Why should romance be reserved just for Valentine’s? At Boringdon Hall Hotel in Devon we are surrounded by wild, unspoilt, rugged beauty – from carpets of divinely scented bluebells, to secret coves and wild flower meadows – it’s all within easy reach.
When you explore the wilder places that lie on the edge of everyday life you will make memories that you’ll cherish forever. These special, handpicked romantic recommendations are all within 60 minute's drive from Boringdon Hall and are perfect inspiration for those dreaming up the ultimate romantic break in Devon...
1. While Away an Afternoon at The Garden House
Set amidst beautiful South Devon landscape on the edge of Dartmoor, the luscious 8 acre garden at The Garden House includes a dreamy terraced walled garden surrounding the ruins of a 16th century vicarage. Not small, many paths lead you through a range of borders with surprises and colour at every turn.
In spring, the garden is alive with magnificent magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons and masses of bulbs and small woodland plants. Summer brings beautiful wisteria draped archways and bridges, whilst later in the season, the Acer Glade, hydrangeas and autumn bulbs are utterly unmissable.
Pack a half-bottle of champagne and a punnet of strawberries to enjoy whilst whispering sweet nothings in the wild flower meadow.
Buckland Monachorum, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 7LQ
10.6 miles from Boringdon Hall and 27 minutes by car
2. Step Back in Time at Port Eliot House & Gardens
Just over the border to Cornwall, Port Eliot in Saltash is utterly enchanting - just the view on the walk down to the house is breathtaking! The house itself has the rare distinction of being a Grade 1 listed house with a Grade 1 listed park and garden. Like most houses, Port Eliot has a front door and that’s where the similarity ends. There are 11 staircases, 15 back doors and 82 chimneys. The roof covers half an acre and not once in living memory has it been completely watertight! Step inside the rooms and you’ll notice an undeniable a sense of drama which is rarely found today; the famous Round Room designed by Sir John Sloan, for example, must be seen to be believed.
Plan a romantic escapade between 25th – 27th July to experience the Port Eliot Festival. The event is a three-day celebration of words, music, imagination, ideas, nature, food, fashion, flowers, laughter, exploration and fun. Pack Champagne, crusty bread, oozingly-ripe Brie, red grapes and a good local chutney for an informal al-fresco dining experience that’s highly portable.
St Germans, Saltash, Saltash, Cornwall, England, PL12 5ND
17.2 miles from Boringdon Hall, 38 minutes by car
Please note: Port Eliot is open for just 100 days per year so do check the website before making the trip
3. Stroll Hand-in-Hand to Burgh Island
Bigbury Beach is a jaw-droppingly beautiful beach, filled with ancient rocks and rockpools. Bigbury’s most famous landmark is Burgh Island which overlooks the beach itself. At low tide you can cross the causeway on foot or hitch a ride and cuddle up on the Island’s infamous sea tractor. Small yet delightful, the island has a host of fascinating features, including an art deco hotel made famous by Agatha Christie, a fourteenth century inn, an ancient chapel which once doubled as a huer's hut, and expanses of soft sandy beaches.
Check the tide times and allow time to stroll hand-in-hand to the enchanting island. Take a picnic blanket and a hamper of delights to enjoy before cuddling up for the ride back on the sea tractor.
Marine Drive, Bigbury-on-Sea TQ7 4AS
17.4 miles from Boringdon Hall, 48 minutes by car
4. Trek to the White Lady Waterfall
The ruggedly romantic landscape of Dartmoor offers an abundance of walking opportunities, and with 368 square miles to explore, it’s not hard to find a private spot to hunker down.
One of the most quixotic places for a walk is Lydford Gorge, nestled in the north-western reaches of Dartmoor. Owned by the National Trust, the oak tree lined gorge is the deepest in the South West, stretching 1.5 miles from Lydford Village. It’s a mysterious and beautiful place – at times wild and at others, meditatively calm. Walk in early May to see the bluebells and wild garlic whilst you watch the sunlight dance through the newly opening oak leaves. Some say that there’s a ley line running the length of the Gorge which could explain the wonderful feeling some people experience here.
The three and a half mile round walk, high above the gorge, is fairly taxing but all is forgotten when you reach the majestic White Lady Waterfall which cascades magnificently into the chasm below. It's only a meter wide, but 27.2m deep, thereby making it really rather special. As with every beautiful place, there is also a legend. If you fall into the river and see a lady in white standing in the waterfall, you will not drown. Due to the fierce currents in some places, it is unadvisable to try the experiment yourself.
If you want to be sure to have the romantic location to yourself, the best time to visit is shortly after it opens in the morning. Pack freshly-baked scones, lashings of clotted cream, sweet jam and a flask of tea for a quintessentially English cream tea.
Lydford, Okehampton, Devon EX20 4BH
23.3 miles from Boringdon Hall and 53 minutes by car
5. Romance on the River Dart
The heartwarming Picnic Boat is an exclusive hire vessel that offers mini cruises on the River Dart. With a full canopy, onboard heating and soft wraparound rugs it’s always superbly cosy, whatever the weather.
Sit back and relax as your skipper guides you up river whilst you enjoy a refreshing glass of chilled Champagne. Your romantic cruise will slowly idle past the picturesque river banks, passing the estate of the late Agatha Christie before your skipper moors up and cuts the engine so you can enjoy the delectable treats in your gourmet picnic (choose from two utterly divine menus).
After your meal you will embark at the beautiful waterside village of Dittisham – perfect for strolling arm-in-arm, or there’s time for a swift visit to The Ferryboat Inn public house. With half an hour ashore and your legs suitably stretched, The Picnic Boat and your dessert await. The gorgeous return journey cruises past Dartmouth and Kingswear with its stunning high-sided valleys and castles at the river mouth.
River cruises last approx. 2.5 hours, but why end the romance there? Dartmouth has many art galleries, delis and tempting boutiques for you to explore.
27.3 miles from Boringdon Hall, 60 minutes by car
Thrill Me... VIP Romantic Whisk-away
Romantic breaks in Devon simply do not come any more divine that our lavish VIP package. Designed to help you indulge in each other while surrounded by the best of Boringdon Hall, it sets the tone for something very, very special. We have thought of everything so you don't have to; be spoilt with:
One night's stay in the Royal Suite
Ground transport in our luxury car (within 15 mile radius pick up and drop off only)
Personal concierge service
Free menu - order what you want when you want it (food only)
Mini fridge filled with wine, beers, soft drinks and snacks
Your choice of private dining or restaurant dining
Nightly turn down service
Dedicated staff member to cater for all your needs
Use of luxury robes and slippers throughout your stay
Deluxe ESPA toiletries
At least 48 hours' notice is required in order to book this sumptuous VIP package, which costs from £500 per night. Booking is an absolute must, please call 01752 344455 to check availability. Please note that we often welcome guests who chose to travel by helicopter and landing can be arranged at Boringdon Hall (advance booking required).