Find your perfect honeymoon with our honeymoon inspiration ideas, resort reviews and hotel guides, travel and packing.
On the dock of the bay - Crete
Sarah Gallivan samples a taste of the Mediterranean on the dreamy island of Crete... Crete, the largest island in Greece, is renowned for its stunning golden beaches, wild natural beauty, delicious cuisine and thousands of years of culture and history. Add to that the kind and generous Cretan hospitality, gorgeous weather and chilled vibes and you can guarantee the perfect getaway. My husband and I jetted off to the Wyndham Grand Crete Mirabello Bay report on the eastern side of the island at the beautiful coastal town of Agios Nikolaos. Our trip was for a few days, but I don't think a two week break would've felt like long enough – it was truly amazing. It coincided with a milestone birthday too (my 40th!), so it felt extra special, almost as special as reliving our honeymoon all over again.
Down by the river - The Great House in Sonning
Editor Claire was invited to The Great House in Sonning, part of the Coppa Club collection of hotels and restaurants, that resides on the river...This sanctuary nestled in a peaceful location on the banks of the River Thames is ideal for honeymooners, and their four-legged friends and children are also welcome for those wanting to book a family-moon. The tranquil, back-to-nature bolthole, the former Elizabethan coaching inn has some famous neighbours – Hollywood moviestar George Clooney and wife Amal live in this quaint village tucked away in the Berkshire countryside.
Pure Luxury at The Belfry Hotel & Resort in Sutton Coldfield
Beth Morton and her hubby visited The Belfry Hotel & Resort in Sutton Coldfield after hearing about this award-winning hotel... In the heart of Sutton Coldfield with three world-class golf courses,300+ bedrooms, multiple restaurants and a luxurious spa, I was excited to experience it first-hand. The host of The Ryder Cup four times, more than any other venue in the world, The Belfry Hotel & Resort has gone down in history as the backdrop to some extremely notable golf moments and has hosted its fair share of famous names and faces. Less than 10 miles from Birmingham Airport, International Train Station, Alexander Stadium and Birmingham's NEC, it's surrounded by prominent local landmarks, and is in a prime position for any travelling guests who need a place to lay their heads.
Greece is the word... Claire Ridley spent the summer in Santorini and Athens
Santorini is often referred to as the supermodel of the Greek islands and I can see why. Surrounded by the inviting Aegean Sea, it's reached by direct flights from the UK or a short 45-minute flight from Athens Airport. It can also be accessed by boat from Piraeus Port for island-hopping honeymooners wanting to escape to the sun. On arrival, Europe's most glamorous getaway greets visitors with unbeatable views and the famous white-washed landscape dotted with the instantly recognisable blue domes on the many chapels and churches that are perched on the steep Caldera cliffs.
A myriad of delights lie in wait in The Lake District for UK honeymooners...The four-star Belsfield Hotel, located mere moments from the charming town centre in Bowness-on-Windermere, exudes class, sophistication and historical splendour. From its enviable spot on the banks of Lake Windermere, there can surely be nowhere better to enjoy the rest, relaxation and beauty of the area cocooned in sheer luxury. Whether you're looking for an active honeymoon break filled with hiking and outdoor adventure; or a peaceful, romantic escape, the hotel offers the perfect base. County Wedding Magazines' deputy managing editor, Kelly Andrews, paid a visit to find out more.
The ultimate destination: Dubrovnik
Editor Olivia Gibson was excited to be travelling again and shares her experience of Dubrovnik.
After what felt like an eternity of not being able to travel due to restrictions, I was so excited to visit the Dubrovnik President Valamar Collection Hotel – especially after seeing images of the stunning property online. For the first time in three years, I packed my bags and headed to the airport!
Dubrovnik is a wonderful place to visit, evident even from thousands of feet up in the air. The crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches and picturesque landscapes create the perfect backdrop for honeymoons – no wonder it's known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. After a short flight, we touched down and the real adventure began!
County Wedding Magazines editor, Claire Ridley, spent Easter in Spain's vibrant capital city. "From the moment I arrived in Madrid, a two-and-a-half hour flight from London, I was greeted by a myriad of narrow streets and large squares filled with landmarks to fill my Insta feed at every turn, from the iconic Royal Palace of Madrid and Plaza Mayor to the eclectic mix of boutiques, tapas restaurants and bars. This extended bank holiday is a great time to visit when the weather has warmed up (average temperature 67 degrees) but the heat of the summer hasn't yet descended on the city.
Sweet Escapes - some of the UK’s best boltholes
Looking for a post-wedding trip away? Look no further than the UK. Not only do you cut down on travel time, air miles, airport chaos and reduce the risk of cancellations; but the UK truly is blessed with picture-perfect beaches, stunning landscapes, Michelin-starred restaurants and quirky accommodation - you can even take your pet to boot! From Scotland to Cumbria, Yorkshire to Cornwall, the breadth of the UK is brimming with post-wedding getaway inspiration - enjoy!
Caribbean vibes - a trip to the must-visit tropical islands
As the St. Lucians say, "No pressure, no problem!" So many tropical islands provide luxury, but only St. Lucia offers this alongside the feeling of joy and laughter courtesy of the amazing people. Such a friendly country, I was so warmly welcomed – and laughed a lot! This is the ultimate location to unwind after planning your big day. If you don't know much about St. Lucia, it's an eastern Caribbean Island with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, known as the Pitons. These volcanic mounds are a spectacular landmark of the island, lush and green and ready for the adventurer in you to explore. St. Lucia's tropical climate makes it a prime spot for year-round sunshine and warm weather. Prepare for short downpours as those surrounding rainforests bursting with colour need watering.
Sri Lanka was the destination of dreams for Louise #Travel goals
There were countless reasons why Sri Lanka was my number one bucket list destination – with the tropical island pipping New Zealand, the Maldives and Vietnam to the top spot – but the one that stood out to me is the fact it is a Buddhist country, with a culture based on peace and family. While the unstable social climate was garnering news coverage at the time of my trip, there is not one point during my stay that I felt any unrest. From the second the tropical heat hit me as I arrived, to the moment I stepped back on the plane with a heavy heart upon my departure, I felt totally secure.
Sarah Gallivan discovers the great outdoors at Nottinghamshire's Sherwood Hideaway: Experience a luxury escape in the heart of Sherwood Forest at The Sherwood Hideaway at Thorseby. Surrounded by woodland, this selection of luxury lodges and log cabins is an oasis of calm. I stayed with my husband, our two children and dog and it was the perfect opportunity to reconnect after leaving the hustle and bustle of daily life behind us – upon arrival I felt instantly relaxed. Choose to explore and enjoy the range of activities on offer or simply kick back and relax, the choice is yours.
A romantic escape to Mauritius
Travel editor Melissa Barker reveals why Mauritius is the perfect honeymoon destination after being stuck in the UK for what feels like a lifetime, I'm sure that I'm not alone in saying that I'd forgotten how exciting travelling could be. I was apprehensive about flying again, but the moment I stepped off the plane in tropical Mauritius and the heat hit me, I felt at ease. Whether you're after rest and relaxation to recover from the stress of wedding planning or an action-packed adventure, Beachcomber has a resort to suit. With eight properties in Mauritius, each offering something different, the team can tailor-make your holiday across a range of price points. I was lucky enough to visit four of the luxurious hotels during my stay and it was certainly a trip to remember! For those of you who don't know much about Mauritius, it's located in the Indian Ocean and is brimming with culture and Instagram-worthy snaps at every turn. Roughly an 11-hour flight from the UK with Air Mauritius, it's famous for its picturesque beaches, breathtaking lagoons and crystal-clear reefs. The spoken language is English and Mauritian Creole, so you won't need to worry about translations, and it's the only known habitat for the now-extinct dodo bird.
Gourmet lovers' paradise in the Algarve
With 3,000 hours of sunshine and just a three-hour flight from the UK, the Algarve is unique in that it offers a truly delightful year round destination. Situated in Quinta do Lago and nestled within the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve, a scenic swirl of seawater lagoons, sandy islands, salt marshlands and diverse bird life, lies Four Seasons Fairways – the ideal spot to escape a deux. Think warmth, sun and sumptuous Mediterranean food.
Editor Claire was invited to Monkey Island Estate, a sanctuary set on a private island on the River Thames offering laid-back luxury.
A careful renovation has preserved features while adding in contemporary comforts in both the white-bricked Pavilion and Temple buildings that make up this Berkshire-based YTL Hotels property. It's accessed via a footbridge (after checking in at the Boat House on the mainland) and is home to luxury accommodation in a choice of 40 stylish bedrooms and The Wedgewood Suite commanding prime position in the original Temple building with wrap-around views.
Escape to Greece: City vs Islands
The Athenian Riviera has undergone a resurgence, much to the delight of the discerning honeymooner who can revel in the dining, drinking and culture which has now ventured into the streets of Athens. The boutique bars and trendy dining outlets along with leading hotels such as The Alex, from the Greek family run group Santikos Collection, make Athens and its Riviera coastline the ideal spot for a city escape.
The team at The Alex pride themselves on being able to offer the best insider knowledge to their guests, finding a suitable recommendation no matter their culinary palate or activity desire for honeymooners and visitors alike. Here they have pulled together a few of their favourite drinking, dining and cultural hotspots to help with planning your very own weekend in the city...
Top five eco resorts in Sri Lanka
A unique eco lodge nestled in 20 acres of private jungle located adjacent to Gal Oya National Park. The design concept has been created in harmony with its surroundings and natural features, with an integrated effort to minimise impact on the natural environment, support the local community and to pro-actively engage in wildlife research and protection. Eco & Sustainability Credentials: Water is sourced from a deep bore well on the lodge's land, zero plastic policy, wherever possible ingredients are sourced locally and organically, building supplies were all local materials, guests are invited to sponsor and take part in re-planting of native species on land previously cleared for farming, and there is much more being done to help local employment and the community. Rates: Three nights at Gal Oya Lodge starts from £1,040 (double room, full-board basis including experiences). A 14-night bespoke itinerary starts from £6,995pp (price based on two adults sharing and includes accommodation on mix of half- and full-board basis, experiences and personal chauffeur. Excludes flights).
This idyllic island in the Mediterranean sea has it all: mountainous valleys, picture-perfect beaches and well-renowned traditional Cypriot cuisine. Here we showcase five locations for a post-wedding getaway...
Cosy cabins, lush lodges and quirky shepherds huts are our top picks this issue covering Suffolk, Dorset and Norfolk – true escapism, enjoy! The Scrumpy Shepherd is totally magical for a romantic break for two. Handcrafted, the owners wanted The Scrumpy Shepherd to feel like a luxury private hotel so have gone the extra mile to include some extra treats to delight you. Everything you need for your relaxing break is provided; inside there's a small bespoke oak kitchen with Emma Bridgewater crockery and seating area with wood burning stove, a luxury double bed with storage, a fabulous en suite bathroom with copper shower-head, WC, fluffy towels, hairdryer and complimentary luxury toiletries.
Full of chocolate-box cottages and pretty hamlets, the Cotswolds is an idyllic minimoon destination for couples – and families – looking for picture-perfect properties complete with open fires and woodburners making them so lovely and cosy for winter months. Harrowby End is a beautiful Grade II listed stone property which is utterly charming with its thatched roof and many historic features, set within the picturesque Cotswolds village of Ebrington. As soon as you arrive at the cottage, you will be greeted by a cosy, welcoming atmosphere with many luxurious and thoughtful finishings throughout. On the ground floor is a bright and spacious living area comprising of a spacious sitting room and dining area with wood burning stove and exposed beams throughout. The fully equipped kitchen looks out onto the delightful cottage garden.
Retreat to the city at The Marylebone, London
As the country prepared for Lockdown Part II, my husband and I managed to sneak in a last-minute escape to the city to enjoy a much-needed retreat at The Marylebone. Nestled in the hotel's super-trendy namesake neighbourhood, between the Georgian Welbeck Street and the part-pedestrianised Marylebone Lane, you're just a short walk from London's most famous Monopoly locations, from Bond Street to Mayfair. Stepping out for a stroll from the hotel, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're in a bustling Cotswolds village – that is until you happen upon Oxford Street. But this is what makes it such a wonderful destination for a minimoon or post-wedding break: it's close to the action, but it provides a tranquil retreat from it too.