When it comes to marriage proposals, what is and what isn’t spectacular is a matter of perception. For some, it’s about making a grand statement. Diving a rainbow reef and having a pod of dolphins painstakingly spell out “marry me” or streaming it to social media from a private space flight, just as the curve of the earth comes into view…wow.
Going OTT with a proposal is on trend, but not necessarily romantic. Or more romantic than asking the question simply. It’s inherently one of the most romantic parts of life, it needn’t be rolled in glitter over and over.
But, a big but. The setting still matters. You can’t casually drop it into domestic conversation. Oops I’ve dropped my fork on the floor, surprise.
No, setting is everything. Dramatic scenery, just the two of you, and no live streaming is the way forwards (or backwards). No need to involve animals. This being the case there’s no finer country than Scotland to propose. Voted by Rough Guides readers as the most beautiful on Earth.
Here are eight of the most romantic places to get down on one knee.
Eilean Donan Castle
Easily the most photographed of Scotland’s castles, and for good reason. Eilean Donan is the name of the tiny island on which it sits, at the converge of three pristine, pine flanked sea lochs. You’ll happen across Eilean Donan not far from the Skye Bridge, a hard-hewn stone fairy tale, alone and undeniably attractive. For proposal privacy it’s worth arriving at dawn or sunset.
Perhaps you can ask one of the pro photographers to take your photo after the big question?
The Summit of Ben Nevis
This is, admittedly, an obvious one—the summit of Scotland and the UK’s highest mountain. That doesn’t make it any less wonderful. To reach the peak of Ben Nevis, the mountain with its head in the clouds, is naturally spectacular. Pure, unfiltered, and able to stand firmly on its own two feet without being trussed up with extras.
On the Jacobite Steam Train
This is Harry Potter’s steam train and travels a section of the West Highland Line that includes the now iconic Glen Finnan Viaduct. If you’re a Harry Potter fan you’ll be waiting with bated breath for the magnificent, glen hopping bridge to come into view—it’s quite something. Why not ask the big question whilst on the viaduct? You’ll have to be quick though.
It’s worth pointing out the entire West Highland Line cuts through some of Scotland’s finest, most romantic scenery. The Jacobite puffs past misty mountains, bleak windswept moors, and vast rippling lochs. In fact, in 2009 this line was voted the top railway journey in the world by readers of the travel magazine Wanderlust.
Anywhere in Edinburgh’s Old Town
It might be a little awkward to propose in the middle of a street, but nevertheless Edinburgh’s Old Town is as atmospheric as it comes. It’s romantic, but not in a red roses way. Walking in the shadow of towering tenements, constructed from weighty blocks of sandstone, some pale, some sooty—like strange blackened corn, and twisting up cobbled streets in a gloomy half-light is gleefully fantastical.
Edinburgh Old Town with its medieval, French château-esque conical turrets, and gothic touches is a world apart from the modern, and speaks of feathered quills, wizardry, wax seals, biting wind, and cockle-warming whisky.
There’s no other glen in Scotland quite like Glen Coe. It’s the Scottish Grand Canyon. Yes, there are other scenic glens, but the way Glen Coe presents itself to you, effortlessly, on the A82 towards Fort William is mesmerising. Having just passed the lonely fog shrouded wastes, of tufty grass and bog, known as Rannoch Moor, there it is. Filling the stage.
Glen Coe, a black-rock cleft, a colossal trough filled with sky. There’s a reason it’s considered the most romantic glen in Scotland, and a perfect place to propose.
The Queen’s View
Overlooking Loch Tummel, a whisker south of the Cairngorms is a specular viewpoint—fit for a queen. Deep blue waters, dense woods, and a rugged mountain rising in the distance. This vista has everything. Why it’s named queen’s view is no secret, but which queen is up for debate. Apparently, without modesty, Queen Victoria claimed it was named after her during her visit in 1866.
Whatever the case, this is a sublime location to ask your partner to marry you. After, you could head up into the Cairngorms for some beautiful walks through Caledonian pine forest, and rambles on wild alpine plateau.
Anywhere on the Isle of Mull
The Inner Hebrides has many dramatic and unique islands. One of these is Mull, home to the bright and colourful town of Tobermory. Known as Balamory to children.
The Isle of Mull is a pretty one, with a craggy mountainous centre, white sand beaches, aquamarine seas, and peculiar salmon-pink granite rock stacks. It’s a quaint, yet untamed place of staggering beauty and is achingly romantic. You’ll find no better place to propose.
On the Shores of Loch Sunart
You’ll not see dolphins in Loch Lomond or Loch Ness. As a sea loch, this is one of wonders of Sunart—and dolphins often swim up into the loch from the open ocean. The coast surrounding the Ardnamurchan Peninsula is also a spot for whale watching.
Sunart is the longest sea loch in Scotland, a quiet slip of water wending its way towards the small isles, flanked by rough peaks, clusters of ancient mossy oaks and battalions of pine. Here is a secluded, unspoilt part of the Western Highlands; meant for personal and peaceful adventures.
Weddings in the West Highlands
Scotland is equally as beautiful a place to marry as it is to propose. Here at Kilcamb Lodge, deep in the West Highlands we have a truly picturesque backdrop for your wedding. Once you’ve proposed obviously.
Our highland lodge is in a secluded location on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, overlooking Loch Sunart, with 22 acres of grounds, triple AA Rosette catering, comfy rooms, and real Scottish hospitality.