romantic break

Top 3 Romantic Hotels in England

Top 3 Romantic Hotels in England

The UK is replete with beauty – both natural and man made –  from the rolling hills of the new forest and the scenic lake district to the beautiful rugged coastline of Devon and the historic cities at England’s heart, such as London and York. For city-dwellers, England’s countryside is a pleasant change of scenery, while those wanting a taste of city life and a tour of some of the most majestic buildings in the whole of Britain – cities like London provide the perfect setting. Of course there are plenty of hotels to match – some buried deep in the countryside with lakeside views and others soaring high into the skyline. We give you 3 of the most romantic hotels that England has to offer. Enjoy.

Linthwaite House, Windermere

The lake district often seems a little like England’s best kept secret, with its harmonious lakes that blend seamlessly with the rolling hills that frame them, there is no shortage of serenity. Linthwaite House takes advantage of this to the fullest – set on the infamous Lake Windemere and with 14 acres of private gardens – this is perhaps one of the best places to stay in the entire region. Each room is individually designed to luxurious standards; many come with lake views and some even with Hot Tubs to make your evenings extra-special. The hotel boasts in-room treatments, access to a spa in the nearby town of Bowness- on-Windermere and a restaurant that is in the top 150 of the UK. If you want to wake up each morning to the sounds of wildlife, views of the lakes, fragrant flora in the gardens and a fine selection of wines and award winning foods then Linthwaite House is for you.

The Portobello Hotel, London

While plenty of London folk are busy booking weekends away in the country – a savvy few are sticking to the capital where there is more romance than one would think. The Portobello Road hotel has a perfect location, tucked away on a quiet street in the centre of West London’s Notting Hill in a neo-classical mansion – it’s a little bit of serenity in the centre of London, and it’s just moments away from the infamous Portobello antiques market. The rooms on offer are just fabulous – complete with flamboyant decoration, freestanding baths and Juliet balconies looking out onto the pretty tree lined street outside. This is one for those that like good amenities, plenty to do and a quiet retreat after a day of exploring

The Horn of Plenty, Devon

This hotel is set in a beautiful country house amidst perfect rolling hills and not too far away from the port town of Plymouth. It’s a traditional English hotel at its heart – with classic décor and countryside views – some of which come with balconies – perfect for breakfasts. The hotel’s location on the edge of Dartmoor National Park makes it perfect for romantics who want to spend their time hand-in-hand exploring antique villages, old market towns and historic buildings like the nearby Buckland Abbey, though the hotel is home to an award winning restaurant and it offers in-room massages and other beauty treatments too – just in case you prefer to stay a little closer to your perfectly romantic room.

There are plenty more where these come from and some honourable mentions include the beachside Scarlet hotel in Cornwall, and the iconic (owned by Raymond Blanc) Le Manoir Aux Quat’saisons in Oxfordshire which is a perfect retreat for foodies too – not just romantics.

A Weekend in Istanbul

A Weekend in Istanbul

The capital of Turkey, Istanbul is the urban home to a maze of palaces and bazaars, perfect to lose yourself in amongst intoxicating scents and mesmerising sights. The Byzantine churches and Ottoman mosques in the city provide a striking backdrop to escapes in the city, a city where romance is heightened as the sun sets behind the Blue Mosque, casting shimmers of light over the sea.  These days though, a wealth of trendy bars, clubs and restaurants have sprung up around the city – making Istanbul the ultimate destination city for throngs of travellers – both young and old.

There’s a lot to see in Istanbul,  but if you’re heading to Istanbul for a weekend then make sure that you see the Sultanahmet old city district – which is home to the Blue Mosque, the Tokapi palace and the former Greek Orthodox basilica Hagia Sophia, to name but a few. Another must see here is the underground Basilica Cistern – one of the cities most romantic attractions. This sixth century construction once brought water to Istanbul from Thrace in the Balkans but is now an enchanting underground maze of Byzantine intrigue. The soft notes of classical music that plays inside compliments the beautiful interior excellently, itself made up of some 336 columns and plinths scavenged from ruined buildings from eras past. Look out for the two columns that are supported by Medusa heads (relics from the Roman Empire) – one upside down and the other on its side, and the ghost-like fish that have found their home in the water lining the cistern.

Nightlife in Istanbul is on the rise – and it’s one of the most eclectic parts of city life – you can catch a live band at the notorious Babylon or the student favourite Araf, which has it’s own resident Gypsy band, or dine and dance in the ultra-chic Ulus 29, but if you just want a good place to dance into the early hours – then head to the Indigo club, which generally has an impressive roster of guest DJ’s. An ideal way to spend an evening in Istanbul is to take a trip through time, on an evening cruise on the Bosphorous – travelling past the Old City and to the new – you’ll pass under vast lit bridges and see castles, palaces and the opulence of the beautiful Ottoman villas that jewel the coasts of the two continents.

Istanbul is quickly gaining in popularity – many new bars, clubs and hotels are springing up around the city and it’s quickly becoming a firm favourite with travellers the world over – but it still retains the charm and grandeur that first made it appealing – 2014 is a perfect time to head to Istanbul to see the transition in action.

Back to top