ideas for romantic Scottish getaways
Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon, planning to pop the question or just spend some quality time with your partner, check out these nine magical short breaks in Scotland for couples.
1 - Glamping in the Highlands
The Highlands are ideal for romantic Scottish breaks and there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the scenery than glamping. Choose from yurts, bell tents and shepherd’s huts for the ultimate glamping experience. ACE Hideaways is located just eight miles from the town of Forres and set in isolated birch woodland, within walking distance to one of Scotland’s most beautiful wild rivers, the Findhorn.
Stay in one of two secluded shepherd's huts, which are hand-built with natural materials and have access to a nearby hot shower, washing up area and composting toilet. The huts boast a comfy, full-size double bed and everything you need for a romantic stay. There’s an outdoor fire pit with BBQ skillet and seating, as well as a wood burner to stay cosy indoors, plus a gas cooking hob and kettle. It’s just a short walk to reception, which has a basic kiosk with wifi and power outlets.
2 - Stargazing at Galloway Forest Park
Did you know that it’s possible to spot the northern lights from Scotland? The top of the country lies within the same latitude as Stavanger in Norway, so with cloud-free conditions there’s a chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis light display, especially during autumn and winter. Even if you don’t catch the northern lights, Scotland has extremely low levels of light pollution and offers some of the best star gazing skies in Europe.
Head to Galloway Forest Park, the first place in the UK to be awarded Dark Sky Park Status. Here you can see 7,000 stars with the naked eye, as well as planets and the Milky Way. The park is full of glens, hills and lochs, as well as a Scottish Dark Sky Observatory near Dalmellington which has powerful telescopes and a roll-off roof for a romantic night of star spotting.
3 - Adventure activity breaks for couples
If your idea of romance involves high-octane adventure, book an outdoor sports break in Scotland. Activities on offer include paragliding, rafting, sailing, mountain biking and even bungee jumping at Killiecrankie, the UK’s first permanent bridge bungee. ACE Adventures specialises in outdoor activities in the Highlands, offering exhilarating white water rafting trips, tubing experiences, canyoning and kayaking and canoeing.
4 - Spa breaks at Gleneagles ESPA
Escape the stresses of daily life and pamper your loved one with a stay at one of Scotland’s sumptuous spas. Gleneagles offers one of the top spa breaks in Scotland for couples and was designated a luxury spa resort by the Leading Hotels of the World Group. The award-winning ESPA is set in the 850-acre Gleneagles estate, which boasts championship golf courses and a five-star hotel.
Choose from a menu full of traditional therapies and wellness treatments which fuse European techniques with Eastern and Ayurvedic practises. Enjoy a couple’s package of massages, scrubs, facials, body cocoons and hot stone treatments. Relax in the thermal spa zone and central courtyard, then dine on a healthy lunch at the spa café.
5 - Island hopping to Skye
Hop over to one of Scotland’s most visited islands, Skye, to experience unspoilt scenery, idyllic hikes and mystical fairy pools. Skye is one of the largest islands in the Inner Hebrides, accessible by bridge and ferry from the mainland. Spend a romantic weekend exploring the striking Old Man of Storr rock formations, Neist Point lighthouse and hiking up Quiraing for sweeping views over the island. Don’t miss the Isle of Skye fairy pools, a collection of clear blue-green swimming holes and waterfalls.
6 - Touring Scotland’s top castles
Scotland has a staggering array of over 2,000 castles, ranging from cliff top ruins to fully intact, turreted stone treasures. An atmospheric Scottish castle makes for a great proposal destination, especially if your partner loves history. Spend a few days touring some of the best castles in Scotland, including Edinburgh castle and Urquhart, which lies on the shores of Loch Ness.
Dunrobin dates back to the early 1300s and is one of the most romantic castles in Scotland, located in the northern Highlands. The castle looks like a French chateau with conical spires and has 189 rooms to explore. Located on an islet in the Highlands, 13th century Eilean Donan Castle is another favourite, accessible via a stone bridge.
7 - Beach breaks on the Moray Coast
If you’re looking for a break by the sea, then head to the Moray Coast, which is dotted with sandy coves, long stretches of golden sand and dramatic cliffs. The best spots include Nairn, one of the sunniest places in Scotland, and Findhorn Bay, which has a pretty harbour where you can spot seals and dolphins. Head to Lossiemouth for more pristine stretches of sand and Cummingston, a quiet, lesser-known gem.
8 - Walking the West Highland Way
If you’re an active couple, the iconic West Highland Way is one of the UK’s most famous long-distance trails and a perfect option for a romantic break. The path stretches 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William and passes through some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery, from lochs and moors to mountains, forests and countryside.
Pick a section to tackle over a weekend or take a week-long break to complete the whole journey. Be prepared for hill climbs which provide incredible panoramic views, pack a camera and don your best walking boots. Stay in snug hotels, inns and micro lodges along the way and spend your evenings relaxing in cute Scottish pubs.
9 - Exploring the Enchanted Forest
If you’re looking for a romantic autumn couples retreat Scotland, check out the Enchanted Forest, which is set in Perthshire woodland. The award-winning light and sound show takes place in October and features dazzling displays in the forest set to music. Look out for water and fire shows, aerial artists performing in the canopies and listen to Scottish fairy tales in storytelling yurts.
What’s your favourite place for a romantic break in Scotland?