Thinking of honeymooning in Britain? Make it extra special and swap a run-of-the-mill hotel for an unforgettable escape
If you thought that hotels in Britain were all uninspiring box rooms with the same old décor and mini bars, then think again. From an imposing gothic temple in Buckinghamshire to a safari lodge in Kent, make your honeymoon the experience of a lifetime.
Perched on a coastal path between Aberporth and Tresaith in Cardigan Bay, 'Wendy' the Aberporth Express is perfectly placed for a romantic escape. This former Great Western Railway sleeper carriage has been expertly converted into a cosy space and even includes a 1930s oak dining suite.
Named Wendy after the character in Peter Pan, the carriage has access to the beach meaning it makes a great base for bottle-nosed dolphin spotting which can be seen off the coast.
It might not have the guaranteed weather of the dolphin mecca that is Mexico, but you won't even notice when you're enjoying some of the finest views in Wales.
Price: £189-£453 for a two-night stay based on two guests
Find out more: www.underthethatch.co.uk
It's certainly not what you expect to find in a row of traditional English buildings, but the astonishingly juxtaposed Egyptian House sits proudly on historic Chapel Street. Built in 1836 by a mineralogist, it originally housed a museum but the first floor has since been converted into a holiday apartment.
The extraordinary facade features golden pyramids, sphinxes and intricate hieroglyphics. Interestingly the interior is completely different, with soft yellow walls and traditional furniture. The house itself is surrounded by a few small shops and within walking distance of the Quay.
Price: from £166 for a four-night stay
Find out more: www.landmarktrust.org.uk
Itching to experience the wilds of an African lodge but don't have the time or budget? Then Livingstone Lodge's safari experience is the perfect minimoon alternative. Set in the grounds of a wild animal park, accommodation comes in the form of luxury South African tents, complete with fluffy towels and electric lighting. Beds are single but for the ultimate honeymoon experience stay in the Cheetah or Rhino tents which have four poster beds. The best part is that all of the tents overlook a watering hole where zebra, giraffe and rhino gather to drink, making you truly feel as though you're in the wilds of the Serengeti, not the district of Shepway!
Price: from £130-170 pppn (additional charge of £50 for the Cheetah and Rhino tents); booking until 20 October
With dramatic, angular turrets and an eerie feel, the Gothic Temple in Stowe, Buckinghamshire is a must for any honeymooners who enjoy medieval architecture. Built in 1741 the building was dedicated 'to the liberty of our Ancestors' and in a nod to Anglo-Saxon heritage the Gothic design was chosen. All the rooms are circular, with the main vault painted in ornate colours. Set in the beautifully peaceful Stowe landscape gardens, which is home to more than 40 temples and monuments, the Gothic Temple is a world away from everyday life. Perfect for a honeymoon.
Price: from £512 for a four-night stay
There's nothing quite like a good old British camping holiday, but factor in a lovingly restored Airstream caravan and a picturesque island and you've got yourself a winning honeymoon combination. Among the first to offer Glamping holidays in the UK, Vintage Vacations have a whole fleet of American caravans based on a working farm near Newport. Staying true to the original décor, all the caravans have retained their 60s and 70s looks, but with modern conveniences hidden behind. (Toilets and showers are housed in a beach hut.) According to the website: "we prefer to restore rather than refurbish - call us old romantics but we feel that this keeps the 'soul' of the caravan and continues the tradition of many happy holidays past." We'll raise an ice-cream to that!
Price: from £105 (min two-night stay)
Find out more: www.vintagevacations.co.uk
Sentence yourself to a few nights in the House of Correction and you won't be disappointed. Originally built for minor offenders, this 18th Century former prison is now a beautiful bolthole in the rural Lincolnshire countryside. With views looking out at the ex-moat of a lost medieval castle and roaring open fires, the House of Correction makes a magical winter honeymoon destination. The accommodation sleeps four and the kitchen comes complete with dining table and a dish-washer. The house also comes with the original handcuffs and ankle chains, so if you can even tie yourselves up if you're that way inclined…
Price: from £283 for four nights
There are many great things about Great Britain, but all too often the weather isn't one of them. Rain and wind are a common feature of our so called summer, but hidden away on the rural Kent coast lies a secret place that guarantees 365 days of sun a year. The Beach Sun Retreat in Dymchurch is one of the only places in the country to have a health-giving sun simulator, meaning that warming sunrays, the sound of waves lapping the shore, tropical views and a soft sea breeze are there at the flick of a switch. And if you get tired of sunbathing, the house also has a cinema room, private bar, Jacuzzi baths and boutique bedrooms. The house is available to hire as a whole, so you can pretend you're on a completely private, foreign break without leaving the country.
Price: from £258 per night or £1,800 per week
Find out more: www.beachsunretreat.com
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