The preparatory forms, swabs, masks and the prospect of a dirty weekend spent in a quarantine hotel can be something of a romance killer, don’t you think?
This is one reason why this year, Valentine’s Day lovers looking for a romantic getaway are increasingly considering options closer to home. In fact, the staycation boom is very much alive and well in 2022, with 30 million Brits predicted to book a holiday on home soil this year.
If you’re looking to escape the domestic drudgery that seems to have defined the last two years, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy some moments of delicious seclusion with your partner, then there’s nowhere better than the Lake District. Here are 5 romantic holiday ideas in Cumbria and the Lake District for Valentine’s Day 2022.
LET YOUR LOVE REACH NEW HEIGHTS UP SCAFELL PIKE
We’ve all felt that flutter in the first throes of love. Well, if you’re keen to take your romance to new heights whilst getting the blood pumping, then the Lake District boasts England’s tallest mountain, Scafell Pike, ideal for a romantic rendezvous with a difference.
You’ll likely want to base yourself in the Borrowdale Valley, just three miles south of Keswick and sitting on the south shore of Derwentwater Lake. Some of the finest accommodation in the Lake District is found here, including some incredible cottages to rent with private pools… Now, how romantic does that sound?
Anyway, back to the main event; the ascent up Scafell Pike itself begins after you hike through Borrowdale’s Corridor Route, and involves a 15km, four hour ascent of tough but rewarding terrain. A more manageable route can be found via Brown Tongue from Wasdale. Either way, you’ll have worked up quite the sweat, with that private pool sounding rather appealing when you get back to your accommodation!
RECITE ROMANTIC POETRY AT THE WORDSWORTH HOUSE & GARDEN, COCKERMOUTH
Though you won’t be as lonely as a cloud on your romantic holiday in the Lake District, you can indulge in the verse of perhaps England’s most famous poet, William Wordsworth. A leader of the Romantic Age in English literature, what better way to begin your Valentine’s day holiday than by visiting his childhood home in the ancient market town Cockermouth?
An incredibly attractive place to spend some time, Cockermouth is defined by Georgian architecture and the majestic spire of All Saints Church, and contains the North Lake’s other main cluster of hotels and guesthouses, should you be looking to stay somewhere with a little more going on rather than in the Lake District National Park proper.
At the town’s Wordsworth House and Garden, you can see the famous poet’s bedroom, complete with replicas of his old toys, as well as the garden that inspired Wordsworth’s love of nature.
DO THE CATBELLS LAKELAND WALK BEFORE LUXURIATING IN A LAKESIDE LOG CABIN
If that sounds like too strenuous a walk, then in the same area of the Lake’s, you’ll find the Catbells Lakeland Walk. According to research reported on by the North Edinburgh News, the Catbells Walk is the most romantic place in the UK to propose. Situated near Keswick and enjoying panoramic views of Derwentwater and Borrowdale, the walk is an enjoyable 3.5 miles (which should take roughly 3 hours, including pit stops) of gentle to moderate terrain and spectacular vistas.
Regardless of whether you proposed along the route or not, part of the fun of this most romantic of strolls is retiring back to your accommodation afterwards to unwind. If those cottages with private pools sound a little too extravagant, then how does a lakeside log cabin sound? Both Keswick and Derwentwater have plenty of lodges and cabins available to rent, all with lakeside views and some with hot tubs. Bliss.
WRITE YOUR OWN CHIVAlRIC ROMANCE AT CARLISLE CASTLE
Next on our romantic Cumbrian Valentine’s day holiday, we’re heading next to Carlisle, which is known as the “Great Border City”, with Scotland within walking distance just 10 miles away. Today, we won’t be heading north, however. Instead, we’re spending the day at Carlisle Castle, a 900 year old medieval fortress that stands proudly near Hadrian’s Wall.
Here, you can explore ancient chambers and dungeons, and even experience the castle’s legendary ‘licking stones’. Though they might sound almost suggestive, these licking stones have a dark backstory. Perhaps stick to strolling the castle’s grounds if you’re keen to keep the romantic flame burning?
INDULGE IN MICHELIN-STARRED CUISINE IN CARTMEL
Cumbria and the Lake District’s food scene is going through something of a moment right now, with several Michelin starred restaurants opening here in recent years.
The epicentre of gastronomy in this part of England is, without doubt, the village of Cartmel. Here, you’ll find not one but two Michelin starred restaurants, both owned by the esteemed chef Simon Rogan.
Whether you’re after a multi-course tasting menu of foraged local produce cooked in the most inventive and surprising ways at two-starred L’Enclume or something a little more laid back but no less delicious at one-starred Rogan & Co, you’ll find culinary pleasure here.
Interestingly, if you’ve ever watched the hilarious comedy The Trip, featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, you’ll have experienced L’Enclume from afar, which was the first restaurant they visited in the series. Though their meal wasn’t exactly romantic, your Valentine’s Day dinner here most certainly will be.
THE BOTTOM LINE
With Paris, Vienna, Prague and Venice presenting various obstacles to smooth and simple holiday romances this year, if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day weekend away with a difference, then look no further than Cumbria and the Lake District. You won’t be disappointed.