Honeymoon destination inspiration (with Brexit in mind!)

Sunrise over Pelistry Bay, St Mary’s, Scilly Isles. Photo courtesy of visit Scilly Isles

Sunrise over Pelistry Bay, St Mary’s, Scilly Isles. Photo courtesy of visit Scilly Isles

The idea of jetting off to foreign climes for your honeymoon may be appealing.  But there’s a big cloud on the horizon.  Uncertainty about whether we are “in or out”, and all the worries this gives rise to, is likely to continue for quite some time – something you should probably bear in mind when planning that magical start to married life. 

Sitting for hours stranded in an airport is not the kind of memory you want to be left with.  Finding that the pound has crashed even further, and you spend the whole time watching the pennies, is nobody’s idea of bliss either.  A honeymoon at home has never looked so tempting!  In this post we share a few random staycation ideas that’ll provide tasty food for thought. 

Here be romance

There are certain areas of the country that more readily inspire feelings of romance than others (sorry Slough, Wolverhampton and Chelmsford, but let’s get real!).  The Lake District, for instance, with its stunning scenery much celebrated by our romantic poets, will always be up near the top of the list.  The Cotswolds, with its rolling hills and quaint villages of honey coloured stone, is a shoo-in too.  The Cornish Coast, celebrated for its beautiful beaches and soaring cliffs also rates highly as the setting for the romances of Daphne du Maurier and tales of Poldark.  All three of these areas are also well served with wonderful boutique hotels, superb foodie experiences and great pubs/bars – so a honeymoon here is pretty sure to be a romantic success.

Image courtesy of Visit Isles of Scilly

Image courtesy of Visit Isles of Scilly

The whole of Scotland (north of Glasgow) also qualifies as “romantic” but much of it is pretty wild and deserted – the idea of being blissfully alone with the love of your life, miles from anywhere, is fine if you are not the kind of person who gets withdrawal symptoms when too far from civilization.  You could, however, have the best of both worlds if you split your time between Edinburgh and the Highlands (with the occasional distillery visit in between!).

Less obvious love hotspots

If the Lake District, the Cotswolds and Cornwall seem a little unimaginative there are plenty of other options which are equally lovely but slightly less predictable. 

The coastline of Wales is more than a match for anything Devon and Cornwall has to offer – and it’s considerably less crowded.  Pembrokeshire is especially dramatic and rugged, with superb beaches ringed by spectacular cliffs.  The Gower is easier to reach, with scenery that’s more gentle and mile upon mile of pristine sand.  The coastline of North Wales is also breath-taking, with huge mountains to match and some lovely little seaside towns like Barmouth and Aberdovey.

Gower Peninsula, Wales. Image courtesy of Visit Wales

Gower Peninsula, Wales. Image courtesy of Visit Wales

If you want to stay somewhere quintessentially English then Norfolk and Suffolk will not disappoint.  Both counties are out on a bit of a limb and all the better for it.  You’ll discover beautiful little market towns, picturesque estuaries and quaint seaside resorts like Aldeburgh, Southwold and Cromer.  It’s also a bit of a renowned foodie destination with excellent seafood and some long-established breweries. 

If you are celebrating your wedding at Clevedon Hall Devon and Dorset might sound like too close to home for a proper honeymoon.  In fact, although only a short drive, both are actually a world away.  In many ways they have everything you could wish for – a huge choice of boutique hotels, a wealth of superb local produce served in some of the country’s trendies eateries and no shortage of inviting places to spend the day, from Totness to Lyme Regis and Salcombe to Lulworth Bay.

Love Islands

There has always been something romantic about islands (long before the reality TV show!).  What’s more, the fact you have to cross a few miles of sea to get there gives you the feeling that you are “abroad”. 

The UK has a few offshore locations that make perfect honeymoon destinations.  The Channel Islands, British yet with a distinctly French flavour, tick all the right boxes – superb upmarket hotels, fabulous seaside scenery, great wining and dining (with plenty of freshly caught local seafood) and a wealth of slightly offbeat culture and heritage.  Jersey and Guernsey, the two biggest, offer more sophistication but the little ones like Herm, Sark and Alderney are delightfully laid back and peaceful.

Image courtesy of Visit Isles of Scilly. A view from Tresco.

Image courtesy of Visit Isles of Scilly. A view from Tresco.

The Scilly Isles, just off the tip of Land’s End, are quintessentially English with a quaint vibe and pastel palette straight from the pages of Country Living and Coast magazine.  Only the largest, St Mary’s, has any cars and getting from one rocky outcrop to the next is by small motor launch, tides permitting – so the pace of life is very unhurried.  Each island has its own distinct character; Tresco is the poshest; St Mary’s the busiest; Bryher and Samson, more exposed to the Atlantic, are more rugged and barre.  All the islands are ringed with white sandy beaches gently shelving into crystal clear blue waters worthy of the Caribbean but St Martins probably surpasses the others in this regard.  Getting here, by air or boat, is not always easy, which only adds to the sense of adventure and seclusion. 

The Isle of Wight is not only easily accessible but offers wonderful walks along cliffs and beaches, with plenty of excellent hotels and eateries.  The whole island is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and those who have fallen under its spell include such notable romantics as Queen Victoria, Keats and Tennyson. 

Love quirky

If your idea of the perfect honeymoon just the two of you, cuddled up together and enjoying each other’s company, then there’s no shortage of options that are both cosy and intriguingly off-beat.   

Accommodation doesn’t come much more cosy than a shepherd’s hut – and over recent years they seem to have been popping up everywhere.  Or perhaps you’d be happier in a tree house – again they seem to have been sprouting all over the place in recent years. 

The National Trust and The Landmark Trust also offer a wide range of properties that combine history and heritage, quirkiness and comfort, in equal measure – as well as some adorable cottages you can snuggle up in a converted water tower, a restored railway station, a medieval gatehouse, a pineapple-shaped summer house, a mini French chateau in Lincolnshire, a fort on a rock off the isle of Alderney or even a gothic temple in the grounds of a stately home.

Keep calm and honeymoon here

Worried that Brexit might spoil your best laid honeymoon plans?  Leave the politicians to it and book somewhere that doesn’t involve passports, foreign currency or border controls!   If you are planning a wedding, and want advice on anything from canapes and cocktails to local photographers and cake makers, the team here are happy to share their wealth of experience and contacts.   Although we’re not experts at giving honeymoon destination advice we can introduce you to people who are – just ask!




Jim O'ConnorComment