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Find your perfect honeymoon with our honeymoon inspiration ideas, resort reviews and hotel guides, travel and packing.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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).
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.
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.
From the Jurassic Coast boasting Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, to the tourist towns of Bournemouth and Poole couples are spoilt for choice of holiday hotspots when venturing to the South West. This feature explores a host of properties in Dorset, from budget-friendly beauties for newlyweds to all out luxury for those wanting to indulge post-vows, here out County Wedding Magazines HQ we love them all so much it's hard to pick a favourite - so we will just have to visit them all!
Sarah Reeve discovers a romantic hotspot on the outskirts of this bustling city in the South of France...I'd heard of Montpellier, I knew it was in France, but little more than that. Just the name alone sounded romantic though, but then so do most things in French, after all it is the language of love. A quick online search later and I was already excited to discover what the city had to offer. A weekend break from the grey, chilly British weather in early March was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Olivia Gibson visits Andaz London Liverpool Street to discover why it's the perfect romantic getaway... Weddings are such a beautiful event where two people come together surrounded by friends and family to celebrate their love for each other. What better way for a couple to continue that celebratory feeling than some quality time together post-nuptials? Located in East London, Andaz London Liverpool Street is a contemporary five-star hotel that's full of rich history yet with vibrant spaces and décor that highlights the creativity of the local area. Dating back to 1884, the venue was originally known as the Great Eastern Hotel until it was reinvented to Andaz London back in 2007 to become the popular space it is today.
The 2020 COVID pandemic not only meant postponed weddings for many, but it also had a huge impact on the travel industry meaning already married couples missed out on their dream honeymoons. With travel restrictions and regulations looking uncertain for the near future at least, why not holiday right here in the UK? Also an eco-friendly option cutting down on those air miles! From the coastal delights of Cornwall to country havens in the Cotswolds you really are spoilt for choice of idyllic locations; whether you want to just relax by the sea or want something a little more adventurous and action-packed Great Britain has something for you! This issue we shine the spotlight on Suffolk, a historic East Anglian county benefiting from a coastline combined with countryside vistas, and known as 'Constable Country'...
If you're looking to book an epic honeymoon for 2021/22, then look no further than an Australian road trip for some serious wow factor. This itinerary will tempt you with white sandy beaches, incredible food and wine, wide open spaces, the majestic outback and friendly locals. It's the perfect alternative if lounging in the sun for two weeks isn't your bag. This ocean-to-outback route can be scaled up or down to suit your budget, and extending the trip with a few days in Sydney makes the perfect ending. So if you want a post-wedding adventure that leaves you with incredible memories to last a lifetime, this one's for you...
Hannah Faulder experiences The Idle Rocks in St Mawes, a romantic UK bolthole complete with fresh sea air, incredible dining and picturesque surroundings... Nestled in the heart of the pretty seaside village of St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula in South Cornwall, The Idle Rocks cuts a striking focal point on the harbour-front. Perched above the water, the tide seems to lap against the hotel making it very much at one with its environment. A long sun terrace hugs the front of the building, offering a gorgeous spot to while away an afternoon. With no-fly honeymoons increasingly popular, this Relais & Chateaux property set in an idyllic fishing port offers the perfect alternative to an overseas trip. When the sun's shining, there's nowhere quite as beautiful as the Cornish coast. For an unforgettable arrival, you can catch the sleeper train from London Paddington, evoking some real old-time romance.