Most Romantic Parks in the UK
You've only got to read a few online dating profiles to realise that walking in Britain's gorgeous parklands and public gardens is one of the most romantic ways to get to know a new love. So we've collected the UK's top ten parks for you to help romance develop. Cupid makes falling in love a walk in the park!
As summer fades away, along with all those fab memories of the Olympics, our thoughts are turning to romance once again. Cupid believes that Autumn is the most romantic time of year with its fresh air, sunshine and cool breezes, and more opportunities for getting cosy and intimate.
London - Richmond Park
Richmond Park, London
London's largest park, Richmond Park is a place to escape from the bustle of the city for an hour or a day. Love has a funny way of making us lose track of time, and Richmond Park is the perfect backdrop. With many paths criss-crossing the park, there are myriad ways to get wonderfully lost.
You'll almost certainly find deer grazing at any time of the year, a stunning sight. The park is next to Richmond itself, one of London's leafiest and best towns, with hundreds of romantic restaurants and cafes. You could finish the day with a romantic stroll along the river Thames which flows through Richmond.
For a first-kiss location, try the King's Vista. A more romantic place would be hard to find - it has a protected view all the way across London to St Paul's Cathedral.
Manchester - Heaton Park
Heaton Park Manchester
This huge 600-acre park is just begging to be explored by romantic couples who love the outdoors. Its just a few miles outside the centre of bustling Manchester, making it an easy win as part of a city day out or city break. Just hop on the bus or Metrolink and you're there.
Heaton Park has lots of interesting buildings, follies and landscapes to explore. There's even a romantic grotto-style tunnel (perfect place for a first kiss, maybe?)
Other romantic options include taking a boat out onto the boating lake. There are year-round events including wonderful classical music, rock concerts and fireworks displays. We think Heaton Park might just be the UK's most romantic public park.
Leeds - Roundhay Park
The Monet Garden at Roundhay Park Leeds
We stay in the northern parts of the UK to visit Roundhay Park, a beautiful 700-acre pleasureground for couples seeking privacy, peace and quiet.
The park has many different gardenscapes to enjoy - including a Butterfly House and Desert and Jungle Houses. Perfect to lose yourselves in! What's more there is romance to be found at the Waterloo Lake, and colour and style in the Monet Garden, planted in homage to great artist. The Alhambra Gardens offer style and class, with their flowing lines, many seating areas and fountains.
We love a good folly, and Roundhay has it's very own "castle" - a perfect spot for a tryst.
Edinburgh - Holyrood Park
The Salisbury Crags, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh
Off now to bonny Scotland, and the lovely city of Edinburgh - a wonderful place to visit either as a local or for a romantic city break. There are so many parks and gardens in Edinburgh, it's hard to choose a favourite. Holyrood Park is unusual as it is has a really contrasting feel to the city it serves, and offers a glimpse into the geology of the landscape, with outstanding city views thrown in.
A perfect place to get away from the crowds, lose yourselves in a most romantic setting, and stroll across windswept hills. The must-do feature is to climb Arthur's Seat with its stunning views across the city and further into the tempting landscapes of Scotland. The walk up to the summit takes about an hour in all. Tip: take warm clothing!
Glasgow - Mugdock Country Park
Mugdock Country Park, Glasgow
We stay in Scotland now and visit the other capital, Glasgow. Like Edinburgh, a city known for its devotion to parks and open spaces. For our visit to Glasgow we'll go slightly outside the city to Mugdock Country Park.
So many things to see and do - including tunnels to explore. For those who enjoy the romance of ruined castles, Mugdock has two - Mugdock Castle itself and Craigend Castle, a mansion built in the 1800s.
Water - flowing or still, is the perfect backdrop to relaxing and getting to know somebody new if you're on a date. Mugdock has plenty of water - the river Allander Water flows in the park, and we also have Mugdock Loch and other lakes and rivers.
Bristol - Blaise Castle
Blaise Castle, Bristol
Let's leave the north and Scotland now, and head south for a romantic city break in historic Bristol. Dating couples are in for a treat here as there are so many ways to inspire romance in this city. We've chosen Blaise Castle (five miles outside the city) as a great place for a day out to stroll hand-in-hand with your new lover!
The castle grounds are open free-of-charge to the public, and feature lovely landscapes including ancient monuments, limestone gorge, a Lover's Leap (hey, steady on!) and panaramic viewpoints.
There are rivers too - Hazel Brook, the River Trym and more water features to help you go with the flow.
Birmingham - Sheldon Country Park
Sheldon Country Park, Birmingham
This city-side park is a 300-acre haven for those wanting a break from the pressures of everyday city life - or those looking for a great place to start a love affair. This large open space allows plenty of breatehing space to stroll, sit and wander.
Don't forget there's a farm you can visit too - very kid-friendly, with geese, cattle, pigs, goats and ponies to make friends with.
Sheldon Country Park has a diverse range of landscapes, from the friendly and intimate to the wider-open spaces.
Sheffield - Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens, Sheffield
Sheffield is already the "greenest city in Europe" so it's no surprise to discover that it contains some of Britain's finest parks and gardens. In one sense the whole city is part-park.
We've chosen the Botanical Gardens as the best place for a couple on that all-important first-date might go to learn about each other. It's in the Eccleshall area of the city, and contains beautiful collections of flowers and exotic plants all under the care of the Friends of the gardens.
Now that the gardens have been restored, including the dazzling pavillions, it's a place for relaxation and romance. You might learn a bit about horticulture while you're there!
Belfast - Botanic Gardens
Botanic Gardens, Belfast
Belfast is a city much-loved by locals, but becoming increasingly popular as a city-break destination from other parts of the UK. Fortunately it's a place with much history, and over forty parks to explore. Enough for a whole year of idyllic romance.
For our chosen park we're going to visit the Botanic Gardens in the south of the city. A dreamy place of formal walks, glasshouses, rose gardens and borders.
Visit the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine House with their exotic plants and palms, before taking a leisurely stroll through the park.
Cardiff - Bute Park
Bute Park, Cardiff
A lovely suprise in the heart of busy Cardiff, this is the smallest park on our list, but what it might lack in size, it makes up for in romantic delights. You can lose yourselves for a whole day here, or just go for a short stroll - the choice is yours.
A great idea is to follow one of the pre-designed trails through the park. There's a trail for any level of fitness and stamina. There are flower gardens, an arboretum (that's tree plantation to you and me), and tree-lined avenues that just beg to walked hand-in-hand.
If you're looking for the perfect place to steal that first tentative kiss, why not the banks of the River Taff, which flows through the park.