Rolling hills, cosy country pubs and stunning coastline combine to create a truly romantic atmosphere in beautiful Devon. It’s no surprise this region is the most popular place to tie the knot in the UK, with 21% more marriages than the British average.
Endless natural landscape, as well as top attractions and award-winning eateries, all make this South West county a fantastic place for a romantic getaway. Take a look at these fun things to do or read our blog on the five most romantic places in Devon for more holiday inspiration for couples.
Hide out in this hidden corner of the UK on a romantic escape. Read on for our holiday activity recommendations:
Take a trip on the Dartmouth Steam Railway, Devon
Indulge in a bit of old-fashioned romance by taking a step back in time aboard a steam train on the Dartmouth Steam Railway, one of South Devon's best tourist attractions.
Steam trains have long held a romantic appeal, conjuring up notions of nostalgic journeys through unfamiliar countryside and connotations of freedom and exploration. A trip on the Dartmouth Steam Railway is no exception.
Meander in style along the stunning South Devon coastline aboard one of the authentic steam locomotives. For a truly magical day, choose the ‘round robin' option and combine river, rail and road travel on a scenic tour of South Devon's best bits!
Romantic cottages near Dartmoor Railway Okehampton Station:
West Nymph Lakeside Cottage, Okehampton (sleeps 2)
Lydford Lodge, Lydford (sleeps 2)
The Coach House - Dartmoor Edge, Whiddon Down (sleeps 4)
Watch the sunset at Croyde Bay, North Devon
Beaches often feature among romantic top tens and for good reason, too! What could be more romantic than walking hand in hand across the pristine sands of a tranquil bay while the last light of the day ebbs away beyond the horizon?
The westerly facing Croyde Bay in North Devon is perfectly situated to observe one of the most awe-inspiring sunsets in the South West. The beautiful swathe of sand is stunning during the day and becomes illuminated by a warm, golden light as the sun melts into the sea at nightfall.
Backed by sand dunes and framed by dramatic cliffs it's a great opportunity to crack out the camera and take a few photos which wouldn't look out of place in an exotic honeymoon brochure!
Stay in a romantic retreat near the beach:
Forda Lodge Cottage, Croyde (sleeps 4)
Croyde Shores, Croyde (sleeps 2)
Braemar, Croyde (sleeps 4)
Step back in time at Arlington Court, near Barnstaple
If you're partial to a bit of old-fashioned romance, the National Trust's Arlington Court is oozing Victorian charm and ghosts of chivalry gone by. Situated on the edge of Exmoor, the estate was held by the Chichester family for over five hundred years.
A collection of historical treasures is housed within its walls, from shells to model ships. Possibly the most romantic collection is held in the Carriage Museum, which showcases period coaches and vehicles for every occasion. Picture yourselves rumbling along in a carriage at a time when it was the only fashionable way to travel.
Pick from the almost 20 miles of paths and set off for a romantic stroll in the grounds, circling the lake and exploring the walled garden. When you're tired of walking, stop for a snack in the traditional tearooms for a cuppa or homemade soup – enough to warm the heart of even the most stoic unromantic!
Take a trip to Barnstaple in the heart of rural North Devon:
The Watchtower, Barnstaple (sleeps 2)
Ellerslie Coach House, Barnstaple (sleeps 2)
Old Manor Cottage, Barnstaple (sleeps 4)
Visit the White Lady at Lydford Gorge, Dartmoor
The ruggedly romantic landscape of Dartmoor offers an abundance of walking opportunities, and with 368 square miles to explore, it's not hard to find a private spot.
One of the most romantic places for a walk is Lydford Gorge, nestled in the north-western reaches of Dartmoor. Owned by the National Trust, the oak tree lined gorge is the deepest in the South West, stretching 1.5 miles from Lydford Village.
A fairly strenuous, three and a half mile round walk, high above the gorge, brings you past the spectacular 30 metre White Lady Waterfall which cascades majestically into the chasm below.
Following the route around, you will descend into the gorge and return via a low path beside the River Lyd which carves a tumbling course through the steep-sided valley. Towards the end, the trail rises slowly up to the Devil's Cauldron where a metal grid is the only thing separating you from the ferocious whirlpool below.
If you want to be sure to have the romantic location for yourself, the best time to visit is shortly after it opens in the morning.
Boltholes nearby beautiful Lydford Gorge:
Higher Manor Garden Apartment, Cudlipptown (sleeps 2)
West Quither Farm Cottage, Chillaton (sleeps 2)
Lower Roundhouse, Tavistock (sleeps 2)
If you'd like to get away and experience some of the South West's romance, take a look at our romantic cottages in Devon.