Marianna Hunt

The British honeymoon spots to book this summer

The British honeymoon spots to book this summer
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While weddings have been given the green light to go ahead with (some) degree of normality, overseas holidays have not. This means that soon-to-be newlyweds dreaming of jetting away somewhere exotic after the ceremony will have to make alternative plans.

Fortunately there are plenty of very romantic honeymoon spots dotted around the UK. Here's our pick of the best.

Isle of Eriska, West Argyll

A private 350-acre island, Eriska was for centuries only accessible at low tide, via ford, or by boat. Thankfully there is now a bridge so that visitors to the five-star Eriska Hotel can schlep over with their bags and golf clubs.

Otherwise you can catch the Caledonia Sleeper to Glasgow, hop on a train to Connel Ferry and get a 15-minute taxi to the hotel, meandering over the wooden footbridge for the last part.

The Scottish baronial mansion, which forms the main part of the hotel and dates back to the 1880s, has crenellated turrets and grey stone walls.

It looks out over the emerald waters of Loch Linnhe and towards the Morvern Mountains.

The peace of the island is disturbed only by an occasional encounter with an otter, roe deer or heron.

The hotel has a spa, mini golf course, indoor sports hall and croquet lawn and can organise boat trips to neighbouring islands, whiskey tastings or lobster fishing tours.

Prices start from £315 for a double room including full Scottish breakfast.

https://eriska-hotel.co.uk/

Hex Cottage, Suffolk

This Snow White cottage has no electricity. Instead it comes equipped with plenty of candles, a cosy fireplace and board games as well as wellies and bicycles.

Surrounded by oak trees, lavender fields and 5,000 acres of parkland, the cottage is hidden away within Sibton Park Estate wilderness reserve. There are lakes for paddle boarding or wild swimming and the Grade II* listed Georgian country house can be used for weddings.

Dinner slow-cooked in the cottage’s rustic range oven and a warm dip in the roll top bath provide a soothing end to a day’s exploring. Breakfast hampers can also be provided or private chefs organised. Much of the furniture is hand-carved from wood or original features of the property, such as the bread oven and outdoor larder.

A perfect getaway from couples wanting to escape it all, prices start from £196 per night including daily housekeeping.

https://www.fishandpips.co.uk/hideaway/hex-cottage-suffolk/

The Dorchester, London

The Mayfair Suite, The Dorchester

From off-grid to off-the-scale, the lavish possibilities of a post-wedding break at The Dorchester are limitless. Rooftop suites, terraces with water features that overlook Hyde Park, sunken bathtubs and private cocktail bars, are all on the cards. To keep you entertained, the hotel can organise sightseeing trips around London in chauffeur-driven cars (from a 1960s Rolls-Royce Limousine to a modern Bentley Mulsanne) and treatments at either its in-house spa or the 10,000 sq ft spa at 45 Park Lane, just next door.

The Dorchester’s butlers have been trained to Royal Household standards and its in-house florist can whip up bouquets for any occasion, even featuring the hotel’s own variety of rose.

With seven different restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from, including the three Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and a 1,000 bottle wine vault, there’s little need to leave the building.

The prices are not for the faint-hearted, starting from £620 per night. But if you’re the kind of couple that would otherwise be jetting off to the Maldives, at least you’re saving on the flights.

https://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/london/the-dorchester/

Manor House Hotel, Wiltshire

One for the food lovers, the Manor House Hotel has its own Michelin-starred restaurant and is surrounded by some of the best-respected gastropubs in the West Country.

The 14th century hotel, which sits in the Cotswold honeypot of Castle Combe, has a championship golf course and is just one mile from the village’s famous racing circuit. You can book a morning experience racing around the track in a sports car followed by a relaxed afternoon ramble along the brook to other pretty villages nearby, such as Ford, with its excellent waterside pub.

The hotel’s rooms are characterful, with four poster beds and carved fireplaces. It also has a selection of spaces where couples can get married. The Roman Baths, and romantic thermal spa, in nearby Bath are perfect for washing away the stresses of wedding prep. Rates start from £190 per night.

https://www.exclusive.co.uk/the-manor-house/

The Treehouses at Lanrick, Perthshire

The Nuthatch

These eco-friendly luxury treehouses come with super-king beds, log-burning stoves and terraces with BBQs and outdoor copper baths. Welcome packs of bread, milk, eggs, butter, and jam are provided from the local farm shop.

The treehouses sit within a private woodland on the edge of the Trossachs National Park, yet are only an hour from both Glasgow and Edinburgh. Keep an eye out for woodpeckers and barn owls.

There are plenty of opportunities for boat trips, wild swimming, bike rides, and salmon and trout fishing. The houses are built from timber from the estate to reduce their carbon footprint and are powered by air source heat pumps. Given the low levels of artificial light, the stars are spectacular.

Bookings are for a minimum of two nights, costing from £200 per night.

https://www.lanricktreehouses.co.uk/

Tresco, Isles of Scilly

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge loved this island so much that they went on two holidays here in quick succession. And who can blame them? This sub-tropical paradise off the coast of Cornwall boasts pristine beaches that would not look out of place in the Caribbean. With overseas travel hanging by a thread this year, Tresco is a worthy substitute for a trip abroad. In addition to the beaches, at the heart of the island is a sprawling, sub-tropical garden set amid the ruins of an old Benedictine monastery. 

The island is also home to a spa, two restaurants and a pub. Tresco can be reached directly by helicopter from Penzance, by plane to the nearby island of St Mary's or by boat to St Mary's from Penzance (although the crossing is notoriously choppy and not for the faint hearted). 

https://www.tresco.co.uk

Fowey Harbour Hotel, Cornwall

On a sunny evening in late season, the historic harbour town of Fowey is one of the most romantic places in the country. Its cobbled back streets and secluded nearby coves are ideal for snatching a kiss and quiet moments away from the bustle of the rest of Cornwall.

The 37-room Victorian Harbour Hotel looks out over the sails and masts that dot the estuary.

The hotel’s restaurant serves locally sourced cuisine, including Cornish crab, river mussels and the freshest catches of the day, as well as local craft beers and gin. It also organises local tasting tours where you sample Cornwall’s finest cheeses, wines and much more.

The town itself is full of quirky independent shops and art galleries and was the beloved home of author Daphne du Maurier, providing inspiration for many of her novels.

Rates start from £236 per night on a B&B basis.

https://www.harbourhotels.co.uk/Fowey

Billesley Manor, Warwickshire

The simple stone church sitting next to Billesley Manor, near Stratford-upon-Avon, is thought to be where William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582. You can see the appeal: the Elizabethan country house is surrounded by Italianate gardens, with sculpted hedges for exchanging surreptitious kisses; water features and ornamental ponds.

The manor’s powder-blue library, with its ceiling of floating books, was where Shakespeare is said to have written much of As You Like It.

The wood-panelled Great Hall and Stuart Restaurant are ambient spots to enjoy a drink or dinner. There is also a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, four treatment rooms, tennis courts, a gym and yoga hut.

Billesley hosts weddings too, with venue options including the Topiary Gardens and intimate Drawing Room. The hotel is surrounded by 11 acres of rolling parkland and is just three miles from Stratford, where you can go on boat trips or watch modern reimaginings of Shakespeare’s plays.

Rates start from £160 per night including breakfast.

https://www.billesleymanor.com/