Honeymoon Destinations UK
With all the uncertainty of recent times, booking a honeymoon in the UK could be a wise move. Doing so could also save you time, money and stress. You don’t have to travel long or even short haul to find the best honeymoon destinations. UK hotels can offer luxury, spa facilities, fine dining and all the stunning views you could wish for. From a country house hotel in the Lake District or New Forest to the perfect honeymoon hotel in Cornwall, check out this ultimate guide to the best honeymoon destinations, UK.
|Hartnett, Holder & Co
|The Dining Room & The Kitchen
|Spring Green London, Le Blaireau & Zen Garden
|Monty’s Inn & The Terrace restaurant
|Gilpin Spice & HRiSHi
|Henrock by Simon Rogan
|The Inn on the Lake
|Ramblers bar & Lake View restaurant
|The Villa restaurant
|The Scarlet Restaurant
|Highcliffe boutique B&B
|Fowey Harbour Hotel
|The Kitchen Bar & Terrace
|Watergate Bay Hotel
|The Beach Hut, The Living Room & Zacry’s
A New Forest honeymoon
Well let me start, as I often do, with a place that’s close (and dear) to me. The New Forest. This area of outstanding natural beauty is perfect for loved-up newlyweds. There are plenty of deluxe country house hotels spread across the national park, and they tend to be found around Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst and Beaulieu. The latter is home to the National Motor Museum, a place that’s well worth a visit even if you’re not a petrol head.
Pretty, chocolate box villages, ponies wandering around as if they own the place, the most covetable classic cars in the land, quiet beaches, cosy corners, picturesque scenery and a superb food scene. That’s what honeymoons in the New Forest are made of.
Here are some of the best New Forest honeymoon hotels to splurge or save at.
Lime Wood, near Lyndhurst, is the last word in luxury. This New Forest spa hotel is perfect for honeymooners, as it even has several double treatment rooms. There is also an indoor hydro room, outdoor hot pool, mud house and indoor lap pool.
Hartnett, Holder and co is the main restaurant at Lime Wood. The upmarket eatery is overseen by celebrity chef Angela Hartnett, along with her business partner and co head chef Luke Holder. This stylish restaurant manages to be down-to-earth and unpretentious – very like Hartnett herself – while serving up elegant dishes worthy of a Michelin star. Hartnett gained her first back in 2004, and has previously worked under both Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing.
Lime Wood also serves up a delectable afternoon tea, and even has a cookery school led by Amelia Freer. To echo their dedication to the freshest, locally sourced produce, this hotel in the New Forest has its own smoke house, greenhouse and wine cellar too.
This hotel is a classic country house hotel with sweeping countryside views and a relaxed yet luxurious feel. There is plenty to see and do in the New Forest, too.
On the very edge of the New Forest, just before Hampshire becomes Dorset and you enter Christchurch, is the Chewton Glen. This hotel is consistently placed in lists of the best hotels in the United Kingdom – and rightly so.
This property is set in acres of rolling countryside – and the cliff top at Barton-on-Sea is within walking distance. Chewton Glen offers the ultimate in palatial accommodation, but if you can bear to leave your room then it makes a great base for exploring both the New Forest and the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch areas.
Like Lime Wood, Chewton Glen also has a cookery school, and James Martin has put his name to that. There is also casual dining at The Kitchen as well as fine food served in the more formal setting of The Dining Room.
The sumptuous spa at Chewton Glen is also a highlight, with a sauna, steam room, large swimming pool, outdoor whirlpool, hydrotherapy pool and cold drench showers. At the hotel there is also a well-equipped gym, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a dance studio with classes, and a 9 hole par-3 golf course, plus acres of woodland walking and running walking trails.
This iconic Hampshire hotel makes a great UK honeymoon destination.
The unmissable Balmer Lawn hotel is located just outside Brockenhurst on the road leading to Lyndhurst. The route to Beaulieu is right by it too, making this a great New Forest location.
I’m not going to lie – I love the Balmer Lawn. It’s a welcoming, laid-back place with excellent food and facilities. While it doesn’t quite offer the high end luxury of the Chewton Glen or Lime Wood, room rates are a snip in comparison.
If you fancy the best of both worlds, you could take a mini-moon at the Balmer Lawn before your main holiday as newlyweds. Just putting that out there. A short break in the New Forest at the Balmer Lawn is affordable enough to make two honeymoons a much more viable option.
The food is great, the staff a-ma-zing and rooms are bright and comfortable. With wellies right by the front door, this is a country house hotel without the high price tag. It even has its own spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and micro-brewery, and serves up a delicious afternoon tea.
Carey’s Manor is also in Brockenhurst, and just slightly more centrally located for the village pubs, cafes and train station. This spa hotel has three restaurants to choose from too; a French, a British and a Thai.
This is another New Forest hotel I’ve visited and can highly recommend. The setting is picturesque, the food great and the spa is fabulous. Having a choice between three restaurants on site is a definite plus – especially when that choice is between finely-executed Thai, French or British cuisine.
Guests can choose between a range of rooms and suites at Carey’s Manor, and according to The Telegraph, this hotel is one of Hampshire’s best. The grounds are gorgeous, with lots of little hidden corners.
If you want to stay in a historic property dating from the 1700s, that oozes charm and romance, then it’s hard to beat the Montagu Arms. It also enjoys a magnificent setting in the chocolate-box village of Beaulieu. Handy for the Motor Museum as well as Palace House, which you can easily walk to.
Beaulieu is quite simply a glorious New Forest village. There are ponies grazing at the edges, lovely old buildings and a pretty lake. As for the Montagu Arms, it’s just gorgeous, combining the relaxed atmosphere of a pub with the finesse of a fine dining establishment.
The grounds aren’t vast, but they are perfectly formed. I was lucky enough to be shown around the kitchen by the head chef, and I can tell you that the team at the Montagu Arms are seriously dedicated to their craft.
A Lake District honeymoon
I’m not saying this is a tour of my favourite parts of the UK – but it is. The thing is, I have so many. As well as folk I know in pretty much all but the most far-flung parts of the country. A fair few family members live in Cumbria, and what a place the Lake District makes for a honeymoon.
Soft mists, high peaks, pleasing towns, lush countryside, shimmering lakes… what more could a honeymooner want? How about fabulous, fresh food, convivial pubs and friendly folk. Then there’s sticky toffee pudding. Local ales. The great outdoor lifestyle. Spend your honeymoon in the Lakes and it might not even matter if it rains. (Do pack a waterproof jacket and boots though, just in case.)
Here follows a list of some of the best honeymoon hotels in the UK. Which just happen to be located in the Lake District.
The name sounds a little forbidding – and indeed this country estate was once a gunpowder factory. Brimstone’s secluded location feels like you’re miles from anywhere, yet you’re not. Lake Windermere and Ambleside are just 15 minutes’ drive, and Brimstone is positioned between the villages of Chapel Stile and Elterwater.
Guests can drive to legendary Lake District walks like Coniston Old Man and the Langdale Pikes. If you’ve been put off visiting the Lakes by thoughts of Olde English tea rooms and twee gift shops, then Brimstone is for you. Forget frills and florals and think muted, subtle tones of creamy coffee, soft green and understated bronze. This is an ultra-modern, deluxe boutique hotel.
The design makes generous use of solid oak, local slate and shiny glass to create a calm, natural environment where staff are rarely seen and never heard. Other guests seem to keep a low profile too, so it’s like having the place to yourself. Until you require service, which then appears, discreetly, as if by magic.
There are only 16 rooms at Brimstone, and each is almost ludicrously large. Sleek bathrooms with double showers, stylish bedrooms with vast bed and roll-top bath, plump sofas and spacious balconies are exclusively yours to stretch out and luxuriate in.
The estate’s Stove restaurant is just across the grounds and has a semi-open kitchen. Fare includes grills, mediterranean cuisine and pizzas. Wainwrights Inn is also nearby and serves up traditional British pub fare. Room service is also available and the breakfast options are outstanding.
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House
Gilpin Hotel and Lake House is an elegant, modern country house hotel with a dash of added glamour. Easy access from the M6 means its ideal for drivers, and taking the car is a good idea if you want to explore beyond the hotel grounds. Bowness and Windermere are just three miles away, and other popular parts of the Lake District – like Hawkhead of the former homes of Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth – are around half an hour’s drive.
The main white-washed Edwardian building is a comfortable, country house hotel with a contemporary twist. A series of wood and glass or Scandinavian style lodges in the grounds house the suites, while a slate building that was once an outhouse is home to Gilpin Spice, a relaxed Indian-style restaurant. There is also HRiSHi, also serving up Asian-style, Michelin starred dishes via tasting or three course menus.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the high-end luxury, rooms are peaceful and homely, featuring potted plants, homemade biscuits and books. In the grounds, Garden Suites have hot tubs, and there are private spa facilities at each Spa Lodge. Llamas and Alpacas roam the grounds, and there are streams and ponds dotted here and there.
The Lake House of the name is a six-bedroom private house a mile away. It is set in 100 acres, stuffed with antiques and comes complete with staff.
This relaxed Edwardian country house hotel is refreshingly stylish yet fuss-free. It also has a Simon Rogan restaurant – a big draw for foodies. Pretty gardens make this a Lakes retreat that’s serene yet convenient for exploring the area.
Decor within is subtle – deep green, dove grey, warm tan and rich woods contrast against milky white. Pops of tribal or leopard print here and there hint at the hotel’s South African ownership (it’s part of the Leeu Collection).
Plenty of reading material is supplied, including glossy magazines as well as books, and once you tire of those the grounds offer a croquet lawn, boules pitch and even a little tarn (lake) with rowing boats.
The on-site restaurant is a big highlight – Simon Rogan is well known in culinary circles, primarily for L’Enclume. The head chef is extremely keen on locally sourced produce and even foraging, and dishes are imaginative and flawlessly executed.
If you expect lake views during your Lake District honeymoon (or mini moon) then you can’t beat The Inn on the Lake. The lake being Ullswater. Four-poster beds in some rooms add to the feeling of classic romance.
There is lots to do at the hotel and in the area, so if you’re easily bored after a day of sleeping late and lazing around this one’s for you. The hotel sits within 15 acres, complete with croquet lawn, pitch and putt and plenty of room to play ball games. Exclusive access to jetties and a section of lakeshore is great for keen swimmers.
One you’ve exhausted the hotel grounds, Glenridding Sailing School is next door and the village of the same name close by. The hotel can arrange discounted tickets for the famous Ullswater Steamer – it takes just five minutes on foot to reach the landing stage. There are lots of scenic walks in the locale too, including to Aira Force waterfall.
In terms of food, choose between afternoon tea in the Orangery, laid-back pub fare in The Rambler’s Bar or fine dining in the Lake View restaurant. The five-course menu here is good value. I once stopped for a scone in the Lake View lounge, and the views were stunning.
This hotel effortlessly appeals to all ages, combining classic and modern with flair. It makes a great base for exploring the Lakes – as well as a romantic interlude for two.
You want five-star facilities – and no children? Check in at Applegarth Villa, a deluxe adults-only property in Windermere. This boutique hotel for grown-ups is just five minutes’ walk from the train station, too.
Original features such as stained-glass windows, parquet flooring, oak panelling and intricate cornicing are somehow complemented by bold, modern decor featuring chandeliers, bright colours, sleek lines and a sprinkling of glamour.
There are 22 rooms, including 7 suites, and the latter are located within the separate coach house building. Some suites have their own hot tubs, and a late check-out can be booked for a fee to ensure you make the most of this. After a lazy soak, head to the west-facing terrace or conservatory to watch the sunset over the fells before repairing to the bar lounge.
This family-run establishment is warm, welcoming and every room is unique. It’s also convenient for Windermere town centre, yet tucked away in a peaceful side street.
A Cornwall honeymoon
Ah, Cornwall. Considering it’s one of the most remote places in England, it sure does attract a lot of visitors. But don’t let that stop you honeymooning there. Cornwall has stunning views, mile after mile of sandy beach – and some lovely plush hotels.
Whether you prefer a coastal or country escape, you cannot deny the romance of Cornwall’s windswept cliffs, stormy seas, cute villages and cosy pubs. A Cornish honeymoon is invigorating and refreshing and set in one of British Isles’ most breathtakingly beautiful counties. Do not miss Newquay’s Fistral surf beach, the cliffside, dramatically-situated Minack Theatre and of course a proper Cornish cream tea (the jam goes on first here).
Padstow is mega-popular with the smart set – even though it’s so far from London. Nicknamed ‘Padstein’ by some, it’s become a Mecca for foodies from all over the UK. Padstow Townhouse sits regally at the heart of it all, offering just six uniquely-styled suites for discerning couples.
As well as its famous food scene, Padstow has a historic fishing harbour, the National Lobster Hatchery and works by Sir Peter Blake and Damian Hirst at the Drang Gallery. Just don’t eat your fish and chips by the bay – I’ve seen the harbour-side seagulls making away with more than one person’s dinner there.
The owners of Padstow Townhouse were awarded a Michelin star in 2013, after taking over No. 6 restaurant in 2009. It’s worth a visit if just for the signature dessert called ‘A Fairground Tale’, but all courses are equally delicious and elegantly presented.
Guests of Padstow Townhouse breakfast at Caffè Rojano just down the hill – you can travel there by electric car if you like – and this is also a highlight. Typical menus include smoked salmon, egg and lemon cheese crumpets, a full Cornish or porridge made with wildflower honey and fruit.
The Scarlet is for adults only, so there’s no danger of mixing with the school holiday crowd here. This deluxe eco-resort in Mawgan Porth has 37 rooms, and is ideally located for Newquay (which has an airport), the board surf beach at Watergate Bay and the National Trust’s Bedruthen Steps.
The ethos as the Scarlet is to bring the outside in, and this is successfully achieved via full-length windows and lots of textured materials like rustic wood and painted canvases alongside tactile sculptures. Many of the artworks are for sale, so you can take a permanent reminder of your honeymoon home with you.
As well as a spa, the Scarlet’s attractions include a reed-filtered swimming pool and two hot tubs heated by means of log fires. Rooms feature rainfall showers, and some have freestanding baths or direct terrace access.
The restaurant showcases modern European food with an emphasis on fish local ingredients, and for breakfast you can enjoy local farm fresh eggs and fruit, granola and locally blended teas.
I live in Highcliffe, as it happens – but not this one. This one is a boutique hotel in Falmouth, Cornwall. I’m not listing it because of the name, but because of it consistent five-star reviews and irresistible interior.
This contemporary property is in Falmouth, a vibrant, coastal Cornish town with a university. The location is superb – just a five minute stroll into town and very near the beach. Sandy Gylly beach is a ten-minute walk away, and has water sports and blue flag status. You can also join the South West Coastal path there.
Inside, think power showers, thick fluffy towels, high thread count cottons and original Victorian features. There are lots of calming white hues with pops of rich, deep colours like teal, denim blue and saffron yellow for contrast and warmth. It’s smart and stylish, cosy and welcoming all at the same time – the hosts even provide a freshly-baked cake every day.
The owners also have a restaurant, INDIdog, by the harbour, which specialises in seafood. Make sure you don’t miss breakfast at the hotel – it features homemade granola, daily specials and fresh juices. You can even order a breakfast hamper if you need to leave early or want a lie in.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Harbour Hotels. Christchurch Harbour Hotel is local to me, and I also went to the launch of the fabulous Southampton Harbour Hotel. Well Fowey Harbour Hotel is in the same vein – a modern boutique hotel with a fresh, bright seaside theme.
The position of this hotel is perfect for anyone who wants to stroll hand-in-hand along the South West Coast Path, as it runs right through the property’s terraced garden. It’s a ten minute walk to Ready Money Cove, the closest beach, and the centre of Fowey with its shops, galleries and eateries is just five minutes away on foot.
Rooms at Harbour Hotels come with complimentary gin and sherry, so don’t forget to pack some Fever Tree. Light, bright rooms are decorated in cool blues and soothing neutrals, with rainfall showers and White Company toiletries.
Fowey Harbour Hotel has a relaxed Kitchen Bar and Terrace for all-day dining, with an emphasis on seafood as well as fresh, local produce. Breakfasts include homemade yoghurt and compote, fresh juices and daily cooked specials such as avocado on sourdough toast, eggs as you like them or ricotta pancakes.
Most rooms, and almost all of the public areas, have splendid sea and river views, and service is friendly without being over-attentive or intrusive. It’s hard to beat any Harbour Hotel for a stylish, laid-back coastal getaway, and Fowey Harbour Hotel is no exception.
The family-run Watergate Bay hotel’s location could not be more beautiful – if like me, you love a broad, sandy beach. Watergate Bay has been a popular family holiday spot for decades, but in recent years has become more associated with surfing and gourmet food.
All 71 bedrooms are unique, and some have stunning sea views, so you can watch local and visiting surfers catch a wave. If you fancy giving it a go yourself, the hotel’s own Extreme Academy can help. They teach Stand-Up Paddleboarding as well as surfing. The 25-metre pool is close to the beach that you can watch all the action as you swim or sunbathe. The hotel also has a spa, outdoor hot tub, sauna and fitness suite.
There are several restaurants at Watergate Bay Hotel. Zacry’s is the more refined option, showcasing local, seasonal flavours, so expect classic dishes with a Cornish twist. The Living Space has an open kitchen, serving sharing plates and here you can sample an impressive range of gins. Vast amounts of plate glass mean you can also savour those splendid ocean vistas. Or if you can’t bear to leave the golden sands, head for The Beach Hut for laid-back burgers, Asian-style dishes and the freshest grilled seafood.
If panoramic views over two miles of golden, surf-battered sands, sampling an extensive selection of local spirits and feasting on fresh seafood in beautiful, laid-back Cornwall appeals to you, then Watergate Bay makes a great honeymoon destination.
Which of these honeymoon destinations UK is the one for you?
One you’ve chosen from your list of wedding venues and are free to start planning your honeymoon, which area appeals to you most? Sunny, surfy Cornwall, the mellow mists and shimmering waters of the Lake District or the vast, open spaces and picturesque villages of the New Forest?
Whether you want to save for an overseas honeymoon or splurge on the most romantic country house hotel you can find, I hope this list provides a little inspiration. You really don’t have to go far to find the perfect honeymoon when these honeymoon destinations in the UK are right on the doorstep.
- New Forest pubs with rooms
- Dining at Balmer Lawn
- Open-top new Forest buses
- Lake District pubs with rooms
- UK spa towns
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