Travel Guides

Our Five Most Romantic Places

From windswept clifftops to tranquil ruins, and from royal courtship to tragic love stories,  English Heritage looks after some incredibly romantic pieces of English history.

Here's our pick of the places that will turn even the most stone-hearted cynic into a hopeless romantic.

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall

The windswept headland of Tintagel Castle has inspired writers, royals and romantics for centuries. It's most famous for its links with Arthurian legend - it's supposedly the site where Arthur was conceived. And the castle has also been long associated with the tragic love Celtic story of Tristan and Isolde.

Beneath the cliffs, there's a small but perfectly formed beach, and at low tide you can explore Merlin's Cave. In Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Merlin used the cave to carry the infant Arthur to safety. Learn more about the castle's myths and history in the exhibition, find the sculptures dotted around the headland, and enjoy a locally-sourced meal in the brilliant Beach Café.

Visit Tintagel Castle

Osborne, Isle of Wight

"It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot" - such were the words of Queen Victoria after a visit to Osborne. With beautiful formal gardens, a golden beach and an attractive wildflower meadow, this royal Italianate seaside palace was a haven for the queen and her beloved Prince Albert, and it's just as easy to fall in love with Osborne today.

Treat yourself to a spot of fine dining in the elegant Terrace Restaurant, or keep cool with an ice cream from our parlour on the beach.  Explore the sumptuous state apartments and Victoria's private family rooms, and stroll through the extensive gardens and grounds.

Osborne really is a place to fall in love with. Make the most of it with a stay in the Pavilion holiday cottage, or in one of two cottages within the estate's ceremonial gate. And for romantics who want to celebrate their love in royal style, Osborne is available for weddings.

Visit Osborne

Eltham Palace, London

Once a favoured medieval palace and then a Tudor royal residence, in the 1930s Eltham Palace was transformed by eccentric millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. Get a taste of the Courtaulds’ extravagant lifestyle as you explore their unusual home, try on a range of period costumes, follow the family trail and admire the magnificent medieval great hall.

There’s a quirky mix of medieval and modern in the gardens too. Admire stunning herbaceous borders, walk through formal rose gardens and relax in the Rock Garden, with its pools and cascades running down to the moat. Cross London's oldest working bridge and go on an adventure in the playground inspired by the Courtaulds’ love of travel.

Visit Eltham Palace and Gardens

Conisbrough Castle, Doncaster

This romantic castle is dominated by its great cylindrical keep, built in the late 12th century, from which massive, wedge-shaped buttresses project at regular intervals. The inner bailey of the castle is enclosed by a high stone wall, in turn surrounded by massive earthworks that pre-date the stone castle.

There are stunning views over Conisbrough which inspired Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe and still fires the imagination today. With floors and roof restored in the lofty circular keep you can fully appreciate the magnificence of the original 12th century building. Delve into the medieval world of Lord and Lady de Warenne, and enjoy the grassy areas around the castle walls for walks and picnics.

Visit Conisbrough Castle

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Northumberland

The Classical Greek Revival villa was built by Sir Charles Monck, who was influenced by the the buildings of ancient Greece that he'd seen on his honeymoon. In the gardens, Charles' love of the picturesque inspired him to create the spectacular Quarry Garden. Today it's filled with exotic plants that thrive in the garden's microclimate.

Flower-filled formal gardens, a Victorian tearoom and a ruined medieval castle all add to Belsay's romantic atmosphere.

Visit Belsay Hall

More to Explore

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