We couldn’t start the list without mentioning one of the world’s most romantic cities – Venice. This Italian city of marble buildings, labyrinthine streets and garden islands was built
on a lagoon, using an ingenious network of canals to allow locals to get on with their daily lives via gondola or the many bridges. Enjoy a serenaded boat ride, wander the secluded back streets, explore artisan shops, and – of course – enjoy the food that the Italians are famed for. The city is known for its opera, so catch a performance at the Teatro La Fenice.
For a trip of a lifetime, head Down Under to Wellington, New Zealand, for a beguiling combination of natural beauty (think The Hobbit-style misty hillsides and lush green valleys – plus an impressive Botanic Garden) and interesting spots to eat and drink – it’s said to have more bars and restaurants per person than New York. Snuggle up for a tour in the historic Wellington Cable Car or take a bus up to the summit of Mount Victoria.
- Visit www.wellingtonnz.com
Beautiful Bali is a picturesque island in Indonesia boasting fabulous beaches such as the secluded Echo Beach in Seminyak – perfect for watching the sunset or taking a private dip. It’s an ideal trip for sun-seekers and is regularly described as ‘paradise on earth’, so where better to unwind together? Try snorkeling in the coral reefs for memories you’ll treasure for years.
- Visit www.balitourismboard.org
Fans of Death in Paradise will already be familiar with the beauty of Guadeloupe, where the series is filmed. Even the shapes of these French-speaking Caribbean islands are picturesque – like a butterfly, with its two main islands forming wings. Grande-Terre, the eastern of the two, is heaven for beach fans, with stunning coasts to laze on, as well as dramatic cliffs and swaying sugarcane fields to wander. The rum distillery is worth a visit too, if you fancy toasting your romantic break. Time your visit carefully – from June-November the weather can be unpredictable.
Go up in the world with a night in this treetop hideaway in Devon. The treehouse is located in the grounds of the Fox & Hounds Country Hotel, Chumleigh, and is an elegant and surprisingly spacious apartment that comes complete with a double bed, kitchen, bathroom and a cosy wood burner. Throw open the French doors and step out onto a deck overlooking a fishing lake and forests. Close by is the main hotel, complete with spa, so you can have a pampering session too. Bliss. Stay in the treetops from £183 per night.
- 01172 047830, www.canopyandstars.co.uk
What could be more romantic than a night in a castle? Ruthin Castle in Denbighshire, Wales, was built in 1282 but boasts modern touches, from a two AA Rosette restaurant to a soothing spa. For old-time appeal, visit when they host a medieval banquet – complete with candlelit tables, daggers to eat with and merriment galore.
- 01824 702664, www.ruthincastle.co.uk
For old-world charm you won’t do better than a visit to Middlethorpe Hall and Spa in York. Overlooking the racecourse, this 17th Century country pile is perfect for a winter retreat. Relax in a whirlpool bath in the spa, dine together by candlelight in the wood-panelled dining rooms, or just unwind in front of a widescreen TV in your room.
- 01904 641241, www.middlethorpe.com
- For more travel inspiration, pick up the latest copy of Yours