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20 of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations

Published date: 10th July 2020 | Author: Hollie Bond


Planning a romantic break in Old Blighty? From scenic Scotland to the sun-soaked Scillys, the UK has some of the world’s most unique and luxurious honeymoon destinations. No passport needed!

You don’t need to fly half way around the world to find honeymoon heaven. The UK is home to hundreds of gorgeous hotels, self-catering cottages and unique boltholes. Plus, there’s something for every honeymoon style, from the white sand beaches of Cornwall to the snow-capped mountains of Scotland and Wales.

Honeymooning at home has lots of positives too. You can simply bundle all your bits into the car and hit the open road without worrying about lengthy passport queues and packing all your toiletries into a sandwich bag. Other advantages include the fact that there’s no time difference to contend with, and, with the money saved from flights, you can afford to splurge on a room upgrade, an extra night or a no-expense-spared meal.

In fact, staycations and romantic breaks in the UK are set to massively rise in popularity post-Covid-19 pandemic and are a seriously smart choice if you’re worried about coronavirus, or having to be in quarantine for 14 days once you get back from honeymoon. Old Blighty has hundreds of stylish and sublime self-catering cottages, treehouses and unique little love nests to discover too, which are perfect if you want to have a just-the-two-of-you romantic escape.

We’ve rounded up the top 20 best places in the UK to head on a honeymoon or mini-moon, plus the best romantic accommodation to book in each location…

1. Cornwall

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Cornwall 1

There’s a lot to love about Britain’s most south-westerly county, which is known for its booming tourism industry and holiday vibe. There are beautiful beaches and hidden coves aplenty along the 300 miles of coastline, the sea is perfect for water sports and surfing, and there are lots of foodie destinations to discover. For true Cornish honeymoon style, hire a vintage VW campervan to get you around this dreamy destination.

Where to stay

The Scarlet

There are plenty of amazing self-catering cottages and cute little hideaways for honeymooning couples in this part of the UK, but for some low-key luxury you can’t beat The Scarlet near Mawgan Porth and the Bedruthan Steps. This stylish eco hotel is a grown-ups only hotel, which makes it perfect for honeymooning couples looking for a bit of R&R after the whirlwind of wedding planning. Romantic activities include a sunset soak with a glass of bubbly in the cliff-top hot tubs, taking a dip à deux in the natural reed-bed pool or relaxing in the Ayurvedic Spa. Cornwall is also home to some of the UK’s most stunning wedding venues, see more of them here.

2. Suffolk

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Suffolk 2

This off-the-beaten-track eastern county is quite the hidden gem, full of quaint medieval market towns and with a stunning coastline, peppered with pretty villages. And, as for the countryside, need we say more than the bucolic scenes in this county inspired John Constable’s famous paintings. There’s plenty of smart gastropubs and restaurants for special occasion honeymoon dinners and you’ll not run out of things to do in this varied part of the UK.

Where to stay

Seckford Hall Hotel and Spa

There are hundreds of amazing historical houses in Suffolk and one of the most eye-catching, Seckford Hall Hotel & Spa, near Woodbridge, is a wonderful place to call home for your honeymoon. It’s perfectly located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty only a short drive from the coast at Woodbridge and Aldeburgh, and has everything VIP guests need on site, including a sublime spa and romantic restaurant. Seckford is also one of many wonderful wedding venues that you’ll find in Suffolk.

The Windmill

If you’re after something a little quirkier for your minimoon, how about snuggling up together at the top of a design-led windmill conversion. The Windmill in Cockfield has incredible views over the countryside and will be an unforgettable honeymoon experience.

3. Devon

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Devon 3

Devon is a wonderful option for a mini-moon because of the huge variety of landscapes and activities on offer. In this huge county you’ll find sweeping golden beaches, rugged cliff walks, wild open moors and chocolate box pubs and restaurants to cosy up in together after a day in the great outdoors. And, no honeymoon in Devon would be complete without a celebratory afternoon tea. Just be sure to put the cream on the scone before the jam! Talking of celebrations, there’s a huge range of gorgeous wedding venues in this county too.

Where to stay

Gara Rock

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to honeymoon-worthy accommodation in Devon. For beachside bliss you can’t beat The Cary Arms, a five-star boutique hotel which has turned classic beach huts into luxurious, private suites, where you can walk straight out the door and into the soft sand. Further south you’ll find the stylish clifftop Gara Rock Hotel near Salcombe. The interiors at this chic hotel will make you swoon, with beds facing floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea and there’s a secluded beach just steps away.

4. East Sussex

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations East Sussex 4

Home to medieval villages, undulating South Downs National Park countryside and a spectacular coastline, East Sussex is an easy-to-reach part of the south coast with plenty to attract honeymooners looking for a staycation to remember. History is everywhere you look from the skinny cobbled streets of Rye to historic Battle where, as the names suggests The Battle of Hastings took place. Looking to your married future though, time spent in Brighton will be great fun, and strolls along the cliffs at Seven Sisters and Beachy Head are not to be missed. The area is also home to many beautiful wedding venues, from country houses to quirky city choices.

Where to stay

The Gallivant

Rye is a wonderful place to base yourself in this county because the town is pretty as a picture with lovely independent shops and is minutes from the sand dunes and sprawling golden beach at Camber Sands. In the village itself, The George in Rye is a chic Georgian hotel known for its cool interiors and fabulous food. For more of a beachy Hamptons-style vibe, choose The Gallivant overlooking Camber Sands, which has an award-winning restaurant and pretty gardens to explore.

5. Buckinghamshire

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Buckinghamshire countryside 5

This landlocked county, close to London has a lot of romantic potential for honeymooners. It’s very easy to get to and is peppered with cool hotels and luxury staycay options. There’s glorious countryside in the Chiltern Hills, chic riverside scenes along the Thames and lots of lovely villages and market towns to explore. Plus, Buckinghamshire has many wonderful wedding venues to choose from if this is the county you’ve chosen for your “I dos”.

Where to stay

The Langley

If you want to indulge and treat yourselves to a five-star experience on honeymoon then you’ll love The Langley, which has a supersize underground spa, a top-tier restaurant and period features galore.

The Crazy Bear

Or for something a bit more unique and artistic, how about The Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield, which is as eclectic as the name suggests. The interiors are opulent and completely OTT (in a good way), and there are two cool restaurants (English and Thai), standout suites and an outdoor pool.

6. Dorset

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Dorset 6

Dorset has that perfect mini-moon combination – an incredible natural setting along the wild Jurassic Coast (think Durdle Door and the cliffs at Lulworth Cove) as well as lovely towns like Weymouth, Poole and Christchurch for a bit of local retail therapy. Dorset has plenty of attractions like castles and country houses to visit inland among the rolling countryside, as well as many dreamy wedding venues too.

Where to stay

The Pig – on the beach

The Pig – on the beach in Studland is one of the must-visit hotels in The Pig chain and shows off Dorset in all its glory. There are uninterrupted views of the dramatic coastline, which can be enjoyed as you dine on the fresh seafood and kitchen garden fare in the pretty botanical restaurant. There’s even charming little Shepherd’s Huts, where you can relax with spa treatments.

7. Hampshire

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Hampshire 7

Hampshire has it all. The beautiful New Forest with wild ponies roaming freely, the South Downs, gorgeous historic villages, Winchester with its wonderful cathedral, the Solent coastline, and a huge choice of incredible wedding venues to choose from.

Where to stay

Heckfield Place

With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Hampshire is home to loads of incredible places to stay. At the luxe end of the scale our pick of the bunch is Heckfield Place (voted Hotel of the Year 2018), near Hook, a country house in 400 acres of grounds with two foodie-favourite restaurants and insta-ready interiors.

Chewton Glen

Chewton Glen is another high-end retreat in the county with cool treehouse suites that were just made for honeymooning couples. For something a little more low-key and budget-friendly, you can’t beat the riverside setting of The Master Builder’s Hotel at Buckler’s Hard.

8. Scotland

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Scotland 8

If getting a tan and dining al fresco every night aren’t key elements of your dream honeymoon, then head north to Scotland where you’ll find all sorts of romantic activities and places to stay. It might not have the weather (although in summer it can be surprisingly glorious), but what it lacks in heat it makes up for in incredible landscapes – like The Highlands and the many islands – as well as charming towns. If you want to escape the crowds and find romance among the rugged landscape dotted with ancient castles and mirror-like lochs then Scotland is hard to beat. Take a look at the wow-factor wedding venues in this part of the UK too.

Where to stay

Eagle Brae

Reconnect with nature and find peace and quiet in the charming countryside at Eagle Brae, a collection of five-star self-catering log cabins in the middle of the Highlands. Although the views are over magnificent glens and towering mountains, there’s nothing rustic about the accommodation – it’s luxury all the way.

The Witchery

If it’s Edinburgh’s cosmopolitan city vibe that piques your interest then romance doesn’t get any more dramatic than at The Witchery by the Castle. This nine-suite love nest has wow-factor Gothic, theatrical interiors and velvet-draped four posters, plus is in one of the best locations in town.

9. Somerset

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Somerset 9

The West Country is full of wonderful places for a mini-moon with three different Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the beautiful town of Bath just to the north and a lovely coastline. You spend your days here hiking up to Glastonbury Tor, exploring the caves at Cheddar Gorge or strolling round Wells, England’s smallest city. Make sure to check out the county’s stunning wedding venues too.

Where to stay

The Newt

The Newt is a newcomer to Somerset’s hotel scene and is located near beautiful Castle Cary. It has certainly created a stir and is now regarded as one of the best country house hotels in the country, Quite the accolade. If you’re green-fingered you’ll love the gardens, which have wild swimming ponds in them as well as a cyder press, bottling plant and bar (well, this is Somerset after all).

10. Cotswolds

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations The Cotswolds 10

The Cotswolds need no introduction as a honeymoon hotspot. How could anyone fail to fall for the charm of villages lined with chocolate box cottages and rolling countryside all around that looks like it’s something from a movie set. If you’re after long walks followed by cosy country pub meals or refined afternoon teas and slow afternoons spent looking round independent boutiques then this is the place for you. Such a romantic part of the UK naturally has plenty of stunning wedding venues to suit every couple too.

Where to stay

The Fish Hotel

The Fish Hotel is a back-to-nature bolthole, part of The Farncombe Estate in Broadway, and is so much more than a country house. In the 400 acres grounds you’ll find a collection of quirky places to stay, including treehouses and cute huts, all decked out in luxe style.

Wheatsheaf Inn

Traditional Cotswold style can be found at the rustic-chic The Wheatsheaf Inn in Northleach. Known for its brilliant Sunday roasts and relaxed, romantic vibe, this gastro pub is a true Cotswolds gem.

11. Lake District

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Lake District 11

Glittering lakes surrounded by towering peaks… The Lake District is a must-visit for intrepid honeymooners who love the great outdoors, but who also enjoy home comforts and good food. The Lake District also inspired some of the romantic greats like Wordsworth and Coleridge, so love is definitely in the air here. There’s plenty to do in this area of the world, especially if you love long hikes, water sports and mountaineering. There are more leisurely pursuits too, like shopping and mooching round art galleries in the towns like Windermere, boat trips on the many lakes and, visits to spas and foodie favourites like Grasmere. If you love the lake-filled landscape, you can get married in this idyllic setting at one of these amazing Cumbrian wedding venues.

Where to stay

The Gilpin Hotel and Lake House

Honeymoon experiences don’t get much more heavenly than the Spa Lodges at The Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, near Windermere. These modern suites are in the hotel’s gardens and as the name suggests they contain a private spa, complete with sauna, al fresco hot tub, rainmaker showers and space for in-suite treatments. As if that wasn’t indulgent enough, there are two restaurants, one of which is a Michelin-starred, four AA Rosette foodie destination perfect for special meals run by Hrishikesh Desai.

Lingholm Boathouse

If you want to stay as close to the lakes as possible you can’t do better than The Lingholm Boathouse on the shore of Derwentwater. This cool modern structure, with paired back interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows, juts out over the water in spectacular style and would be a honeymoon love nest to treasure.

12. Wales

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Wales 12

Head over the Severn and honeymoon in the land of song, where you’ll find all sorts of romantic delights to make your hearts sing. Lovers of the great outdoors will be spoiled for choice with Snowdonia National Park and The Brecon Beacons to choose from, while Pembrokeshire’s gorgeous coastline rivals that of Cornwall if you fancy somewhere a bit less touristy. The country is peppered with ancient castles and has a wonderful history too, if you have time in between gourmet meals and spa sessions for a bit of culture. There are some gorgeous wedding venues in Wales too.

Where to stay

Penally Abbey

In Pembrokeshire, sometimes known as Little England because of its historical use of the language and cultural similarities, you can’t go wrong if you book lovely Penally Abbey. This Gothic house bolthole, set just above the sea near Tenby, has romantic and calming interiors that make it feel like a home from home. Food is locally sourced and served in the light-flooded dining room overlooking the sea.

Seren Mawr

For something a little more remote and private, Seren Mawr in the Brecons is spectacular. This luxury geodome has views over the hills to die for, beautiful interiors and a hot tub. Everything you need for the perfect at-home honeymoon.

13. Northumberland

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Northumberland 13

Northumberland is one of those places that once you know about, you’ll want to keep to yourselves. It’s quiet and vast, so you’ll have the huge soft sand beaches to yourselves and you can walk along the rolling hills, taking in Hadrian’s Wall, for miles without seeing another soul. It’s a magical county of huge crumbling castles, rugged landscapes and lovely market towns. The sort of place that’ll steal your heart.

Where to stay

The Cookie Jar

It might be sparsely populated, but that doesn’t mean that Northumberland doesn’t have its fair share of gorgeous places to stay. Alnwick is a great location to base yourselves for exploring the famous castle and also to be near the glorious beaches. The Cookie Jar is as delicious as the name suggests. This cosy retreat in the heart of the pretty town is an interior lovers’ dream and for honeymooners you won’t find a swankier suite than The Chapel (The Mother Superior of all suites!).

Sandhills

If it’s direct access to the beach that you’re after, you can’t get closer than Crabtree & Crabtree’s Sandhills self-catering cottage nestled in the sand dunes of Bamburgh Beach within the shadow of the iconic Bamburgh Castle. You can even get married in this unique castle, as well as at one of these other magical wedding venues in Northumberland.

14. Norfolk

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Norfolk 14

This east coast idyll is loved by Londoners looking to escape to the country. And for good reason. Norfolk has a delightfully slow pace of life, making it perfect for chilled out mini-moons full of R&R, and is home to The Broads national park and 90 miles of stunning coastline. The North Norfolk coast is particularly impressive and is peppered with picture-postcard posh villages full of gourmet pubs, lovely little hotels and romantic wedding venues.

Where to stay

The Triumphant Arch at Holkham Hall (photo: Tony Hall)

Holkham Beach is a beauty – when the tide is out you can walk for miles along the talcum powder sand before being able to dip your toes in the sea. If you want a taste of landed gentry life, book one of the lodges at Holkham Hall Estate. The Triumphal Arch is a particularly fitting escape for a pair of VIPs, with its fabulous draped four-poster and one-of-a-kind exterior.

The Hoste

In the quaint village of Burnham Market there’s celeb-haunt The Hoste Arms. A cosy pub, restaurant, hotel and spa with 62 rooms including a cool railway carriage conversion that is a unique little love nest in this pretty part of the UK.

15. Yorkshire

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Yorkshire 15

Yorkshire is a special place to choose for a honeymoon thanks to its wonderful blend of historic towns and cities and the miles upon miles of national park contained within its borders. Whether you’re a fan of the stark, but beautiful moors, the lush green dales, the dramatic coastline or the friendly welcome you’ll receive in the village and towns, by ‘eck Yorkshire can make for a memorable mini-moon experience. Yorkshire also has a whole host of fabulous wedding venues if you want to say “I do” here.

Where to stay

North Star Club

If you’re a gourmet food-loving couple then The Star Inn in the charming village of Harome will be a tasty choice. Chef/Patron Andrew Pern is at the helm of this historic thatched inn and has earned a Michelin Star for his modern locally-sourced Yorkshire fare. For something a little more rustic there’s The Northstar Club, an atmospheric American style camp in the woods. The Star Suite is the one to choose for a special getaway, with its private sauna and four-poster.

16. The Peak District

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Derbyshire 16

Derbyshire is home to the stunning Peak District, where you’ll find some of the most amazing countryside scenery in the UK. If you’re after an activity honeymoon with some of the best hiking, climbing, cycling and caving, then look no further than this bucolic beauty. For a wedding venue with amazing views, you’ll be spoiled for choice in Derbyshire.

Where to stay

The Cow

The Cow in Dalbury Lees, just south of the national park is much prettier than the name suggests. This 12-bedroom country pub has a laid-back, friendly vibe and is the perfect place for honeymooners to kick off their hiking boots and refuel at the best of British restaurant. The beamed rooms have been refurbished in a romantic and calming style, although you’ll probably spend most of the evening celebrating in the well-stocked bar.

17. Wiltshire

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Wiltshire 17

History-loving couples should head to Wiltshire on honeymoon because its rolling landscape is packed full of mysterious ancient stone circles, medieval villages, stately homes and centuries-old churches and cathedrals ripe for exploration. Quintessentially English scenes are all around and make for an extremely romantic backdrop to a magical minimoon or a wedding at one of these dreamy venues.

Where to stay

Lucknam Park

Lucknam Park is a refined country house with 500 acres of grounds and plenty to keep honeymooners happy. There’s a smart riding stables, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a sumptuous spa and even a cooking school if you want to learn a new skill together to see you through married life.

Big Box

There are quirkier options in this county too, including Big Box, a modern cabin with artistic interiors on the edge of The Cotswolds.  Romantic activities include taking the rowing boat out on the lake and barbequing under the stars.

18. Isle of Wight

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Isle of Wight 18

If you’ve never been to the Isle of Wight, why not use your honeymoon to discover somewhere new together? The fact that it’s separate from the mainland gives that feeling of heading somewhere overseas and exotic too, even if the journey only takes mere minutes! The Isle of Wight has shaken off its old-fashioned seaside holiday reputation and these days is the cool place to go with music festivals, luxe camp sites, kooky cafes and unique wedding venues lining the 25-mile shoreline.

Where to stay

The George Hotel & Beach Club

The George Hotel & Beach Club in Yarmouth is just by the ferry terminal so you can be in the comfort of the hotel as soon as you arrive on the island. The rooms are chic boutique hotel hideaways, some with views over the sea. It’s not all classic boutique style here though, there are fun, quirky touches like the wall of famous Georges superimposed onto portraits and a mix of modern and traditional interiors.

Tom’s Eco Lodge

For an eco-conscious honeymoon, you can’t beat Tom’s Eco Lodge a few miles inland and within walking distance of the beaches. There’s a choice of accommodation – from space age geodesic domes to little hobbit house-esque lodges.

19. Channel Islands

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Channel Islands 19

Fancy a flight to your honeymoon destination, however short? And love a bit of French food and joie de vivre? Then the Channel Islands could be the perfect romantic getaway for your UK honeymoon. It’s the furthest south you’ll get in the UK and these islands have more days of sunshine that most parts of the country. Each island has its own personality from the busier and buzzing Jersey to the no-cars-allowed, sleepy isle of Sark. For such small islands there are also plenty of different and romantic wedding venues to choose from too.

Where to stay

The Blonde Hedgehog

The Blonde Hedgehog on Alderney is a recent opening that has really put this bijou island on the romance map. You’ll find this luxury hotel along the cobbled streets of Saint Anne and the restaurant is something special, serving simple local food in a truly delicious way. If you’re really looking for an escape from modern life and to take things a bit slower than this 3-mile long white-gold sand island is the place to do it.

Longueville Manor

For something a little more in the thick of things Longueville Manor, just outside the capital of St Helier has a famously good restaurant, a cute garden spa and an outdoor pool.

20. Isles of Scilly

of the Best UK Honeymoon Destinations Scilly Isles 20

Twenty-eight miles off the Cornish Coast are 140 tiny islands that are perfect for an away-from-it-all honeymoon with all the classic elements like white sand beaches, turquoise seas and sun (well most of the time anyway!). Life is very different here – much slower – and as soon as you arrive, you’ll relax into island time. You can reach the five inhabited islands by ferry or tiny plane from Cornwall if you’ve got a head for heights.

Where to stay

Hell Bay Hotel

You won’t find any big chain hotels here, everything is bijou, boutique and beautiful. Hell Bay Hotel on the main island of Bryher, should be renamed heaven bay because it’s in a spectacular setting and the food here is incredible. A unique place to stay on St Mary’s Island is Star Castle Hotel, a castle literally in the shape of a star! Book a Superior Castle Room for the best views of the sea and to enjoy the charming character features.

HB

Written by

Hollie Bond

Hollie is a lifestyle journalist with over ten years’ experience working in the wedding industry as Lifestyle Editor for You & Your Wedding magazine Also a Regional Editor for Muddy Stilettos, Hollie has written for Square Meal magazine, Family History Monthly, BBC History magazine and Homes & Antiques. In her spare time you can find Hollie in a dance studio practising ballet…

Learn more about Hollie Bond

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