Are you looking to have a beautiful honeymoon without breaking the bank? From stunning wild locations to cultured escapes by the coast, here are a selection of minimoon ideas and romantic South West destinations to suit lovebirds of all tastes.
Whether it is the Brexit pound or the sheer convenience of honeymooning closer to home, the mini-moon is one of the UK’s biggest current wedding trends. For those too shy to ask “what is a mini-moon?” these are short but sweet honeymoons taken closer to home. For a variety of reasons, they seem to have struck a chord with British couples too, involving less time and investment, not to mention removing the need to dig out phrasebooks or book long haul flights.
With so many romantic places to visit in Devon and Cornwall, nor should mini honeymoons be seen as a cheap or second class option. Couples from around the globe certainly consider South West England a highly desirable and romantic destination. Meanwhile, Brits are rediscovering just how beautiful and nostalgic so many West Country destinations are. Furthermore, with the money saved on flights, travel insurance and the rest, you might also find you can splash out on some extra luxury closer to home.
So where are the best places to honeymoon, or mini-moon, in the South West? Here are six of the most romantic locations in Devon and Cornwall to delight newlyweds of all persuasions.
North Devon and Lundy Island
For a real variety of beautifully secluded and romantic places to visit, North Devon is a slice of pure escapism. This is the place to turn the mobile off and immerse yourself in some of Britain’s finest scenery. Absolutely perfect for any couple who have had their fill of friends, family and wedding preparations!
Of course, being blessed with so many wild beaches, beautiful gardens, great food and the uniquely craggy scenery of Exmoor so near at hand, we are biased here at Northcote Manor, which is ideally placed to see much of the region’s most unspoiled scenery. To make your mini moon even more special though, a trip to Lundy Island adds a further sense of adventure to any stay. It is easily accessible from the mainland but as far removed from the norm as you could wish for. Don’t forget to bring the camera!
Ideal for: Wildlife lovers, explorers
Dartmoor National Park, Devon
Wild, rugged and beautiful, Dartmoor is one of the most dramatic places to go on a short honeymoon or romantic break in Devon. Late spring and summer are the best seasons to visit, with big skies and so much peace, quiet and acres to spend some quiet, quality time with the one you love. Nor could you wish for a more dramatic backdrop than Dartmoor’s famous Tors for some superb post wedding pictures.
Admittedly, it can be a changeable, rugged place on the moors. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for the outdoor loving couple this untamed side is the real charm, whether you discover remote heights together or end up storm-watching or marveling at the elements from a classic old inn. That said, there are always more civilised comforts to temper the wild side of the park. For a special treat, for example, you could stop at The Two Bridges Hotel for a deliciously decadent English Afternoon Tea. For a whole raft of further ideas, walks and more, the Visit Dartmoor site is well worth a look too.
Perfect for: Hikers, ramblers and the wild at heart
Devon’s Jurassic Coast
Spring on the Jurassic Coast is a symphony of colour (Image: Clocktower Beach, Sidmouth, by Dominic Garnett)
As far as wild coastline and craggy views go, the Jurassic Coast makes another excellent suggestion for mini-moons in Devon. Another destination for lovers with a taste for the outdoors, the route from Branscombe is one of Devon’s most stirring and romantic walks. Arrive at the seafront and continue along the stony beach and you will come to a zig-zagging path full of strange and wonderful plants that is almost a micro-climate all of its own. Ascend to the cliff tops and you then have some epic views to take you back to the village.
Several other pretty places are also well worth exploring on any short break, mixing some great little cultural detours alongside truly Jurassic scale scenery. Sidmouth, Beer and Lyme Regis are among several cracking destinations for day excursions, with plenty of local arts, crafts and eateries to discover.
Perfect for: Seaside lovers, nostalgics.
Totnes & Dartington, Devon
For couples who love culture and creature comforts, Dartington and Totnes are ideal for mixing a little art and entertainment alongside a countryside escape. Totnes itself is packed with great independent shops, cafes, eateries and culture spots, making it superb for a romantic ramble.
Meanwhile, Dartington represents a further hub of arts, crafts and creativity just a short distance away. If you’re feeling creative, you could even try some hands-on fun with the on-site practitioners to fashion a unique honeymoon souvenir. Should you get your fill of culture though, you are also just a short distance from the pretty, meandering River Dart and some wonderful countryside. Indeed, if you want a mini moon that balances wild and cultured, Dartmoor is very near too.
Ideal for: Arts and culture, alternative shopping.
For old school coastal charm and some of the best seafood in the UK, there are some fantastic honeymoon destinations in Cornwall, just a few miles further along the coast. What better time to discover an altogether wilder, more windswept corner of Britain? Never mind the TV dramas, little beats exploring the backdrop to series such as Poldark in person!
Padstow is notable for its present as much as Cornish traditions, very much leading the way with regional cuisine. Perhaps the best time of all to go is outside of peak season, when you’ll find lower prices, fewer queues and plenty of peace and quiet; spring and autumn are both excellent times to book and ideal for budget conscious couples who decide to get married a little earlier or later in the calendar. For the wild child, there are also some wonderful surf beaches nearby too.
Ideal for: Foodies, surfers
St Ives, Cornwall
With a fascinating maze of cobbled streets, independent shops and galleries, St Ives is as cultured as it is cute. Is it any surprise that the town has a magnetic attraction for artists and romantics? It’s a small, quirky and heavily pedestrianised hub that fits a heck of a lot into a limited space and the labyrinth of lanes and curiosities are very much part of the charm. There are stacks of great little pubs, shops and eateries, while bohemian tastes will love the Tate St Ives Gallery (set to reopen in Spring 2017) and Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Ideal for: Art & culture lovers.
Northcote Manor: The most romantic of North Devon mini-moon and wedding venues
Whether you are looking to tie the knot or enjoy a special honeymoon in Devon, Northcote Manor makes an idyllic escape. Offering excellent service, award-winning food and a delightfully romantic location, romantic breaks and beautifully run events are our speciality! See our weddings section and area guide for further information and ideas, or contact us directly HERE.