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, it now appears 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.
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.
Ranking at number four was Coleton Fishacre near Kingswater in Devon, a property consisting of a 24-acre garden and a house in the Arts and Crafts style. 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.
Powderham Castle came tenth, with its mixture of medieval features and fine 18th-century decoration. Upstairs the original solar has a collection of toys and there's a collection of paintings and family portraits by many notable artists. The hall features 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.