A SOMERSET couple who exchanged romantic poems while on military duty in Afghanistan could be set to scoop a dream break in a loved-up competition.

Engaged pair Neal and Rosie, from Yeovil, have made the final shortlist in a romantic competition held by the owner of the Orchardleigh Estate, near Frome.

The couple's story began on a forces’ exercise in the Brecon Beacons, where they first laid eyes on each other.

But they failed to speak.

However, fate saw them meet again on another exercise – but this time pre-deployment training ahead of a tour to Afghanistan.

Having established a romantic connection before heading out, they kept the flames of love alive through poetry – with the poem count now at more than 70.

A year into their relationship, they’re going strong and are now in with a chance of being crowned as owners of the UK’s most romantic love story.

This is The West Country:

The competition, which has seen romantic anecdotes flooding in from throughout the UK, was launched earlier this month by Chris Vincent, owner of the 19th Century stately home and wedding venue Orchardleigh Estate, following his very own love story – where he married the girl next door.

Chris and his wife Heather had lived as next-door neighbours for 16 years – but were unaware of each other’s existence until four years ago, when they met by chance one morning.

With Chris the estate owner, and Heather having been born on one of the tenant farms as a farmer’s daughter, there’s a distinct fairy tale ring to their union.

Wanting to see if anyone else could top their own love story, Chris orchestrated the competition to uncover what romantic accounts were out there.

And having sifted through the initial entries, Chris and Heather have compiled a final top 10, including Neal and Rosie.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of entries our competition has received – it’s a wonderful reminder of just how much we all enjoy a good love story," said Chris.

"Heather and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through them all and learning about how each couple met and fell in love.

"It unearthed so many special and unique stories that narrowing it down to 10 favourites was no easy task, but we’ve done it and now we need the nation’s help in crowning a winner.”

The full top ten and the details surrounding each story can be found on the online voting page at https://orchardleigh.lpages.co/finalists.

To enter the competition, couples simply had to share tales of how their relationship began or tell the story of someone they know, with the winning entrants set to receive a stay in Orchardleigh’s very own love nest – The Boathouse.