Whilst many couples will have been on holiday together before, the honeymoon is a chance to relax after the excitement and stress of the wedding. A time to reflect on the wedding and look to the future. Many people choose to fly to far-flung destinations, whilst others stay to home.

The origin of the honeymoon

The origin of a honeymoon has different sources. One suggestion is that it began in sixteenth century Europe, whilst the other puts the origin back to Babylonian times when the bride’s father would serve mead (honey wine) to the groom which he drank every night for the first month (measured by one moon) of his marriage to boost the couple’s fertility. This is where the word honeymoon is said to originate.

Another story from Scandinavia says the word honeymoon originated from the Norse word “hjunottsmanathr”, which means “in hiding”. The word is said to have originated at this time when brides were kidnapped and hidden until her family stopped looking for her or she fell pregnant. While still in hiding, the couple would share the mead daily during the honeymoon/hiding period to increase their chances of giving birth to a son.

The idea of a honeymoon only became known in England during the Victorian era, before it spread throughout Europe. It is from here that the tradition came that the groom and his family were responsible for planning and paying for the honeymoon. The honeymoon was important because once the couple announced their engagement to be married they were separated until the wedding. Therefore, a honeymoon after marriage helped the husband and wife become reacquainted.

Honeymoon destinations

Many couples wish for an exotic location for their honeymoon, but if you want to fly out after your wedding, your choice of destination will be restricted by the month you marry to avoid cyclones, soaring temperatures and hurricanes. There are many online resources that help you choose honeymoon destination if you’re unsure.

Many couples are choosing not to spend on a lavish honeymoon, particularly if the wedding has taken a lot of finance or if getting leave from work is difficult. Some couples choose to have a vacation at home in what are considered ‘mini-moon’ destinations. In the UK, there are many amazing and unusual places to stay for newly-weds.

Here are some:

The Bath House, Warwickshire

The Bath House in Stratford-upon-Avon is a stunning octagon-shaped folly hidden in the woods. You step inside to a beautiful green bedroom, with walls adorned with seashells and faux-icicles dripping from the ceiling. Under the bedroom is a cold plunge pool.

Hard Days Night Hotel, Merseyside

Located in the centre of the Liverpool’s ‘Beatles Quarter’, this Grade II listed hotel offers sumptuous accommodation, presented with a Beatles twist. Perfect for any fan of the Beatles, there are a range of rooms and suites available.

Badger’s Bower, Buckinghamshire

Escape to a luxury self-catering beach hut, overlooking the waves at Whitsand Bay. Relax in the hot tub, enjoy breakfast in the king-size bed, star gaze at night and look out for dolphins during the day. What makes this destination extra special is that pets are welcome too.

Abbey Gatehouse, Gloucestershire

The Abbey Gatehouse in Tewkesbury is right by Tewkesbury Abbey. This unusual location id the perfect unusual base from which to explore the beautiful Cotswolds and Cheltenham.