The perfect love story
Written by Linda Jackson
Champagne picnics, flickering fires, a private hot-tub beside a loch, candlelit dinners… just a tantalising hint of some of the luxuries you can enjoy on a honeymoon, special occasion, or that romantic break in Scotland.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been on a secret mission checking out romantic things to do in Scotland. Feeling in need of a boost of TLC, I’ve been researching special places to stay in Scotland for a romantic short break which I am secretly planning for a special person in my life.
Discovering far more exciting and romantic things to do in Scotland than I ever expected is, however, causing a big problem... namely, deciding exactly where and what will make my luxury break in Scotland extra special. There’s no alternative, I have concluded, but to squeeze as many romantic holidays in Scotland into my social calendar as I can get away with, for as long as both my bank balance and partner can cope with my lust for a touch of romance.
Not being selfish, wishing to share my dilemma and also get romanticists in the mood, so to speak, you’ll find below some tantalising romantic ideas I’ve discovered, together with suggestions of some special places to stay in Scotland – not only perfect for a romantic break but also for a honeymoon, for a proposal, or for any special occasion for that matter.
Just visualise this… a private bubbling hot-tub lochside, a glass of ice-cold Champagne, and the chance to relax and watch the setting sun transform the vast Scottish skies and glistening loch into an exquisite hue of orange and red. Indulging yourself in the romantic atmosphere that the Scottish Highlands could bring to you and your loved one much closer.
Romantic things to do
Let's start with The Torridon.
The drive to Torridon will leave you in awe from the spectacular drive down Glen Docherty overlooking Loch Maree to the single-track road in the Glen Torridon, you are now in the heart of the Highlands. Arriving at The Torridon and you find roaring fires and a warm welcome, your room will be the essence of romance with options for flowers, champagne on ice, chocolates or perhaps something bespoke. Pamper yourself at the Torridon with an intimate dinner for two in the oak-paneled library with fine wine, 3 rosette tasting menu, and flickering candles. If the weather is fine then opt for a hillside champagne picnic overlooking beautiful Loch Damph or for the more adventurous, a kayak adventure to a secluded bay hidden by time.
For city lovers, there’s the Glasgow Skyline Champagne Seaplane Tour, during which you’ll enjoy the city’s historic and modern skylines. with view on a clear day out across the west coast to Mull, Arran and beyond. Looking down over Glasgow you'll understand why this is such a favourite with travellers ... and you might spot the romantic One Devonshire Gardens as you fly across the city's west end.
I enjoy the outdoors, especially golf and walking. So, the miles of soft sand of the West Sands beach in St Andrews in the Kingdom of Fife was very inviting. The Old Course Golf Resort & Spa enjoys superb views out over the Fife coastline and has an unparalleled view across the oldest and most iconic golf course in the world. As if that's wasn't enough The Old Course Golf Resort & Spa has a unique spa offering. The hotel’s Kohler Waters Spa is a member of the Leading Spas of the World and features a cascading waterfall, rooftop hot tub, and fantastic thermal suite.
Nature retreats for lovers in Scotland
There’s an amazingly romantic walk from right outside the Airds Hotel and Restaurant, in Port Appin, Argyll, near Oban in the Scottish Highlands. The views are gorgeous, and I’ve heard that many guests have been proposed to on that walk. The hotel can arrange for champagne and canapés to be at the proposal hotspot too... how romantic is that? A champagne picnic lunch can also be organised for a romantic boat trip around Loch Linnhe (I fell in love here… with the views), or a boat can be arranged to take lovers to a great waterside restaurant across the loch. Having said that… save space for dinner in the hotel’s own candlelit restaurant, it’s too romantic and refined to miss out on.
I’ve discovered a wonderfully tranquil setting in Dumfries and Galloway in which an elegant Michelin-starred Victorian manor house nestles in 30 acres of gardens and woodlands. The position is romantic, the lawns are immaculate and run down to a private beach, and the hotel – Knockinaam Lodge - is warm and intimate. Sir Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower met here with their Chiefs of Staff during World War II so that makes this little hidden gem even more special. Perfect for just you, and someone you’d like to keep to yourself.
Short breaks for Art & Culture lovers in Scotland
Although I enjoy it a lot I wouldn’t say I am a serious lover myself – a serious lover of art and culture that is - but if you are, then combine a romantic break in Edinburgh or Glasgow with visits to some of the best art galleries and museums in the country. There are some super-duper luxury hotels such as The Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow.
Chic Champagne afternoon tea in Scotland
A secluded candlelit hideaway is not always essential in which to feel romantic, and it’s not always necessary to go away for days on end to get in a romantic mood. I can highly recommend opting for a champagne afternoon tea which ticks all the boxes for me for a touch of daytime romance. It works wonders. One Square, the restaurant at Edinburgh's Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa is a member of the prestigious Tea Guild so afternoon teas don’t get better than this.
Take a break away from the city and travel south just a few miles to one of Scotland's best-kept secrets - East Lothian. With a unique microclimate that offers more sunshine than most other locations in Scotland, this is rich farm country with clifftop walks, beaches, golf courses, rambling cycle routes, castles, charming villages, and seaside towns - in fact everything you might want for a short romantic break in the country. At Greywalls you can indulge in champagne afternoon teas as well as romantic dinners at intimate secluded and tranquil Greywalls Hotel & Chez Roux in East Lothian. To add to the fun a game of tennis on their private court, croquet, or putting practise overlooking the Firth of Forth is included.
Romantic cruise in Scotland
Last, but by no means least, this is where I long to sail into the sunset on a romantic cruise. Just imagine… six nights of romance, cosseted in comfort and luxury on Hebridean Princess. Fabulous food at a table for two, spectacular scenery, a sumptuous suite, champagne on a private balcony… I can definitely put up with that. During March and April, passengers aboard the Hebridean Princess will sail around the Isle of Arran, the Mull of Kintyre and over the sea to Skye.
First published 27 June 2019. Information correct at time of going to press.