Romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day

by Sara Barton, 21st January 2022
Gretna Green
Romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the South of Scotland offers a wealth of romantic getaways to suit those wanting to escape from it all. Whether you are embarking on a new romance, ready to make life lasting commitments or celebrating many happy years together, these accommodations all offer wonderfully romantic places to curl up with your favourite person and just be. There are wood fires for snuggling, hot tubs for star gazing, relaxing woodland and coastal walks for holding hands, and plenty of comfortable sofas and beds for ensuring you leave refreshed.

Please note: In light of the coronavirus pandemic, health and safety are of paramount importance. Stay safe and adhere to current government guidance. Closures and access restrictions may apply and will be lifted in line with government guidance. Always check with places directly and prebook where possible.

Alpnhaus, Singdean

Where: Castleton

Who wouldn’t fall in love during their stay at Alpnhaus, Singdean – even if it’s only with the place itself.  This gorgeous larch cottage offers the ultimate retreat from the rat race with a woodfired hot tub to enjoy in the evenings. In the morning you wake up to an alpine breakfast left at your door. The cottage is self-catering and boasts a fully functioning kitchen. Or you could venture out to Jedburgh or Hawick for an evening meal or daytime lunch. Lovely touches include natural organic Viennese toiletries for the bath and wonderful walk in shower and Belgian linen on the bed. This is a superb romantic getaway at ANY time of year. And your four-legged friend is welcome too.

winter hottub, christa dobson
Enjoy stunning views and the wood fired hot tub during a romantic winter stay at Alpnhaus, Singdean.

Barns Tower

Where: near Peebles

If you are looking to impress, why not book yourself into Barns Tower, a mini-castle just for two? This fairy-tale dusty pink tower dates back to the 15th century, nestled in the landscape near the River Tweed. There is plenty to do nearby with Dawyck Botanical Gardens, historic Traquair House and the Border towns of Melrose, Hawick and St. Boswells within easy reach.

Or if you wish to stay in you can steep yourself in the legend and storytelling that surrounds the area. Did you know Merlin the Wizard supposedly once visited the nearby Stobo Kirk? The local author John Buchan set his novel John Burnet of Barns in this very place. Settle in front of the blazing wood fire after a walk in the surrounding countryside, or soak in the roll top bath before being enticed into the large sleigh bed.

Perfect for romantic getaways, special occasions or just celebrating being together.

Tower for two? This 15th century mini castle offers a wonderfully romantic getaway at any time of year.

The Selkirk Arms

Where: Kirkcudbright

Why not surprise your Valentine with all of space in a Stargazing Weekend courtesy of the Selkirk Arms in Kirkcudbright? Taking place at the end of February (and again in November), the hotel’s package is hosted by top Scottish astronomer Steve Owens of the Glasgow Science Centre. Guests can learn all about our solar system and see the newly opened Dark Space Planetarium. And there are two chances to be taken to secret locations in Galloway’s Dark Sky Park for an evening of stargazing.

The days are free to explore this fabulous Artists’ Town, home of Scottish artists such as Glasgow Boy E.A. Hornel to Jessie M. King and Dorothy L. Sayers. Walk along the harbour front, idle in the shops and galleries, enjoy dinners at the hotel. Treat yourselves to a wonderfully romantic getaway weekend star gazing.  

The front of the hotel, selkirkarms
Give your partner a weekend to remember with a Stargazing package at the Selkirk Arms in Kirkcudbright.

Gretna Hall Hotel  

Where: Gretna Green

Who could resist a romantic stay at Gretna Hall Hotel, virtually the home of romance in Scotland, standing as it does in the heart of the world famous Gretna Green. The hotel was originally built in 1710 as a private manor house and hosted a series of high profile aristocratic marriages in the 1800s, making it ideal as a romantic getaway.

If you haven’t tied the knot yet, this could provide an ideal setting for a proposal with plenty of romantic locations around the 10-acre property – the Kissing Gate or the ornamental water feature perhaps? Not yet sure? Ask about the traditional Scottish handfasting ceremony, an ideal way to start you off on the road to marital bliss. Or perhaps a stay will inspire you to plan your big day here. The hotel offers three historic venues for wedding ceremonies.

Inside the hotel design offers a modern interpretation of a Scottish manor house. Plaids and plains, contrasting textures and colours that reflect the Scottish countryside, the 97 rooms are comfortable and luxurious.

Perfect romantic getaways at the Gretna Hall Hotel - the Wakefield Turner Suite.
Celebrate a romantic weekend in the beautiful bedrooms at the historic Gretna Hall Hotel.

The Old Mill, Dod Mill

Where: near Lauder

The second you step foot into the grounds of this former grain mill, you will never want to leave. The Old Mill, a converted 1700s water mill, is a bijoux escape that is sure to win your heart. Many original features and quirky nods to the buildings’ industrial heritage have been retained – including the water wheel of the Old Mill – to add to the homely atmosphere. A mezzanine bedroom with deep bath sits above an open plan double height living area. The kitchen has all the modern comforts and there is underfloor heating and a wood stove to keep you cosy and warm.

If you can tear yourself away from the cosy interiors, meander along the Boondreigh Water to the old millpond. Or head in to explore the Royal Burgh of Lauder or wander the grounds of the fairytale Thirlestane Castle – perhaps the ideal backdrop for a proposal?

Who could resist that bath on a romantic getaway at the OId Mill at Dod Mill?
Enjoy a lovely soak with bubbles before relaxing by a wood stove at Old Mill at Dod Mill near Lauder.

Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel

Where: Kirkholm, Stranraer

For a romantic stay with a twist and a view to die for, how about an old lighthouse keeper’s residence? At the Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel there is the option of a room or self-catering suite in this historic hotel, built in 1815. It has a charming literary link, having been built by the engineer grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island fame.

At night you can watch the beams of Scottish and Irish lighthouses guiding ships across the North Channel. By day you can walk the coastline while seabirds circle overhead while you watch for seals, dolphins and, if you are really lucky, sea otters.

Owner John is a photographer and can advise on the best spots to capture this stunning coastline scenery.

Hungry after your walk? Relax with a five-course dinner using the best of Galloway’s produce and sample a single malt from one of Scotland’s fine whisky distilleries.

Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel , John Harris Photography
Stupendous views await you at the Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel near Stranraer.

Wheatsheaf Hotel

Where: Swinton

If you prefer cosy pubs to swanky hotels, whisk your significant other away to the Wheatsheaf in the Berwickshire village of Swinton for the perfect romantic getaway. You can stay in comfort in their light, airy modern en-suite rooms and enjoy cosy bar meals by the roaring fire.

And the food here has already caught the attention of the famed critics from Michelin who noted the Wheatsheaf’s ‘classic, unfussy dishes with a modern twist” in their guide, Eating Out in Pubs. The Wheatsheaf’s chefs specialise in using locally sourced ingredients and the menus reflect the best of seasonally available local produce. In the winter months expect rich casseroles and tempting game.

Lounge with open fire
Two snug chairs by the open fire and excellent pub food await you at the Wheatsheaf in Swinton.

Butler’s Gait

Where: Dunragit, Stranraer

Sometimes a Sleeps Two means sacrificing space, but this could not be further from the truth at Butler’s Gait. This grand airy apartment for two is part of a larger, former Manor House. There’s a log burner to warm you through after a walk at the nearby Glenwhan Gardens. And you have all the mod cons from hair dryer and coffee maker to high speed WIFI and Smart TV if you want to catch up on your favourite Netflix series! A luxurious king-sized bed with linens will enable you to get a good night’s sleep. If you are a two plus furry friend, your dog is also welcome. Walks nearby abound from the Galloway Forest Park to the Mull of Galloway, Scotland’s most southerly point.

Lounge, S Howlett
Plan a cosy evening in by the wood stove on your romantic getaway at Butler’s Gait, Dunragit

Braeview Glamping

Where: Coldingham

Adult-only and pet-free, Braeview Glamping offers a romantic getaway glamping option near the Berwickshire Coastal Path. The pods are heated with under floor heating and two of the four pods have hot tubs to ease aching muscles after a day’s walking. The hot tubs are also the perfect place to stargaze through the winter. There is minimal lighting around the site, giving guests incredible views of the night skies.

Home comforts aren’t far and you can expect beautiful en suite shower rooms, small kitchen area with a fridge, hob and breakfast bar as well as a comfy sofa and Smart TV. And if the weather doesn’t play ball, Braeview also provides super fast wi-fi free of charge for streaming all your favourite box sets if you choose to have a duvet day!

The ideal romantic getaway - a luxury glamping pod with hot tub at Braeview Glamping.
An ideal retreat for two with optional hot tub for late night star gazing – and plenty of free WIFI for a duvet day at Braeview Glamping.

Fernhill Hotel

Where: Port Patrick

If you and your loved one are keen golfers, look no further than Fernhill Hotel in Port Patrick. Not only is this an idyllic setting with stunning views but Dunskey Golf Course is a mere 200 yards from the hotel. There are frequent golfing packages on offer throughout the year.  The Portpatrick Golf Club has not one but two courses that are playable all year round; the 9-hole Dinvin and the 18-hole Dunskey. The courses sit in a mixture of rolling moorland and seaside heath around 150 feet above sea level. On a clear day you may well be distracted by spectacular views of the Isle of Man, Mourne Mountains and the Mull of Kintyre.

Back at the hotel there is a cosy fire in the bar and good Scottish produce in the restaurant. Be sure to ask for a room with a view and enjoy drinks overlooking Port Patrick Harbour.

Portpatrick Harbour at Sunset, Colin Tennant
The Fernhill Hotel enjoys admirable views over Port Patrick and is close to the renowned Dunskey Golf course.