British Travel | 25th August 2023
Minimoon ideas: The most magical romantic breaks in the UK
10 of the most romantic minimoon hotels in the UK
Does searching for the most dreamy romantic breaks for your honeymoon feel like a nightmare?
If you’re already buckling under the weight of planning your actual wedding, it’s no wonder that choosing all the elements for the honeymoon can feel like an additional stress and looking for minimoon ideas suddenly seems like a far more seductive option.
Minimoons have been an exciting trend for a number of years and while they showed no sign of going out of fashion, they’re experiencing a new boom in popularity as the cost of living crisis begins to bite. In addition to the sobering fact that the average cost of a wedding is on the up and up, honeymoons are also now putting a strain on finances as the costs of flights and holidays abroad continue to rise.
If, like many couples, you’ve decided to postpone your main honeymoon for a later date, there are many reasons to fall in love with a UK minimoon.
What is a mini-moon?
A minimoon is, as its name suggests, quite simply a smaller version of a traditional honeymoon. It's usually shorter in duration, often a staycation and quite close to home, or a city-break, and invariably far less expensive. But here’s the genius point: they can be just as — and arguably even more — relaxing and equally enjoyable.
Minimoons first became a phenomenon when many couples started to delay going on their main big bucket list trip of a honeymoon simply because, on top of the already overwhelming wedding planning, it’s something else that demands a huge amount of thought, and more planning!
There’s no denying the creation of a fairytale wedding is not for the faint-hearted. While it’s always worth it when the big day finally comes, the sheer amount of ‘wedmin’ can be both mentally and emotionally draining. And if you both work long hours or have demanding jobs and other responsibilities, planning a wedding can be enormously stressful.
So, if you’re more inclined to unwind in a cosy love nest close to home than set off on an intrepid adventure, you’re far from alone. A minimoon in the UK offers just that: the chance to just kick back after the wedding party and enjoy some chill-out time together.
The money-saving benefits of a minimoon
For savvy love birds, the smart money’s on minimoons for two reasons. Firstly, you can enjoy a fantastic choice of truly unique romantic breaks in the UK that offer all the wow factor for a fraction of the expense of a two-week or longer honeymoon overseas. And secondly, it buys you time to both really consider where you’d like to go and save up for it. If you’ve got your heart set on a big ticket honeymoon, it’s worth waiting until you can afford to do it with all the frills.
10 of the most romantic minimoon hotels in the UK
We’ve rounded up ten of our favourite hotels situated in some of the best minimoon destinations in the UK.
1. Grove of Narberth - Wales
If Wales is calling you, you’ll love the five-star Grove of Narberth hotel in Pembrokeshire which is widely considered one of the best hotels for romantic breaks.
The setting: A charming country house tucked away in the heart of the Pembrokeshire countryside within easy reach of the quaint market town of Narberth and some of the area's loveliest beaches.
The rooms: The individually styled bedrooms and spacious suites have one thing in common: charm. And if you’re looking for a little home away from home, there are also a few cosy cottages with sweet interiors that’ll melt your heart.
The frills: A wealth of experiences from the gastronomic to the nautical — this hotel offers award-winning fine dining, stunning coastal walking trails and the chance to spot dolphins, as well as indulge in picnics on the beach. And the quirky antique shops, art galleries and coffee shops of Narberth are a just short stroll away.
Room rates start from £350 per night.
2. Middlethorpe Hall & Spa - York
If you’re a traditionalist at heart, the elegant Middlethorpe Hall & Spa hotel in the historic city of York offers romantic city breaks that are sure to make you swoon.
The setting: A 17th-century manor house with red brick and limestone on a secluded country estate, surrounded by acres of beautiful gardens.
The rooms: Timeless sophistication with a touch of chintz. Whether you choose one of the traditionally designed bedrooms with country house interior design in the main house or a spacious suite in the courtyard that overlooks the gardens, you’ll be lounging in classic British luxury.
The frills: Middlethorpe Spa, an intimate sanctuary housed in two lovingly converted Edwardian cottages, where you can treat yourselves to massages and a dip in the stunning pool, before unwinding in the sun-kissed walled garden. And prepare for a feast for all your senses: the award-winning dining room which boasts exquisite wood paneling, candlelit tables and views over the lush gardens and parkland, serves dishes you’ll adore.
Room rates start from £267 per night.
3. Gilpin Hotel & Lake House - Lake District
If you fancy running away to The Lake District, Gilpin Hotel & Lake House are the region’s most stylish havens for romantic weekend breaks and minimoons.
The setting: These are two separate hotels, and they're equally beguiling. You'll find both Gilpin properties ideally located on the banks of Lake Windermere. If you’re seeking romantic breaks with a hot tub, check into Gilpin Hotel. And if you want country elegance with uninterrupted views over a private lake, Gilpin Lake House is the retreat for you.
The rooms: Contemporary chic with both comfort and wow factor. Gilpin hotel has 22 rooms with their own hot tubs — some also with a private ensuite spa — while The Lake House is an exclusive sanctuary with just six sophisticated guestrooms.
The frills: The Gilpin Hotel is home to Michelin-starred restaurant SOURCE, as well as two another award-winning restaurant, a Champagne Bar, and a few wild surprises in the form of the resident llamas and alpacas. In addition to the boat house, saunas, and swimming pool, the luxury Swedish-style treatment room at Gilpin Lake House is the star attraction. Designed with couples in mind, it sits high above the ground in the estate's leafy canopy with incredible views over a stunning private lake.
Room rates start from £235 per night.
4. Hambleton Hall - Rutland
Romantic breaks in Rutland don’t get better than this. Hambleton Hall in the ancient market town of Oakham combines elevated elegance with warm hospitality.
The setting: A classic country house, perched on its own peninsula at Rutland Water with stunning panoramic views.
The rooms: Sweetly traditional decor with luxury amenities. All rooms and suites exude the quiet sophistication of a country house hotel with pretty soft furnishings. And there’s also a luxury suite in an adjacent cottage. The Croquet Suite has a large king-sized double bedroom, en-suite marble bathroom, a sitting room and a breakfast room.
The frills: The Dining Room at Hambleton Hall is the proud owner of the UK’s longest-retained Michelin star, and the dizzying choice of experiences on offer include hot air balloon rides, horse riding and plenty of opportunities for messing about on the water —on a paddleboard, kayak or canoe.
Room rates start from £350 per night.
5. Barnsley House - Cotswolds
Dreaming of cosying up with your beloved in the Cotswolds? Barnsley House is a classically romantic hotel that’s one of the best minimoon destinations in the UK or the perfect escape whenever you fancy romantic weekend breaks.
The setting: A quintessential English country estate surrounded by gorgeous country gardens in the picturesque village of Barnsley.
The rooms: Country chic with a modern twist. Whether you choose a room, a suite or curl up in the quaint onsite cottage, you’ll be living it up in classic Cotswolds style.
The frills: The Spa at Barnsley House is a little piece of paradise nestled in the beautiful landscaped gardens, and all stays at Barnsley House include two hours in The Spa with more time available for an additional fee. The Potager restaurant delivers fine dining as standard with dishes created from fresh natural ingredients mostly grown in the hotel's kitchen garden and serves a divine afternoon tea.
Room rates start from £469 per night.
6. The Relais Henley - Henley-on-Thames
Just an hour’s train ride from London Paddington, The Relais Henley offers the cosmopolitan vibe of the capital in a tranquil riverside location on the River Thames in leafy Oxfordshire.
The setting: A 16th-century coaching inn reimagined for a thoroughly modern clientele, this luxury boutique hotel offers minimoons with wow factor.
The rooms: A blend of rowing club spirit with botanicals from the English countryside. The 40 individually designed rooms overlook the river, town or charming courtyard garden —and all have the feel of a sophisticated sanctuary.
The frills: Feasts at the hotel’s The Clipper restaurant, numerous opportunities for elegant cruises on the River Thames, clay pigeon shooting, horse riding in The Chilterns, and the delights of the ancient market town of Henley-on-Thames are on the doorstep.
Room rates start from £220 per night.
7. Lewtrenchard Manor - Devon
When it comes to lavish love nests in Devon, Lewtrenchard Manor is one of the most prestigious luxury hotels, and the cream of the crop if you also love great outdoor pursuits.
The setting: A handsome Jacobean manor house in Okehampton that dates back to the early 1600s, nestled in a secluded valley beneath Dartmoor’s wild tors. It’s steeped in history and exudes a travel back in time vibe — the perfect minimoon destination for escaping the stresses of the modern world.
The rooms: Comfortable and full of character. Each luxury bedroom and suite is richly furnished with bold colours, antiques and art-lined walls that tell stories of this hotel's illustrious history.
The frills: The Restaurant at Lewtrenchard Manor boasts an impressive wine cellar, as well as fabulous food; therapeutic massages and beauty sessions are available in the luxurious treatment room, and there’s a wealth of fresh-air experiences including falconry, horse riding and cycling on Dartmoor National Park, fishing and golf.
Room rates start from £198 per night.
8. Prestonfield House - Edinburgh
Fancy a romantic city break in Edinburgh? Five-star Prestonfield House is one of the most desirable hotels in the Scottish capital and a popular UK minimoon destination.
The setting: A stunning 17th-century Baroque mansion that has the vibe of a secluded country retreat despite being just five minutes from Edinburgh's buzzing Old Town. It’s a great option for culture lovers who also seek a tranquil base.
The rooms: Eclectic and dramatic —the distinguished antique style of the individually designed bedrooms and suites is a delightful fusion of heritage and unique character.
The frills: Rhubarb Restaurant delivers all of the gourmet delights and romance you would expect from the creator of the Witchery by the Castle, Prestonfield’s sister hotel. Menus feature some of the freshest seasonal Scottish produce, locally sourced from small artisan suppliers. And all of the city’s entertainment, retail and historical attractions are moments away.
Room rates start from £375 per night.
9. The Torridon - The Highlands
If your idea of a romantic break is bracing walks followed by lazy evenings sipping whisky by a roaring fire, take your paramour to The Torridon — a magnificent hotel in the rugged Scottish Highlands.
The setting: A Scottish estate with fairytale-like turrets, tucked away in 58 acres of parkland at the foot of the Torridon peaks in the resort of Wester Ross.
The rooms: A striking blend of Scottish heritage with splashes of contemporary style that’s pulled off with aplomb. All the rooms and suites offer delightful havens but for extra seclusion consider booking The Boathouse, the charming cottage in the hotel’s grounds on the banks of Loch Torridon.
The frills: Warming feasts await you in 1887, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, wee drams in the classical whisky and gin bar, while great outdoor experiences include star gazing, snorkeling, sea kayaking, mountain biking and fly fishing.
Room rates start from £396 per night.
10. Sopwell House - St Albans
If you’re looking for a hotel to get your heart racing in Hertfordshire, Sopwell House is a luxury spa hotel that’s sure to win you over with its sleek architecture and sophisticated interior design.
The setting: A classic white Georgian mansion house nestled in 12 acres of Hertfordshire countryside in the historic town of St Albans.
The rooms: Elegant English style with impeccable attention to detail. Whether you choose to stay in a deluxe guest room or opt for one of the exclusive Mews Suites that are hidden away behind a private gate, you’ll enjoy the best hotel experience in town.
The frills: Access to the hotel’s chic Cottonmill Spa is included for all guests, but those staying in a Mews Suite also benefit from access to the exclusive private member’s Club. And the hotel offers two dining room experiences: The Brasserie, which serves British and Mediterranean cuisine and Asian restaurant, Omboo, where you can feast on sushi, dim sum, and tempura.
Room rates start from £249 per night.
For a full listing of PoB hotels that are perfect havens for a romantic break in the UK, check out our Romantic Collection.