8 ROMANTIC THINGS TO DO ON A DEVON MINI-MOON
Only have time for a mini-moon or short honeymoon? Here are eight romantic ideas for things to do on a UK mini-moon that are right on our doorstep.
Ok, so it’s not actually a castle, but what Bovey Castle lacks in heritage, it makes up for with fabulous facilities and sweeping views. Set on a private sporting estate just up the river from Moorland View, this luxury hotel has an 18-hole championship golf course, indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, fly-fishing lake, croquet lawn and archery arena. Huge stone fireplaces, soaring ceilings, ornate panelling, squishy sofas and terraces with epic views make it one of the grandest destinations on Dartmoor to whirl away a lazy afternoon on your mini-moon. As a guest of Moorland View, you have complimentary membership, with up to 25% off spa treatments, food and drink. The 20-minute walk from the cottage along the river, across old stone bridges and through woodlands, is beautiful.
3. Walk a Dartmoor gorge
Taking in a fairytale castle, oak-lined gorge, ancient stone bridge and traditional pub, this two-hour walk along the Teign River makes an ultra-romantic mini-moon destination. Hunter’s Path runs higher up the valley, offering epic views, while Fisherman’s Path traces the spectacular wooded riverbank path, where kingfishers and woodpeckers dart between shaded pools, and trout, salmon and otters frolic in deep, clear waters. The small rocky beaches are perfect places for picnics and toe-dipping. Look out for glimpses of Prestonbury Castle Iron Age hill fort on the other side of the valley. At the bottom of the gorge is the age-old Fingle bridge, which has recessed buttresses for packhorses to pass, and Fingle Bridge Inn, which serves a mean cream tea and has a pretty terrace overlooking the river. In spring, the woodlands here are carpeted with bluebells and daffodils. > More Dartmoor walks
4. Horse ride across the moor
For an adventurous mini-moon idea, book in for a canter across the moors. Shilstone Rock Stables, in Widecombe in the Moor, is the most safety conscious stable around, and offers hacks in small groups tailored to experience. > More Dartmoor activities
5. Take a road trip
There’s no better way to blow away the cobwebs on a UK mini-moon than with a drive across the high moor. Our most romantic scenic drive takes in epic moorland, pretty thatched hamlets and the remains of a Bronze Age village.
6. Hunker down in a cosy country pub
Our friendly village pub, the Ring of Bells, has recently reopened after being destroyed in a fire, with a like-for-like restoration that has melded medieval features with a fresh, modern feel. Spend one of your mini-moon evenings next to one of the log-burning stoves and tuck into some Dartmoor-bred lamb or fresh fish landed in nearby Brixham. The sunny pub garden is one of Dartmoor’s prettiest. > More country pubs
7. Dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant
Gidleigh Park is a grand Tudor-style country manor hotel, set in 107 acres of Dartmoor woodland outside Chagford. Creative menus are delivered with pin sharp accuracy, and there’s a 50-page wine list to choose from. Well worth the £100+ price tag. Work up an appetite with a walk around the grounds. > More restaurants
8. Go stargazing
Our last idea for your UK mini-moon is to go stargazing. With clear, dark nights, Dartmoor is a fantastic place to view the night sky, with the Milky Way often clearly visible. Grab a picnic rug from the cottage, a torch, blanket and bottle of wine and head to the top of Hound Tor, one of the most atmospheric and easily accessible spots to stargaze. You’ll find full details in the cottage.
> Guided tours
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