Loving couples don’t need a reason to find a romantic getaway, but Valentine’s Day is as good a reason as any to do so. Sue Petrie, British Airways’ Commercial Manager for Southern Africa, says Britain has many exquisite places to cater to a variety of tastes. She suggests the following:
The Water Tower, Truro, Cornwall is a small apartment in a four-story gothic stone tower that once housed a water reservoir for the Trelissick Estate. There’s space for just one room on each floor, accessed by a winding staircase. It’s on the banks of the Fal River, and the area offer scenic cruises, canoe-trips, walks and drives. The nearby Roseland Peninsula is renowned for its scenic coastline, fishing villages and St Mawes Castle, built by that insufferable romantic, Henry VIII.
The Island, Newquay is a chunk of rock off Towan Beach, with a small cottage. It’s reached by crossing a private suspension footbridge and has its own little beach. Views of the sea and coast are magnificent and the cottage has two wood-burners to help set the mood. Your hosts can arrange for a private chef to cater for you, or you can barbeque on the deck as the sun sets or take a picnic hamper down to the beach. The area invites strolls along the cliffs, and there are several good surfing beaches nearby. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant is within walking distance, along with other good eateries.
No.15 Great Pulteney, Bath: is a smart boutique hotel in one of Britain’s most beautiful cities, Bath is famed for its 18th Century Georgian architecture and honey-coloured Bath stone. Behind the hotel’s graceful façade are comfortable, cleverly designed rooms and intriguing, witty contemporary art. It’s known for its afternoon teas and cocktails, and if you and your plus-one fancy being pampered, try Spa15 in the stone vaults below the hotel. Once a cavernous coal-cellar, it now offers spa treatments in front of an open fire.
Duke of Portland, Lake District: guests have swooned over this traditional boathouse on Ullswater, converted into a hideaway, with double patio doors in the bedroom that open up views of the lake and the mountains. It has oak floors, exposed beams, a wood-burning stove, a slipper-bath and a private jetty. Two hotels nearby offer fine dining: Sharrow Bay in Penrith, and the Another Place Hotel, and traditional Cumbrian pubs offering seasonal, local fare.
Wendy, Cardigan Bay, Wales: if you’re looking for a secluded and rather quirky getaway, consider this converted Edwardian railway carriage on a coastal path overlooking the Irish Sea. Guests report seeing Europe’s biggest pod of bottlenosed dolphins, as well as several species of whale. While your privacy is assured – guests park 400m from the carriage and carry their luggage from the road – there are many attractions and activities nearby. These include sea kayaking, sailing and cycling. The local villages have a variety of restaurants and pubs, as well as markets selling local produce, including the area’s famous honey.