Rebecca Scrase explores beautiful escapes right on our doorstep

Long coastal walks; snuggling up in front of a roaring fire; taking to country roads in a classic car; sipping champagne or slurping oysters: whatever your notion of romance, we’ve cherry picked the best rural retreats in East Anglia for Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Make the most of the great outdoors in North Norfolk, wander hand in hand through Lavenham’s medieval streets. Get away from it all in a cosy log cabin deep in the Suffolk countryside.

This year, Valentine’s weekend coincides with half term so, whether you’re wanting a quiet escape as a couple or would prefer to make it a family affair, here’s the EAUX Luxury Lifestyle guide to making this year’s romantic weekend together one to remember.

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Best for cosy couples

Willow Cabin, Wickham Market

Sleeps 2, 1 bathroom. 1 pet allowed.

£239 for a 3 night short break,

12-14th February

Available from Suffolk Secrets
T. 01502 722717

What could be more romantic than a wooden cabin? This tucked away, recently renovated cabin makes for the ideal couples retreat, just a short walk from Wickham Market and surrounded by beautiful countryside and country lanes for cycling and walking. This retreat is situated just a few miles from the Suffolk Coast and a few minute’s drive from Framlingham Castle, where Mary Tudor was declared Queen of England. Now that’s romantic…

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Best for luxury lovers

The Orangery, Snettisham

Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms

£348 for a 3 night short break,
12-15th February

Available from Norfolk Hideaways
T. 01485 211022

A truly unique property (a converted Orangery) in the grounds of Snettisham House, this light and airy retreat was meant for true romantics. Vaulted ceilings, luxury accommodation (underfloor heating and a sumptuous sofa each!) and a double aspect master bedroom with French windows and balcony overlooking the gardens. Cook up a delicious meal for just the two of you or wander down to the Rose and Crown, Norfolk Pub of the Year. In the market square, there’s even a bistro where you can bring your own wine and champagne. The coast is on the doorstep, Sandringham Estate is ten minutes away, whilst nearby Snettisham Park Farm has herds of roaming red deer.

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Best for outdoor lovers

Goose Cottage, Titchwell

Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms, 1 pet allowed.

£324 for a 3 night break, 12-14th February

Available from Norfolk Hideaways

T. 01485 211022

The North Norfolk coast not only boasts the UK’s best beaches but its vast expanses of sand, salt marshes and wildlife reserves make it the ideal location for lovers of the great outdoors. Kick off your wellies and cosy up in front of the log burner after a bracing walk (with or without your dog) through the RSPB Reserve at Titchwell. Known for its wide-open skies, watch the geese flying in over the marshes from the comfort of your bed or living room window. This traditional terraced cottage has just been refurbished to a high standard to offer comfortable, stylish accommodation. Within easy walking distance is Titchwell Manor, which offers outstanding food with views in its lovely restaurant.

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Best for food lovers

The Buttery, Freston

Sleeps 2 in 1 bedroom

£286 for a 3 night break,

12-14th February

Available from Suffolk Secrets
T. 01502 722717 

Within view of the Orwell Bridge and in an area of outstanding natural beauty, this recently converted, contemporary rural retreat is owned by the same people who run the award winning Suffolk Food Hall and Cookhouse, just a few minute’s walk away. Surrounded by rural pasture with pedigree Red Poll cattle grazing in the distance, you’re ideally placed to pick up fresh artisan products from the Food Hall, or book a meal in the Cookhouse. If you’re wanting a larger, family or friends gathering, you can book the adjoining, interconnecting properties to sleep up to twelve people, too. A foodie hub in the heart of the Suffolk countryside.

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Best for sea views

The Granary Penthouse,


Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms

£608 for a 3 night break,

12-14th February.

Available from Norfolk Hideaways

T. 01485 211022

Want to push the boat out this Valentine’s Day? This penthouse property (the only one available on the holiday letting market) not only gives you luxury, stylish accommodation but offers 180 degree, uninterrupted views over the estuary and salt marshes which Wells-next-the-Sea is famous for. Watch the boats as they come into harbour, go crabbing for fresh air fun and take the miniature railway down to the beach. For the best seafood in the town, I recommend Crab House Cafe.

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Best for Classic car lovers

Hawkeswade Barn, Ufford

Sleeps 2 in 1 bedroom

£393 for a 3 night break,

12-14th February

Available from Suffolk Secrets

T. 01502 711717

(Classic car hire can be arranged on booking).

It’s not often that you have the option of renting a classic car with your rural retreat but that’s exactly what’s on offer here, a brand new listing for 2016. Newly renovated, single-storey, glass fronted and with a wealth of character features (roll top bath, wood burning stove, oak beams), Hawkeswade Barn is ideally located for romantic riverside walks along the Deben.

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Best for Romeo and Juliet

72A High Street, Southwold

Sleep 2 in 1 bedrooms

£415 for a 3 night short break, 12-14th February

Available from So Southwold,

T. 01502 543133

It’s the private balcony beyond the glass doors of the gorgeous double bedroom that seals the deal for romantics. Overlooking St Edmunds church from the back, and bang in the middle of Southwold’s many independent shops, boutiques, galleries and eateries to the front, the only drawback to this romantic retreat is that you may not want to leave. If you do, then the town’s Blue Flag beach is just a short walk away, as is the Pier (open all year round) and the award winning brewers, Adnams, where you can take a tour or pick up a bottle or two of something delicious.

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Best for History Lovers

The Three Blackbirds, Lavenham

Sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms

£1,096 for a 7 night break

12-19th February

Available from Suffolk Secrets

T. 01502 722717

This year, Valentine’s Day marks the start of half term week. For those wanting to make it a family affair, you couldn’t do better than this newly renovated yet history-soaked hideaway. Oak beams throughout, the house is a prime example of Lavenham’s medieval heritage with, as its centrepiece, a huge inglenook fireplace complete with roaring fire (logs included). Head to the 15th Century Swan Hotel for a sumptuous meal or, for Francophiles, the multi-award winning The Great House.