On the hunt for the most photogenic country wedding venues in the UK and Ireland? You’ve come to the right place. From stunning Scottish castles to quintessentially English halls, read our guide to the best luxury wedding venues in the glorious British & Irish countryside.
The Best Wedding Venues in London The Best Country Wedding Venues in the UK & Ireland
It all started with a simple family wedding held inside Curds Hall Barn. Since then, the owners have worked hard, lovingly restoring the 17th-century building so that other couples can enjoy their big days there, too. Nestled in the verdant Norfolk countryside, Curds Hall Barn is a beautiful and historic place to tie the knot. It’s the final remaining building of the medieval Curds Hall, once owned by William Nelson, the great-uncle of Horatio Nelson, and is built from an evocative mix of reused medieval masonry, brick and flint.
There are three spaces, The Barn, The Loft and The Woodshed, which can be tailored to meet your requirements. The Woodshed, with its rustic oak beams creating a natural aisle, seats 140 people for the ceremony. If you’d rather say your vows outside, then that can also be arranged; if you’d like to say them in a church, then there are two beautiful ones in nearby Fransham – one of which can be seen from Curds Hall Barn. The Barn can then seat 150 guests for the wedding breakfast and welcome up to 200 for the evening reception. What’s more, you get three-day venue hire, so you can have ample time to set and dismantle the wedding of your dreams among the setting of the picturesque Norfolk countryside. It’s the perfect blank canvas to make a day to remember forever.
An elegant Grade II-listed hunting lodge that originally formed part of the grand estate of neighbouring Blithfield Hall, Park Lodge has an illustrious sporting history dating back to the early 19th century. The 1,600-acre estate still hosts shooting parties to this day, but now for the first time you can book the entire eight-bedroom, six-bathroom house for your own exclusive use for up to a week. This means the wedding party can sit back and enjoy the preparations together in the lead up to the big day, while the gorgeous landscaped gardens and grounds – offering sweeping views over the surrounding countryside – make the most picturesque setting for the wedding itself, with marquees of all sizes and styles provided by partners Covered by Canvas.
Tucked away down a secluded, two-mile-long, private drive, the 1838 house was built in the Tudor-Gothic style, and boasts many authentic features like the wood panelled reception hall, original shutters and open fires. It’s all nestled within the romantic, rolling green vistas of the Staffordshire countryside – ’The views go on for miles,’ as one previous guest attested. And you can be sure of the most personalised service possible: the hunting lodge and its grounds is completely family-owned, too, having been bought by Brian James Dale in 1953, and today run by David Dale and his children Charles Dale and Lucinda Prince. ‘We just don’t want to leave,’ gushed another previous guest, which pretty much says it all. Luckily, you won’t have to – for a few days at least.
Want something radically and dramatically different that will have your friends talking about your wedding for years to come? Then head for Llechwedd Slate Mine and descend 500 feet down into the earth and tie the knot on the shores of a glittering silver underground lake at the deepest point in the United Kingdom. The ghostly but exquisite lake was formed during the 1800s as a result of the intense slate mining all around it. You and your guests descend into the famous Llechwedd slate mine via Britain’s steepest cable car and then it’s a short torchlit walk to Chamber Nine, which holds 60 seated and is licensed for ceremonies. With its vaulted slate ceiling and the lake shimmering like an enchanted mirror, Chamber Nine is a hauntingly beautiful place, akin to walking into a living dream or ancient myth.
From 2021, you can complete your wedding celebrations at Llechwedd’s new Plas Weunydd, four-star boutique hotel. Just a minute from the mine, Plas Weunydd seats up to 120 for dinner and there are 24 comfortable double rooms. Llechwedd lies within Snowdonia National Park so is surrounded by some of Britain’s most glorious countryside and is within easy reach of Portemeirion if you want to continue festivities in another magical realm of fantasy. And if adventurous activities are your thing, guests can round off the weekend enjoying Europe’s longest zipwire and numerous underground activities from trampolining to deep mine tours.
01766 830306; plasweunydd.co.uk
This historic 16th-century manor house with its elegant Queen Anne façade is set in 50 acres of private land and gardens in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With its honeyed Cotswold stone and glorious panoramic views across the Hamswell Valley to the Westbury White Horse, this is quite simply one of England’s most romantically beautiful and enchanting houses. It’s so admired that it’s been used in many a film, including Tess of the D’Urbervilles with Eddie Redmayne and Gemma Arterton.
Within easy reach of Bristol, Bath and the M4, Hamswell House is the family home of Rupert and Victoria Legge, who will ensure that your wedding has every last personal touch. As Rupert says, ‘Hamswell House is a private family house and estate and not a hotel or corporate events venue. It’s what makes it so special for your wedding.’ You will have exclusive access to all the grounds for the entire wedding day so guests can wander around and explore the lovely walled gardens, pergola and terraced herb garden. For the ceremony, there is the 18th-century orangery with its Cotswold stone roof and huge arched windows leading onto a lawn to accommodate extra guests. For the wedding breakfast, there is a splendid marquee that can seat 240. You’re free to bring your own champagne as they don’t charge corkage.
Braxted Park Estate is pure Pride and Prejudice – with immaculate decor and facilities. This Georgian mansion stands in landscaped gardens and a 500-acre estate, and has been the much-loved home to five generations of the Clark family. Here, without having to leave the grounds, you can plan a day of seamless joy, going from ceremony to reception, with your exclusive hire of this family-run estate. Braxted Park will provide world-class chefs, florists, beautiful tableware and a cellar full of fine wines. You can have a hog roast, a BBQ, a banquet or an elegant selection of canapés.
In the secret Knott Garden at the heart of the walled garden you can marry on a carpet of rose petals surrounded by birdsong and the scent of flowers. Or there’s the Orangery, perfect for a small daytime reception, with its hand-painted murals and views of the garden through arched windows. For traditionalists, there is Braxted Park’s own 11th-century parish church within the grounds, which seats 150. Finally, there’s the recently created Pavilion with capacity for 350, popular for Asian, Caribbean and Jewish weddings. Overlooking the walled garden, this versatile, state-of-the-art space can be dry hired so you can bring in absolutely everything to make it your own and its neutral décor means it can be quickly transformed. The converted stable block has 12 double ensuite rooms for guests and there’s a special bridal changing room in a self-contained courtyard. The recently renovated two-bedroom Garden Cottage, with views over the valley from a private garden and a hidden terrace, is perfect for honeymooners.
01621 892305. braxtedpark.com
If you want majesty and drama, Cluny Castle is for you. Hidden in over 200 acres of landscaped, wooded parkland, Cluny is a proper, historic castle – vast, imposing and crenelated with turrets – dating back to the 14th century. Its charm lies in the fact it’s also a lived in and loved family home – Cosmo Linzee Gordon, the young laird, had his own wedding there last summer. Cluny has its own licensed chapel within the castle, which seats 100 guests. Directly below the chapel is the Tenants’ Hall, with stained glass mullioned windows that echo the chapel. It can accommodate 94 guests for dinner and parquet flooring makes it ideal for dancing.
For small weddings, up to 24 people, guests can use the beautiful dining room and drawing room. For big weddings, Cluny offers a variety of sites for a marquee, all enjoying magnificent views of the castle, which is always available as a backdrop for wedding photographs. Guests can choose any size, layout, theme or style of marquee and even specify clear windows and roof to take advantage of long Scottish summer sunsets and scarlet night skies. Cosmo insists that the only limit to guests’ choices is their imagination. Bridal parties can now stay in the castle because Cosmo has renovated the top floor to provide seven superb bedrooms and bathrooms. He’s also redecorated and upgraded Cluny’s much sought after West Wing apartment, which sleeps ten and is set over two floors with a palatial living area.
01330 833302. clunycastle.com
‘By far the most interesting building in this part of Norfolk. A violently idiosyncratic house. Some of its inventions remind one of Gaudi’s work in Barcelona….’ so wrote Nikolaus Pevsner, the great architectural historian, about Voewood, one of the England’s finest and award-winning Arts & Crafts houses. It was languishing as an old people’s home until 22 years ago when the current owner Simon Finch bought it and began lovingly restoring it, using local craftsmen. He wanted the house to be a living work of art, so used hand-painted textiles and decorated every room with his exceptional art collection and beautiful furniture.
The result is that this important historical mansion is now one of England’s most charming and magical wedding venues. The Grade II*-listed house sleeps 42 over 17 guest bedrooms, and wedding guests have exclusive use of the entire house over two days (weekends or weekdays). The house is licensed for civil ceremonies and there is a magnificent banqueting hall that can seat up to 120 at long trestle tables. For larger numbers there is a marquee, tipi or stretch tent and 11 acres of gardens, including a knot garden, woodland, ponds and topiary, licensed for outdoor ceremonies. There is no corkage and Voewood has a superb list of suppliers honed over 15 years, from florists to caterers.
01263 713802. voewood.com
Once the home of celebrated garden designer Rosemary Verey, Barnsley House is exactly the sort of rambling, quietly elegant home that seems made for weddings. In fact, as Verey cultivated wild lavender borders, tumbling roses, and curtains of ivy that drape coquettishly over a crumbling arboretum, it’s difficult to imagine she wasn’t purposely fashioning an idyll for nuptial bliss. Inside, you’ll find 18 elegantly appointed bedrooms, all with wide stone fireplaces, and a small bar serving pre-and post-dinner tipples. There’s also The Potager restaurant, where fresh ingredients are served up straight from the recently revived kitchen garden. Here a wedding breakfast for up to 70 can be held. Ceremonies for up to 120 are possible in a marquee in the 11 acres of storybook-beautiful grounds.
Adding to the higgledy-piggledy charm of Barnsley House, guests approach the property via a pretty driveway at what was originally the back of the house. Tucked away, Tardis-like, in quaint, pretty outbuildings, you’ll also discover the secret spa, where any pre-wedding stresses can be smoothed away with Elemis treatments, or by a bracing dip in the outdoor hydrotherapy pool as the occasional cow nods its head over the fence to say hello. The magic of this Cotswolds hideaway lies in its atmosphere, and of taking over your very own country pile for the weekend, rather than a hotel. An unforgettable day, after all, calls for an unforgettable location. One can’t help but think Verey would be proud.
01285 740000; barnsleyhouse.com
A stunning 18th century Palladian countryside manor house immersed within acres of rural splendour. With six different wedding venues, four spectacular state rooms and a traditional church located just half a mile from the Hall, this regal rural estate is the perfect place to say ‘I do’. Breathtaking parkland rolling into the rugged Norfolk coastline, along with a magnificent marble hall.
A fairytale Scottish wedding featuring bagpipes, turrets and magical woodlands.
Yesteryear opulence and sumptuous interiors at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in rural Ireland.
A knees-up in one of Devon’s prettiest corners, with its own church and beds for up to 90 people.
Just 60 minutes from London, Primrose Hill Farm is a stunning Grade II listed farmhouse and contemporary barn conversion nestled in rural Oxfordshire. Couples and their guests can enjoy exclusive run of the house and barn for the entire weekend, ensuring the celebrations don’t need to be cut short. The family-run farm offers a familiar, relaxed approach to their tailor-made service that runs from the first visit through to the end of the wedding stay. The Farm Barns, formerly hay barns, feature simple vaulted interiors of lime washed timber paired with expansive glass walls and roaring log fires which all make gorgeous backdrops for the wedding photos.
Image: Chloe Ely Photography
With capacity for up to 130, the indoor ceremonies in the Coach House are fairytale material, with converted stables offering ten bedrooms and a bridal suite.
Nestled in the hamlet of Thorpe Mandeville in the Oxfordshire countryside, Thorpe Manor is surrounded by the natural beauty of its 200-acre estate, making it one of the best secluded country wedding venues. The house has been sympathetically restored and renovated by skilled craftsmen, led by the son of the former owner and his partner. The grandeur of this charming, yet informal property is made even more perfect for a wedding by its location opposite the village church.
You need to be a member of the Carnegie Club to bag this epic number for your big day, but, whatever it takes… The sprawling Sutherland castle offers breath-taking landscapes and a decadent Edwardian dining room for exchanging your vows.
Say I do inside Europe’s most romantic hotel and have the Gaelic fairytale wedding of your dreams. With rooms and suites tucked away in turrets, you and your guests will feel like you’re on a magnificent Royal adventure.
This Charming Manor house sits near Chipping Norton on the Oxfordshire-Gloucestershire borders in one of the most beautiful areas of the Cotswolds. The romantic Cornwell lets you create your own unique experience whilst having the whole manor to yourself for a wedding weekend.
A Jurassic Coast gem, The Axnoller sits in a truly private location in one of Dorset’s hidden valleys. Offering luxurious wedding packages for you and your guests, it will sure be an event not to forget.
The ancient tower, manicured grounds and magnificent eight-acre walled garden are just three things we love about this wedding venue, the fact that it’s one of Scotland’s finest sporting estates helps too…
For those who want to say I do away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Grade II listed Hales Hall is surrounded by lavender-filled gardens, topiary hedges and acres of meadows, fields and woodland to take your breath away. Seating over 200 guests, the venue features award-winning catering as well as state-of-the-art lighting and a sprung dancefloor. It also sleeps 25 guests, so you can spend as long as you like with your family and friends inside the medieval masterpiece celebrating the occasion. The perfect place to set the scene for the wedding of the year…
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