Tag Archives: Scotland

Rekindle your romance in the United Kingdom: our top picks

In the early years of a relationship, the flames of romantic passion burn hot. We can barely stand to spend a single second apart from our soul mate. As the years go by, though, we get comfortable, work gets in the way, and the flames die down to smouldering embers.

Don’t let the daily grind of living in a city like London or Birmingham kill the excitement in your relationship – relax on a romantic weekend break with your partner, and the petty problems which define everyday life will fade away within hours of arrival.

Stumped on where to go? We’ve got it covered – read on below if you are looking to find some romance in the United Kingdom.

1) The Cotswolds

Located within an easy driving distance from Central London but a world away from its congestion, The Cotswolds is a rural area which will transport you to England’s medieval past. A region composed of rolling hills, farmland, and villages boasting stone homes and cobbled streets, you will wonder aloud how this place has managed to resist the relentless march of ‘progress’ in our modern age.

From Castle Combe to Bibury, you’ll fawn over cosy cottages and homes and bucolic countryside scenes as you tour the area with your love. When you aren’t busy cuddling in your own stately holiday home, make time to see attractions like Sudeley Castle, Blenheim Palace, and the restored Roman Baths in Bath.

2) Cornwall

Famous for being home to some of the most stunning beaches in the United Kingdom, the Duchy of Cornwall is an excellent choice for the couple who are easily wooed by seaside vistas. Harbour towns from Looe to Penzance offer charming homes overlooking the water, seafood restaurants offering the day’s catch, and ancient castles are just a few of the reasons you and your partner should board a National Rail train for the southernmost corner of England.

When you aren’t gazing into the surf whilst holding each other’s hands, check out Tintagel Castle, the place rumoured to be the home of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

3) Scottish Highlands

More into mountains? No place in the UK has prettier ones than Scotland. Hop a short flight to Glasgow, hire a car and head straight into the brilliant peaks of the Scottish Highlands. From thatch-roofed cottages in the Isle of Skye to log homes within a short drive of Ben Nevis, there are numerous options for couples seeking romance amidst the remote mountains of the north.

If you have the motivation to leave your home during your stay, there are numerous whiskey distilleries about, as well as innumerable walks that will take you high into the hills.

4) Snowdonia

Seeking the solace mountains can grant, but want to stay closer to home? The peaks of Snowdonia are a much shorter drive and is cheaper than buying a round-trip flight to Scotland. While not as lofty as its cousins to the north, they are charming in their own way, and the Welsh which inhabits the villages throughout the region make amazing hosts.

Looking for things to do when you aren’t bonding in private? Like in the Scottish Highlands, there are many spectacular mountain walks – on a clear day, you can see Ireland from the top of Mount Snowdon. Not athletically inclined? Check out Conwy Castle, a massive fortification dating back to the 13th century.

Top cafes in Edinburgh

photo by CC user Jim Barton on geograph.org.uk

Spending time in Scotland’s capital this summer? The top cafes in Edinburgh will give you the rest you need between the many attractions that this storied city has to offer, while refueling you with some of its best food and caffeinated drink. Let’s dive right into it, yes?

1) Union of Genius

Edinburgh may be a cool place to visit, but this descriptor often refers to its weather as well, even during the summer on occasion. Should you run across one of those days, dropping in on Union of Genius will set you right.

Specializing in soups, the cooks behind the counter take pride in creating six different pots of inside-warming goodness on a daily basis. And what bowl of soup is any good without a chunk of quality bread to go with it? Union of Genius provides all of its patrons with a slice off its artisan-baked loaves, making for a satisfying lunch that pairs well with a cup of eteaket tea or their in-house roasted coffee.

2) Project Coffee

Located in Brunsfield, a thriving neighborhood chock full of indy shops and restaurants, Project Coffee makes for an excellent pit stop during a weekend afternoon of shopping and socializing. With a modern light industrial theme that actually feels quite charming, this joint feels like a hip place.

They do breakfast in grand fashion, and during other parts of the day, its desserts make for a sweet moment of solace amid the hustle and bustle of the streets beyond its front doors. Project Coffee has trained their baristas well, as they craft their cups of latte, cappuccino and other variants of coffee with a milk and temperature balance that put the big chains to shame.

3) Pep and Fodder

Feeling like a NYC deli plopped in the middle of Scotland’s capital, Pep and Fodder not only does sandwiches and paninis well, but it makes for a great place to grab breakfast, a snack, or a quick cup of quality joe, whether you are on the way to Edinburgh Castle or your office cubicle.

Unlike NYC, the charm of Scotland is in full effect here, as the people behind the counter lack the usual over-dosage of saltiness that usually comes from deli experiences back in the former city.

4) Café Portrait

Love art as much as you enjoy your third cup of the day? If so, mix both together at Cafe Portrait, which is Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s resident coffee joint. Complete with pop art in between the aged Gothic windows, the atmosphere here is enough to make you want to linger longer than you planned, as its soup, salads, sweets, coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages will give you plenty of reason to hang out with your friends as you discuss everything you just saw in the halls of this venerable Scottish cultural institution.

Top Three Things to do on a City Break in Aberdeen

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Whilst you may have considered taking a UK city break in the likes of London or Edinburgh, it’s likely that you haven’t thought about discovering Aberdeen, but it would be a mistake to underestimate this fascinating city. You may be surprised to learn, for example, that it is the best city in Europe for dolphin and whale spotting. It’s also known as being both whisky and castle country, due to the huge amount of distilleries and castles in the area. Continue reading