Are you looking to have an extra special Valentine’s Day? Don’t settle for a soppy card and limp flowers from the petrol station. If you really want to impress your favourite person, planning a romantic day out is a sweet way to show you care.
We’ve taken inspiration from some of our favourite romantic movies to find gorgeous locations you can visit yourself. All of the locations from this list are right here in the UK, so put down your passport and pack a picnic. Your romantic getaway is only a road trip away!
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Movie: Pride and Prejudice
If the one you ardently admire is a Jane Austen fan, a visit to Chatsworth House is sure to make them the “happiest creature in the world!” This lavish stately home provided the filming location of Mr Darcy’s swanky mansion in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice. True to the novel, it’s situated in a picturesque spot of Derbyshire, complete with gorgeous gardens to explore.
Don’t forget the camera: “What’s impressive about Chatsworth is that it’s beautiful, rather than just grand,” according to Pride and Prejudice director, Joe Wright, and we couldn’t agree more. Don’t miss your opportunity to capture the impressive symmetry of the period architecture and stunning water features. If you’re a fan of classical art, make time for the sculpture gallery, where you’ll find the incredible veiled Vestal Virgin sculpture which features in the movie, as well as the Mr Darcy bust created especially for filming. The room even features a skylight, giving photographers the benefit of natural light, too.
Movie: The Holiday
If you love cuddling up with a festive rom-com, you’ll no doubt have grinned through The Holiday. The scenic village of Shere provided the backdrop of Iris’ (Kate Winslet’s) hometown, and made us all long for cosy evenings in front of a roaring fire. You can visit Shere yourself, and soak up its quintessentially English charm. It’s just as pretty all year round, with or without the snow.
Don’t forget the camera: If idyllic villages are your thing, then you’ll find plenty of opportunities to reach for your camera. The river Tillingbourne runs through the centre of Shere, winding past listed buildings and under pretty footbridges. The water gives you the opportunity to capture glistening reflections of light on sunny days, and ripples from raindrops on grey afternoons, all set against a picture perfect village backdrop.
Movie: Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
If you like your romance movies with a side of action and adventure, this Kevin Costner classic is for you. Some of the most iconic scenes from this movie were filmed not in Sherwood Forest, but right in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. You can visit Aysgarth Falls, where the fight scene between Robin and Little John was filmed. And if you’re a fan of the cheeky scene where Marian peeps Robin bathing, Hardraw Force Waterfall is worth a visit too.
Don’t Forget the Camera: Waterfalls can really add some impressive gravitas to your landscape photography. This time of year is the perfect time to give it a try, as all of the rain and snow we get in February will create impressive cascades. For frothy, silky looking mists of water, use a small aperture, the lowest ISO speed on your camera, and start with a shutter speed of a few seconds (you may need up to 30 seconds, so remember to take your tripod!) Take your picture and review; every waterfall is different, so you’ll need to experiment to get your best shot.
Movie: Me Before You
It’s hopelessly romantic, and the perfect movie if you’re in the mood for something a bit weepy. The idyllic scenes we see on film were filmed on location through Pembroke’s pretty streets and at the majestic Pembroke Castle. Take a wander through the tranquil town, and fans of the movie will be sure to recognise lots of the attractive spots and stunning views that made it to the big screen.
Don’t forget the camera: …or your wide-angle lens. One of the best ways to show off the character and dramatic architecture of castles is to photograph them amongst the landscape. Pembroke Castle in particular offers an interesting take on this, with the opportunity to photograph it either surrounded by serene water or a cluster of houses, depending upon where you stand.
Lower Diabaig, Scotland
Movie: Loch Ness
Who can resist a feel-good 90s classic? Ted Danson falling in love with Joely Richardson, accompanied by beautiful Highland scenery… and a giant aquatic monster. But only a few shots of the movie were filmed at the titular location. Most of the movie was actually filmed at the less famous coastal township of Diabaig, and the shore of Loch Diabaig (not Ness!) It’s a remote hidden gem, and it’s well worth the trip if you like to stray off the beaten path.
Don’t forget the camera: When it comes to dramatic landscapes, the Highlands of Scotland are hard to beat. But if you’re in the area, be sure to visit Lower Diabaig. There you’ll find the shipwreck of the Day Spring on the rocky shore of Loch Torridon, rusting into the waters as the tides come in and out. It’s a perfect photography prop for capturing some eerie, atmospheric shots.
Notting Hill, Highbury Terrace, Somerset House etc. London
Movies: Bridget Jones’ Diary, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually
The nation’s capital is also the capital of romantic movie locations. We couldn’t pick just one, so we’re recommending them all! Take yourself to The Globe Tavern at 8 Bedale Street to stand outside Bridget Jones’ flat, stroll down Portobello Road to visit your favourite moments of Notting Hill, reconcile in the rain outside Charles’ Highbury Terrace flat from Four Weddings and a Funeral, or wander through Heathrow Airport and Somerset House to relive in your favourite scenes from Love Actually. You could devote days to a filming location tour of London, it’s perfect for the superfans.
Don’t forget the camera: The colourful buildings of Portobello Road are iconic in their own right, and they exude a cheery vibrance that just begs to be photographed. Tilt your camera upwards to capture the rainbow of houses against the sky or shoot lower to use it as a fitting backdrop to the hustle, bustle and energy of the famous Portobello Market.
Whether you’re looking for a local day out, or planning a lovely weekend away together, there’s sure to be somewhere lovely you can visit right on your doorstep. But if you’re feeling the wanderlust and fancy a more extravagant trip, you can check out our list of international locations (also inspired by movies!) here.