Hidden beaches, secret coves, enchanting woods and starry skies, the West Country continues to entrance and beguile all those who visit.
With Saint Valentine’s Day only a fortnight away, Toad Hall Cottages has picked out ten of the region’s most cherished beauty spots for you to enjoy…
We start with a trip to a place of myth and folklore. Perched on the rugged north Cornish coast with sweeping views of the dramatic coastline, Tintagel Castle remains entwined in the trials and rhapsodies of the noble King Arthur. Arthurian legend is full of chivalry and romance making it the ideal spot for all you knights in shining armour seeking to win your lover’s affections.
The roaming wilderness of Dartmoor continues to spellbind all those who walk its stony paths and windswept trails. Let your passions run wild with an invigorating ‘yomp’ to Eylesbarrow and Sheepstor on the southwestern moorlands. Walk amid prehistoric monuments and stone circles, crossing boot-worn clapper bridges and passing the ruins of abandoned mines to reach two of Dartmoor’s most celebrated summits, taking in their stunning panoramic views.
“Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine”
Walk through the sea mist across the ancient granite causeway to St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island set in the sparkling waters of Mounts Bay. Follow the medieval pathways and cobbled lanes to the tropical gardens, just one of the many intriguing features of this castled outcrop, some of which date back as far as the 12th century. Known in Cornwall as ‘the grey rock’, there are plenty of quiet corners and secret nooks where you can share in the moment.
It’s one of the most iconic sea stacks on the Jurassic Coast and marks its most easterly bearing. Old Harry Rocks were once part of the prehistoric chalk cliffs that run between Purbeck and the Isle of Wight. These magnificent monuments stand in defiance to the crashing swells of Studland Bay and have also borne witness to many a clifftop marriage proposal.
Losing yourselves in a brilliant sunset or gazing up at a blanket of stars – the West Country is famous for its stunning vistas and romantic backdrops. We picked out South Milton Sands, South Devon, as a romantic location where you can sit and make plans together while admiring the remains of the day.
The Dart Valley Trail is a spectacular sixteen mile long ‘way’ that takes in ancient South Devon woodland while following the tranquil wend of the River Dart. We’ve picked out the Greenway to Kingswear ‘wodge’, four and a half miles of breathtaking, leafy backcountry where lovers can stroll to the heart-warming chorus of woodland birds, through dappled sunlight and sleepy, primrose riverbanks.
is humming a tune
I haven’t heard in years!”
Deep in the heart of the New Forest, beloved for its tranquil glades, ancient wood and heathlands, is Knightwood Oak, said to be the oldest oak tree in the acreage. Here, many couples make their scared vows and declare their undying love in the shade of its mighty boughs, hoping that their romance will be blessed by its powers of longevity.
There’s nothing more romantic than strolling arm in arm across a sandy beach, your footprints lost to the gentle reach of the incoming tide. Cornwall has some of the loveliest secret beaches in the West Country, and we picked out Lantic Bay, near Fowey, as the perfect spot for a lover’s rendezvous. Throw down a picnic blanket and while away the afternoon together in this dreamy stretch of Cornish coast.
Follow the spectacular South West Coast Path past Bolberry Down and round Bolt Tail and you’ll discover the historic fishing port of Hope Cove. This beautiful village, with its thatched fisherman’s cottages and secluded beaches, makes for a romantic couple’s excursion. Cosy up together and watch the setting sun golden the waters of Bigbury Bay. They say, in Hope Cove, love is always the air.
“And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea-
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?”
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Make a date with the enchanting Purbeck coast aboard a Brownsea Island Ferry Boat. Follow the chalk cliffs to the old stone quarries where smugglers once landed under the light of the moon, and where puffins chunter in the evening sun. If you’re really lucky, you might also catch dolphins gliding on the wash.
This February, let Toad Hall Cottages be your south west chaperone on a romantic Valentine’s getaway. We’ve got hundreds of gorgeous cottages on our listings, all in dream locations across the West Country and guaranteed to make your hearts sing.
Fall in love with some of our special offers