Whether you’re an eco-conscious couple, nervous flyers or honeymooning on a budget, you don’t have to travel by plane when you go on honeymoon. From fabulous UK honeymoon breaks to alternative travel overseas, honeymoons without flying have never been more popular — or more glamorous.
There are limitless options, but here are just a few of our favourites...
Take the Train
Train holidays are probably the most popular option if you’re not flying off on honeymoon — and trains are a fast, convenient option, steeped in old school romance.
You could head anywhere in the UK, or choose a European destination by boarding the Eurostar at London St Pancras. St Pancras is a gorgeous station with good shops and glamorous bars, so you can start your honeymoon in style before reaching Paris within three hours. With Eurostar you can also travel direct to Brussels (where you can change for Amsterdam, Schiphol or Rotterdam), Lille and Disneyland Paris — and from May 2015 you can book direct to Lyon.
Once you’ve gone through the Channel Tunnel you can take trains right across Europe: connections from Paris head towards some of the most popular honeymoon destinations including Rome, Florence, Basel, Zurich, Barcelona, Venice, Berlin and Istanbul. If you’re considering a European honeymoon by train, The Man in Seat Sixty-One is a great resource.
There’s nothing quite like the excitement of setting off on a road trip. Newlyweds with wanderlust could take a car ferry and head to Dublin (from Holyhead or Liverpool), Calais (from Dover), Santander (from Portsmouth) or IJmuiden near Amsterdam (from Newcastle) and explore Europe — or Scandinavia — on their own steam.
If you’d prefer to stay closer to home, there are countless options — and don’t assume that a holiday at home won’t include breathtaking views or a sparkling, turquoise sea. You could drive down to Cornwall, for example, and stay in the Penthouse, a super-sleek apartment in pretty St Ives, overlooking the sea and featuring a walk-in shower for two.
Enjoy a Cruise
For luxury, glamour and a honeymoon that starts the second you set off, a cruise is a fantastic option.
You can sail from Southampton towards the Baltic Sea, stopping off at stunning, romantic destinations such as St. Petersburg, Tallin, Oslo and Stockholm. Or discover the breathtaking Norwegian Fjords on a round trip from the same UK port.
If you want a taste of the Mediterranean, hop on a beautiful cruise liner at Southampton and sail to Italy, Portugal, Spain or the Canary Islands. Many modern cruise ships have world class entertainment, a huge variety of dining options and glamorous features like on-deck hot tubs and cinemas, so your time at sea will be as amazing as visiting multiple destinations in one holiday.
Catch a Coach
If you’re having a vintage-style wedding, continue the theme with a coach honeymoon.
If you’re staying in the UK, you can take cool coach day trips — some including champagne afternoon tea or a delicious two course lunch — in locations like Warwick, Windsor and the Cotswolds. Or, opt for a touring coach holiday in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
To head farther afield, you can travel across Europe by coach, taking either the Channel Tunnel route or a ferry. There are affordable coach holidays to a huge variety of destinations including France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Austria.
Hire a Boat
If you’re keen sailors, why not hire a honeymoon yacht — and novices can book a skipper too. You can pick up charters from ports across the UK and Ireland, or take a train/car/coach trip to Europe and set sail from a glamorous location like Nice, San Sebastian, Biarritz or Morbihan in Brittany.
For something less “choppy”, consider a barge holiday — exploring the Norfork Broads and the waterways of Wales and Scotland are the most popular options. If you’re looking for luxury, some wide beam canal boats have features like king-size beds and Jacuzzi baths.
If you don’t fancy sailing, there are lots of moored boats around the UK to honeymoon on. Sunborn, for example, is London’s first yacht hotel, moored in Royal Victoria Dock it features an Elemis spa, executive guest rooms and an affordable romance package.
Get on Your Bike
If you love to cycle, a bike-based honeymoon is tons of fun. You could load your bikes on a car or camper van, or set off from your home on the bike after planning a detailed route and booking accommodation along the way (be prepared to travel light). Cycling from London to Paris is one of the most popular routes for bike fans and you could always buy a glamorous dress once you get there!
There are amazing bike rides across Europe but the UK has scenery, terrain and scope. Some of the best British bike rides can be found in the Forest of Dean, the Isle of Arran, Derbyshire, Cardiff Bay and the North Yorkshire Moors, but there are fabulous (and challenging) options across the country.
Camper Vans, Caravans and Glamping
Hiring a camper van is a cool idea for quirky couples and you won’t need to worry about accommodation on your honeymoon. You could hire an all-singing modern camper, or a vintage van to travel in retro style.
Caravans give you the same sense of freedom; they are affordable and allow you to stop at several locations — or, if you really love the great outdoors, throw a tent in the car and spend your honeymoon camping.
If “glamping” is more your style, consider a self drive UK holiday and stay in unique “outdoors” accommodation. In Yorkshire, for example, you could stay in Camp Katur glamping village in Bedale, which includes its own honeymoon suite (the “Romeo and Juliet Hobbit Pod”), or Rowan Yurt near Holmfirth, a secluded property with a king-size bed, wood-burning stove and hot tub.
Take a look at other no-fly honeymoon options by browsing honeymoon ideas in the UK.