A city of romance (and no, it’s not Paris)

When we hear phrases “the most romantic city in the world” and “the city of love,” we seem to automatically jump to Paris. After visiting, it’s not exactly what I’d call it. I’m not saying it isn’t worth a trip, because seeing the Eiffel Tower dazzling at night is pretty darn cool. But I must have missed all the romance between the cigarette smoke and glares as I attempted to speak French to a waitress.

If you’re looking for a unique romantic destination or just a pleasant place you can get lost in the beauty of, the Lake District in North West England might just be for you. The area is famous for its lakes, mountains and forests, including the highest mountain and longest, deepest lakes of England. There’s countless trails to hike in this area, day or overnight trips, winding through the exquisiteness of this area’s scenery.

Hiking in The Lake District, United Kingdom
A foggy peak at the Lake District.

Last May, I discovered how charming it was with my boyfriend, who had been numerous times with his family. We stayed at a bed and breakfast in the quaint town of Ambleside. Once we arrived, we strolled the quite streets, passing couple after couple in outdoor gear, hand-in-hand laughing and grinning from cheek to cheek. I had never seen so many happy people in my life, or they seemed it at least.

Hiking in the Lake District, United Kingdom
Hiking at the Lake District.
Afternoon tea for two at Stiles of Ambleside.

The town center is filled with outdoors shops, hotels, restaurants and pubs. People hike and enjoy the trails during the day and come back for a warm dinner and laid-back night. We indulged in a lovely afternoon tea at Stiles of Ambleside, one of my favorite dining experiences in my short time in England. It’s easy to unwind and get away from it all. If I ever write a book, this is where I’d escape to work on it.

I recently read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, and he mentions the Lake District and how different it is to the Appalachian Trail: “It came as a small shock to me to realize that this wasn’t going to be even remotely like an amble through the English Cotswolds or Lake District, where you head off for the day with a haversack containing a packed lunch and a hiking map and at a day’s end retire from the hill to a convivial inn for a hot bath, a hearty meal, and a soft bed” (pg. 8). Bryson describes our holiday in Ambleside to a T.

And one trip won’t be enough to get your fill. Luckily, Ambleside isn’t too expensive of a destination. Accommodations and food will be your main expenses.

Ambleside, England - a romantic destination for outdoorsy couples

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17 thoughts on “A city of romance (and no, it’s not Paris)

  1. Sounds like you had a great time, but I prefer Paris and even the Cotswolds ( I attended Oxford for a summer) to ruffing it, lol!! Keep the articles coming, I like reading about things I’m not used to.

  2. I must defence Paris – it is a really romantic city but for sure not the only romantic spot in the world. It is good you bring the attention to other romantic places 🙂

  3. I LOVE loveLOVE the Lake District! I would agree with you – love Paris, but love the Lake District more. Really depends if you want city romance or small village charm romance 😉

  4. I visited the Lakes District in 1984! I’m sure it’s changed a lot, but your photos show that the scenery hasn’t. Thanks for the memories.

  5. It looks so beautiful! I’ve never been to that area, and now I’m very curious! And my boyfriend would love the outdoors-y aspect. Great post!

  6. This is the kind of romance I like! Gettin cozy with mother nature, away from the busy city life. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  7. I totally agree when it comes to Paris NOT being the capital of romance in the world.
    The charm of England is definitely causing a more romantic atmosphere!
    I’ve never been to this part of England, but maybe I should book a trip there with my boyfriend soon 😉
    Thanks for the tips!

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