Well, dreamy as they may be, there is a new contender for romantic getaways: Scotland. Whether you’re looking for some quiet time surrounded by nature, or wish to get in on the action in a bustling city – this incredible country has it all.
We’ve put together an innovative guide of romantic things to do in Scotland.
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- Why Scotland is Ideal for a Couples Trip
- Romantic Things to Do in Scotland
- Romantic Things To Do In Scotland: FAQs
- Expert Tips for a Romantic Scotland Trip
Why Scotland is Ideal for a Couples Trip
Whether you and your special someone are honeymooning, or just looking for a romantic getaway, Scotland has plenty to offer.
First and foremost, Scotland has scenery that could have come straight out of a fairytale, and is brimming with remnants of the fascinating Gaelic history that the country is famous for. Lovers of nature, architecture, comforting food, history, mythology, and a damn good dram of whisky are in for a treat.
Couples who relish the great outdoors are spoiled for choice as to where to visit (although the Highlands and the Hebridean Islands are particularly gorgeous) and can enjoy camping, vanlifing, or booking a delectable log cabin tucked away in a wee mountain, if you truly want to be one with nature.
Those looking for a nice balance of Mother Earth and pampered luxury can enjoy one of the many hotel, B&B, and AirBnB options available.
So if this has whetted your appetite to enjoy a romantic getaway in Scotland, read on!
Romantic Things to Do in Scotland
We’ve put together our most romantic things to do in Scotland (although there are many more options – this is just a mere taster!).
#1 Hike at Cairngorms National Park
OK, so if you’re a couple that doesn’t enjoy lacing up the hiking boots and breaking a sweat on the side of a mountain or hill, this option probably isn’t for you – but don’t worry – we guarantee we will have something perfect for indoorsy folks later on.
Irrespective of being avid hikers, though, Cairngorms National Park is something to behold and boasts some seriously Instagram-worthy scenery.
As well as being a scenic (and not to mention, free) day out, the park is a stone’s throw away from the Balmoral Estate, which is worth a visit in itself. It has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852.
Those looking for a romantic outdoorsy getaway in Scotland on a budget can spend a few days camping and hiking in the stunning Cairngorms National Park to unplug and enjoy each other’s company, some fresh air, the incredible natural scenery, and a gorgeous sunset or two – all without breaking the bank!
The Scotland Highlands are, of course, home to Ben Nevis mountain, for those who fancy something more challenging!
#2 Sightsee in Edinburgh
Those who prefer the comforts modern life has to offer, will relish all that the city of Edinburgh has to give.
If you like having access to restaurants, shops, cocktail bars, museums, spas, and more at your doorstep, you’ll be well-provided for in Edinburgh, which is the ultimate city to indulge in some pampering and sightseeing.
If you’re looking to splurge and treat yourself and your partner to some five-star treatment, Edinburgh is the place to be. It has more than ample options for fancy hotels, quirky B&Bs, and chic AirBnBs.
As for some romantic things to do for couples, some of the best experiences in Edinburgh include:
- Camera Obscura & the World of Illusions
- Arthur’s Seat (a great place to propose, just FYI)
- The National Museum of Scotland
- Edinburgh Castle
- Palace of Holyrood
- Royal Yacht Britannia
- Edinburgh’s Old Town
- Royal Mile
- The Real Mary’s King’s Close
- The Chocolatarium
- One of the many tours of gin/whisky distilleries
- Calton Hill (ideal for watching the sun go down)
- The Edinburgh Dungeon
- And so much more.
#3 Search for Nessie (and more) at Loch Ness
Many visitors to Scotland do a daytrip from Edinburgh to Loch Ness, if for no other reason than to try and grab a glimpse of its famous yet elusive resident, Nessie. But mysterious aquatic creatures aren’t the only appeal Loch Ness holds.
Fun fact: Loch Ness is the most voluminous lake in the entire UK, holding more water than all of the lakes of England and Wales combined (making it very easy for its mystical occupant to hide!), and boasts moody, dramatic scenery of mountains, castles, hills, lighthouses, and the other sights that can be found in this beautiful Inverness wilderness.
The local villages and towns, such as Fort Augustus, offer plenty by way of accommodation and quaint places to grab a bite to eat or warm your bones with some local whisky, and can make a romantic getaway for couples.
#4 Explore Glasgow
Edinburgh can be rather touristy, so if that element doesn’t hold much appeal – but you’d still like to relish the city life with your significant other – Glasgow is a great shout.
For lovers of good food and delightful dining experiences, we recommend (in particular) The Secret Garden. The Secret Garden is an al fresco rooftop dining establishment that can be found in the centre of the city. It offers seasonal-themed decor, exquisite menus, and mouth-watering fresh cocktails.
Alternatively, you could experience Glasgow’s nostalgic charm with an afternoon tea on a vintage bus tour. As you pass by some of the city’s top landmarks like the People’s Palace and the Kelvingrove Gallery, you and your partner will indulge in a delicious spread of sandwiches, petit fours, cupcakes, warm scones, and mini quiches. Find out more about it here.
#5 Explore The Hebridean Isles
Those looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of the country’s cities, and instead, need peace, quiet, and fresh sea air will be in their element in one of the 15 inhabited Hebridean islands.
Some of the more well-known islands include Skye, Mull, Iona, and the Isle of Lewis. The Hebridean Isles all boast white sandy beaches, clear aquamarine waters, incredible natural scenery, quaint harbourside villages, puffins-spotting tours, local eateries, ancient landmarks that date back to Viking-era Scotland (and even farther), and more.
It doesn’t get any more romantic than these beautiful islands! If you feel like splurging on your romantic holiday, you can even book a multiday tour to visit the Outer Hebrides.
#6 Visit Sweetheart Abbey near Dumfries
Lovers of romance and architecture alike are in for a real treat with the aptly-named Sweetheart Abbey.
Dating back to the 13th century, Sweetheart Abbey (initially called Dulce Cor, which is Latin for ‘sweet heart’) was named by its resident monks for Lady Dervorguilla who founded the abbey after her husband, Lord John Balliol, passed away.
When Lord Balliol died, his widow was so assailed by grief, she had his heart embalmed and kept it in an ivory box, which, legend has it, she carried with her everywhere for the rest of her days (and was buried with it on her chest by the altar in the abbey church, when she passed away 19 years later).
Fast-forward 700 years, the partially-ruined abbey is a sight to behold, and well worth a romantic stroll around. While a significant portion of the shell of the abbey church still remains intact, the domestic buildings that were once located to its south, beyond the visible wall lines on the ground, have mostly disappeared.
#7 Take in the Views in Glencoe
Couples who have their hearts set on the Highlands would be fools to miss out on the incredible village of Glencoe.
Glencoe is famously known as the Outdoor Capital of the UK – and for good reason. Situated between Loch Leven and the glen the village was named after, Glencoe is quintessential Highland magic, and can make an idyllic place for a romantic getaway, or even a picturesque proposal or microwedding spot.
Glencoe was formed out of volcanic explosions and icy glaciers many moons ago, and still remains largely untouched by man (although you can find remote accommodation and eateries), and is truly a jaw-dropping example of how breathtaking nature can be.
If you want to take in the views without hiking, take a drive on Glen Etive Road, seen in the film Skyfall as James Bond’s route to his Scottish home. It offers stunning views of Buachaille Etive Mòr and the Etive River and has small pools and waterfalls, ideal for picnics and wild swimming.
#8 Go on a Boat Ride on Loch Lomond
A boat ride on the tranquil waters of Loch Lomond surrounded by the mountain scenery is a must-do for couples seeking a peaceful and intimate escape. As you cruise along, you can learn about the history of the area and see some of its most famous spots. (This two-hour boat tour is a popular option.)
Alternatively, if you’re feeling more adventurous, kayaking or paddleboarding allows you to explore the loch at your own pace, discovering hidden gems along the way. (You can rent a kayak here or a paddleboard here.)
Whether you choose to take a leisurely boat ride or paddle your way around, Loch Lomond provides a truly enchanting and unforgettable romantic experience that will leave you with cherished memories.
Scotland offers a variety of romantic places to stay, from luxurious castle hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts. Regardless of your budget, there is somewhere to stay in Scotland that is just right for you and your special someone.
Some of our favourite spots include:
- Eden Lock, Edinburgh. ££££ (Ideal for those looking to splurge!)
- Hill Cottage Cabins, Fort Augustus. ££ (Ideal for those looking to visit Loch Ness)
- Glentruim Homestay B&B, Newtonmore. £££ (Ideal for those wanting to visit Cairngorms National Park)
- Auchenlea Lodge, Glasgow. £££ (Ideal for those wanting to visit Glasgow)
- Further Space at Hillhead Farm Glamping Pods, Dumfries. ££££ (ideal for those looking to visit Dumfries – and who love glamping!)
- The Beach House B&S, Portree. £££ (Ideal for those visiting the Isle of Skye)
- Adelphi Hotel, Edinburgh. £. (Ideal for those on a budget city break)
- EasyHotel Glasgow City. £. (Ideal for those on a budget city break)
- Foyers Roost, Highlands. £. (Ideal for those on a budget country getaway)
Romantic Things To Do In Scotland: FAQs
Is Scotland a Romantic Destination?
Absolutely. Whether you’re looking to get in on the city action, or prefer to disconnect in a more natural surrounding, Scotland has it all, and is an incredibly romantic country. You can even have the most romantic Edinburgh elopement.
It offers much to do in the way of cultural experiences, eating and drinking, outdoor activities, and provides so many scenic spots to pop the question!
What is the Most Romantic Place in Scotland?
Scotland offers a wealth of romantic destinations that are perfect for couples looking to spend quality time together.
Whether it’s exploring the rich history and stunning architecture of Edinburgh Castle, or enjoying a romantic boat ride on Loch Lomond, there’s something for every couple in Scotland. The breathtaking beauty of the Isle of Skye and the rugged landscapes of the Scottish Highlands provide a perfect backdrop for romantic walks and unforgettable moments.
Deciding on THE most romantic place in Scotland will ultimately depend on your personal preferences.
It’s definitely time for you to plan a romantic getaway to Scotland and create unforgettable memories with your loved one. The enchanting atmosphere and breathtaking scenery are sure to leave you both feeling closer and more in love than ever before.
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