Top 15 Cinematically Romantic Destinations in the UK

Almost Ginger blog owner next to Ross Fountain in Princes Street Garden, Edinburgh in Scotland

Princess Buttercup and Westley. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy. Bridget Jones and, well, Mr Darcy. So many of our favourite film characters have found love in romantic movies set and filmed all around the British Isles. It’s only natural that you’d watch these characters fall in love with romantic destinations in the UK and want to visit them too!

Not only do I love watching films and travelling, but I’m also a romantic. When Harry Met Sally (1989) is my all-time favourite movie and I can’t watch it without yearning to visit New York City in the autumn.

But if you’re from the UK like me, NYC is thousands of miles away! And if you want to take a spontaneous trip, finding cinematic inspiration closer to home would be ideal. Lucky for you, there are tons of places you can visit for romantic UK weekend breaks that have appeared in some of your favourite films.

This list features recommendations from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You’re sure to find the perfect place for your next great (romantic) escape.

Best Cinematic and Romantic Destinations in the UK

Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, England

Check Out These Romantic Places in the UK As Seen On Screen

1. Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

One of the most romantic films to hit UK screens in the last decade isn’t a movie at all. It’s a TV show! Outlander (2014 – ) is a worldwide phenomenon based on the hugely successful book series by Diana Gabaldon. It follows a nurse from the 1940s who accidentally travels through time via a stone circle in the Highlands of Scotland and winds up in the 1740s where she falls for a hunky ginger highlander.

Outlander is filmed all over Scotland. But some of the most notable and beautiful locations are in the Cairngorms National Park. Season one filmed some of the horse riding scenes in the stunningly beautiful Rothiemurchus Estate near Aviemore and the Highland Folk Museum. Even the iconic stone circle scene was filmed close to the charming town of Pitlochry

If you’d prefer to camp under the stars like Claire and Jamie in Outlander for your romantic break, wild camping in the Cairngorms is perfect. Wild camping is totally legal in Scotland but just remember to follow these rules when you camp: leave only footprints, take only memories!


Read next: Falkland Outlander Location: A Complete 1940s Inverness Guide


Cairngorms in Scotland one of the most romantic destinations in the UK
The Cairngorms | Courtesy of Iain Watson

2. Cornwall, England

From one of the most northerly places to enjoy romantic getaways in the UK to one of the most southerly. Cornwall is almost entirely made up of coastlines (or it may as well) with rugged cliffs and colourful fishing villages. And it turns About Time (2013) from a brilliant British romantic comedy into a timeless one.

Domhnall Gleeson plays Tim. He’s a time traveller (I swear, not every film on this list will feature time travellers!) who uses this talent to bag the adorable Mary, played by Rachel McAdams. It’s a beautiful film set in London featuring several locations in Cornwall including a stunning seafront mansion. There are lots of fantastic things to do in Cornwall with your significant other like swimming in the sea and eating world-class seafood.


Read next: About Time Filming Locations in England


Vault Beach in Cornwall, England
Cornwall | Courtesy of Henry Burrows

3. Edinburgh, Scotland

One of the most romantic destinations in Scotland has to be its capital, Edinburgh. While there are lots of films set in Edinburgh that aren’t that romantic (Trainspotting (1996) and Filth (2013) etc.) there is one. Well, One Day (2011) to be exact.

This film follows Anne Hathway as Emma and Jim Sturgess as Dexter and how their friendship blossoms into a relationship but only on one day, July 15th, every year. They graduated from the University of Edinburgh and some of the places featured in the film are very romantic things to do.

Wander along the colourful Victoria Street, warm up in Stockbridge’s cafes, and climb up the Salisbury Crags for gorgeous views across the city. Edinburgh’s tenements and Georgian houses with their rows of chimneys, like the one that Dexter lived in, are best appreciated from above.


Read next: One Day Filming Locations in Edinburgh


Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland one of the most romantic destinations in the UK
Edinburgh

4. Peak District, England

The Brontë sisters set most of their famous novels in the Yorkshire Moors. Jane Austen returned again and again to Bath, London, and the Home Counties in her notable works.

But where were the famous screen adaptations of their books filmed? The Peak District in Derbyshire! It’s one of the most underrated romantic destinations in England.

Head to Chatsworth House to discover Mr Darcy’s real humble abode from Pride & Prejudice (2005). And the cosy cottage where the titular Jane Eyre (2011) takes refuge from Mr Rochester is White Edge LodgeThe Princess Bride (1987) might not be adapted from a Georgian romance novel but it is a romantic fairytale-esque film shot primarily in Derbyshire.


Read next: Pride & Prejudice Filming Locations in England


Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England
Peak District

5. Isle of Skye, Scotland

C’mon, you knew the Isle of Skye would be on the list. It’s one of the most romantic places in the UK for an endless list of reasons including its unrivalled natural beauty, all the charming guesthouses and cottages, and the otherworldly, mysterious vibes that linger over places with names like The Fairy Glen

And on an unromantic note, it’s one of the more convenient Scottish islands to reach. You can drive over a bridge rather than wait for a ferry, for starters!

Coincidentally, The Fairy Glen is one of the filming locations that feature in the family-friendly romantic fantasy Stardust (2007). The rom-com Made of Honor (2008) starring Patrick Dempsey also uses locations in and around the Isle of Skye like Dunvegan Castle as a romantic backdrop for this movie.


Read next: Made of Honor Filming Locations in Scotland


View from the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye, Scotland one of the most romantic destinations in the UK
Isle of Skye

6. London, England

Though there are many parts of London that are very unromantic, the sheer number of romantic movies set in London makes it a magnet for couples seeking similar experiences. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)Notting Hill (1999), Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Love Actually (2003), and even more recent films like Last Christmas (2019) have a lot to answer for.

If you’re looking for UK holiday destinations for couples at Christmastime, nowhere beats London. You can visit Harrods or Selfridges like Alan Rickman’s character in Love Actually for a pre-Christmas shopping spree (as long as you’re buying jewellery for your current partner!).

Or, wander Covent Gardens to pick up some tree ornaments and maybe you’ll spot Emilia Clarke dressed as an elf in Last Christmas too. Go ice skating at The Strand and gaze at the huge Christmas Tree in Trafalgar square as you huddle closer for warmth.


Read next: Notting Hill Filming Locations in London


Greenwich Park, London in England
London

7. Brecon Beacons, Wales

One of the most romantic destinations in Wales is one of its three national parks, the Brecon Beacons. Hike along rolling green hills, dare to plunge into pools at the bottom of impressive waterfalls and go stargazing. And speaking of stars, one of Wales’s most stunning areas of natural beauty also appeared in Stardust (2007).

The key romance in this film is between Charlie Cox’s Tristan and Claire Dane’s fallen star Yvaine. He takes Yvaine prisoner (admittedly not the best way to begin a love affair) and they walk together across the stunning ridge of Llyn y Fan Fach.


Read next: Stardust Filming Locations in England & Elsewhere


Llyn y Fan Fach in the Brecon Beacons, Wales one of the most romantic destinations in the UK
The Brecon Beacons | Courtesy of Claire Cox

8. Suffolk, England

Eating Mr Whippy ice creams on a windy beach lined with colourful huts. Feeling nostalgic playing the 2p machines at a rundown arcade. Eating the best fish and chips you’ve ever had and retiring to a seafront hotel.

You can experience a weekend break exactly like this with a partner in many coastal towns in England. But not all of these romantic destinations in the UK have been immortalised on screen like the small seafront towns in Suffolk have.

Yesterday (2019) imagined a world without The Beatles. But at its heart, it was a love story. Book a stay in Halesworth or Lowestoft and attempt to serenade your partner with your own rendition of Hey Jude. Let’s be honest though, it might not be as impressive because your partner knows you didn’t write it!


Read next: Yesterday Filming Locations in England & Elsewhere


Halesworth in Suffolk, England
Suffolk | Courtesy of Martin Pettitt

9. Causeway Coast and Glens, Northern Ireland

There haven’t been too many films set in Northern Ireland that are also romantic. But I couldn’t skip it! And one of the most romantic destinations in Northern Ireland was featured in a TV show, just not a very romantic one. In fact, it was whatever the opposite of “romantic” is.

Game of Thrones (2010 – 2019) was filmed on several locations up and down the Causeway Coast including Ballintoy Harbour and The Dark Hedges. It’s the perfect place to visit on a couple’s road trip because there are lots of little spots to stop off and explore. Not just the filming locations, but places like the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.


Read next: Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Northern Ireland


Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland
Giant’s Causeway

10. Lake District, England

I couldn’t write a list of romantic destinations in the UK without mentioning a national park that’s 15 minutes down the road from where I grew up. The Lake District is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national park. It’s appeared countless times on page and screen and boasts several famous former residents.

It hasn’t appeared in too many romantic movies. But Miss Potter (2006) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2011) both do a great job advertising its suitability as a romantic destination. In particular, the towns of Coniston and Little Langdale.


Read next: Snow White and the Huntsman Filming Locations in the UK


The Lake DIstrict in England one of the most romantic destinations in the UK
The Lake District

11. Devon, England

Devon shares many qualities with Cornwall, which makes sense since they are both neighbours on England’s southern coastline! This county is where you’ll find Dartmoor National Park as well as other areas of outstanding natural beauty.

And despite the name suggesting otherwise, it’s also the main filming location for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018). The beautiful fishing village of Clovelly stood in for the island of Guernsey and is one of the most romantic destinations in the UK, no question.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) is one of the best Jane Austen adaptations and starred Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson. It was also mostly set on the south Devon coastline near Plymouth, Torquay and Mothecombe.


Read next: Sense and Sensibility Filming Locations in England


"Clovelly

12. Fort William and Glen Coe, Scotland

Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands is one of the most scenic, cinematic areas in the UK full stop. It’s appeared in countless movies, not just romantic ones! Made of HonorBraveheart (1995) and Highlander (1986) are just a handful of films that have shot scenes here. Though it’s not a well-loved film, I personally love the movie Mary, Queen of Scots (2018) starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. Glen Coe appears a few times during this film when the scene demanded a rugged and awe-inspiring location.

Not far away from Glen Coe is the mountain town of Fort William. It’s a great place to base yourself when visiting Glen Coe but there are many Harry Potter filming locations near Fort William. Glenfinnan Viaduct is the famous rail bridge from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) and Loch Shiel appears in most films as the Black Lake.


Read next: Harry Potter Filming Locations in Scotland: A Complete Guide


Glen Coe in the Highlands of Scotland one of the most romantic destinations in the UK
Glen Coe

13. East Sussex, England

Is there a more tragic British romantic film out there? I don’t think so. Atonement (2007) stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy as young lovers separated by WWII and the consequences of a grave misunderstanding. One of the key filming locations in the film is the incredible Seven Sisters Cliffs in East Sussex. Seeing these natural wonders in real life is a must on anyone’s bucket list.


Read next: Atonement Filming Locations in England


Seven Sisters Cliffs and Cottages in East Sussex, England UK
East Sussex | Courtesy of diamond geezer

14. The Cotswolds, England

The Cotswolds is the closest place we’ll ever get to an actual fairytale kingdom which makes it a very romantic place to visit. It’s an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the southwest of England near the Welsh border and Bristol.

It boasts lots of small picturesque villages with wonky roofs and wooden beams surrounded by lush woodland. One of the most popular villages is Castle Combe which appeared as ‘Wall’ in Stardust (2007). Bridget’s parents live in a Cotswolds town and you see the locations in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016) covered in snow. There isn’t a bad season to spend a romantic break in the Cotswolds, it always looks gorgeous!


Read next: Bridget Jones Filming Locations in England


"Castle

15. West Yorkshire, England

Let’s wrap up this list with a wildcard and a nod to the LGBTQ+ community! There aren’t many British and queer romantic movies that also feature gorgeous locations. But a lesser-known film that I love is God’s Own Country (2017) about a young farmer who begins a relationship with a Romanian migrant worker. 

It’s set in and around a town called Keighley in West Yorkshire which is no stranger to the silver screen. The classic film The Railway Children (1970) also shot many scenes in the same part of Yorkshire. The remote moors in Yorkshire are secluded, dramatic, and definitely romantic. 

West Yorkshire in England, UK
West Yorkshire

And those are the top cinematically romantic destinations in the UK! Have you watched any great romantic films set in the UK that had beautiful filming locations too? Let me know in the comments below!


Read next: 75+ Famous Movie Locations You Can Actually Visit


Top Cinematically Romantic Destinations in the UK | almostginger.com

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