We do love a little proposal news here at English Wedding, and with international travel still off the agenda for many, the UK’s romantics have been forced to get a little more creative when it comes to popping the question.
Whilst the likes of the Eiffel Tower, Disneyworld, or Bruges’ Lake of Love might once have been the go-to spots for romance and to seal an engagement, we’re now told that Brits are making the most of the countryside on their doorsteps for a little love.
Highstreet clothing retailer TOG24 analysed the frequency of hashtags used on Instagram in the past six months, containing ‘romantic’ and ‘proposal’ and filtered these by location, to find out where the best places for popping the question are in England and Scotland.
Of all the proposal locations tagged on Instagram in England in the past 12 months, Gold Hill in Shaftsbury was the clear winner. The picture-perfect cobbled street in Dorset has been described as “one of the most romantic sights in England”.
This was followed by the spectacular Broadway Tower in Worcestershire. The second highest point of the Cotswolds makes the perfect spot for getting on one knee.
Mark Ward from TOG24 said, “The last year and a half has been an extremely difficult time for people in the UK. Whilst most restrictions are coming to an end, those who love to explore the world and make romantic memories in far flung destinations are still struggling to do so.
“But what we have seen during lockdown and the ongoing restrictions is more and more people exploring the very best of the countryside on their doorsteps. Whether that’s for exercise, socialising or even romance. And with UK weddings now back on the agenda we wanted to see if this reawakened love of the countryside was creeping into the consciousness of the romantics amongst us.
“And with Gold Hill and Broadway Tower top of the list in England, it looks like the British countryside is more than enough for our newly engaged couples.”
TOG24 even have the perfect jackets for a proposal. The Burnsea Waterproof Jacket is both stylish, waterproof and has a handy inside pocket that can be used to conceal a ring until the time is right to pop the question. You might prefer the Skipsea Waterproof Jacket – also waterproof, because we know the UK weather can be a little unpredictable right now!
TOP TEN UK PROPOSAL LOCATIONS
1. Gold Hill, Shaftsbury
- Picturesque street made famous after featuring in the popular 1970s TV advert for Hovis bread
- One of the most romantic sights in England, often appears on the covers of books, calendars and chocolate boxes
- Many walks to be enjoyed around Gold Hill, giving you chance to enjoy the lovely mix of thatched and stone properties in the town, plus quiet country lanes
2. Broadway Tower, Worcestershire
- 20 metres high and built in 1799
- Family-owned Cotswold destination set within a 50-acre estate of parkland
- For history buffs, the grounds contain a Cold War nuclear bunker
3. Tower Bridge, London
- Built between 1886 and 1894, Tower Bridge crosses over the River Thames, and has become an iconic symbol of London in that time. It’s a must see landmark that hosts 1000’s of proposals every year.
- If you don’t fancy getting down on one knee in front of a crowd of tourists, you can hire the walkway at the top of Tower Bridge for a secret proposal, prices start from £2,500
4.. Coleton Fishacre
- A property consisting of a 24-acre garden and a house in the Arts and Crafts style, near Kingswear in Devon.
- The gardens feature rare and exotic plants, some of which are unusual in their ability to grow outside a tropical climate due to the proximity of the Gulf Stream to this part of the coast of Devon
5. Thomas Hardy’s Cottage
- Birthplace of author Thomas Hardy, born there in 1840 and lived in the cottage until he was aged 34, during which time he wrote the novels Under the Greenwood Tree (1872) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)
- The Thomas Hardy Cottage garden of around 1/3 acre is beautifully laid out with paths, cottage flowers and a vegetable patch.
6. Chatsworth House
- The house itself is named in the novel as one of the estates Elizabeth Bennet visits before arriving at Pemberley, in Pride and Prejudice and later filming took place on location for the film based on the book.
- Also featured in The Crown and Peaky Blinders
7. Stratford Upon Avon
- Quintessentially British with tudor architecture, the birthplace of William Shakespeare
- pop the question whilst rowing a boat on the River Avon
- Modern day Romeos and Juliets could do a lot worse than picking Shakespeare’s birthplace for a bout of romance. A medieval market town surrounded by stunning Warwickshire countryside, if it was good enough for the Bard (who was happily married to Anne Hathaway for 34 years), it’s probably good enough for you.
- Prehistoric monument in Wiltshire
- It should perhaps come as no surprise that a site renowned for its spirituality has become a popular place for couples to propose. Encircled by stone, pierced by shards of sunlight, and saturated with a sense of the sublime, Stonehenge is the perfect place for couples to form an everlasting bond
9. The Peak District
- Elegant stately homes and remarkable feats of nature, the Peak District is visually stunning and has inspired love stories which have bewitched the world.
- Stanage Edge is one of the most distinctive locations in the Peak District, with its spectacular rock formations leading to sweeping views out over Hathersage
- Why not pop the question while taking a romantic stroll past the setting for Pride and Prejudice’s famous lake scene scene (remember Mr Darcy’s swim in billowing white shirt?) at Lyme Hall, on the edge of the Peak District
10. Powderham Castle, Devon
- The house has a mixture of medieval features and fine 18th-century decoration. Upstairs the original solar has a collection of toys. There is also a collection of paintings and family portraits by many notable artists. There is a narwhal tusk, sometimes said to be a unicorn horn able to detect poison
- The hall has an impressive mahogany staircase decorated with carved heraldic beasts and intricate plasterwork.
- Powderham has hosted concerts by artists such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Little Mix, Bryan Adams and Tom Jones.
Other popular romantic locations:
- Mount Edgecomb House and Country Park
- Oxford Botanic Gardens
- Castle Comb
- St Mary the Virgin
- St Edwards Church, Stow on the World
MAKING IT MEMORABLE
But what about those planning to ask their partner the biggest question of their life sometime soon? Well TOG24 has offered them their assistance with a list of 60 of the best places to pop the question across the UK. Some are famous spots and some a little obscure – but they all bring the promise of romance.
When it comes to a memorable proposal, it’s the little details that make all the difference. Our first tip is to choose the ideal location. Is it somewhere that means something significant to your partner? Does it scream romance? Will it give you the seclusion to get down on one knee?
Consider also where you’re going to hide the ring – it’s the most important prop of your life after all! If you’re planning on a countryside proposal to pop the question you’ll need somewhere suitable to hide it, so your partner doesn’t spot it while you’re packing. You’ll also need to think about the right moment. Would a picnic work? Is it all about looking at the view (or just into each other’s eyes)? You’ll know when the time is right. And don’t forget the fizz either!