5 Staycation Ideas for a Romantic Getaway

With Valentine’s Day upon us, love really is in the air, and what better way to celebrate the day that with a romantic getaway.

But February 14th doesn’t have to be the only time you indulge in a weekend with your loved one. These day trips and weekend breaks can be done at any point of the year, and even not gifted on Valentines Day, they are undoubtedly going to impress.  

From cosying up in the dramatic landscapes of New Forest, to strolling hand-in-hand through the idyllic Cotswold villages, there is no shortage of romantic picturesque backdrops to visit.  

And better still, as all of the following places are in the UK, a short drive in a Hertz hire car is all it takes to reach your destination…

  • The Cotswolds

Best for: Idyllic village scenes.

As the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales, it’s no surprise that the Cotswolds tops our list. The beauty of the area is undeniable, so it’s very easy to spend a weekend meandering through the pretty villages filled with historic manor houses, antique shops, and cosy village cafes and pubs.

If this sounds a little too relaxing however, the Cotswolds also offers some wonderful hiking trails – with rolling hills and meadows as a backdrop. The Cleeve Hill Ring, for example, is a six and a half-mile walk which takes you up to the Cotswolds’ highest common, where at the top you will be rewarded with panoramic views out to the Malverns and, if you’re lucky and it’s a clear day, Wales.

Where to eat: The Wild Rabbit in Kingham is a stunning 18th-century stone pub which somehow manages to have the warmth of a home away from home. With a Michelin star and Executive Chef Tim Allen at the helm, the fare is unsurprisingly excellent, as well as locally sourced, brilliantly British - rabbit, mackerel, lamb - and seasonal.

Where to stay: If you like a little luxury while exploring the great outdoors, look no further than Soho Farmhouse. The member's club-turned-country house has been designed to allow guests to unwind in complete luxury, with fluffy bathrobes, and eggs cooked the way you like them delivered to your door.

There’s also a host of activities available, from horse riding, a gym and tennis courts, to boating and an indoor-outdoor pool.

Getting there: Discover car hire Oxford.

Find out more about the Cotswolds.

  • Bath

Best for: Getting lost down hidden alleyways, sauntering through Instagrammable Georgian streets and discovering the city’s ancient baths.

The grand Regency city of Bath was founded in the 1st century AD by the Romans, who used the natural hot springs as a thermal spa. Today, these ancient baths are some of the world’s best Roman remains, so make sure to take a dip, relax and soak up the fascinating history.

As well as history, Bath offers a vibrant contemporary culture with a plethora of trendy boutiques, food spots and bars.

Where to eat:  Corkage on Chapel Row is an excellent choice, run by two Bath locals who are passionate about wine, food and hospitality. The Circus, a restaurant that occupies a Georgian house between the Circus and the Royal Crescent is another firm favourite with locals, serving up home-cooked style English plates that won’t break the bank.

Where to stay: Just a moment's walk from the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, in a quaint cobbled square, Three Abbey Green is a Grade II listed guest house that offers convenience and affordability. The family run business offers unique rooms, a hearty breakky, and service with a smile.

Getting there: Discover car hire Bath.

  • Cornwall

Best for: Coastline, water sports and picturesque fishing villages and harbour towns.

Why go abroad for a holiday when you have white sandy beaches, fresh seafood and water sports on your doorstep? With miles of stunning coastline, Cornwall is an ideal place to unwind and get back to nature.

And don’t worry - if the weather’s not warm enough for sunning yourself, there are plenty of local attractions sure to excite: Eden Project, near St Austell, is the largest indoor rainforest in the world; Paradise Park is a local and much-loved wildlife sanctuary, with over 650 birds and animals; and the Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey, is one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK.

Where to eat:  If you’re in Falmouth, the Wheel House Crab & Oyster Bar, which overlooks the historic Mevagissey Harbour, serves up freshly-caught seafood that’s simple but delicious. Settled in St Ives? Try Scarlet Wines in Lelant, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner inspired by the vibrant street cafes of Morocco and Lebanon.

Where to stay: The Old Quay House Hotel in Fowey has a beautifully romantic location on the water overlooking the estuary, though if you’re looking for something more intimate, try Blue Hayes, a homely, seaside-style hotel, set on a cliff top overlooking buzzy St Ives.

Getting there: Discover car hire Cornwall.

  • Kent

Best for: Green open space, historic monuments, and fresh, locally-produced food.

Known as the ‘Garden of England’, Kent is a great choice for a romantic weekend getaway, and better still, it’s within easy reach for most of us in the UK. The area boasts miles of stunning coastline and green countryside, plus some of England's oldest cities, where the likes of Julius Caesar and Napoleon once roamed.  

There’s a long list of attractions awaiting you in Kent too, from the famous Canterbury Cathedral and the white cliffs of Dover, to the more unusual Shell Grotto, the world’s oldest roller-coaster, and Port Lympne, a 600-acre wild animal park.

Where to eat: Kent boasts all manner of brilliant restaurants. Enjoy amazing-value, Michelin-starred food beside the sea at The Sportsman in Seasalter, or great pub grub next to a crackling log fire at The Black Pig in Tunbridge Wells.

Where to stay: The Mount Edgcumbe in Tunbridge Wells is a lovely, central place to rest your head, with luxury boutique bedrooms set in a wonderful Grade II ‘listed’ building. But if you’re looking for unusual places to stay, the area is also home to a number of luxury retreats that combine quirky accommodation with activity. Try a yoga retreat and unwind in a historic Coach House, surrounded by hop fields, or perhaps something more specialised like a weekend piano retreat in an 18th century former Musical Museum, which has now been respectfully converted into boutique, Soho-House style accommodation.  

Getting there: Discover car hire Kent.

  • New Forest

Best for: Woodland walks, cosy pubs and free-roaming cattle, deer and ponies.

Known for its heathland and idyllic glades, New Forest national park has something for everyone, whether you want to explore the historic villages, stroll along the scenic coastline, or marvel at the wild ponies galloping through the ancient forest trails.

If you are feeling more energetic however, New Forest also offers canoeing and kayaking opportunities on the gentle Beaulieu River.

Where to eat:  Set in the heart of the New Forest, breath-taking Burley Manor offers delicious Mediterranean-influenced food with views of the neighbouring deer sanctuary. Another excellent option is The Dining Room, where home-grown, local veggies reign and the seafood is mouth-wateringly fresh.

Where to stay: Fit for royalty, the Lime Wood hotel and spa is designed to wow. The grand Georgian-era mansion is every inch historic, but quirky décor, a trendy bar and a luxury spa prevent the retreat from coming across as pretentious. If you’re after something a little less…royal… the Beaulieu Hotel is a special, but an affordable alternative that offers a real forest retreat.

Getting there: Discover car hire New Forest.