Have you planned anything special for Valentine’s Day yet? With V Day fast approaching it’s the perfect excuse to plan a romantic getaway, and over here at YCB we got to thinking about our favourite Romantic British films and their filming locations. What better romantic date than a trip to those famous love locations?
1. Four Weddings and a Funeral – Bernard & Lydia’s Wedding Reception – Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire
Way back in 1994, this was the first film to feature the perfect concoction of Richard Curtis’ writing and Hugh Grant’s adorable British Gent. Who can forget Bernard & Lydia’s wedding reception, with Charles (Grant) meeting Carrie’s fiancee, having to sit with a multitude of his ex’s and then becoming stuck in a cupboard while the newlyweds consummated their marriage. All this drama was played out at the beautiful Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire. Now a hotel, golf & spa delight, it’s the perfect romantic getaway.
2. Sense and Sensibility – Ballroom Scenes – Wilton House, Sailsbury
With only about 10 lines from the actual book making Emma Thompson’s screenplay, Sense and Sensibility doesn’t quite make for an exact copy of the novel but it’s a firm favourite here. The music, the costumes, the dancing (despite Elinor dancing with the wrong Ferrars brother) is British gentry at its finest. Wilton House was the perfect setting for these scenes and you can visit the house from late March and slip back in time with your betrothed.
3. Shakespeare in Love – Viola on the beach – Holkham beach
The love story between Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) plays out across London but ends with Viola on a beach. Hotly debated as to whether it’s a reference to his next writings Twelfth Night or if Viola is genuinely shipwrecked on her journey to Virginia with her husband, it leaves a failed love story but in a beautiful setting none the less. Holkham, where the beach is located, offers a whole host of activities and is the perfect lovers getaway.
4. Notting Hill – Will watches Anna on the big screen – The Coronet, London
Curtis & Grant got back together for this unlikely love story. A normal man, a superstar can it ever work? Will we ever truly forget the classic line “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.”? When Will (Hugh Grant) watched Anna (Julia Roberts) in her sci-fi movie he’s at The Coronet Cinema, Notting Hill Gate. No longer a cinema you can now visit it as The Print Room Theatre, a must for culture vultures.
5. Sliding Doors – Helen and James’ first date – Fat Boys Diner, London
Everyone is rooting for James, played by the charming John Hannah and when he takes Helen on their first date, his American Diner setting stole not only our hearts but also our stomachs. You can recreate this with your beloved at Fat Boy’s diner in London. We’d suggest a boat ride across the Thames to really get the romance started.
6. Bridget Jones’s Diary – THE KISS – The Royal Exchange, London
In 1995, Colin Firth breathed a life into Mr Darcy that none of us have quite forgotten, then six years later he played another Mr Darcy just as spectacularly. We had no problem choosing where to visit from this film. It has to be the kiss in the snow, at The Royal Exchange, London. We’d suggest you both arrive fully dressed though to recreate this classic moment.
7. Love Actually – Peter & Juliet’s wedding – Grosvenor Chapel, London
Probably the least favourite of all the Love Actually storylines, but we can’t deny how much we love Lynden David Hall and co. jumping up at Peter & Juliet’s wedding. Singing All You Need is Love in The Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair we suggest a stroll around here, maybe even hold up a “To me you are perfect” card, just make sure your heart mate is single, unlike the film.
8. Pride & Prejudice – Darcy’s first proposal – Stourhead Gardens, Wiltshire
Matthew MacFadyen had a tough ask stepping into Firth’s shoes as Mr Darcy. But take it from us, in this scene, although Darcy is blundering his way through one of the worst proposal speeches of all time, we’d probably still say yes just because of how handsome he looks even soaked by the rain. Stourhead Gardens makes the glorious background and if popping the question is on the cards you’d be hard pushed for a more beautiful backdrop.
9. Atonement – That library scene – Stokesay Court, Shropshire
It was safe to say that Knightley & McAvoy had the chemistry needed to make the library scene what it was. This moment marked the start of the tragedy that unfolds in the film and Stokesay Court’s Billard Room became the setting. We’d suggest a more civilized trip with your loved one than the film showed.
10. About Time – Tim’s family home – Porthpean House, St Austell Bay
This time-travelling love story is a firm favourite here. What’s not to love? Watching Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) fumble through life, literally travelling through time to capture Mary’s (Rachel McAdams) heart. We don’t want to give it away but the family home is so central to this lovely film. Porthpean House, sleeps 21 so maybe better for a wedding reception than a romantic getaway, but either way it’s stunning.
Special thanks to Brillianty British for partnering with us on this article!