What’s your idea of romantic scenery? Turquoise waters framing white sand beaches? A spectacular sunset? The silhouette of castle ruins, perched over a misty loch? Majestic mountains rising out of the sea? Then head to Scotland for a truly romantic getaway. Whether you want to go sightseeing in the city, horse-riding on empty beaches or walking in the countryside, it’s the perfect place to spend quality time together and be swept off your feet by awe-inspiring views.
From rolling hills and atmospheric glens to coastal gems and ancient sites, Scotland’s scenery will make your heart sigh. So this Valentine’s, why not make a date with Scotland?
Imagine strolling along the beach at sunset, dining in fantastic sea food restaurants, kayaking side by side… Scotland’s lengthy coastline is ideal for romantic holidays. From the Highlands down through Argyll, the rugged arm of the West Coast gathers a scattering of islands close to its side and the jagged landscape that continues down through Ayrshire to Dumfries and Galloway offers spectacular views. (Views that will surely make you fall head over heels for the West, with spellbinding layers of mountain, light and sea). The stretch of Moray Coast has many quaint villages, like picturesque Pennan, which are perfect for a dose of romantic seascapes, and coastal treasures can also be found along the East Coast, such as the charming East Neuk villages in Fife.
What could be more romantic than an island adventure? Scotland has 99 inhabited islands which can be divided into four groups – Shetland, Orkney, the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides. The Outer Hebrides, Shetland and Orkney are the more remote of Scotland’s islands and are simply stunning, with secluded beaches and fascinating archaeological sites. The Inner Hebrides are those that cling to the west coast, with Skye and Mull the two largest, and as a romantic destination these idyllic islands are simply magical.
The open spaces and tranquil surroundings of the countryside, with a backdrop of loch, river, mountain and wooded glen, can give you all the peace and quiet you need to relax away from the stresses of everyday life. If walks through the forest, hilltop climbs or boat trips down atmospheric lochs are top of your list of romantic scenes, take a trip to Scotland’s national parks – The Loch Lomond and Trossachs, and The Cairngorms. The Scottish Borders, Dumfries, Perthshire and the Highlands also have lochs, mountains and rivers a-plenty to inspire the romantic within.
Why not add in a castle or two for a truly romantic landscape? The North-East is known as castle country, with more than 1,000 castles or castle ruins, and Aberdeenshire is home to Scotland’s only castle trail.
A Scottish city break can be packed full of romance – wander along historic streets, admire the architecture, visit the theatre, have a picnic in Botanical Gardens, enjoy some fine dining… the city can be the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. With fabulous restaurants and bars, fantastic shopping, art galleries and museums, cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling are ideal for a short break away and are sure to set your heart aflutter.
Scotland has everything you would want from a romantic destination – landscapes that take your breath away, mystery and beauty. This year, why not fall in love with Scotland?
Emma Ross writes about Scottish self-catering holidays for EmbraceScotland.