There’s never been a better time to honeymoon in the UK, with a plethora of heart-soaringly lovely places to stay which are reassuringly romantic. From grand high-end hotels with incredible spas to Michelin-starred restaurants with rooms, staying on UK shores certainly doesn’t mean compromising on style or quality. The trend for taking a short break straight after the wedding (a mini-moon), before jetting off somewhere more exotic later in the year is stronger than ever and little wonder in a post-pandemic era when an escape to somewhere special on home soil feels like a delightfully hassle-free option. Here are the best honeymoon hotels in the UK.
How we review
Every hotel in this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, who are usually hosted on a complimentary basis. They stay for a minimum of one night, test at least one meal and trial other experiences that the hotel might have to offer. We will earn a commission if you book via the links below, but this never affects our rating.
At a glance, the best honeymoon hotels for 2022
The best five-star honeymoon hotel in the UK – The Newt, Somerset
The best honeymoon suite in the UK – The Pavillion, Lime Wood, New Forest
The best honeymoon hotel with an outdoor pool in the UK – Chewton Glen, Hampshire
The best honeymoon spa hotel in the UK – ESPA Life at The Corinthia, London
The best Cotswolds honeymoon hotels
A couple of hours’ drive west of London, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds have long been a mini-moon magnet thanks to a scattering of honey-hued villages, hip boutique hotels, unstuffy manor house retreats with top end spas and fine dining destinations – this part of the world has more than its fair share of good looking gastro pubs (head to the new The Double Red Duke in Clanfield). Enjoy days spent hand-in-hand walking through ancient woodlands, browsing antiques, visiting palaces and castles and perhaps even spotting a celeb – they tend to orbit around Burford, Broadway and Kingham.
Dormy House, near the village of Broadway, is a complete treat of a hotel with very stylish and deeply relaxing décor, terrific food and impeccable service. The core is a 17th-century farmhouse, complete with big stone fireplaces and flagstone floors. Facilities are glorious, especially the outstanding spa, with a lavender sauna, salt-infusion steam room, infinity pool and more. Treatments are from cutting-edge brand Natura Bisse, Temple Spa and Pure Massage whose facials are said to have a better effect than Botox. Rose Cottage is best for romantics and has its own hot tub, while the Courtyard suites particularly emphasise Scandinavian design.This gracious, 17th-century manor house is tucked into the heart of handsome Barnsley village. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows, this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Beyond is a terrific vegetable garden which, in summer, supplies the restaurant. Inside, bathrooms are a big thing: Room 14 in the stable yard has a dramatically glass-sided bathroom up spiral stairs; Room 15 has a sunken Turkish bathtub. The spa – hidden in a garden dell – has imaginative touches such as herbs drying outside the sauna so that the air is filled with their scent.This is not your standard rural retreat: a boutique members-only hotel meets Canadian wilderness cabin meets American country club. What was once a derelict farm has been transformed with some 40 reclaimed timber cabins flanking four man-made lakes and the original 18th-century farmhouse buildings across 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside. The facilities are without peer – from the Cowshed spa with sauna, hammam, hot tubs and a broad range of treatments, to the luxurious cinema and cookery school. Add to this an indoor and outdoor pool, boating lake, tennis courts and horse riding. The cabins offer rustic interiors with creature comforts: untreated floorboards, hurricane lamps, wood-burning stoves, and huge beds, plus private decks complete with copper bathtubs, rocking chairs and waterfront views.
The best Lake District honeymoon hotels
One of the most beautiful pockets of the UK, the Lake District draws in couples looking for a destination that’s genuine and timeless. The fact it has some of the country’s most unpredictable weather just makes a mini-moon more exciting, right? When the sun shines head outside to enjoy lakeside walks, watersports and wildlife, if there’s rain what could be more romantic than tucking into a Michelin-starred meal at L’Enclume or Forest Side, or being holed up in one of the many smart spa hotels with roaring fires, free-standing tubs for two and heavenly treatments on tap?
The location is the charm of the Duck: it's at a cross-roads in the middle of nowhere with glorious fell views, yet is just two-and- a-half miles from bustling Ambleside, with its shops, tearooms and cruises on Windermere. The 300-year-old farmhouse retains a sense of a country inn mixed with a quirky contemporary style: faded rugs on oak floors, pale-washed beams hung with hops, tan-leather tub chairs, wood-burning stoves and a slate-topped bar. Food is served without fuss or pretension- the short-choice menu, which kicks off with a savoury taster, might include treacle-glazed beef shin as starter then hake with pickled samphire and fennel jam as mains. The bar always has around six or seven of their own-brew ales.
The Gilpin might seem like a lost world, set in delightful landscaped gardens — but civilisation is on the doorstep (Bowness is a six-minute drive away). Life at the Gilpin is all about kicking back: the five cedar lodges have their own personal en-suite spas with outdoor saunas, a hydrotherapy hot tub hemmed in by Eden-like walled gardens, a steam room, stone bath, crackling fires and views of the Lake District moors. Try a hot stone massage in the early evening, as the mists roll in. Fishing, shooting, horse riding, mountain biking, paintballing and treasure hunts can also be organised on-site. In the evenings, expect fine dining with white linen but zero pretentiousness. This really is one of the best honeymoon hotels in the UK.Simon Rogan's two-Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms stay true both to the simple village location and rich surrounding land. All spaces retain an unadorned authenticity, which leaves the food to take centre-stage. Go for the tasting menu and you'll get 20 (tiny) courses of exceptional skill, balance and creativity: an egg shell containing a yolk in mushroom broth; a finger of turbot in nasturtium butter; the dinkiest caramel mousse sitting on compressed apple. All is presented exquisitely but without fanfare on rustic pottery, handmade glass, even a pebble. The Coravin wine system allows you to try top-rank or small-producer wines. You can then roll upstairs to bed – only to roll back downstairs again the following morning for an exceptional breakfast.
The best New Forest and Hampshire honeymoon hotels
Some of the UK’s top spa hotels lie in this idyllic region, so look no further for a post-wedding place to really switch off and reset. When you’re not being pampered, fill your days exploring the jumble of footpaths, cycle tracks and bridleways winding through the forest, where wild ponies roam, drive to the coast to the Blue Flag beaches of Hayling Island or soak up culture and city vibes in Winchester. Choose your favourite vintage car in the Beaulieu National Motor Museum, feast on foraged food or wild boar in one of the area’s fine restaurants or sip some Dancing Cows New Forest gin. The New Forest is also an easy hop from London or the home counties so doesn't require miles of driving if you're travelling from these areas.
Billionaire Gerald Chan’s luxury country house, only an hour from London and surrounded by 400 acres of grounds, is something rather magical. Rooms are homely yet stylish, Skye Gyngell is on-hand as culinary director and guests can swim in the lake or sit back in the glamorous film screening room. Corn dollies for ‘do no disturb’ signs, cocktails based on ingredients from the estate, and bath and spa products inspired by the 18th-century horticulturalist William Wildsmith (who created an arboretum here) are just a few of the many intelligent and surprising touches. A small, cosseting spa with three treatment rooms, including one for couples, is in place and due to be expanded, with the addition of an infinity pool. Rooms are beautiful, with bespoke minibars and exceptional artwork, and gardens or balconies in some cases; fire-pits are provided — the sort of rooms you just don’t want to leave.It’s the attention to detail throughout Lime Wood that makes it special. In the sybaritic Herb House Spa – airy, encased in glass and surrounded by greenery, there are private bathrooms with deep copper baths in the changing rooms, sensuous swimming, hydrotherapy and steam pools, a pioneering raw food café, a mud house, relaxation rooms and a beautiful rooftop garden, all with sylvan views. Go for a Pavilion room, which melt into their New Forest surroundings and are specially designed with honeymooners in mind. At Hartnett Holder & Co, Angela Hartnett has joined forces with chef Luke Holder and to produce Italian inspired dishes that are as informal, yet polished as their surroundings.A traditional country house hotel with a world-class spa and award-winning restaurant. It's a popular family spot owing to the activities on offer, but couples should hide out at one of the treehouse suites, high in the forest canopy, which are a world away from ordinary life. Built atop stilts, they have hardwood private decks, wood burning stoves and floor-to-ceiling windows. Staff will drive you – as well as DVDs, pizza hampers, wine, beer and breakfast – to and from the main hotel in electric buggies. If you make it out of your balcony-located hot tub, you can enjoy an ozone-treated indoor pool, a pool in the gardens, aromatherapy saunas and crystal steam rooms. There's also archery, buggy riding and duck herding.
The best honeymoon hotels in Devon
Glorious, often uncrowded beaches, towering sand dunes, brooding moors and seaside villages encompassed in great swathes of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty – little wonder many couples think Devon is best for a mini-moon. Closer than Cornwall, with trains from London taking just two hours, it’s a quicker, easier and cheaper bet and it’s quieter too, with plenty of secret corners for whispering sweet nothings, even in the height of summer. Some of Devon’s most romantic hotels tend to be a combination of traditional charm mixed with modern touches, like a nautical pub with a fancy spa or a country house hotel with wellies by the door and Michelin-starred food.
Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, owned and designed by hotelier Olga Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. Purposefully low-tech, the rooms don’t have televisions, Wi-Fi or mini bars. Room five is the winner, with original hand-painted wallpaper, poetry-inspiring views of the River Tamar and a chaise longue that’s made for swooning. The cream teas are worth the journey alone: a help-yourself affair of just-baked scones accompanied by massive urns of clotted cream and fruit-laden strawberry jam. So too are the gardens, dotted with grottos and dells.Romantic Combe House slips tantalisingly in and out of view as you approach – it can be found at the end of a mile-long drive that begins in the thatched village of Gittisham. It's sexy and fun as well as romantic: trompe l’oeil, vintage finds, comfy shabby-chic furniture, velvet and gently patterned fabrics all feature. Outside, there are terraces, vintage sun umbrellas, and deck chairs on the lawn. In the conservatory-style dining room, expect locally sourced ingredients such as venison, lamb and scallops and Pig favourites such as slow-cooked crispy pig cheek. There are two Potting Shed treatment rooms in the garden.Britain's most exciting new country house hotel in decades, with BBC Great British Menu icon Michael Caines MBE at the helm, and showstopping Michelin-starred food. Many chefs get bogged down in zany experiments with foams and moleculars. Michael prefers to poke at the boundary between sumptuous and sickly: pan-fried duck liver with marinated raisins and caramelised walnuts, for example. Book a room with an outdoor bath overlooking the golden syrup sunsets of the Exe estuary (sunsets are notorious here). Otherwise, borrow one of the free bikes or put on your Wellington boots and walk down to the Estuary, via the orchard and primrose-scattered grounds.
The best honeymoon hotels in Cornwall
Cornwall is perennially cool for couples. Firstly there’s the incredible seafood scene think Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth – then there’s the white sand beaches, snaking rivers, hidden harbours and plentiful stylish hotels, from modern spa escapes to Georgian boltholes. England’s southernmost county is also a hot spot for honeymoons because who needs a far-flung adventure when hiking rugged coastlines, surfing in sparkling water, browsing art galleries like the Tate Modern in St Ives and enjoying long, lazy sunshine-soaked lunches at exceptional restaurants is on your doorstep?
Glorious sea and sunset views make this the ideal hotel for honeymooners, while a child-free policy will be attractive to any other couples looking for a bit of peace and quiet. The womb-like spa specialises in Ayurvedic ‘journeys’, with tented treatment rooms and pods suspended in the dark for ‘deep relaxation’ and an all-glass sea facing roof for ‘light relaxation’. The reed-fringed, rock-strewn outdoor pool extends from the indoor one, punctuated by two bright scarlet wood-fired hot tubs perched between boulders overlooking the sea. Most rooms have a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that slides back to access outdoor space.Escape to this 17th-century Georgian bolthole and enjoy a fusion of mid-century modern and country-house-chic styling. The area is known as Cornwall’s forgotten corner – there are glorious walks from the doorstep with Kingsand beach just 20 steps away. The braver are welcome to join the local swimmers for their daily dip. For those who are after a romantic walk, champagne picnics can be provided, along with secret tips about hidden coves and beaches. Coasteering from Rame Head and surfing on nearby Whitsand Beach can also be arranged. The pick of the bedrooms is the first-floor suite, which spans the entire floor.The hotel is situated just 150 yards from the charming Padstow Harbour and a five-minute ferry ride across the Camel Estuary from Rock. Both Padstow and Rock are renowned for their watersports as well as being a real hub for foodies, home to some fantastic restaurants from chefs including Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw. Coswarth House dates back to 1825, and many original features have been retained: flagstone flooring, exposed ceiling beams and stone walls combine with faux fur drapes and velvet cushions. Each room has a roll-top bath. The clincher: guests staying at the house are also treated to breakfast at Rick Stein’s Café.
The best Bath honeymoon hotels
The ultimate romantic city break, Bath is brimming with culture, smart hotels, fine dining and, of course, spa’ing – this is the self-proclaimed ‘original wellbeing destination’ thanks to its iconic Roman Baths. When you’re not floating around in therapeutic thermal spring water together, there’s Bridgerton-esque Georgian townhouses to admire, the National Trust’s Skyline walk, boat trips along the River Avon and glasses of Champagne at rooftop bars to enjoy.
This luxury hotel spreads over two townhouses in the centre of Bath's showpiece Georgian crescent, overlooking the end of Victoria Park, the city's main green lung. The swanky Spa & Bath House is a big draw for many visitors. The main communal area includes a 12-metre indoor relaxation pool, vitality pool, sauna and steam room. There are also six treatment rooms and a Mediterranean-styled walled garden. Rooms range from palatial suites with ornate ceilings and fireplaces on the first floor of the townhouses, to still elegant but much cosier (and more affordable) accommodation in the upper floors of the townhouses.The first five-star hotel in Bath in 30 years, the Grade-II listed Gainsborough is also the only one in Britain to have access to natural thermal waters. Roman columns and a glass roof dominate the compact and exquisite Spa Village, which comprises three thermal pools, a sauna, steam room and 11 treatment rooms. Guests are encouraged to take the traditional and invigorating “Bath House Circuit” before their treatment, spending around an hour soaking in the three pools of varying temperatures, rubbing the body with crushed lavender ice and having a sauna. Book one of the Bath Spa rooms, whose bathtubs have an extra tap which sources water directly from the hotel’s well, meaning you can draw a bath filled with thermal water.The loveliest street in Bath, running between Pulteney Bridge and the Holburne Museum, is home to this well appointed and imaginatively designed boutique hotel set in a Georgian Grade I-listed building. The owners have blended original features with some quirky touches, from the artworks by students at Bath Spa University to hand-blown glass lights, chandeliers made out of earrings and collections of kaleidoscopes and other odd curios.There are four treatment rooms in the spa, alongside a cedar wood hot tub, sauna and steam room. There are now 40 rooms, eight of which are in the charming coach house with its mock Gothic façade just to the back of the hotel by the garden.
The best Somerset honeymoon hotels
Somerset's rural charms are many, with its quintessential English countryside, pretty villages and mystical landmarks (such as Glastonbury) to explore. Discover world-class art galleries, swish landmark country house hotels and cosy pubs with rooms around Frome and Bruton, while elegant Bath and atmospheric Wells provide a sprinkling of urban glamour and boutique townhouse hotels. Head south west to Exmoor and things become a little wilder, with castles, caves, secret beaches and wild ponies on your doorstep. Low light pollution means Exmoor National Park is one of the best places in the UK for star-gazing.
The Newt is one of the most exceptional country house hotels Britain has seen. It was in the making for six years, and occupies beautiful Palladian-fronted red-gold limestone Hadspen House, first built in 1687. Former editor of Elle Decoration South Africa Karen Roos is responsible for the hotel’s interiors. There is plenty to admire, especially the simplicity: the rough-hewn walls of the natural, unadorned spa (with sauna, salt steam room and beautiful pool leading to a heated outdoor hydrotherapy pool); the unfussy, almost Scandinavian style of the 23 bedrooms and bathrooms. And then there’s the cyder press, bottling plant and bar, mushroom house, History of Gardening Museum, farm shop, treetop walk, thatched ice cream parlour and wild swimming ponds to enjoy.Ecclesiastical elegance meets boutique verve at this former 12th-century chapel that has been stylishly repurposed into an eight-bedroom hotel in the arty village of Bruton. Modern art gallery Hauser & Wirth is a five-minute drive away; Westcombe Dairy – and its award-winning cheddar – 10 minutes. National Trust property Stourhead is 20 minutes away. All rooms are different but share features such as cowhide rugs, mid-century seats, Egyptian cotton-dressed bespoke beds, modern art and monastic-like, grey-marble bathrooms with Ren toiletries – all but two rooms have a freestanding oval-shaped bath for two. Guests receive chubby, still-warm croissants each morning in a paper bag hung on their doors, with extra butter and jam. Otherwise, you can head downstairs for bacon sandwiches.The honey-coloured Georgian house and converted outbuildings sit in expansive grounds that is surrounded by rolling Somerset countryside. Babington House's extensive facilities are a major selling point: there are sizeable indoor and outdoor swimming pools (both heated year round), a sauna and steam room, plus a cinema showing films every evening. There's also the substantial, rustic-chic Cowshed Spa. If you want to explore, complimentary bikes are available. The 32 individually designed, rather gorgeous and very comfy bedrooms feature soft colour schemes, big, squishy sofas, indulgently stocked minibars, Roberts radios and big TV screens; many rooms also have working fires or wood-burning stoves, and baths.A memorable pub with rooms in a gorgeous, sleepy Somerset village. It dates from 1680 and oozes character from every pore. Inside, the interconnected bar areas have beams dripping with dried hops, boarded and flagstone floors and antique tables laid out with brass candelabra and fresh flowers. The garden is also a delight, with a mini French-style formal garden with a wisteria- and vine-shaded terrace and a boules court, plus a wilder orchard with picnic benches beyond. The four, characterful bedrooms all have freestanding roll-top or slipper baths. In-the-know locals come from afar to eat at the pub - the menu showcases what is special about the area, including beautifully presented pub staples along with more complex dishes that will appeal more to foodies.
The best Dorset honeymoon hotels
It’s possible to immerse yourselves in coast and countryside on a romantic retreat in peaceful Dorset, where beautiful beaches, woodland walks and luxe hotels are in abundance. There’s a wealth of ways to fill a mini-moon: stroll along wind-whipped cliffs at Golden Cap, follow in the footsteps of Mary Anning fossil hunting at Lyme Regis, watch movies beneath the stars at Lulworth Castle, take a boat trip to Brownsea Island, sample wine in some the county’s excellent vineyards or indulge in a relaxing couples’ spa day.
Dorset House has been one of the county’s secret boltholes, but this splendacious Regency nook is starting to attract national attention. It’s not hard to see why: gorgeous boutique interiors, a stroll from the Jurassic Coast and the best breakfast for miles - think smashed avocado, feta and poached egg on sourdough or a full English option with slow-reared bacon and sausages cooked on the Aga. All rooms but one have decadently dressed king-sized beds, topped with Hungarian goose down duvets and Egyptian cotton linen, plus pillows that are marshmallow soft. Sea View is the ne plus ultra: a generous space with lofty sash windows opening to views of Lyme Bay. The snug honesty bar – packed with local tipples including Black Cow vodka, Conker gin and Gyle 59 craft beers – is a mellow place to unwind.The hotel stands in a stunning position overlooking the sea, with the dramatic chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks in the foreground and the Isle of Wight in the distance. The beach is a five-minute walk away. It’s cosy inside, full of antiques and curios, and relaxing outside, with terrace, huge lawn and walled kitchen garden (which provides for the daily menu). All the rooms are delightful, many with interesting original features. They employ vintage style fabrics, chandeliers and beautifully dressed beds, with the Pigs’ signature Roberts radios, well-stocked ‘larders’ and excellent bathrooms. Two rooms are delightful two-storey thatched follies overlooking the kitchen garden, and another is in a converted shepherd’s hut under the trees, with its own bathroom.A Georgian coaching inn, painted zaffre blue and popular with stars of Broadchurch and Far From the Madding Crowd. It's a favourite destination for city dwellers searching for country charm that retains urbane style, with a secret speakeasy for late-night cocktails. The 19 rooms each have their own identity but running throughout are French influences — Parisian side tables, French-style rattan beds — with an East Asian edge (an antique painted wardrobe from China). The restaurant — informal, with a fireplace and neutral wood-panelled walls — serves a British menu with a speckle of Europe (and a commendable commitment to sourcing locally). The ‘Moules Frites’ nights every Wednesday are still a ritual among Bridport folk.
The best honeymoon hotels in Norfolk
Whether splashing around on the beautiful broads, picnicking in sand dunes or scrunching along shingle beaches, Norfolk’s waterways and surrounding countryside are a romantic destination year-round (and, shhh, a little less touristy than Cornwall and Devon). Paddleboarding together along Hickling, the largest of the manmade broads, seafood suppers and sunset strolls along Holkham Beach are perfect in summer, while in winter seal pup-spotting in Horsey or Blakeney Point and muddy stomps through Thetford Forest, followed by celebratory drinks by a roaring fire in a cosy pub or hotel with a homely atmosphere, hit the honeymoon spot.
Morston Hall lies a five-minute walk from the quayside at Morston, the starting point for seal trips, and two miles from Blakeney. It's a flint- and brick-built Jacobean country-house hotel, with large conservatory extensions that provide extra dining space. Inside, you’ll find open fires, squashy sofas and cosy corners in a hushed, fairly formal atmosphere. Eating is the main reason to come here, one of only two restaurants with a Michelin star on this stretch of coast. Galton Blackiston’s cooking is rated highly by both visitors and locals: he offers a set dinner based on fresh, local ingredients, served at 8pm daily. Four courses usually include two meat dishes (perhaps confit of duck or beef fillet) and a fish course.Affectionately known as The Vic, this 19th century inn lies equidistant between a vast, sandy beach and the parkland surrounding Holkham Hall. The location is a paradise for walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers and outdoor lovers. The atmosphere is appropriately hunting, shooting and fishing. Staff are fitted out in tweed waistcoats, there are antler displays on the wall and pictures depict wild fowling and hunting scenes. One of the most popular bedrooms is the sun-filled Crabbe Castle Pit in soothing blue-greys, with large sash windows. Welcome touches include fresh milk in the mini-fridge (complimentary prosecco is provided in Ancient House rooms), a room gift of stripy seaside rock and a complimentary pass for Holkham’s beach and estate car parks.This early 19th-century windmill turned cosy guesthouse is in a scenic coastal location, making it a good base for walkers and birdwatchers. From the grassy, walled gardens, there’s direct access to the pebble and shingle beach of Cley, a 15-minute walk away along a raised sea wall. The building is a brick-built five-storey tower, with a domed cap and four, whitewashed sails. There are nine rooms, including three in the circular tower of the mill: Wheat Chamber, Stone Room and Wheel Room (the last is accessed by a steep ladder). These have the best views and the most character, so need booking well in advance. Guests can pre-order locally smoked kippers or haddock for breakfast from the village smokery.
The best Suffolk honeymoon hotels
From Southwold’s picket-fence and retro pier perfection to Aldeburgh’s pastel houses and pebble beach charm, Suffolk’s stretch of coastline is high dose of low-key loveliness. Enjoy fresh oysters at Walberswick, lounging on the shingle at Dunwich and exploring the hauntingly isloated, windswept hamlet of Shingle Street. Inland there are vineyards, castles and Constable country to discover. Hotels range from award-winning gastro pubs with rooms to Elizabethan stately homes with four-poster beds and grand gardens.
The Swan’s timbered complex of buildings dominates the centre of the old Tudor wool town of Lavenham, so the location could hardly be better. The hotel has been here for a very long time indeed, but it has done a pretty good job of reinventing itself over the years, blending the unique character of the building with a contemporary look in the rooms and in public areas that are well cared-for, up-to-date and not at all dowdy. The spa in particular is lovely whose sparkling and ultra-soothing facilities offer the chance to time-travel forward several centuries as you leave the creaky corridors of the main hotel. Go for a Gainsborough suite if you want a four-poster bed.
The best York honeymoon hotels
Picturesque cobbled streets, a Gothic cathedral and riverside setting are just a few of the attractions of this impressive city, which is a short drive from the scenic North York Moors. Easily navigated on foot, honeymoon must-dos include dining at some of the city’s award-wining restaurants such as Skosh, a cruise along the River Ouse, and visiting York Minster – rumour has it that couples who kiss under its Heart of Yorkshire window will stay together forever. Make your base one of the city’s grand spa hotels, or perhaps a cosy boutique bolthole.
The exterior is vast, impressive, turn-of-the-century metropolitan grandeur, with restored red brick and creamy moulded stonework. Original marble fireplaces, stunning washrooms and leaded windows lend a Golden Age glamour to the place. All bedrooms have opulent marble bathrooms, large beds and desks filled with free drinks and local fudge. The hotel also offers a helicopter transfer service - two choppers can pick guests up from anywhere in the country and transport them to a nearby airfield, to be whisked via Range Rover to the hotel.Flanked by York Minster to one side and a delightful acre of mature garden on the other, Gray’s Court enjoys one of the finest locations in York. There is a palpable sense of history in the wood-panelled long gallery where Kings have dined and in the grand formal rooms; other features include a collection of rare Gyles painted glass, leaded windows, thick wooden doors and limestone fireplaces. Breakfasts are exemplary and involve omelettes, kippers, pancakes and traditional fare. Plump for the black pudding full English served outside with the sound of blackbirds and the Minster bells and you will be in seventh heaven.
The best Yorkshire honeymoon hotels
Futuristic art galleries filled with rarely seen work by Barbara Hepworth, wide, windswept beaches and a milky way of Michelin-stars – Yorkshire’s got it going on when it comes to mini-moon motivation. Full of natural beauty, the Yorkshire Dale’s deep valleys, meadows and caves are captivating, but equally as irresistible are the bright lights and sexy city hotels and restaurants of Leeds and York. Either way, don’t miss afternoon tea for two at legendary Betty’s tea rooms in Harrogate or supper at two Michelin-starred eaterie Star Inn at Harome.
The late-medieval, thatched pub is partly as you would expect – flagged floor, low beams – but opens into two smart yet comfortable dining rooms. Bedrooms are across the road in converted farm buildings. Whitby-born chef-owner Andrew Pern was one of the first champions of local sourcing - and why wouldn’t you be, he says, with his ‘back garden’: moorland game and pasture-fed meat, coastal fish, Yorkshire Wolds’ fruit and vegetables… He now has a huge kitchen garden at the back of the pub. His menus are punchy, robust yet skilfully balanced and as much about texture as taste: crab stick with seashore vegetables and avocado ice, perhaps followed by roasted lamb chop with truffled faggot or honey-roasted duck with tea-poached quail’s egg.The baronial pile, with corner turrets, battlements and stupendous entrance tower, looks like a castle but its largely Victorian embellishments of a 17th- and 18th-century core. Inside, it’s an old-school, English stately home. You will not be bored. Apart from a range of country pursuits – fishing, shooting, pony-trekking, bird of prey centre – there are walking trails, a four-acre walled garden, nine-hole golf course, plus a cookery school. The sleek and airy spa aims to compete with Europe’s finest, combining indoor pools and thermal experiences with an outdoor pool, sauna and heated loungers.This stout, stone-built property, set in a former school, has seven rooms in the what was the schoolmaster's house and four riverside rooms across a courtyard in an old school wing. It's well placed for Aysgarth Falls. At the main house, guests will find a plush lounge with open fireplace and a stylish lounge-bar and restaurant overlooking the extensive grounds. Go for the elegant Pienza room on an upper floor, which features an embellished carved bed and matching armoire, his-and-hers walk-in rain showers and a slipper bath that looks out to Penhill Scar. Two ground-floor rooms have outdoor hot tubs.
The best Brighton honeymoon hotels
A short hop on the train from London and bursting with character, Brighton is one of Britain’s best-loved seaside cities and full of kitsch romance. Lose yourselves shopping, scoffing and quaffing in The Lanes, go for a dip in the sea, hang out in the flower-filled Royal Pavilion Gardens and take a Champagne-fuelled ride on the British Airways i360 wheel for panoramic views all the way to the South Downs. And whether you’re holed up in a dreamy Regency townhouse escape or a suite in a grand seafront hotel, be sure to extract yourselves for at least one night to sample the city’s brilliant nightlife.
Spanning two smart townhouses at the top end of grassy Regency Square allows for fabulously lofty sea views. The look is cool private club meets East Village boho - with reclaimed furniture, exposed brickwork, densely pigmented colour schemes and a fabulous collection of paintings and prints by contemporary artists. There are 13 artist-designed rooms and even the smallest (Room 6) oozes character, with a bold life-sized stencil by Paris’s first graffiti artist, Blek le Rat. Pick a south-facing room for comfy bedside views over to the sea. Don't miss the fabulous array of unusual bevvies in the hip sea-facing Cocktail Shack: recommended is Braveheart - a pear gin martini with chilli and cardamom.This fabulous boutique hotel spans two late Georgian townhouses and has a great location almost opposite the pier and Brighton Wheel. This hotel oozes style and while remaining sympathetic to its Georgian footprint, there are attractive Poirot touches to the rooms: elegantly curved ocean-liner styled walls and rippled stucco, blond-wood panelling and fabulous on-trend bed throws. Superior and feature rooms have freestanding baths facing floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can splash in the tub while enjoying the twinkly lights of the pier. Breakfasts are excellent – ranging from eggs Benedict and Florentine to poached haddock, griddled toasts and homemade preserves.
The best West Sussex honeymoon hotels
Home of the South Downs, which boasts some of the most romantic walks in the UK along ridges overlooking rolling, chalky hills and heathlands. West Sussex is where the Bloomsbury set hung out in the 20th century, but today it could rival Champagne with its venerable vineyards, Norman castles and stylish hotels. Drop into Glyndebourne for some summer opera and supper at its fine dining restaurant Middle & Over Wallop, where the Galvin brothers are currently overseeing the menu, browse antique bookshops in Arundel or perhaps enjoy a spot of racing at Glorious Goodwood.
An attractive Elizabethan manor house in the pretty village of Cuckfield, with nine acres of grounds and fine views over West Sussex to the South Downs. The contemporary spa makes a startling contrast to the Elizabethan manor. An uncompromisingly modern building with a startling box-like exterior and an airy and natural interior, it has an indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub, walk-through rain shower, steam room, sauna, relaxation area, sundeck, guest lounge and café. Go for one of the six knockout bedrooms in this building, with shutters in the bathrooms which open on to bedrooms that in turn open on to a roof garden with superb views.This intimate country house hotel, tucked in the bucolic folds of the South Downs, has been in the O'Brien family for more than sixty years. A swish spa, fine dining restaurant and an six-hole golf course brings it bang up to date and proves that great things are often found in small packages. The modern PH² O spa has both indoor and outdoor heated pools, saunas and steam rooms, and Voya treatments, including the muscle melting Voyager total massage journey. In the summer, a pool bar serves frozen mojitos. Rooms in the main house favour a more traditional country house palette of baby blues, pale gingham and dusky rose, and have views over the grounds or the South Downs.
The best London honeymoon hotels
Post-pandemic, London's shiny, glamorous hotels suddenly seem more enticing. From new kid on the block townhouses to reassuringly robust grande dames of the hotel scene, the cosseting and spoiling you’ll receive at these star-studded getaways is perfect for a mini-moon to remember. Not only does the capital have iconic hotels, but it also captures the heart with its myriad of couple-friendly things to do. Picnics in parks, strolls beside the Thames at sunset, top notch meals in rooftop restaurants and late night drinks in candle-lit cocktail bars are all incentives to spend the first holiday of your married life in the capital.
The Corinthia is in walking distance of numerous attractions – Trafalgar Square, St James's Park, the South Bank, the Houses of Parliament. Stay here and London really is on your doorstep. This is a hotel that wants to impress – and it succeeds. Get ready for fabulous chandeliers, intriguing modern art, palatial public rooms, a Daniel Galvin hair salon and a mini-branch of Harrods. There's also a magnificent four-floor spa with ESPA treatments and features which include a steam room, a private spa suite, nail studio, super-cool indoor swimming pool, vitality pool, an amphitheatre sauna, ice fountain, marble heated loungers and private sleep pods. Some rooms have river views.Ham Yard Hotel's setting, at the bottom of Regent Street, is perfectly placed for Mayfair and Soho. It'a all about fun here, from Kit Kemp's signature cosy-cool interiors to the neon light-lined bowling alley and bar. There is even a magical fourth floor roof terrace, with olive trees, lavender and vegetable beds. The 91 rooms and suites are huge for London. Several colour schemes run across all grades of room, interpreted in cushions, curtains, walls and headboards. Floor-to-ceiling windows mean triple glazed Crittall glass and modesty blinds are crucial: some rooms overlook the courtyard and tables and others the Soho jungle.
The best honeymoon hotels in Pembrokeshire
Honeymoon heaven, largely thanks to its dazzling section of coastline. Spot seals and dolphins on boat trips to remote island wildlife reserves, tuck into the freshest seafood at harbourside restaurants and take your pick of stunning beaches – Pembrokeshire has more than its fair share of golden sand, craggy cliffs and hidden coves. It’s also home to Britain’s smallest city, St David’s on the western most peninsular, home of a towering cathedral and the Gothic ruins of The Bishop’s Palace
A delightful family-owned small hotel on the Pembrokeshire Coast, close to the attractive harbour town of Tenby with its multi-coloured houses, art museum and interesting shops and cafés. It’s a late 18th-century Strawberry Hill Gothic house full of period details, not least the characteristic ogee head doors and windows. The 11 bedrooms are lovely. Two in particular, numbers five and seven stand out: you'd stay in them for their sweep of Gothic windows alone, but they are also comfortable, calm, homely and attractive spaces in which it’s a pleasure to while away time. Number five has a four-poster; while seven has a Narnia wardrobe door: step through and you are in the sunken bathroom.The castle is grafted onto a rocky outcrop above grounds of sloping lawns. It is on the outskirts of the modern village of Roch, roughly halfway between St Davids and Haverfordwest. The coast is five minutes' drive away at Newgale, a vast strand popular with surfers. A key part of the appeal of staying here is the panoramic views from most of the rooms: far out to sea across St Brides Bay, and inland across the rolling Pembrokeshire countryside and up to the gaunt Preseli Hills. Though 800 years old, the castle has designer interiors with 21st-century comforts and specially commissioned works of art.The hotel is set in 26 acres of grounds amid deep countryside, with distant views of the Preseli Hills. You may wake up to the sound of a woodpecker. The main building is a handsome three-storey residence with Georgian proportions and distinctive Arts and Crafts panelling and fireplaces. The lounges – cosy yet elegant, with real fires, window seats, plush sofas and modern prints and paintings of coastal Pembrokeshire – set the tone of the whole property. The 14 rooms in the main house have ornate fireplaces, gilt mirrors, well-lit modern art and floral or William Morris-style wallpaper. The Grove serves some of the best elaborate meals in Pembrokeshire, with an award-winning wine list.
The best Snowdonia honeymoon hotels
Snowdonia National Park contains so much natural beauty – mountains, waterfalls, forests and gorges – it’s impossible not to fall in love with the setting. Its under-the-radar 200-mile coastline is a Special Area of Conservation, resulting in unspoilt coves reached via rugged footpaths. In stark contrast, Portmeirion, an Italianate village overlooking the Dwyryd Estuary, is a paradise fantasy of pavilions, colonnades and piazzas with a certain je ne sais quoi that’s ideal for a quirky mini-moon escapade.
Queen Victoria and Churchill have both sojourned at this fantasy Victorian mansion on the fringes of the Berwyn Mountains and Snowdonia National Park. It's furnished it with impeccable style, wows diners with imaginative riffs on regional, seasonal ingredients, and holds Wales’ first Michelin Green Star. When it comes to the rooms for a honeymoon, the vast suites really are something else. The Churchill Suite resembles an upturned ship with its vaulted wooden ceiling inlaid with stained glass. William Morris prints dance gracefully across walls and fabrics and an antique four-poster bed and marble bathroom with copper bateau bath up the luxury further still.An elegant country house hotel set between the mountains and sea in rural Snowdonia. It was the ancestral home of the photographer Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret’s husband. Historic family artworks and furniture are woven with bright, modern rural styling. Weather permitting, the well-kept gardens are pretty and peaceful for a pre-dinner stroll. Meals are cooked by an award-winning local chef. Most of the food is locally sourced, and specialities include Abedaron crab, Menai mussels and mountain lamb. The nine bedrooms have strong, personal characters.
The best Edinburgh honeymoon hotels
Scotland’s capital city makes a dramatic backdrop for romance, with its famous Royal Mile, 12th-century hilltop castle and glorious Gothic buildings at every turn. Aside from lounging around in a suite at one of the city’s big-hitter hotels, coupley things to do in Edinburgh include dining in smart restaurants and browsing galleries and indie bookstores combined with blustery hikes up Arthur’s Seat, watching sunset from Calton Hill, eating seafood by the shore in Leith and wandering around the Royal Botanic Garden.
This extraordinary collection of fantasy suites near Edinburgh Castle is the ultimate romantic hideaway: sumptuous, indulgent, and slightly (delightfully) mad. If Pugin designed gothic revival love nests they would look like this: an outrageous riposte to modern minimalism. The nine suites are an antique dealer’s dream: the rooms set-dressed with fascinatingly eclectic clutter; all jewel-coloured velvets, silks and brocades, carved wood, gilding and candle-light - think decadent ecclesiastical. Beds are dramatically draped or four-postered (or both); chin-deep bateau baths are perfect for sharing.Although an Edinburgh landmark for more than a century, there's nothing old-fashioned about this Forte flagship. Built as a railway hotel, this is a splendid example of a Victorian take on Renaissance architecture with sweeping staircases, classical columns and royal icing plasterwork complimented by designer Olga Polizzi's calmly contemporary interiors. Classic rooms overlook an interior courtyard, so consider upgrading to Executive or Deluxe and ask for a city view, or go spendy on a Superior Deluxe – virtually a suite, with views across Princes Street Gardens to the castle. The spa offers Rocco Forte Rituals and ESPA treatments, and a 15-metre lap pool, sauna and steam room.
The best Isle of Skye honeymoon hotels
A landscape flecked with greens and browns, vast stretches of tranquil water and some stand out places to stay, make this island off the west coast of Scotland irresistible. It’s also a little magical, with fairy pools, curious rock formations such as the Old Man of Storr and the chance to see breathtaking wildlife like eagles and otters as you sea kayak to secret bays. Dining in Skye is a highlight too, with local produce like just-caught scallops or venison served at some of Scotland’s top eateries (The Three Chimneys restaurant is superb) followed by a wine or whisky wrapped up beneath a star-studded sky. For maximum impact travel on the West Highland Line, taking the ferry over the sea to Skye.
This terrific bed and breakfast has it all: a dreamy west-facing location just above the shore, overlooking a sea-loch and the headland beyond, and all the comfort you could desire in two light-filled, delightful bedrooms with awe-inspiring sunset views (and if you’re lucky, northern lights). The bedrooms are very different in style; the downstairs more cottagey, with a pretty art deco king-sized bed and bi-folding doors opening on to a private section of deck. The bedroom upstairs is larger and more luxurious in style, boasting a super-king bed with a window reaching from the floor to the eaves, looking out over the sea. A short walk along a road of whitewashed cottages brings you to a great local pub (The Stein Inn) and the Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant.The essential ingredients are there: attentive service, attractive rooms with mesmerising views and a talented young chef. Choose from a three-course à la carte menu or the epic Skye Showcase Menu, served at the ‘Kitchen Table’, right in the heart of the action. Dishes on the latter menu might include the likes of Dungvegan crab, seaweed and miso-cured halibut, Orbost Farm beef and pot-roasted young grouse. A road (albeit single-track and quiet) runs between the House Over-By and the shore of Loch Dunvegan, slightly eroding what would otherwise be a feeling of privacy, but not unduly distracting from the peaceful views.A former 16th-century hunting lodge and later family home to the Macdonalds, whose hands Kinloch is still in today. Marcello Tully's destination restaurant is the focal point, though by the time you get there you'll have already been won over by the stellar views. The menu draws heavily on the local bounty of the island, so fish and seafood feature prominently. There's a decadent treatment menu for post-hiking relaxation (there's great walking to be had from here - try the route that takes you up over to the abandoned township of Leitir Fura, for epic views). Go for a room with a loch view.
The best Highlands honeymoon hotels
Northwest Scotland is wildly beautiful, sparsely populated and whether you’re cruising down Loch Ness, exploring an ancient castle, whisky tasting or cuddling together by a roaring fire, the allure of the Highlands is strong. This vast wilderness also manages to offer first-class digs along with all the natural wonders (and great food), from bucket-list hotels owned by international art dealers to restaurants with rooms rivalling some of the best in Scotland.
Basking on the shore of Loch Torridon with sublime views of 3,461-foot Liathach, The Torridon could not be in a more attractive setting and makes a perfect opportunity to soak in the grandeur and solitude of the Highlands. You can hike into the hills from the back door. The former shooting lodge has an air of understated opulence and countless charming features. Each room has its own character, so select with care. Several boast beautiful baths; some have four-posters. Master rooms offer glorious vistas of loch and mountains. The 1887 restaurant is formal, but seriously impressive. Martin Wishart-trained chef David Barnett pulls no punches while showcasing the best of local produce, including beef from the shaggy Highland cattle grazing outside. Activities include rock climbing, sea kayaking and archery.Queen Victoria said she ‘never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot’ than Inverlochy Castle in 1873, and it remains as impressive as ever. Lying at the foot of Ben Nevis, girdled by a ring of highland peaks (particularly lovely when coiffed with snow), this is a place of quiet beauty, with no indication that the hustling, bustling tourist town of Fort William is only a mile or two up the road. Everything is possible, with activities including skiing, white-water rafting, off-road driving, stalking or fishing (the ghillie will assist). With Albert and Michel Roux Jr in charge of the kitchen the food is as good as the peerless service.This grand Victorian country house, overlooking Loch Nan Uamh, offers an escape from the pressures of modern life and serves as a luxurious home-from-home. The striking grey-stone house dates back to 1864, and was designed by Philip Webb, the ‘father of Arts and Crafts Architecture’. Inside has bags of character, with traditional hunting lodge fixtures counterbalanced by contemporary design pieces and modern art adorning the walls. The set menu changes daily, and is highly seasonal, locally sourced and tailored to guests’ tastes and requirements. Fruit, salad, herbs and vegetables are grown in the walled gardens, and wild mushrooms picked in the neighbouring woodland. Venison is sourced from the Isle of Muck; fish and shellfish fresh from the pier at Mallaig.
Frequently asked questions
Is the UK a good honeymoon destination?
The UK is a fantastic place for a honeymoon, offering up plenty of choices for both destinations and accommodation. Many hotels cater to honeymooners often offering specific packages for your first night as a married couple or the chance to book a stay in a special suite – traditionally known as a 'honeymoon suite'.
Where is the most romantic place in the UK for a honeymoon?
It absolutely depends on the type of 'romance' you are after. If it's a five-star experience in lavish or opulent surroundings with excellent service then a London grande dame hotel would be ideal, or perhaps your version of romance is to hole-up in a remote lodge in the middle of the Scottish Highlands. Whatever honeymoon style you're looking for, you will find great options in this article.
How long should you stay on a UK honeymoon?
In recent years, the UK has been treated as more of a 'mini-moon' destination, so a quick two or three night break immediately after the wedding to unwind (and then a long-haul honeymoon is often planned at a later date lasting between one to two weeks). However, it's entirely up to you (and your budget) how long you stay for in the UK, if it's your main honeymoon, you might want to stay for up to a week or plan a longer road trip for example.
Contributions by Suzy Bennett, Sophie Butler, Jade Conroy, Tracey Davies, Cal Flyn, Linda Macdonald, Fred Mawer, Natalie Millar-Partridge, Harriet O'Brien, Ben Parker, Helen Pickles, Sarah Stirling, Kerry Walker, Tina Walsh and Antonia Windsor