Most popular staycations for couples

March 10, 2024

These are the Most Popular Romantic Break Destinations in the UK, Travel Provider Data Reveals

3 in 4 Brits are planning to holiday throughout 2024, research reveals, and domestic travel is still a priority for many, with over 20 million having taken overnight trips across England last year, data shows.

In light of this, it’s without question that many UK residents will be choosing to holiday across the country with none other than their significant others this year - a Great British romantic getaway. 

Whether for a spontaneous weekend getaway or an extended break, where exactly are lovebirds choosing to spend their quality time during a break in the UK?

Well, research from Independent Cottages has revealed where the most romantic destinations across the country are, according to couples who book them.

The UK travel provider, which has a portfolio of romantic accommodations across the country, analysed its internal enquiry data made for two guests over the past two years to find the destinations across the UK that couples are choosing to holiday in the most. 

It also revealed exactly what style of getaway couples are choosing the most for their breaks, from luxury getaways to sample the finer things in life to beachfront stays offering the quintessential sun, sea, and sand experience.

Matthew Fox, the CEO of Independent Cottages, says “Whilst the UK is filled with romantic destinations - from the tranquil hills of the Lake District to the swathes of sandy shoreline in Cornwall - there are certainly some destinations that suggest ‘romance’ more than others.” 

The company’s figures reveal the top five UK cities and towns, across the most popular counties for romantic breaks, that couples have been choosing to holiday in the most in recent years:

  1. Carlisle, Cumbria
  2. Tavistock, Devon
  3. Pickering, Yorkshire
  4. Stroud, Gloucestershire
  5. Fowey, Cornwall

Carlisle, Cumbria 

Carlisle - Cumbria’s cathedral city - is the destination that couples are choosing to holiday in the most, according to Independent Cottages’ data.

With a rich history dating back to the Roman era, couples are sure to have an enriching experience in the city visiting its many historic sites. These include its cathedral, castle, and even Hadrian’s Wall - which is just a stone’s throw away from the city. 

Whilst Carlisle’s plethora of charming, traditional streets and attractions are enough to keep couples entertained, Cumbria’s wild and untamed landscapes are right on the city’s doorstep waiting to be explored. 

From country parks and walking trails through woodlands and hillsides, the county’s gorgeous verdant scenery offers the perfect backdrop for loved ones to forget about everything else and simply focus on one another. 

Tavistock, Devon

The beautiful town of Tavistock in the much-loved holiday destination of Devon, South England, is the second most popular spot for couples to spend a romantic break with one another. 

This unique and thriving market town, nestled inland in the south of the county, is boasted about for its fascinating history and vibrant character, which are but two of the reasons it has gained recognition for its beauty with a World Heritage Status. 

Couples likely love the county given it’s the perfect place to kick back and connect with loved ones, whether while exploring its array of independent shops, its award-winning farmer’s market and famous Pannier market, or its many cosy pubs and delicious eateries. 

Not to mention that the town offers a fantastic base to explore wider Devon, which is known for having a little bit of everything for a holiday; From stretching coastline to dramatic countryside landscapes, the county is the ideal place for those who want to maximise their romantic getaways. 

Pickering, Yorkshire

Securing third place in the rankings is the idyllic market town of Pickering in God’s own country - Yorkshire. Nestled on the edge of the gorgeous North York Moors National Park, it’s a quintessential countryside settlement filled with charming tearooms, characterful shops, and nuggets of history.

Home of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway - a heritage railway running through the North York Moors National Park - couples can easily explore Yorkshire’s breathtaking countryside by rail and ride through stretching moorland landscapes whilst taking day trips to explore the county’s best gems.

To many, Pickering may appear to be your run-of-the-mill countryside town, but with its thriving hub boasting plenty of independent stores, delightful eateries, and significant medieval treasures like Pickering Castle, there are plenty of reasons why many couples seem to be choosing it as their holiday destination of choice. 

But what style of getaway have most couples got their eye on during a romantic holiday? Well, it seems that the water is calling to British couples the most…

Having a beach nearby is highest on couples’ list of priorities for UK getaways, with partners most commonly opting for a property with a shoreline within easy reach. 

This is unsurprising, as there’s nothing quite like a romantic stroll on the sand as the sun sets and waves lap on the shore to set the scene for a romantic break.

Waterfront getaways came in as the second most popular style of retreat for couples too, from those beside lakes and rivers to reservoirs and canals. It is perhaps the tranquillity of Britain’s bodies of water that makes them so popular with couples, offering a peaceful setting to spend time together and simply relax away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

And coming in third were luxury getaways, with it looking like British couples have the finer things in life on their mind when choosing where to stay for a UK break. 

Whether they’re properties that have been renovated to the highest of standards to those with opulent amenities like hot tubs and private cinemas, couples look to be prepared to spend more on a lavish getaway with their partners at present. 

Independent Cottages also analysed its internal data to find some of the most popular properties amongst couples in the UK:

A Fairytale Cabin in the Woods - The Birdbox, Okehampton, Devon

Perched in the trees lining the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park, the Bird Box is a fairytale setting boasting complete seclusion for couples to be tucked away in their own little ‘love nest’.  

Immersed in nature, the bijou cabin will have couples waking up in one of the cosiest of settings, with warm, chunky wood interiors and comfortable blankets to snuggle in. Surrounded by nothing but the sound of birdsong, couples can also enjoy the hot tub, where they can book private sessions, and Dartmoor National Park is only five minutes away on foot.

7-night stays at The Bird Box start from £500, with short breaks starting from just £100 per night, with a 3-night minimum stay required. You can find more information about Bird Box here > 

A Cosy Cottage in the Cotswold’s Countryside - Farthing Cottage, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

Farthing Cottage is a traditional Cotswolds cottage that will transport couples back in time during a stay given its historic character and prime location near the popular Stow-on-the-Wold - one of the Cotswold’s most renowned and historic villages.

Picture huddling up to the log-burning stove beneath the wooden beams of this quintessential English countryside home with your loved one, with nothing but one another to keep each other company. 

 Within easy walking distance are a selection of traditional inns, delectable gastro-pubs, and plenty of independent shops to browse in Stow-on-the-Wold, Farthing Cottages offers a relaxing break at any time of the year in a property and destination that oozes character and charm. 

Stays at Farthing Cottage start from £475 for 7 nights, and from £108 per night for short breaks, with a 3-night minimum stay required. You can find further details here > 

A Magical Retreat Nestled on the Banks of the River Deben - Boatmans, Letheringham, Suffolk 

Nestled in an idyllic position on the banks of the River Deben in Suffolk, Boatmans is a lovely retreat with a beautiful garden backing onto the river, offering the ultimate peaceful setting to relax with your partner. 

For couples who love to indulge in adventure activities, watersports available nearby along the river include rowing, canoeing, and kayaking, and fishing is even available on-site!

For a cosy break, Boatmans’ traditional character features lush foliage growing on its exterior, beamed ceilings, and touches including a roll-top bath where you can soak the day away with a glass of wine in hand.

As Boatman’s is drenched in nature, with close proximity to wildlife all along the River Deben, it’s an ideal break for those in search of some R&R and to connect with nature. 

7-night stays at Boatmans start from £700, with short breaks available at certain times of the year, for which details can be gained upon request. You can find more information here > 

Independent Cottages are specialists in self-catering accommodations across the UK, including romantic holiday breaks. 

The British-based travel provider offers stays across the UK’s most popular holiday destinations for couples, and you can find more information about the handpicked selection of properties it has chosen with breaks for couples in mind here >