All couples deserve a break and to enjoy some quality time together, it’s healthy for the relationship and a great excuse to spend an enjoyable day out. Whether it’s for a day out or a weekend away, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight provide the perfect settings for romantic and fun days out.
A stroll in the park
You don’t need to go far in Hampshire or on the Isle of Wight to find a picturesque spot for a picnic or a romantic stroll hand-in-hand. Royal Victoria Country Park has 200 acres of peaceful woodland and grassy parkland, as well as a small shingle beach to enjoy a sea-view backdrop. If it’s walking you enjoy then Queen Elizabeth Country Park has over 2,000 acres of woodland and downland to explore.
The 88 acres of Robin Hill’s ancient woodland and rolling countryside are the perfect setting for a relaxed, romantic walk. And visit in February or October to see the stunning park illuminated throughout the evening during the award-winning electric woods events.
Visit Lepe Country Park, with over a mile of beach is a great day out for all. Whether spending the day searching for seashore crabs and building sandcastles or enjoying the play area or a stroll around the coast to the D-Day remains or through the local nature reserve, there’s lots to do. Finish your visit at The Lookout, Lepe’s restaurant with panoramic views over the Solent – a destination for visitors whatever the weather!
An unforgettable experience
Thrill the one you love and set their heart pounding by treating them to a Ferrari driving experience at Thruxton. The Ferrari 458 Spider is the latest model from Ferrari and you will not find this car with any other driving experience company.
New Forest Activities have got lots of activities for couples to enjoy! Fancy yourself a modern day cupid? Why not ignite your love for Archery together? Or jump into a canoe for two and enjoy a gentle paddle along the stunning Beaulieu River. Couples that adventure together, stay together!
Relax and enjoy each other’s company whilst travelling by steam train through the beautiful Hampshire countryside, along the heritage Watercress Line. With unlimited travel all day, you can visit each of the charming stations and really unwind, visiting the picnic areas or the locomotive yard.
Share in the magic of over 130 birds of prey on what will be truly a memorable day at the Hawk Conservancy Trust. With 22 acres of stunning woodland and wildflower meadow to explore and beautiful birds of prey and other animals to meet, this is the perfect place for a tranquil and romantic day out. You will have the opportunity to experience spectacular daily flying demonstrations, each with a promise to immerse you in nature as our birds brush across the top of your head. Plus every adult can fly a bird of prey – an unforgettable experience to savour as a couple.
Throughout the year, Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth offers a variety of evening events ideal for unique night out, including fine dining evenings on the view decks and to comedy nights in the Waterfront Café – all set against a magical panoramic backdrop.
Beautiful garden settings
Exbury Gardens’ woodland oasis boats an abundance of secluded spots to enjoy together. The pinks, reds and yellows of rare rhododendron flowers line almost all paths in Spring and the wisteria in the walled Sundial Garden provides an enchanting backdrop to romantic propositions, and the award winning Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey boasts outstanding features and seasonal planting displays.
Marwell Zoo is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings. Spot a huge array of amazing animals as you walk hand-in-hand through the 140 acre park, located amongst stunning Hampshire countryside.
The Love Lock tree was opened up to all Beaulieu visitors on Valentine’s Day 2017, so you are now welcome to lock your own padlocks on the tree as a romantic gesture. This beautifully crafted tree of metal swirls and loops can be found nestled within the picturesque grounds and gardens of Palace House at Beaulieu.
The history of romance
Another proud feature of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is the historical buildings that offer an air of romance for any couple. Mottisfont offers a romantic house and gallery all set in beautiful riverside gardens.
A favoured location for marriage proposals and other matters of the heart, Jane Austen’s House Museum is the picturesque country cottage at which the creator of some of literature’s most beloved heart-throbs lived and wrote her novels. Mr Darcy… is that you?
On the Isle of Wight, you’ll find Osborne House, previously home to Queen Victoria, its history and picturesque setting make for a perfect couple’s day out. You could visit Chawton House, a romantic 400-year-old manor house once owned by Jane Austen’s brother and known to her as the ‘Great House’. It’s full of historical treasures and fascinating stories, and boasts beautiful gardens and grounds. Why not recreate your own Regency romance and take a turn about the Walled Garden with your own Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet.
At The Vyne, you can stroll hand-in-hand through beautiful gardens and ancient woodlands. If you want to push the boat out, why not treat your partner to an evening of lively outdoor theatre?
Follow in the footsteps of English Romantic poet John Keats whose ‘Ode to Autumn’ was inspired by a visit to Winchester. Start with a visit to Winchester Cathedral, the resting place of romantic novelist Jane Austen, before crossing the beautiful water meadows to reach St Cross.
Throughout history, the Isle of Wight has been the perfect backdrop for the romantically inclined, from the Pre-Raphaelite artists of the 19th century who were drawn to the romantic poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson at his Island hideaway – Farringford in the stunning West Wight – to the passionate love affair of a Queen and her prince played out at their palace by the sea – Osborne at East Cowes. Still popular with today’s generation looking for a romantic getaway, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch chose the Island for his own wedding celebration in 2015 while in 2017, it was voted one of the 50 most romantic holiday destinations on Earth by The Telegraph.
An evening out for two
Heading into the evening there is plenty on offer to keep the romance alive. Southampton offers two amazing theatres; The Mayflower is a Grade II listed theatre with fantastic shows and performances, including West End favourites such as Cats and Royal Ballet performances including Swan Lake, and the new state of the art Nuffield Southampton Theatres City making some of the UK’s best new critically acclaimed theatre.
Theatre Royal Winchester, one of the most beautiful theatres in the south of England and the only surviving cine-variety theatre in the country, has a diverse programme from opera & ballet to contemporary music, theatre to stand up comedy.