I was really surprised recently when I read the findings of a survey carried out by Sykes Cottages, which reported that only 5% of 2,390 people asked would think of Scotland as a destination for a romantic break or honeymoon. Suprised, but at first also quite happy that our wonderful little secret is safe. But then I realised I was being a bit selfish – the other 95% are seriously missing out!
Scotland is my home, it is where I fell in love and we have kept our romance kindled for seven years with romantic mini breaks across the country. From our first date to the wedding vows we’ll be saying in February, Scotland has and will always be the stage and backdrop to our story. If you haven’t considered this beautiful country as a romantic break destination, just let me show you how wrong you are…
Glasgow is date city – we had our first there, and have had many since. No matter what your dating style is, you’ll find something in Glasgow. Whether you linger over dinner making doe eyes at one another in one of literally hundreds of restaurants, or you squeeze up close in the crowd at a gig, you’ll definitely find the perfect way to get to know one another or to reconnect.
But there’s only so much smooching you can fit into one date – escaping away together on a mini break is the real romantic deal, and Scotland has so much choice on that front. We’ve had our fair share of breaks, where we seek out new places to explore and to hide away from the world in. Our first trip was to Oban, where we cuddled up together with hot chocolates in a cosy cafe after a blustery walk around McCaig’s Folly. We topped it all off with a dinner of beautiful local seafood, and a bottle wine as we looked out over the lights of the harbour.
Our next break wasn’t quite so Mills and Boon, but romance isn’t always in soft focus and Scotland can cater for more than one definition. We visited Inverness, where we made it our mission to sample the hospitality of every pub we passed! And there is a lot of hospitality in Inverness, so much so that we’ve been twice. The second time I was quite heavily pregnant, and the city has just as much to offer besides some very welcoming pubs – great shopping and a beautiful route to stroll along the River Ness, as well as all the beauty of Loch Ness itself.
Scotland also gives active couples the chance to achieve something together. We have climbed Ben Lomond and stood at the peak looking down on stunning Loch Lomond, where we will be tying the knot and having a mini-moon in February. We’ve also cycled in Great Glen before sheltering ruddy-cheeked from the rain, warm by a wood burner in a little pub on a barge at the Laggan Locks.
And if culture is your bag, then it wouldn’t be right to miss out the biggest cultural event in the world, which is just getting underway for another year – the Edinburgh Festival. Whether you attend events or just explore the city together to soak up the atmosphere, you’ll be forming memories that will last until you’re old and grey together.
And how about a stroll along the sea shore in Dunoon, where we are having our wedding rings designed? Or exploring the ancient ruins in St Andrews where a certain pair of Royals found love? Or reliving your own Jack and Rose moment on the prow of a ferry to Mull, to really escape everyday life? I honestly could write and write about all the different locations and types of mini breaks you could have in Scotland – no matter how you define romance or how you choose to spend time as a couple, Scotland is the perfect romantic getaway destination. So go on – write your own map of memories, just like we have.
This post was inspired by Syke’s Cottages and written as an entry to their blogger competition, for a chance to win £350 worth of vouchers to spend on their holiday cottages. They have cottages at every location I’ve mentioned in this post, and so many more besides. You can find out how to enter for yourself over on their blog here (but hurry, it closes on 10th Aug!).
All words, images, opinions and experiences in this post are mine.