Cosy up to the sound of crashing waves this Valentine’s Day with these romantic seaside getaways. Words: Jessica Johnson
1. KINLOCH LODGE
Isle of Skye, Scotland
WHY HERE? For roaring fires and whisky on tap – plus out-of-this-world scenery. Kinloch Lodge, nestled at the head of Loch na Dal, is a romantic’s dream. Indulge in breakfast in a bed dressed with crisp Egyptian linen and cosy lambswool blankets, piled high with pillows. On arrival, guests can order champagne with chocolate-dipped strawberries or oysters straight to the room. Head chef Marcello Tully hosts private cookery classes for two and you can learn to walk and fish the Highlands with your own Skye ghillie.
TABLE FOR TWO? Draw out a romantic dinner at Kinloch’s Michelin-starred restaurant with a seven-course tasting menu experience.
WHAT DOES IT COST? The ‘Romantic Experience’ – a two-night stay including a massage or whisky-tasting and dinner both nights – prices start from £799 per couple (kinloch-lodge.co.uk).
2. BAILIFFSCOURT HOTEL & SPA
Arundel, West Sussex
WHY HERE? For four-poster beds, roaring fires and ancient beams at a luxury coastal manor house. An indoor pool, steam room, sauna and a treatment-packed spa menu offer the perfect chance for a pamper.
TABLE FOR TWO? Head to Tapestry Restaurant for a candlelit dinner.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices start from £250pn B&B based on two people sharing, including full use of the spa (prideofbritainhotels.com).
3. THE CLOCK HOUSE
Ventnor, Isle of Wight
WHY HERE? Originally part of the stables of majestic Steephill Castle, The Clock House has been converted into a characterful hideaway. From the bedroom, a door opens onto a Victorian conservatory leading out into a private garden. After cycling the island or strolling along Ventnor Beach, retreat for a heavenly soak in the elegant ball and claw-footed Victorian bath.
TABLE FOR TWO? Nearby Ventnor Botanic Garden is home to edulis restaurant, where visitors can feast on hearty lunches served with home-grown salads, vegetables and fruits.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices for a week-stay start from £339 (visitisleofwight.co.uk).
4. DART MARINA RIVER
WHY HERE? Perched on the edge of the river, these luxurious self-catering spaces offer a perfect nest for two. Explore coastal paths, hidden coves and the award-winning beach at Blackpool Sands (a 10-minute drive away) or idle away an afternoon watching the comings and goings on the river with a glass of fizz. Luxuries include fluffy towels and REN toiletries.
TABLE FOR TWO? Cook up a feast in the contemporary Poggenpohl kitchen or walk a few yards to neighbouring River Restaurant for delicious local mussels and West Country cheeses.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices start from £613 per week (coastandcountry.co.uk).
Whitsand Bay, Cornwall
WHY HERE? For sheer escapism. Hunker down in this tiny wooden cabin on the cliffs above Whitsand Bay (130m down a narrow sandy path) and escape the stresses of everyday life. Glass bi-fold doors offer 180-degree views of the Rame Peninsula, with an open-air shower for those brave enough to swim or surf out of season.
TABLE FOR TWO? Lauded restaurant The View is a 15-minute walk away.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices for a three-night stay start from £429 (beachretreats.co.uk).
6. PENALLY ABBEY
WHY HERE? For old-school romanticism. Many of the views from this grand Victorian house frame a wild Irish Sea stretching out to Tenby and the monastic Caldey Island – though you’d be hard-pressed to leave the snugly quilted beds. The weekends bookending Valentine’s Day are set to be extra romantic; from handmade chocolates in every room to delicious sharing dessert plates in the candlelit restaurant. A massage can be arranged in the comfort of your bedroom and you can also phone ahead to book flowers and champagne on arrival.
TABLE FOR TWO? Head chef Paul Barnes serves up the very best of Welsh cuisine in the elegant, sea-facing dining room.
WHAT DOES IT COST? A two-night weekend stay starts from £320 based on two people sharing (penally-abbey.com).
Photo: Mark Bolton
7. DUNBRODY COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL
WHY HERE? Anywhere famed for its champagne breakfasts in bed (served up to noon, with a late check-out service available), scores brownie points with us. Nestled on the Hook Peninsula, this Georgian manor is set in 300 acres of parkland. Sign up for a masterclass at the in-house cookery school or treat yourself to a pampering spa ritual.
TABLE FOR TWO? Try award-winning restaurant The Harvest Room, or the more casual Champagne & Seafood Bar.
WHAT DOES IT COST? A ‘winter quickie’ package including five-course dinner and B&B is €145pp based on double sharing, until March (irelandsbluebook.com).
8. THE CHALET
Carbis Bay, Cornwall
WHY HERE? For a cliff-top hideaway. This luxurious chalet sits atop Hawkes Point, offering a dreamy lookout to the beautiful white sands of Carbis Bay and Porthkidney beaches, under a 10-minute walk away. Hit the southwest coastal pathways, take a private surf lesson with your other half at St Ives Surf School or indulge in an afternoon tipple at boutique wine merchants and deli Scarlet Wines, in nearby Hayle.
TABLE FOR TWO? Source some local fish and cook up a storm from the white Corian worktops of the chalet kitchen or amble down to Porthminster Beach Café for a taste of seafood heaven right on your doorstep.
WHAT DOES IT COST? A three-night break starts from £780 (cornishgems.com).