Spring is the traditional season for romance and the most popular time to propose to your partner. But where are the best places to make your proposal speech?
England’s charming Lake District scenery is surely one of the most picturesque spots in the country. So I’ve picked four locations in the Lakes where the romantic scenery will give any proposal a helping hand.
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If you can persuade your partner to visit one of the most remote parts of the Lake District you’ll be following in the successful footsteps of Bill Clinton. Long before he became President, Bill brought Hillary to the shores of Ennerdale Water.
It was the spring of 1973 and the gorgeous tranquil spot weaved its romantic spell on the future President and Secretary of State.
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With only one small village nearby, limited public transport and no road at all around the lake, it’s as far from the Lake District tourist trail as you can get.
Yet this “fiddle shaped” body of water was an inspiration to the romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge more than 200 years ago and today, you’ll find very little has changed.
Ennerdale is still dominated by the formidable Pillar Rock Fell to the southwest with the High Stile range of peaks to the north east. The eight-mile circuit of the lake is an enjoyable low-level walk that can take about four hours. Surely that’s long enough to conjure up the courage to pop the question?
Where To Stay?
Where better to nurture the right mood for a proposal than the luxurious bedrooms of a converted stately home. A short drive to the north from Ennerdale is Armathwaite Hall, which stands in 400 acres of magnificent deer park, with its own spa and acclaimed restaurant. Our romantic tip is take one of the rooms with a balcony overlooking the beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake.
Image Credit: Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa
Aira Force, Ullswater
The fierce cascade of water plunging down through the woods towards Ullswater is one of Britain’s most renowned romantic spots.
Aira Force waterfall inspired Wordworth to pen his famous poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud”. And alongside the water is a wishing tree, where visitors traditionally hammer coins into the bark using stones before making a secret romantic vow.
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It’s only a short walk through the National Trust’s needle-carpeted woodland to the main torrent that falls a spectacular 70 feet. A tiny bridge spans the fall and from there you’ll find stunning views looking down over Ullswater. It’s the perfect setting for a proposal.
Where To Stay?
Sharrow Bay, Ullswater
What was the first country house hotel in England is still often judged as one of the best. It’s expensive but ideal for special romantic occasions. No wonder that Paul McCartney chose to propose to Heather Mills here. Sharrow Bay makes you feel like you are guest of honour at an aristocratic mansion.
Image Credit: Sharrow Bay
The rooms are full of rich fabrics and antiques, and you can slump in plush sofas to gaze at magnificent views of Ullswater and the mountains beyond. The acclaimed food includes legendary afternoon teas.
Lake Cruise, Windermere
A relaxed twilight cruise around Lake Windermere on a 1930s steamer is excellent romantic preparation for a proposal. The period vessels explore the beautiful wooden shores of the uninhabited islands in the lake while you can snuggle up to enjoy the views of mountains in all directions.
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If you prefer total privacy perhaps hiring your own two-seater motor-boat is a better option. But for the full romantic gesture, the steamers are available for private charter complete with champagne, dinner and uniformed staff… and if the proposal goes well they are available to host a wedding reception too.
Where To Stay?
This former Victorian hunting lodge overlooking Windermere was once voted the country’s most romantic hotel. Enjoy Michelin-starred food and lake views from the Edwardian wood paneled dining room or snuggle on a sofa by the open fire in the coy sitting room.
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Some rooms boast four-poster beds and sexy double spa baths. There’s also a health spa for luxurious massages or beauty treatments. If you are tempted outdoors you can take a walk in the hotel’s seven acre grounds where deer and red squirrels are often spotted.
Keep your eye out for celebrities too. Recent guests have included Renee Zellweger, David Hasselhof and Lionel Richie.
Dove Cottage, Grasmere
Some of the greatest romantic poems in the English language were written at Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s home at Grasmere, including the famous ‘Daffodils’. Although he composed most of his poetry outdoors, it was usually in the sitting room of Dove Cottage that the words were put to paper.
Image Credit: The Wordsworth Trust
Take a tour with your partner to savour the poetic atmosphere. With its oak-panelled hall and floors of Westmorland slate, the house has changed little since Wordsworth lived here more than 200 years ago. Log fires burn in the grate and most of the furniture is Wordsworth’s.
Don’t forget to take a walk together in the garden with its pretty summerhouse and spell-binding views of the valley, its lake and enclosing hills.
Where To Stay?
The Samling, Windermere
Victoria and David Beckham, and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, are just two of the celebrity couples to have enjoyed a stay at this ultra-romantic hotel near Grasmere. Perched on a hill above Lake Windermere, The Samling is an small luxury hotel where you can relax in your private hot tub for two on a secluded outdoor terrace overlooking the lake.
Image Credit: The Samling
Wordsworth used to walk up here to pay his rent and today there can be few more beautiful places to chill with a glass of champagne gazing out at the fells that inspired his most romantic poems.
Outside, you’ll be able to stroll around The Samling’s 67 acres of woodland and wild flowers. Inside, there are just 11 luxury suites, each individually decorated in contemporary style with lovely deep old baths, sitting rooms with open fires and comfy sofas. Breakfast in bed is the norm.