Goodbye cold weather, now is the ideal time to plan a getaway. From the peaceful shores of the Cornish coastline to the charming architecture of Edinburgh, we’ve found plenty of gorgeous holiday locations that won’t break the bank. Explore our favourite destinations for the best affordable romantic staycations in the UK for couples, and book the perfect escape.
Where To Go: Edinburgh
Where To Stay: If you’re a couple that likes to stay in your own self-contained space (we feel that), Eden Locke's studios start from £89 a night... and they're bloody gorgeous.
Where To Visit: Of course, no trip here would be complete without a visit to Edinburgh Castle. There’s also the famous Arthur’s Seat and plenty of pretty streets to wander around in. If you’re feeling peckish? Head to Angels Share for affordable eats and drams of whisky in a sexy setting, or check out Chaophraya when you want romantic Thai-inspired meals above the city.
Where To Go: The Cotswolds
Where To Stay: With a prime location in the heart of Tetbury, The Royal Oak boasts amazing views of the rolling countryside, as well as quirky Art Deco design throughout its cosy bedrooms.
Where To Visit: This little pocket of the country is bursting with things to do, from rambling in the picture perfect hills to feeding animals at Cotswold Farm Park or discovering the home that inspired Beatrix Potter’s Tailor of Gloucester in Bourton-On-The-Water. A short drive will take you to the area’s busiest town, Cheltenham. It’s here that you’ll be able to scoff elevated British grub at Harry Cook Free House or explore Japanese cuisine at one of the town's best restaurants, Kibou. Or if you want a hotel and restaurant all in one, check out the gorgeous Bull in Burford for three different eateries.
Where To Go: Cornwall
Where To Stay: Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa has rooms starting from £50, with gorgeous seafront views and cute nautical styling - perfect if you're after cheap 2 night breaks for couples in the UK. Make sure to book in advance as the cheaper rooms go quickly here.
Where To Visit: What’s the point in going to Cornwall if you’re not off to the seaside? Should you want to soak up some local history, check out the Jamaica Inn museum or head to Cardinham Woods for a wander. Feeling peckish? Venture to Fistral Beach Stable and sit on the beachfront with fresh seafood for a reasonable price. There’s also The Chapel restaurant and bar in the historic Bodmin jail for a spot of fine dining, or (a classic) Rick Stein's Fish & Chips in Padstow.
Where To Go: Brighton
Where To Stay: If you like the idea of watching the sunset over the shore, book into the dreamy Hotel Du Vin (from £99 in off-peak months), which boasts some incredible views across the beachfront.
Where To Visit: You can trawl through vintage shops, stroll along the beach or take on arcade games at the pier. However, the town has a legendary LGBTQ+ scene, so a drag brunch is an absolute must, especially when it’s hosted by some of the country's top queens. For romance on any budget, you’ve got the option to dine at The Tempest Inn, curl up in The Lanes at Med or splash out on an unforgettable experience at Palm Court Restaurant on Brighton Palace Pier.
Where To Go: Welsh Countryside
Where To Stay: The Chestnut Cabin near Meidrim in Carmarthenshire is ideal for cheap romantic getaways in the UK with a hot tub. A cosy place to switch-off at, it comes complete with secluded woodland surroundings and a pizza oven, swoon.
Where To Visit: With easy reach to national parks like the Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons, this is the ideal break for couples after countryside escapes. Whether you pop to idyllic beaches or go on rambling walks, there's plenty waiting in nearby Swansea when you return - from seaside meals at The Oyster House to fun times with nightlife spot Peppermint.
Where To Go: Kent
Where To Stay: The Potting Shed is a cute country retreat from a budget-friendly £67.50 a night, with quirky features such as wooden beams, stylish soft furnishings and an unparalleled location.
Where To Visit: Canterbury is just under an hour's drive away and is perfect if you fancy roaming around a historic town with plenty of couple-friendly things to do. In the mood for a trip to the seaside? You can easily get to Margate, which touts its very own theme park, while the Kent Downs will give you plenty of pretty picnic opportunities and are just half an hour away. Food and drink wise, we’d recommend The Old Butter Market for classic pub grub in a gorgeous garden and sharing plates with wine at Bank House.
Where To Go: Cardiff
Where To Stay: 5-star accommodation on a budget? It's gotta be none other than No.73 by Coffi Co, whose rooms go for a very reasonable £70+ a night.
Where To Visit: Of course, Cardiff Castle is a must for fans of medieval history. If Victorian Gothic architecture is more your thing, there’s the revival mansion located in the city centre and the National Museum when you fancy getting a little deeper into Welsh history. Join The Dead Canary once innovative cocktails call, Pennyroyal for illicit sips or The Alchemist if you want one of their famous bottomless brunches. Feeling peckish? Mowgli are on-hand with Indian street food that packs a punch (without leaving a dent in your wallet).
Where To Go: Dorset
Where To Stay: The Fisherman’s Haunt is close to the historic town of Christchurch, and within close proximity to plenty of Dorset’s best attractions, offering charming rooms from £99 a night.
Where To Visit: Dorset has a wide variety of landscapes to explore; from the New Forest to the seaside. Brewhouse & Kitchen Dorchester is a go-to for freshly-poured pints and stone baked pizza, The Whole Hog in Weymouth is famed for its affordable BBQ meats, while Bournemouth's West Beach can provide a pretty backdrop for romantic date nights on the seafront. Otherwise, you can splash the cash a little at three AA Rosette restaurant Summer Lodge now you've saved a little dosh elsewhere.
Where To Go: Bristol
Where To Stay: Brooks Guesthouse don’t just offer their guests a selection of quirky rooms, oh no. They have rooftop camper vans from £80, with rooftop views overlooking the courtyard.
Where To Visit: There’s so much to see and do in Bristol, especially if you’re keeping to a budget. There’s gorgeous countryside a short drive outside of the city, a pretty park overlooking Clifton Suspension Bridge and you can even see the whole city from Cabot Tower (while finding Cassie’s bench from Skins). If you’re craving a drink or two, head on over to The Cocktail Club for signature sips, The Bristol and Bath Rum Distillery for rum-making experiences, The Lanes for bowling or The Mall for rooftop drinks in their famous beer garden.
Where To Go: Oxford
Where To Stay: For a waterside hideaway complete with real ales and pub grub, the Head of the River has you sorted.
Where To Visit: Of course there's cosy pubs like Dewdrop and stunning Sunday roasts at St Aldates Tavern, as well as the university grounds and punting along the river. But if you're after something a little different, consider the ever-so-slightly eerie Oxford Castle & Prison, soak up a little history at the quirky Pitt Rivers Museum (where you'll find everything from shrunken heads to Japanese Noh masks) or frolic through the lush foliage of the botanical garden.
Where To Go: Cambridge
Where To Stay: Affordable hotels are hard to come across in Cambridge. However, a scroll through AirBnB will show you a number of rooms or self-contained cottages nearby for around £80 a night.
Where To Visit: The city itself is undeniably pretty with plenty of quaint architecture to fill up your Instagram feed. Explore Cambridge University Botanic Garden if you’re into your florals, The Fitzwilliam Museum when you need a dash of history and The Backs for riverside picnics. In the mood for a plate of hearty pub grub? Check out The Cambridge Chop House which boasts an impressive beer garden, The Tickell Arms for cosying up indoors or The Astronomer for a pretty restaurant slinging out hearty mains.
Where To Go: York
Where To Stay: Traditional Hotel The Fat Badger York will have you staying in one of their comfortable couples rooms for as little as £79 a night, close to all the action of the town centre.
Where To Visit: Within an hour's drive, you can explore the stunning Yorkshire Dales or the North York Moors National Park. In York itself, there’s the Minster, the National Railway Museum, the Jorvik Viking Centre and plenty of brunches. Love your craft beer? You’re in luck. Tank & Paddle has a vast array of fresh options on tap (as does BrewDog, who serve signature brews with hearty burgers and fried chicken), while The Punchbowl is a must for relaxed vibes and classic pub food.