Romantic retreats

Live the fairy tale with one of these love-filled breaks

Paris, France

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Paris, France

Paris, France
Paris, France

It’s not called the City of Love for nothing – the French capital packs in plenty of romance and glamour. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre-Dame Cathedral are must-sees, as is the wealth of art on display at the Louvre. By night, experience a Moulin Rouge cabaret show or stroll through a picturesque neighbourhood like Montmartre. To inject more romance into the itinerary, visit the Wall of Love in Montmartre’s petite Jehan-Rictus Square, or steal a kiss at the Pont des Arts – better known as Love Lock Bridge. Paris’ tree-lined streets, charming cafés, and sultry bars will provide the most seductive backdrop, but seal the deal with a sunset cruise along the Seine. Bateaux Mouches offer hour-long trips that take in some of the city’s most iconic sights and bridges – including Pont Marie, one of the many lovers’ bridges.

• Stay at the three-star Hôtel Signature St Germain des Près, where prices for a Cosy Room start at £162 per night. Head to Signature-saintgermain.com to book.

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy
Verona, Italy

Pitched perfectly between being small enough to walk around but with enough to see and do to keep you entertained for a long weekend, Verona offers the ideal Italian getaway. A Roman city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s also the setting for the most famous love story ever told – Romeo And Juliet. Walk the cobbled streets, shop the elegant boutiques of Via Mazzini, cut through the throngs of tourists to get a view of Juliet’s Balcony and climb to the top of the Lamberti Tower for spectacular panoramic views. The Arena is its most famous landmark (where you can watch open-air opera), but Castelvecchio, Porta Borsari, and the bridges that cross the winding River Adige are all worth discovering, too. If you’re short on time, take the little tourist train that departs from Piazza Bra for a 25-minute tour of the city’s key sights – then relax with an Aperol Spritz in Piazza delle Erbe afterwards.

• Stay at the centrally located, four-star Hotel Accademia, where prices start at £96 per night.

Go to [Booking.com to book](http://Booking.com to book).

Bath, England

Bath, England
Bath, England

Built for pleasure and relaxation, Bath has been luring visitors since Roman times and its stunning honey-coloured Georgian architecture is straight out of a Jane Austen novel. Ideal for a weekend break, its compact centre is packed with restaurants and bars, plus there are plenty of independent shops to browse, too. The iconic Royal Crescent and majestic Circus are must-sees, and you could venture out into the surrounding countryside to visit Stonehenge, Avebury or Longleat Safari Park. Back in the city, the Roman Baths are an essential stop on any itinerary, while you can get hot and steamy in the modern Thermae Bath Spa, which has the only natural hot springs in Britain that you can bathe in.

• Stay at the four-star Hotel Indigo, where rooms start at £127 per night. Go to Bath.hotelindigo.com to book.

Loch Lomond, Scotland

Loch Lomond, Scotland
Loch Lomond, Scotland

One of the most beautiful and iconic places in Scotland and the setting of a much-loved ballad, Loch Lomond makes for a mesmerising minibreak. Set in the heart of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, it’s surrounded by charming villages, hills, and plenty of cosy country inns. Go for a romantic loch-side amble or take a dedicated cruise or the Waterbus ferry services across the water to discover its small islands. Water sports are available for the more adventurous – including jet-skiing, water-skiing, and kayaking, while nature lovers can explore the mountains, cycle paths, tree-top adventures and forest trails. The Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium is home to Scotland’s largest collection of sharks, while elsewhere on Loch Lomond shores, you’ll find shops and restaurants that look out over the most spectacular scenery.

• Stay at the five-star Cameron House on Loch Lomond, where prices start at £300 per night for a Classic Grounds View Room. Go to Cameronhouse.co.uk to book.

Heidelberg Germany

Heidelberg Germany
Heidelberg Germany

Germany’s not known for being overtly romantic, but Heidelberg is a city to fall in love with. Nestled between the Neckar River and the foothills of the Odenwald forest, its Old Bridge and 700-year-old castle are straight out of a fairy tale. In the centre of the Old Town lies Marktplatz square, where you’ll find one of Heidelberg’s many beautiful fountains, grand period houses, cafés, and little shops. Kornmarkt, which is widely regarded as the most beautiful square, is close by, and the city’s university – the oldest in Germany – means that there are plenty of cosy old student bars to discover, too. Despite being steeped in history, it’s a thoroughly modern city and is a member of the Rainbow Cities Network in recognition of its commitment to family, sexual, and gender diversity.

• Stay at the four-star NH Heidelberg, where standard rooms cost from €73 (£63) per night. Head over to Nh-hotels.com to book.

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