It is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. But for so many couples, a wedding is just the start of something even better — the honeymoon. There is no more wedmin: the two of you can enjoy yourselves with no pressure and no awkward family members to look after. But life is not quite yet back to normal and travel is still restricted — even if you are the Prime Minister.
After their micro-wedding last weekend, Boris and Carrie Johnson had a two-day mini-moon by the seaside to tide them over until they are allowed to have a holiday abroad. This is the way to do it. You might be disappointed that the blowout three-week adventure in Japan you had been planning is off the cards for now but the silver lining is you get another holiday. OK, it will be in the UK, with no new countries expected to be added to the travel green list for the foreseeable future, but if the weather stays like this, who cares? Here is where to mini-moon in the UK this summer.
The lakeside retreat
Escape it all at your own secluded sanctuary. Set on 17 acres nestled on the edge of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, Storrs Hall is surrounded by gardens and woodland, and boasts its own private jetty and lakeshore where you can spend days paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking or taking a boat trip. Plush lakeside suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows that open out onto terraces overlooking the lake and have Japanese-style cedar wood hot tubs for a soak-with-a-view. Enjoy champagne picnics and a complimentary mini bar. For further sustenance, there’s the Lake Edge restaurant and Tower Bar.
From £560 per night, storrshall.com
The London staycay
London’s hottest new hotel opening hails from New York. NoMad has opened a London outpost in a former magistrates’ court opposite the Royal Opera House. There is plenty to look at, with more 1,600 artworks dotted around the hotel celebrating post-war American art and European avant-garde — and up to 50 pieces per room in some of its fanciest suites. Blush interiors, gold free-standing clawfoot bathtubs and Opera House views are just a few of the highlights, but the star of the show has to be the hotel’s dramatic restaurant: a light-flooded atrium draped in hanging foliage. Start with seasonal cocktails created by mixologist Leo Robitschek, and see where else the night takes you.
From £480 per night, thenomadhotel.com
Take it to the beach
Wake to the sound of crashing waves in one of Watergate Bay Hotel’s beach lofts for surfing and plenty of soothing salty air. The spacious boho-chic suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering unparalleled views of Cornwall’s ocean. They also have free-standing baths, hanging chairs and private access to the beach. Try to impress your partner with a surfing lesson or enjoy the clifftop hot tub at night. With four restaurants, you’ll be spoilt with dining options — you’ll also be allocated your own personal host to manage room service, bookings and breakfast hampers for the beach. Be sure to book into the new Emily Scott Food restaurant for simple yet exquisite seafood dishes.
From £545 per night, watergatebay.co.uk
Seafood in Scotland
Rustic, rural and romantic, The Nature Cabin, Moray is set in Scottish woodland in the Highlands. Take a boat trip out into the Moray Firth and feast on lobster rolls and monkfish at Bootlegger’s Bothy in Hopeman. Wander through nearby Culbin Forest or head to the sandy beaches on the Moray Coast, just a 30-minute drive away. Meanwhile the spectacular wilderness and stunning countryside of the Cairngorms National Park is under an hour away.
From £190 per night, kiphideaways.com
Beach-loving mini-mooners missing their slice of Mediterranean sunshine this summer should look no further than Jersey’s shores for a sparkling coastline and all the holiday feels. With an outdoor pool, spa, tennis courts, woodland trails and luxury yacht charter service, book a room at Longueville Manor Hotel for an extra dose of wellness on your staycay. Take in the palm tree-lined St Brelade’s Bay with its soft sand and great swimming spots — consistently voted among the best in the UK — explore caves and rock pools at Plémont Bay, a hidden gem between soaring cliffs, or head to St Ouen’s Bay for fantastic Atlantic surf and dazzling sunsets.
From £350 per night, longuevillemanor.com
Go totally off-grid — literally, this place generates its own electricity — at Singdean, a slice of secluded, rugged bliss in the Scottish Borders. Fantastically isolated, child-free and dog-friendly, it is an alpine mountain retreat with cosy, yet luxurious chalets nestled in the rolling Cheviot Hills, each with their own private rustic wood-fired hot tub. Walk, cycle, birdwatch, stargaze and breathe in lungfuls of fresh air as you reset and recharge following the big day.
From £165 per night, singdean.co.uk
Partial to a dip? The Pond on Gladwill Farm in Somerset is a romantic bolthole with a secluded wooden cabin, complete with its own private swimming spot and long picturesque jetty. Start your day with yoga on the deck, before a day of frolicking in the water and exploring the nearby countryside. Chill out in the steam room before unwinding in the sunken tub with a glass of fizz. Long lunches and suppers can be prepared and enjoyed in the outdoor kitchen and dining area complete with a roaring fire to keep you toasty while you soak up the atmosphere.
From £266 per night, canopyandstars.co.uk
Feast on pizza made in your own outdoor oven at The Lakehouse, set in the grounds of Coddington Mill nestled in the Cheshire countryside. This cosy retreat comes with a freestanding copper bath and your only neighbours are the friendly ducks. Bike or hike around the stunning surrounding area, with plenty of routes to choose from, including the nearby popular Sandstone Trail.
From £145 per night, canopyandstars.co.uk
Glamping with a twist
Set in lush Kent countryside on an estate formerly owned by Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie, just beyond the chocolate-box village of Wickhambreaux, Camp Quaives is a new luxury bell-tent glamping site. It is surrounded by wildflowers and kitted out with all the little luxuries, including sumptuous beds with wood carved headboards, and an on-site kitchen serving fresh wood-fired pizzas with fine English wines. Blast away any hangovers on the tennis court or with a daily morning yoga class before heading off to sample more of the local tipple at one of the many nearby vineyards.
From £360 per night, campquaives.co.uk