Swapping a city break for a countryside break for couples
Cities offer an exciting base for a short break, with everything right on your doorstep. You have plenty of choice when it comes to hotels, shops, restaurants and entertainment. However, a couples countryside break can offer the chance to explore some lovely areas, enjoy quality time together, and return home feeling as if you’ve had a real break from the routine.
Planning a countryside break can be a little different than planning a city escape. Choosing the right area is important. Some countryside hotels can be quite remote, while others are closer to towns and villages, offering more in the way of restaurants, pubs and shops. Also, think about transport. While a car can be a hindrance in the big city (and there are usually ample public transport options), in many countryside locations, having your own vehicle is crucial.
A further consideration is the type of accommodation you would like. Depending on where you go, glamping, private cottages and apartments, B&Bs, independent and chain hotels, golf resorts and luxury spa hotels might all be available. So, when it comes to a couples countryside break, spend a little time thinking about what each of you would like to do on your trip, in addition to how much time you want to be away and your budget.
If you’d like to try something new for your next couples break, here are a few suggestions for swapping the attractions of the big city for the calmer and more restful ambience of the countryside. We’re sure that once you’ve explored the best of the Great British countryside, you’ll want to return time and time again.
Swap high street shopping for hiking and biking in the Yorkshire Dales
Take a break from browsing the shops and escape to the beautiful Yorkshire countryside to enjoy spectacular views and plenty of fresh air. The Yorkshire Dales National Park extends across 680 miles of gloriously diverse landscape, with valleys, waterfalls and moorland all waiting to be explored on foot or by bike. The area offers fantastic countryside breaks for couples as there are lots of pretty villages and towns along the way, such as Ripon and Pateley Bridge, where you can find cosy pubs and inns. You can also find plenty of independent shops, just in case you get the urge to indulge in some retail therapy!
If you like the idea of seeing the area by bike, The Swale Trail is a popular 12-mile mountain bike route. Alternatively, you can pick up one of the Tour de Yorkshire routes or the challenging 130-mile Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way. If walking is more your thing, there are dozens of routes for all abilities, from the 268-mile Pennine Way to a variety of short walks of two miles or less, such as the route around the Ribblehead viaduct.
Swap fine dining for pub grub in the Lake District
While cities offer a wide range of romantic restaurants serving up international cuisines in high-end settings, the lovely Lake District in Cumbria also offers fab countryside breaks for couples, with the chance to tuck into some hearty traditional fare. The area covers 912 square miles, comprising stunning countryside and tranquil bodies of water. You can also find both popular, bustling tourist towns with lots of cafés, tea rooms, inns and restaurants, as well as quiet villages with quaint pubs. If you’re seeking the ultimate couples countryside break, the Lake District may offer just what you’re looking for, with its romantic backdrop and plenty of places in which to get lost.
If you’re new to the Lake District and only have a few days away, Windermere is a good base. The town has lots of amenities, as well as a train station. It’s also on the edge of Lake Windermere, the area’s largest body of water. You could easily spend a lovely romantic short break here, or head out to explore further, such as pretty Ambleside. There are direct trains to Windermere from Manchester, so you could even leave the car behind.
For more, see our guides:
Swap pavement café culture for beach café culture in West Sussex
If you’ve ever escaped the hustle and bustle of London by jumping on a train and heading south to vibrant Brighton for the weekend, why not go a little further next time and discover the beautiful coastline of West Sussex? Extending through such traditional coastal resorts as Worthing, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, where the vibe is laid-back and relaxed.
Wander along miles of pretty promenades, explore the piers and seaside attractions, and take a seat at one of the many cafés and harbour-side pubs to watch the world go by. If you want to get more active, there are lots of water sports to enjoy, including sailing, windsurfing and diving. Come during the summer and head for West Wittering, which boasts a lovely sandy beach.
You can catch a direct train to Worthing, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis from London, so in less than two hours, you can swap the pressures of the city for the reinvigorating sea air of West Sussex. This part of the world also includes upmarket Chichester and the beautiful South Downs National Park, so you might be tempted to turn your couples countryside break into a romantic staycation.
For more ideas for great staycation destinations, see our guide:
Swap buzzing nightlife for the quiet rural life in Wales
Wales is a great choice for a couples countryside break, with plenty of historic sites, charming towns and lovely beaches. For a start, there are three spectacular National Parks to discover, Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast.
If you’re travelling here from the south of England, the Brecon Beacons National Park is a good choice. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Bristol. If you’re coming from the north of England, you might prefer Snowdonia, which is around 90 minutes from Liverpool. If you have a little longer to spend in Wales, Pembrokeshire is certainly worth the drive, which is about two hours from Cardiff. You might also like to visit the island of Anglesey, which you can reach via the 19th-century Menai Suspension Bridge or Pont Britannia.
As you can see, one of the main attractions of rural Wales is that you can really get away from it all and spend time together enjoying the countryside. Take leisurely romantic drives, discover hidden coves and imposing castles. There are lots of options for eating and sleeping, and it’s easy to travel here. Of course, if you really can’t bear to leave the city behind, you have Cardiff, Newport and Swansea to explore!