Our Pick of the Most Romantic Getaways in Scotland
Lovestruck poets, embalmed hearts, and romantic road trips await.
Scotland brings out the romantic in even the most hard-hearted of us. There’s just something about the cosy pubs, the dramatic mountains, and the windswept lochs that beg you to move a little closer to each other. Here at Plum Guide, we’ve found our favourite destinations for the most romantic getaways in Scotland – and of course, some homes you’ll fall in love with once you arrive. So whether you’re on your first couple’s getaway, a starry-eyed honeymoon, or you’ve been together long enough to have argued about the washing up (come on, admit it), we’re sure you’ll find room in your heart for Scotland.
The cliffs and coast of Ayrshire provide a dramatic backdrop for any love story. Explore the craggy coastal paths, take a day trip to the Island of Arran, or simply stroll hand in hand down the beaches (Troon is a particularly nice sandy stretch). Stop for a cone from Ayrshire institution Renaldo’s, which has been selling ice cream here since 1920. You’ll get brownie points if you remember your partner’s favourite flavour. We imagine it would be even more romantic to share a cone, but we’ve never loved anyone quite that much. Scotland’s evenings are chilly even in summer, which gives you the perfect excuse to return to your Plum home and cuddle up under a blanket in front of a crackling fire – you can’t get much more romantic than that.
Ayrshire is also the home of Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns. He may be best known for 'Address To a Haggis' (and trust us, don’t try reciting that in the heat of the moment – really kills the mood) but he did pen a few love poems. 'A Red, Red Rose' is a particularly romantic effort from the bard, if you’re into that sort of thing.
If you’re considering a romantic city break, it’s tempting to go straight for the big guns. Paris, Rome, etcetera – you know, the kind of places that show up in every rom-com and love song. But we beg of you, don’t. Not only is it terribly cliché (have you no imagination?) but these cities are also going to be crammed full of lovers with the same idea. There is nothing romantic about a line of couples dutifully queuing for their turn at the same photo spot in the Eiffel Tower, and there is nothing worse than sitting in a restaurant surrounded by cooing honeymooners feeding each other. Skip the obvious choices and head to Edinburgh. This cobbled city is steeped in history, culture, and we’d argue it’s not only one of the most romantic getaways in Scotland, but also the world. Hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat, enjoy a walk around leafy Stockbridge, and dine in the chic little restaurants of Leith Walk. Paris, eat your heart out.
The way to the heart is through the stomach, they say, and we have to agree. There’s nothing more romantic than sharing a good meal, and you definitely won’t be short of those in Aberdeenshire, Scotland's gourmand capital. For a special occasion that warrants a bit of fuss, head to the Rothesay Rooms; this distinguished green dining room is actually a relatively new venture, set up in 2015 after flooding in the area and run by the local community with support from Prince Charles. It also serves a cracking menu of organic, local produce, including Balmoral venison, Aberdeen Angus rib eye, and artisanal cheeses from around Aberdeenshire. The county is also home to the Royal Lochnagar whisky distillery. Take a tour, enjoy a dram, and buy a bottle to take home in commemoration of your romantic getaway in Scotland – like any romance, this whisky only improves with age.
The Borders is, in our opinion, an unfairly overlooked destination. It’s not just a muted version of the Highlands; filled with heather-strewn hills, scatterings of quaint villages, and thickets of native woodland, this is a setting ripe for the most romantic getaways in Scotland. And there’s plenty to do for couples. Live out your Regency-era fantasies in the gorgeous gardens at Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford – Lady Chatterley and her lover will have nothing on you two. For something slightly more morbid (by which we mean a lot more morbid), go and visit the heart of Robert the Bruce which is buried and embalmed in Melrose Abbey. A fair warning, though – you’ll never be able to tell your partner “I give you my heart” with a straight face again.
Books and a desk in Abbotsford House Study Room, Melrose, Scotland | Image by michael_d_beckwith is marked with CC0 1.0
Yes, the Highlands. We know it’s a cliché, but we couldn’t really leave it off of a list of romantic getaways in Scotland. Even if the thought of all that lovey-dovey stuff makes you gag, you can’t help but be a bit entranced by the misty lochs, towering mountains, and rolling hills of this mysterious land. Get all of your oohs and ahhs out of the way once you arrive and set off to explore. You could take a road trip along the coast with the NC 500 (though please make sure you’ve got something to listen to other than the Greatest Love Songs of All Time CD you forgot about last Valentine’s Day), visit Glen Coe (and smoulder like Daniel Craig’s Bond on a mission – sexy, in a scary way) or even drop by and say hi to Nessie in her loch. Or lounge in the four-poster bed in your luxurious Plum home. We’re sure you’ll figure out something to do.
Glencoe, The Highlands, Scotland