Last-minute romance: three spontaneous UK destinations for loved-up travellers

Last-minute romance: three spontaneous UK destinations for loved-up travellers

When the long nights and cold snaps descend, it’s natural to want to do as little as possible. Joggers, box sets and takeaways, rinse and repeat until March. And though hibernating at home with your other half is a solid strategy for surviving the more miserable months of the year, there’s nothing like a bit of spontaneity to keep the spark strong over winter.

Hilton makes spontaneity a safe bet; from the comfort of your sofa, you can get off to a flying start by searching for and booking one of the 176 hotels it runs in the UK and Ireland, all from the Hilton app. No matter where you end up staying, you can rely on quality service as standard.

To get you started, here are three UK destinations for couples looking to amp up the romance with a spur-of-the-moment break …

Known for being one of the only places in the UK where you can bathe in natural thermal waters, a visit to Bath is not complete without a spa day. Head to Thermae Bath Spa in the heart of the city for a luxurious experience and natural thermal waters. There you can relax with your partner, book in for a treatment or two and also enjoy views over the city skyline from the warm rooftop pool. For another excellent vista, book a private tour for two of Bath Abbey’s tower, boasting a spectacular viewpoint over the Bath landscape and providing a celebratory glass of bubbly at the top. If the weather is behaving, hire a boat and gently make your way down the River Avon with picnic hampers, blankets and flasks of hot drinks in tow.

Steam rising off the hot mineral water in the Great Bath, part of the Roman Baths in Bath, UK
Bath’s thermal spas are a must-visit. Photograph: Anthony Brown/Alamy

Where to stay: DoubleTree by Hilton Bath
Only half a mile from Thermae Bath Spa and numerous city-centre attractions, DoubleTree by Hilton Bath makes for a perfect romantic base for your trip. At Emma’s Bar, Restaurant & Cafe, you can set yourself up for the day ahead with breakfast, or enjoy an evening date night with a delicious cocktail in the bar. The hotel’s Secret Garden overlooks the River Avon and historic Pulteney bridge, offering a traditional afternoon tea if the two of you fancy a daytime treat.

For something less touristy and more tranquil in London, head to green and historic Richmond, just 20 minutes from the city centre. The River Thames runs through the heart of the borough and there are stunning royal parks and gardens, historic houses and galleries to peruse at your leisure, none of which require booking. Richmond park, for example, is home to hundreds of deer and offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Nearby Kew Gardens is a particular highlight and a naturally romantic setting, with the world’s largest and most diverse collection of living plants. On the other side of the Thames, the pleasure gardens of Syon House are well worth a visit for the magnificent Great Conservatory, with its exotic plants. There are water meadows and a quarter-mile ornamental lake, which attracts a range of wildlife.

Mature couple having fun at the swimming pool
Make the most of the spa facilities at Hilton London Syon Park. Photograph: fotostorm/Getty Images

Where to stay: Hilton London Syon Park
On the edge of the 80-hectare (200-acre) Syon House estate, Hilton London Syon Park is a truly special hotel in a glorious English pastoral setting. You can relax and indulge thanks to the hotel’s many amenities, including Mood in the Park Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, which offers a local culinary experience, and Syon Lounge, where chef Julieus Diasz has created a sushi menu that merges the traditional with the new. You can also pre-book use of the Kallima Club & Spa, where gym access is complimentary for hotel guests and there’s also a spa with heated swimming pool, whirlpool, aroma steam room and sauna.

The walled city in north-east England is known for its Roman roots and history but did you know that York is also famous for traditional chocolate making? For a memorable activity with your loved one, sign up for one of the many chocolate-making experiences in the city, such as at York Cocoa Works or York’s Chocolate Story. At the latter – an interactive museum – you can learn about York’s chocolate history before trying your hand at making your own sweet treats. If you and your partner have a sweet tooth, you won’t want to miss afternoon tea at Bettys tea rooms. The iconic tea rooms opened its York branch in 1937. The art deco interiors inspired by the Queen Mary ocean liner – some of which remain – make it a unique setting for a date. Elsewhere, York Minster is one of the city’s most recognisable buildings and perfect for a quiet stroll – no booking required. Head to the Chapter House, where you’ll find incredible stained-glass windows. And for that perfect couple’s selfie, turn that front-facing camera on at the top of the 13th-century Clifford’s Tower or along the medieval York city walls.

Where to stay: Hilton York
Hilton York is located next to Clifford’s Tower, with plenty of bars, restaurants and other historic attractions just minutes away. Tower’s Lounge and Bar, with its views of the tower, is a bright and airy place to enjoy a glass of wine, while Tower’s Restaurant serves up breakfast, lunch, and table d’hôte or a la carte dinners. You can also treat your partner to the hotel’s classic Hope & Glory afternoon tea, Sparkling afternoon tea, or G & Tea afternoon tea, featuring a glass of York Gin and tonic. Or if you fancy a casual dinner of small plates and sharing boards, you’re just around the corner from the cosy Pairings Wine Bar.

Be spontaneous this winter and book a romantic break at a Hilton hotel

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