head pub.
Since 1437, Edinburgh has been the capital city of Scotland. Everyone knows this highland municipal for its annual comedy festival, its historic volcanic beginnings and its dramatic gothic castle. The city is also quietly well-known as a romantic destination for loved-up couples.
If you’re feeling adventurous, then one of the best ways to see the city is to climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat. Walking up a distinct volcano might not seem like one of the most loving things you can do as a couple, but the view from the top is truly exquisite and well worth the effort. It’s an experience that you’ll both remember and delight from for many years to come.
If you want to do something that’s a little less exertive, then a visit to the observatory is an absolute must. During the winter season, and until April, the Royal Observatory opens its door on Friday nights for delightful evenings under the stars. If you see a shooting star during a visit, don’t forget to make a wish!
For those spring and summer months, head over to The Ceramic Experience. Here you can both create a cast imprint to mark your time together or paint a piece of ceramic pottery to celebrate your love or a special occasion.
Norwich was once the second largest city in the UK. It's the only city in the UK where a national park, the Norfolk Broads, falls into its borders. The historical remnants of Roman, Viking and Saxon influences over the years have left a memorable impact that qualifies Norwich to be one of the best UK city breaks for couples to visit.
There are several delicious places to eat and visit in Norwich. One of the most beautiful to take a post-meal stroll is Elm Hill. Here you’ll find an array of shops and galleries, designed to fit in with their surroundings. Elm Hill is one of the many picturesque areas of the city that offers a rare glimpse into its medieval past.
For something a little different, and slightly off the beaten path, head to the Plantation Garden. This is a stunning Victorian garden that fell into disrepair after WWII until it was restored to its current glory by volunteers in the 1980s. It's still lovingly maintained by volunteers to this day. The garden is set over three acres and features a rustic bridge and a gothic-inspired fountain.
Getting there: It's easy to get to Norwich by train. Take a direct train from London to Norwich in 1h 55m, Peterborough to Norwich in 1h 35m or Cambridge to Norwich in 1h 22m and get ready to enjoy this idyllic escape from the city.
As the birthplace of Shakespeare, the original hopeless romantic, Stratford-upon-Avon is a charming city that's 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 Stratford’s a good choice. You can even snoop around the house where the famous Bard was born, by taking a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace.
The Royal Shakespeare Company, on the bank of the River Avon, is 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.
According to the Beatles, All You Need is Love. So, what better destination for a romantic weekend away than Liverpool?
Depending on where you're travelling from, there are two stations in the city centre that trains to Liverpool arrive into - Liverpool Central and Liverpool Lime Street. It's just a 10-minute walk to the Albert Dock here, where you'll find plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy a relaxing drink or meal in. For an unbreakable bond, you’ll need a padlock with your two names on it, as all along the Dock it's become a tradition for people to lock them to the chains.
Getting there: Liverpool is well-connected to the main English cities thanks to frequent train services running from London to Liverpool (3h 2m), Manchester to Liverpool (55m), and Blackpool to Liverpool, to name but a few.