With the rippling effects of the coronavirus set to continue for the coming months, many soon-to-be-married couples are weighing up their options amid ongoing restrictions on travel and gatherings. Luxury wedding planner Charlotte Elise, who is organising a dream wedding at Scarlet Hall, explains: "for some it’s been a really hard decision, especially if they were due to marry later this summer. There’s so much uncertainty surrounding social distancing that most of our clients have decided to postpone, protecting the health of their family and friends." There's no doubt ceremonies and honeymoon plans have been devastated by the outbreak, but it seems many couples have cancelled plans in their stride, remembering what really matters is the principle, not the party. For those not able to wed or honeymoon overseas this year, consider this: a modern-day minimoon...

The backstory

The ‘honeymoon’ concept gained speed in the 19th century, where newlyweds would voyage to the British seaside. Sparkling art deco lidos, ice cream parlours and beachside hotels were rife. Yorkshire became a hotspot in the north, as well as Cornwall in the south; Penzance particularly with its romantic rail journey and convenient end-of-the-line location.

A post-war world saw a much humbler honeymoon take place in the forties and fifties, with countryside camping trips often on the post-wedding agenda. The sixties saw air travel become more accessible, and Mick and Bianca Jagger soon put the South of France on the map for the more glamour-seeking set - sun tans and breezy rooftop Champagne bars all enhancing the honeymooners' glow.

Led by the Royals including Charles and Dianna, the ‘cruise to nowhere’ became the thing of the eighties, with glitzy sailing holidays stealing the hearts of the masses. A desire for dazzling cabaret and overflowing buffets soon diminished, however, and next it was the farflung fling. Mauritius, Florida, the Seychelles; the longer the flight and more sun-scorched the better.

Fast-forward to 2020 and you could say we have gone full circle. Moving away from the superfluous, luxury-seeking couples are searching for something more low-key. Farflung (without the flight), glamorous (without the glitz) and romantic beyond belief. The key element now is privacy. Hail the modern-day minimoon: the sustainable (but no less sexy) staycation. Take a look at the couples’ retreats you’ll never want to leave. Here are five of our top picks for 2020:

The Limit, Cornwall

Romany, Kent

The Beach Hut, Cornwall

Hinterland Cabin, Wales

Damselfly, Cornwall