Say 'I do' to a memorable mini-moon
Ideas for the perfect Mini-moon in Scotland's stunning west coast
Calling all soon to be newly-weds. Lay down your lists for just a moment. Press pause on organising the seating plan or the evening band, and ponder your honeymoon for a while - that well-earned quality time with your loved one. Whether you're jetting off soon after your wedding, or whether you're planning to delay that trip for another day - have you considered making memories on a mini-moon? Many couples are choosing to bookend their big day with a mini-moon holiday - a short stay at one of the UK's romantic locations - directly after their nuptials. And coastal and countryside locations* like the West Coast of Scotland, are proving to be very popular mini-moon destinations.
Here's our take on the best mini-moon destinations on the West Coast, which are sure to get married life off to the perfect start:
1. Glamorous, gothic Bute
The Isle of Bute is just 33 miles from Glasgow, but it's true what they say, it really does feel like a world away. Bute boasts a glorious, glamorous neo gothic mansion - Mount Stuart. Built by a man who was a descendant of King Robert the Bruce and one of Britain's richest aristocrats - the 3rd Marquess of Bute. It is a house of engineering firsts, as well as one of great beauty. Mount Stuart boasts striking neo gothic architecture, a chapel that's said to have more marble that the Sistine Chapel, and a ceiling that replicates the heavens. Take a mini-moon holiday on the Isle of Bute and soak up this masterpiece as well as Bute's many other scenic splendours. You can even stay over in accommodation in the Mount Stuart grounds.
Find out more about the Isle of Bute
2. The perfect restorative retreat
After all the excitement of your wedding day, perhaps you'd like to slow life down a little, and enjoy one of the most tranquil mini-moon destinations. The tiny and peaceful Isle of Iona, with just 120 residents, is the perfect restorative retreat for newlyweds. Iona is just a 10 minute CalMac ferry ride from Mull, and when you step off the boat, it'll be clear you've arrived on a wee bit of paradise with its pure white sands, clear, turquoise waters, welcoming locals and home away from home accommodation. You'll find Iona is fascinating as well as beautiful - it was the birthplace of Scottish Christianity and is the burial place of scores of Ancient Scottish Kings. This mix of history and serenity gives Iona a beautiful, unique atmosphere.
Find out more about the Isle of Iona
3. A mini-moon fit for a Queen
Think quiet sandy beaches framed by the rugged beauty of the Atlantic coast - you'll find them waiting for you both on the Island of Islay - Queen of the Hebrides - just a two-hour sail from Kennacraig. This gem is best known for her whisky, naturally so, since its currently home to eight working distilleries. The whisky is enough of an attraction in itself, but Islay is also home to incredible coastal scenery and some of the country's most beautiful and romantic sunsets. Spend your mini-moon holiday, settling down with a wee dram, nestled in a beautiful bay on Islay's West Coast, and watch the sun as it gradually drops below the horizon, before heading back to your luxury eco-dwelling or boutique hotel.
Find out more about the Isle of Islay
4. A mini-moon in mini-Scotland
The Island of Arran has been long hailed as 'Scotland in miniature' since it has it all - mountain, moorland, rugged glens and coastlines. It's a perfect mini-moon destination, since all of this is within easy reach, and the island itself is just a leisurely 45-minute CalMac ferry crossing from the mainland. Enjoy a romantic adventure, soaking up the landscape, and seeking out sights like the standing stones at Machrie Moor dating all the way back to 3500BC, or the King's Caves on the seafront, a one time refuge of Robert the Bruce, before retiring to your own refuge - be that country house hotel, intimate inn, or luxurious spa.
Find out more about the Isle of Arran
5. Follow Fearless Flora
What could be more romantic than a mini-moon Island Hopping adventure that follows in the footsteps of one of Scotland's most famous romantic heroines - Flora MacDonald? After his bloody defeat at Culloden, Flora helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape back to the safety of France. She smuggled him over the sea to Skye, through to Portree, and, onwards to the Isle of Raasay, from where he sailed for France, whilst Flora faced her foes and prison! As well as its stories of romantic heroines, Skye also boasts a reputation as a foodie heaven. If you have the time for a longer mini-moon holiday you can follow the Prince's trail right to the incredible Outer Hebrides, where he first set foot on Scottish soil.
Be inspired to book one of these spectacular mini-moon holidays today - the perfect conclusion to your wedding day, or a memorable precursor to a longer haul honeymoon. Without a doubt, you'll find the best mini-moon destinations UK wide, in the rich and varied west coast of Scotland. Start planning your mini-moon by heading over to our destinations pages.