Wild Thyme & Honey – Cotswolds
Following a multi-million-pound refurbishment, Wild Thyme & Honey is now home to three magical event spaces: Wild Thyme & Honey Event Suite, The Secret Garden Room (for intimate ceremonies of up to 20), and The Courtyard. Catering for up to 140 guests and home to 24 luxurious rooms and suites – including No. 3 London Road, their exclusive honeymoon suite (a sumptuous four-poster bed, spacious living room, dressing and makeup area, barrel sauna, jacuzzi and outside patio) – Wild Thyme & Honey is perfect for a wedding weekend.
The wedding concierge bring years of experience with an address book brimming with helpful, reliable, and trustworthy relationships including, but not limited to; stylists, floral designers, photographers, all manner of entertainment, set designers and much more, whilst the award-winning culinary team are committed to creating exquisite dishes and the perfect menu tailored to suit all tastes and preferences. wildthymeandhoney.co.uk
Kin House – Wiltshire
When it comes to country wedding venues, the recently restored Kin House is the pinnacle of Georgian luxury. The Grade II listed Wiltshire manor house sits on the edge of the pretty village of Kington Langley, and is set within walled gardens and private woodland. Painstakingly and sensitively restored to its former glory, the stunning interiors are led by the British design studio Barlow & Barlow.
Attached to the side of Kin House is Kilvert Hall with space for up to 200 people to dine and dance until late. Launch parties, weddings or cocktails for a crowd – whatever the brief, they can host it. There’s even a stage for live music. For a more intimate event, there is also the Hearth Room with vaulted ceilings and an original 18th century fireplace.
A talented in-house team of chefs create menus and feasts for any occasion. Offering everything from whole joints of meat cooked over fire to abundant family fare or pizzas from the wood oven. The team will work with guests to plan the ultimate party spread. kinhouse.co.uk
Goodnestone Park – Kent
Those looking for a quintessential English country wedding venue, look no further. A former haunt of Jane Austen, Goodnestone Park is a grand and impressive stately home sitting within delightful landscaped gardens in the heart of Kent. You’ll have exclusive use of the 12-bedroom manor house throughout your stay, with Bonnington Cottage available to rent as extra accommodation. For civil ceremonies, there’s the light and airy Coach House which can fit up to 100 people, while the Portico offers a gorgeous alfresco alternative. Those keen for a traditional service, there’s the Church of the Holy Cross just a short picturesque walk from the estate. The upcoming launch of The Orangery, meanwhile, offers a sophisticated and stylish reception venue, with ample space for sit-down dinners and dancing. goodnestonepark.co.uk
Hedsor House – Buckinghamshire
Set within 100 acres of historic parkland in the Buckinghamshire countryside, just 26 miles from London, Hedsor House offers a country wedding venue that is easily accessed by the city: the best of both worlds. The spectacular Georgian manor house can be booked for exclusive use, whether you’re looking for an intimate ceremony on the Centre Hall or a bigger event in the Grand Ballroom. hedsor.com
Symondsbury Estate – Dorset
Located just a few miles from the Jurassic Coast, Symondsbury is an idyllic 1,500 acre estate set in the rolling hills of the Dorset countryside. Here, you’ll find the Tithe Barn, one of the country’s most popular wedding locations in recent years – and for good reason. This sympathetically restored 14th-century barn, surrounded by landscaped gardens and courtyard, is overflowing with charming character and understated elegance, and provides flexibility for you to fully personalise your wedding, accommodating up to 180 guests.
Looking for something a bit different? Symondsbury Estate’s marquee offers opportunities for field or woodland weddings, whilst the nearby Crepe Farmhouse and secluded gardens can be transformed into an intimate space for family and friends to celebrate together. But however you choose to celebrate, you’re guaranteed a fabulous wedding breakfast, whether that’s a traditional dinner in the Tithe Barn, an al fresco feast in the private garden or a lavish supper in the woods. Symondsbury Estate’s team of expert chefs use hand-reared meat from the estate, and seasonal vegetables grown locally. There’s also a range of accommodation on site to choose from, including charming country cottages, traditional farmhouses, luxury bell tents and an elegant Georgian townhouse sleeping 21 guests. symondsburyestate.co.uk
Old Course Hotel – St Andrews, Scotland
Escape to St Andrews for your very own Highland fling at the Old Course Hotel. The historic golf resort and spa is a stone’s throw from West Sands Beach and the breath-taking Scottish coastline, making it the perfect location for your destination wedding. It’s recently been lovingly restored, with a choice of new wedding venues taking centre stage alongside a new penthouse suite (ideal for honeymoons) and a restaurant overlooking the iconic Old Course, which will be launching later this summer.
The hotel’s Hall of Champions has been expanded to offer a flexible space flooded with natural light, complete with its own entrance. It features floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a terrace with views over the golf course, ideal for champagne receptions. Seating up to 450 guests, the hall can be used as one venue or split into six spaces for more intimate affairs. Another option at the Old Course Hotel is The Conservatory, situated alongside the 18-hole golf course. It’s recently been extended and upgraded with newly renovated windows and roof, and features glass doors at both ends with steps leading to the surrounding gardens for a beautiful photo opportunity.
Any pre-ceremony nerves can be soothed away in the hotel’s award-winning Kohler Waters Spa, with its 13 treatment rooms that include two twin rooms for couples. There’s also a 20m pool, a hydrotherapy pool, steam room and plunge pool for your guests who are looking for pampering before or after the big day. oldcoursehotel.co.uk
Hamswell House – Bath
Your first sight of Hamswell House’s honey-coloured stone façade comes at the end of the estate’s winding, wooded drive. It’s a romantic aspect: the historic 16th-century manor house is set in 50 acres of private land and gardens in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (read: the dream country wedding venue), and offers sweeping views of across the Hamswell Valley to the Westbury White Horse. It’s quite simply one of England’s most beautiful and enchanting houses, so admired that it’s been used in many a film and TV show over the years, including in Tess of the D’Urbervilles, the BBC adaptation 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 our much-loved home, not a commercial venue. It’s what makes it so special for your wedding.’ You will have exclusive access to the grounds for the entire day, so guests can explore the lovely walled gardens with the 200-year-old wisteria on the pergola, the knot garden and the 18th-century water garden with its waterlilies and Neptune fountain. For the ceremony, there is the 18th-century orangery with a 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 200. You’re free to bring your own champagne as they don’t charge corkage. hamswellhouse.co.uk
Cluny Castle – Sauchen, Aberdeenshire
If you’re after a fairytale wedding, look no further. Cluny is an enchanting historic castle – complete with turrets – dating back to the 14th century and hidden in over 200 acres of parkland. Its charm lies in the fact it’s also a lived-in and well-loved family home – Cosmo Linzee Gordon, the young laird, had his own wedding there. Cluny has its own licensed chapel within the castle, which seats 120 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 of 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. Also available is Cluny’s much sought-after West Wing apartment, which sleeps ten and is set over two floors with a palatial living area. clunycastle.com
Coworth Park – Berkshire
Set in 240 acres of stunning parkland just crying out for a wedding photoshoot, Coworth Park is a mere 45-minute drive outside of London. Offering completely bespoke weddings in some of the most beautiful hotel grounds England has to offer, there are a host of options, whatever the size of your nuptials.
Available for exclusive hire for wedding parties subject to availability, there are a total of 70 guest bedrooms across the estate. Smaller weddings can make the most of the stunning Dower House, built in 1775 and home to the hotel’s signature suite. dorchestercollection.com
Curds Hall Barn – Dereham, Norfolk
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 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 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. curdshallbarn.co.uk
Park Lodge – Bagot’s Park, Staffordshire
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. parklodgeweddings.co.uk
Llechwedd – Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd
Want a radically and dramatically different country wedding venue 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. llechwedd.co.uk
Then, complete your wedding celebrations at Llechwedd’s four-star boutique hotel, Plas Weunydd. 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. 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. plasweunydd.co.uk
Braxted Park Estate – Witham, Essex
Braxted Park Estate is pure Pride and Prejudice – with immaculate decor and facilities. This Georgian mansion stands in landscaped gardens in 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. braxtedparkweddings.com
Voewood – High Kelling, Norfolk
‘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…,’ wrote Nikolaus Pevsner, the great architectural historian, about Voewood. One of England’s finest and award-winning Arts & Crafts houses. Voewood was languishing as an old people’s home until 22 years ago when the current owner, Simon Finch, bought it and began a loving restoration along with 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 country 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. voewood.com
Barnsley House – Cirencester, Gloucestershire
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. barnsleyhouse.com
Holkham Hall – Norfolk
Holkham Hall is 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 rolls into the rugged Norfolk coastline, creating an idyllic background – along with a magnificent marble hall.
01328 713104; holkham.co.uk
Primrose Hill Farm – Oxfordshire
Just 60 minutes from London, Primrose Hill Farm is a stunning, Grade II listed farmhouse and contemporary barn conversion nestled in rural Oxfordshire, making an idyllic country wedding venue. 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. primrose-hill-farm.com
Image: Chloe Ely Photography
Hales Hall – Norfolk
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, this country wedding 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…