Not Feeling a Honeymoon yet? Take an Autumn Mini-Moon Instead
Autumn is a great time of the year to be married, but it can be a difficult season to honeymoon in: European holiday destinations start cooling down, seasonal weather warnings start popping up in the Caribbean and, for those without children, there’s the half-term holiday period to compete with when prices inevitably rise.
After an expensive wedding, couples are likely to be painfully aware of the cold, brandy tainted breath of Christmas drawing near. It begs the question: are quick UK getaways in autumn worth attempting?
We say absolutely.
We say absolutely.
Increasingly, couples are choosing to hold-off on the big honeymoon and opt instead for a mini-moon in the UK.
It means a short but well-earned break right at the start of married life yet it leaves the option for a larger honeymoon later on, too.
There are a number of reasons why couples might choose to do this: work commitments, childcare commitments or (very understandably) post-wedding lethargy. Equally, it isn’t every couple who might want a big trip abroad.
In the UK we’re very fortunate to have such stunning locations with across the country. It means that even the staunchest of home birds can enjoy a honeymoon to remember.
Of course, we can only highlight a select few places. If you're thinking of getting away this autumn, then we'd recommend the Forestry Commission's website. It lists the top places to observe the changing colour of the woods and forests in the UK. Even if you're not planning a mini-moon, then it's a fantastic resource for planning days out and stay-cations throughout the year.
One amazing place is The National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire. It's home to a collection of over 16,000 shrubs and trees and is especially well known for its Japanese Maple collection. Located in the Cotswolds, Westonbirt is the perfect place for long walks, photographry and peace and quiet: what the doctor ordered after months of frantic planning.
Of course, there's no guarantee that it won't rain , so be sure to take a mac, an umbrella and some wellies if the forecast suggests a wet one. Even if it does rain however, we don't think you'll mind. It's a pretty amazing message for marriage, too. You might find that learning to dance in the rain is the key to marital longevity. You can keep a closer eye on the colour change via the blog here or via their Twitter page
If you're in the area, then we'd recommend staying at the Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel. Located less than 30 minutes away from Westonbirt by car, the hotel is set amid 55 acres of beautiful parkland. There's certainly enough to keep you busy: water skiing, wake boarding, kayaking and much more are all possible on the 140 surrounding lakes. Find out more here
Admission to Westonbirt is £9 in October and November.
Prices at Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars for October and September start at £89
Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest
Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, not far from Tumbridge Wells, has the world's largest collection of Pine Trees. Whether you're after seasonal walks, picnics or even a couple of hours in the tree-tops with Go Ape, there's lots to keep you busy. What's brilliant about Bedgebury are the numerous paths leading through the forest for all walking abilities and ages. So, whether you're taking the kids or the mother-in-law there's something for everyone.
The Mercure Maidstone Great Danes hotel is approximately a 40 minute drive to Bedgebury, and very near to Leeds Castle (another place worth visiting). There's a health club to help you unwind and complimentary WiFi for liking all those post-wedding Facebook photographs Ashford Eurostar is only a short drive away, too, so there's no reason that you can't add a foreign flavour to your mini-moon.
Prices at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes start from £80 for October and November. Admission to Bedgebury is £9.50 per car.
If you've got children, then there's no reason to abandon your mini-moon. There are many child friendly places across the UK and, with half-term approaching, it would be rude of us not to mention Blackpool. Love it or loathe it, Blackpool is famous for two things: the tower and the illuminations. Running until 9th November, Blackpool illuminations offer a traditional family escape, but with enough adult attractions to appeal to those going away without the kids, too.
Staying in Blackpool however, doesn't mean roughing it in an awkwardly old fashioned B&B. We recommend Bartle Hall, near Preston. Set in 16 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, Bartle Hall is a perfect slice of peace and quiet within driving distance of the Lake District, Preston and, of course, Blackpool. All rooms have complimentary WiFi, and, as you're on a mini-moon, why not opt for an upgrade to a four-poster bed?
A room at Bartle Hall starts from £99.
Autumn doesn't have to be about leaf fall or childhood nostalgia. It's also a fantastic time for wildlife spotting. With the lighter mornings and darker evenings, autumn offers a good opportunity for children and adults to embrace their inner Attenborough. So, why not take a trip to Scotland? After a long day in the great outdoors, what could be better than retiring to a hot toddy and a warm fire? Most wildlife companies have trips in the autumn and winter months. Although, you should double check to see what animal or bird life will you can expect to see. In Angus, for example, you can take a trip to see winter thrushes, ducks, swans and geese.
You can see other Scottish venues in our directory here, but for somewhere really special there's the beautiful Kinnettles Castle in Angus. Set amid 44 acres of stunning parkland, Kinettles Castle is the perfect Scottish hideaway. With complimentary WiFi, you can enjoy being removed from modern day life whilst still connected to family and friends back home (or not). There's a two-bedroom self-catering cottage, too: perfect for newlyweds.
Rooms start from £175 per night in November.
Did you have a mini-moon? Where did you decide to go? We'd love to hear from you :) Tell us on Twitter or Facebook