Castles and stately homes

Sometimes you need a venue that screams glamour and timeless elegance – in those cases it makes sense to look into hosting your event in one of the UK’s castles or stately homes. Here, we’ve picked out a selection of halls, manor houses, and great mansions that we think do events the best. Weddings are an obvious choice for these destinations, but their scale makes them a great bet for summer parties, grand banquets and dinner dances too. Don’t forget that large conferences, AGMs and business meetings are also well accommodated, and almost all of them have the facilities and bedrooms required to host delegates for multi-day events. 

Updated on 15 December 2017

Castles and stately homes

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Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa

Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa

Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa
Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 160

Main Road, Worleston , Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 6DQ

Built in 1816, the 70-bedroom Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa serves up an alluring mix of architectural styles. Part Georgian manor, part French chateau, there’s also a modern West Wing, with 21 luxury bedrooms. A stable block has been converted into a health club, spa and eight conference suites. The largest event space is the Worleston, which has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the Cheshire countryside. Many of the meeting rooms have direct access to an outdoor terrace and lawn, and all come with Wi-Fi and plasma screens. Dining in the grand hall of the main house has a real sense of occasion or there are PDRs for up to 60 guests.

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Crathorne Hall Hotel

Crathorne Hall Hotel

Crathorne Hall Hotel
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 100

Crathorne Yarn , Yarm, North Yorkshire, TS15 0AR

It’s played host to politicians, royalty and the glitterati since opening in 1906, but Crathorne Hall Hotel now prides itself on an unstarchy approach to hospitality. Set in 15 acres of gardens on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, it has 37 bedrooms and a fine-dining restaurant. Round the back, the lawn and adjacent terrace are prime breakout spots. There are also a handful of attractive indoor spaces for entertaining and business. Meeting rooms for up to 120 delegates share the venue’s stately style and are supported by some competitive day delegate rates. The elegant Edwardian Room is our favourite spot for a private dinner.

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The Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa

The Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa

The Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 120

South Street, Midhurst, West Sussex, GU29 9NH

Found in the South Downs National Park, The Spread Eagle dates back to 1430. Original features include inglenook fireplaces, Flemish stained-glass windows and attractive oak beams. The largest function room is the Jacobean Hall, which has heraldic banners and a minstrels’ gallery. The more intimate King Edward VII Suite is ideal for informal meetings. For some R&R, the Scandinavian-style spa and indoor pool beckons.

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Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa

Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa

Fawsley Hall Hotel and Spa
Max Meeting 120
Max Theatre 29
Max Standing 180
Max Banquet 120

Fawsley, Daventry, Northamptonshire, NN11 3BA

From medieval beginnings, Northamptonshire’s Fawsley Hall has grown into an atmospheric country house hotel. Tapestries still hang on walls and the high-ceilinged Salvin Longroom has retained all of its grandeur. The Salvin and Georgian Boardrooms also have a traditional feel. The property’s biggest event space, Saunders, is away from the main house in listed Knightley Court, where there’s also a Cinema and the Valentine Suite. Around and about, formal gardens and Capability Brown-landscaped parkland lend themselves to teambuilding.

 

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Hedsor House

Hedsor House

Hedsor House
Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 150

Hedsor Park, Taplow, Berkshire, SL6 0HX

Thirty-five minutes west of London, historic Hedsor House is a popular filming location and an outstanding venue for exclusive hire. At the heart of this Georgian manor house is its Italianate, domed Centre Hall, a towering spot for drinks receptions. The more expansive Ballroom is a luxurious place for gala dinners and conferences, while the South Lawn is a fine summertime setting. Teambuilding activities on Hedsor’s 100-acre estate include clay pigeon shooting and 4x4 off-roading.

 

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Thornbury Castle

Thornbury Castle

Thornbury Castle
Max Meeting 75
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 66

Castle Street , Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire, BS35 1HH

Staking its claim as the only Tudor castle in England that’s open as a hotel, Thornbury Castle sits pretty in its picturesque South Gloucestershire setting. The 27-room hotel has proudly embraced its heritage, offering function rooms with plenty of old English character. The high-ceilinged Tudor Hall – a stone-walled room, complete with suits of armour, tapestries and a huge fireplace – will accommodate 75 delegates theatre style, and 66 for an atmospheric banquet. The second of two event spaces on offer is the first-floor Baron’s Sitting Room, which overlooks the hotel’s vineyard and gardens, and works particularly well for board meetings of up to 22 delegates. There’s plenty of natural daylight in both spaces and free Wi-Fi throughout. Thornbury’s grounds have plenty of space for activities like archery, croquet and falconry. On a rainy day, groups can get stuck into a murder mystery activity around the castle.

 

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Stanbrook Abbey Hotel

Stanbrook Abbey Hotel

Stanbrook Abbey Hotel
Max Meeting 350
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 280

Jennet Tree Lane, Callow End, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR2 4TY

Halfway between Worcester and Great Malvern, this neo-gothic former abbey houses a cluster of noteworthy event spaces. Front and centre is its old chapel: now Callow Great Hall, it retains its vaulted ceiling and stained-glass windows. St Anne’s Hall opens up onto a balcony and terrace, while the Piano Lounge is good for receptions. Looking back at the main hotel, the self-contained Garden Pavilion works as well for product launches as dinner dances.

 

 

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Ettington Park Hotel

Ettington Park Hotel

Ettington Park Hotel
Max Meeting 80
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 96

Alderminster , Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 8BU

Round turrets, arched windows and multicoloured brickwork give neo-gothic Ettington Park a fairytale feel. Today, on the outskirts of Stratford upon Avon, it’s a country house hotel with 44 green acres and a focus on events. In characteristic Hand Picked Hotels style, its well-appointed meeting rooms go big on natural light. The 19th-century Chapel is a memorable spot for private dinners, as is the wood-panelled Library. Bigger events take place beneath the arched ceiling of the Long Gallery.

 

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Gosford House

Gosford House

Gosford House
Max Meeting 600
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 100

Gosford Estate, Aberlady, near Edinburgh, Central Scotland, Central Scotland, EH32 0PX

Neo-classical Gosford House is a 200-year-old country pile set in 5,000 acres of coastal parkland. Its two-tier Marble Hall, which boasts an imposing double staircase, is the standout event space, housing one of the greatest private art collections in Scotland and holding up to 400 guests for a reception. The main dining room can seat up to 100 for a gala dinner, and the whole house can be hired exclusively for parties of up to 600. The grounds are made for activity days and incentive trips, with the award-winning Craigielaw golf course (one of four on the estate), a boathouse, curling rink and marquee space for up to 2,000 on site.

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Bovey Castle

Bovey Castle

Bovey Castle
Max Meeting 80
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 150

North Bovey, Dartmoor National Park , Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ13 7RE

Owned by Hilwood Resorts, Bovey Castle is a five-star resort located in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, yet only two hours by train from London Paddington. After a £16m overhaul in recent years, the castle offers 64 spectacular bedrooms, staterooms and suites, plus 14 three-bedroom lodges in the 450-acre grounds. Weekenders and corporate guests can all take part in a range of over 70 activities, including golf on the private 18-hole championship course, fishing, horse riding, falconry and swimming in the indoor pool, which is part of the venue’s spa. A host of fire-lit lounges and some rather magnificent reception rooms are highlights in the main house; modern meeting spaces are located in an adjacent mews building, which is also home to a multimedia theatre with facilities for satellite conferencing. The warmth of the welcome from staff is the best we’ve come across anywhere in the UK.

 

Information on Christmas at Bovey Castle

Venue review of Bovey Castle Golf Club

'Work, Rest & Play' - Regional Venue Focus Feature, Autumn 2004

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Seiont Manor Hotel

Seiont Manor Hotel

Seiont Manor Hotel
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 100

Llanrug Caernarfon , Y Felinheli, North Wales, LL55 2AQ

Set in the foothills of Snowdonia, Seiont Manor has 28 bedrooms and suites, each of them with a private balcony or terrace looking out across the countryside. A popular base for incentive days, training courses and conferences, the old Georgian farmhouse has function rooms that can host up to 100 theatre style. All are equipped with Wi-Fi; a couple have drop-down screens for presentations; and others double up as cosy private dining rooms. When work is over, guests can make use of an indoor pool, sauna and small gym. Outdoor activities in Snowdonia National Park can extend to white-water rafting, gorge walking and dry-slope skiing.

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The Garden House at Leeds Castle

The Garden House at Leeds Castle

The Garden House at Leeds Castle
Max Meeting 24
Max Standing 0
Max Banquet 0

Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent, Kent, ME17 1PL

The recently refurbished Garden House is the latest addition to Leeds Castle's range of corporate event spaces. The house consists of one meeting room, which seats up to 24 delegates theatre or boardroom-style for seminars, presentations or conferences, and a smaller breakout room. State-of-the-art AV equipment and Wi-Fi come as standard with packages. For overnighters there are four en-suite double rooms in the Garden House and a further 17 in the Stable Courtyard. The castle itself can hold 80 meeting delegates, 100 diners and up to 39 overnight guests (in 20 luxury bedrooms), while a further three venue options are spread across the estate.

 

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The Woburn Hotel

The Woburn Hotel

The Woburn Hotel
Max Meeting 35
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 80

1 George Street , Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, MK17 9PX

One of the country’s finest historic houses, Woburn Abbey has been home to the Dukes of Bedford for over 300 years. The 13,000-acre estate offers four completely different venues for events against the glorious backdrop of surrounding woodland. The estate also encompasses Woburn Golf Club with three championship courses. The Woburn Hotel offers five stylish meeting rooms – The Canaletto Suites (1 and 2), Red Room, Conservatory and Covent Garden – that can accommodate groups of between eight and 100 delegates, and come with AV facilities and Wi-Fi. The hotel has 48 contemporary en-suite bedrooms available while, across the courtyard, there are seven individually decorated cottages, offering further accommodation for corporate guests. Close to Milton Keynes and the M1, Woburn is about an hour from London, with great transport links from around the UK.

 

The Inn at Woburn

Weddings at Woburn Abbey Estate

Christmas at Woburn

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Cutlers

Cutlers' Hall

Cutlers' Hall
Max Meeting 500
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 320

Church Street , Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 1HG

Don’t be deterred by the deceptively unassuming entrance. This Grade II-listed building is one of the most prestigious and talked-about venues in Sheffield. The 500-capacity home of the Hallamshire Company of Cutlers (the only livery hall outside London) celebrates the distinguished face of Sheffield’s steel-making past throughout a series of imposing hallways and grand ballrooms. With a wide sweeping main staircase, marble busts, enormous chandeliers and beautiful wood panelling, its richly decorated rooms create an impressive sense of occasion. The Main Hall is the most atmospheric space, with room for up to 320 guests for dinner, while the Drawing Room, Goodwin Room and Osborn Room can accommodate 150, 50 and 20 delegates for meetings. Located in the centre of the city opposite the cathedral, the hall is easily accessible from the M1. Kudos is a listed caterer at this venue.

 

LATEST NEWS
As well as hosting the 378th prestigious annual Feast Sheffield, the Kudos venue’s head chef, Jamie Whiteley, has received a World Master Chefs Society medal. The event celebrates the skills and promise of industry professionals and was attended by Deputy PM Nick Clegg.

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Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 800
Max Banquet 120

Castle Hill, Edinburgh, Central Scotland, EH1 2NG

Perched above the Scottish capital, Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most famous landmark and a prestigious backdrop for corporate events. Its 250-capacity Jacobite Room serves up stunning views of the city and is an impressive setting for gala dinners or Scottish banquets, while the 19th-century Gatehouse Suite can host smaller functions, spilling out onto a private terrace overlooking the Royal Mile. Groups of up to 800 can hire the whole castle for a reception, offering guests exclusive access to the Great Hall and Royal Apartments. Evening events can incorporate a private view of the Scottish Crown Jewels.

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New Hall Hotel & Spa

New Hall Hotel & Spa

New Hall Hotel & Spa
Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 150

Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, West Midlands, B76 1QX

Built as a hunting lodge in the 13th century, New Hall is a picture of medieval splendour. Now part of the Hand Picked Hotels group, it is still accessed by drawbridge. There are crenelated towers and mullioned windows on the outside, but on the inside it’s a well-equipped venue for events. The oak-panelled Great Chamber was built for a visit from Henry VIII and is suitably imposing. Smaller groups should seek out Oak, the once-secret study of the in-house alchemist.

 

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Chilston Park Hotel

Chilston Park Hotel

Chilston Park Hotel
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 100

Sandway, Lenham, Kent, ME17 2BE

Hand Picked Hotels has made a habit of transforming country house estates into events-ready hotels. Chilston Park is a fine example of the group’s work. An hour or so from London – and close to Ashford’s Eurostar station– the main house has the large Fitzhammond room at its centre. Fireplaces and sash windows define its other meeting spaces. Over in the listed Coach House, the Tack Room is best for dining, there’s a cosy lounge and access to an open courtyard.

 

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Boughton House

Boughton House

Boughton House
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 100

Kettering , Northamptonshire, Northamptonshire, NN14 1BJ

Described as the ‘English Versailles’, the magnificent Boughton House is as stately as they come. Having started life as Tudor Manor back in 1528, the venue in Northamptonshire is now part private home and part event space, famed for its French furniture, Mortlake tapestries, manicured gardens and imposing French façade. A trio of function rooms includes the standout Great Hall, where guests will find a 17th-century fresco and portraits of Oliver Cromwell and Queen Elizabeth I. The space holds up to 100 for a reception or 80 for banquets. Private dining also takes place in the Tapestry Room, which – as the name suggests – is lined with ancient textiles, while for smaller occasions there is the 40-capacity Stewards Room. Teambuilding is a strong suit, taking advantage of the beautiful gardens and waterways that run through the grounds, and only an hour from London.

 

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Norton House Hotel & Spa

Norton House Hotel & Spa

Norton House Hotel & Spa
Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 300
Max Banquet 200

Ingliston , Newbridge, Central Scotland, EH28 8LX

Built as a country retreat in 1840, Norton House feels much further away than a 20-minute drive from the centre of Edinburgh. Unlike hotels in the busy city, this four-star property can afford to spread out, occupying 55 acres with space for one of the area’s top spas. For large events, the Ballroom holds up to 300 for a conference and the adjacent Oak Room can be used as a breakout space or for drinks receptions. The Gathering is a self-contained conference centre with six meeting rooms. Dining options include a fine-dining restaurant and the modern brasserie and conservatory lounge. Edinburgh Airport is 10 minutes away.
Restaurant review of Ushers Restaurant at Norton House Hotel

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Woburn Abbey Estate

Woburn Abbey Estate

Woburn Abbey Estate
Max Meeting 5000
Max Standing 15000
Max Banquet 5000

Woburn Abbey Estate , Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, MK17 9WA

One of the UK’s finest historic houses, Woburn Abbey has been home to the Dukes of Bedford for over 300 years. The estate offers four different venues for events, with beautiful woodland providing the backdrop. The highlight is the Sculpture Gallery, set in an elegant period building overlooking the Rose Garden and Camellia Lake, while the modern Safari Lodge is a less formal option, located in the estate’s safari park. In the Deer Park, large marquees can hold up to 15,000 people for corporate entertaining and open-air concerts. The estate also has three championship golf courses, a hotel and the highwire forest adventure Go Ape!.

Venue review of The Inn at Woburn

Weddings at Woburn Abbey Estate

Christmas at Woburn Abbey Estate

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The Pump Room

The Pump Room

The Pump Room
Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 320
Max Banquet 200

The Pump Room, Bath Stall Street, Somerset, Somerset, BA1 1LZ

Bath’s natural springs were a place of wonder and mystery for the ancient Britons and a public bathing complex for the Romans. Two thousand years later, they attract over a million visitors a year and provide an extraordinary backdrop for functions. Hire the neo-classical Pump Room and your guests will be able to walk through the Roman Baths (with a glass of Champagne, naturally) by torchlight – an experience guaranteed to impress even the most jaded VIP. Other spaces include the domed Victorian Reception Hall for up to 150 standing and the Terrace, six metres above the Roman Great Bath, where up to 80 guests can sit down to dine. These spaces are available in the evenings only (as the Pump Room acts as a restaurant during the day), but if you want to hold a daytime function, then the Kingston Room with its views of Bath Abbey, and its twin room, the Drawing Room, can be hired for up to 40 guests each.

 

To book a table at the restaurant please call 01225 444 477

The Pump Room's Restaurant Review

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Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace
Max Meeting 300
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 300

Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP

Fancy hosting an event in a Unesco World Heritage Site? This grand Grade I-listed venue, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, can be booked for dinner, business or away days. The Long Library – picture 10,000 books and an impressive Henry Willis organ – is the largest space, working best as a stately banqueting spot; the Saloon and Great Hall are good for drinks ahead of the main event. With its own private terrace, the Orangery is made for summer parties.

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Woodlands Park Hotel

Woodlands Park Hotel

Woodlands Park Hotel
Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 150

Woodlands Lane, Stoke D'Abernon , Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3QB

This Grade II-listed country house hotel remains true to its Victorian origins. Once one of the first houses in the country to be built with electric lights, it cherishes its history. The Boardroom showcases a fine wood-panelled fireplace and there are more period features in the Study, the Drawing Room and the Garden Room. The larger Prince of Wales Suite has its own entrance. A new terrace leads onto the lawns and makes a good base for outdoor teambuilding activities.

 

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Buxted Park Hotel

Buxted Park Hotel

Buxted Park Hotel
Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 120

Buxted, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 4AY

At the centre of a 312-acre parkland estate, Buxted Park is Hand Picked Hotels’ carefully chosen Sussex property. As you’d expect of a Palladian mansion, it’s a handsome confection of high ceilings, sash windows and other stately features. Meeting rooms are light and airy, and the extensive grounds can host all sorts of teambuilding activities. The Ballroom hosts gala dinners and other showpiece events, but look out too for the Orangery, with its anteroom and terrace.

 

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Drumlanrig Castle

Drumlanrig Castle

Drumlanrig Castle
Max Meeting 130
Max Standing 800
Max Banquet 800

Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, Central Scotland, Central Scotland, DG3 4AQ

A picture-book Scottish castle, Drumlanrig rises majestically from the Queensbury Estate, just north of Dumfries. The building dates back to the 17th century and houses part of the Bucceleuch Art Collection, which includes Rembrandt’s The Old Woman Reading, as well as other artefacts. The pieces sit within grand reception spaces, among sweeping staircases and ornate period features. Drinks receptions are held in the 100-capacity Great Hall, banquets in the 80-seater Dining Room and meetings in the Old Stable Room, a converted stable yard with AV facilities. For large-scale events, a marquee can be erected in the gardens, which are surrounded by 90,000 acres of Nithsdale countryside. As you would expect, teambuilding is a strong suit, and a wide range of country pursuits are available on site: salmon and trout fishing and pheasant, partridge and grouse shooting can all be enjoyed.

 

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Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle
Max Meeting 160
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 150

Highclere Park, Highclere, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 9RN

Highclere Castle is a Grade I-listed building, set in 3,000 acres & built at the very pinnacle of extravagance during the Victorian era. It is available on an exclusive basis &, in utilising many of the State Rooms for functions, it is always able to create the right atmosphere for each occasion. The Library, for example, is a relaxing place for board meetings & presentations as well as receptions & can be converted into a magnificent dining room seating up to 140 guests. A wide range of syndicate rooms is also available. The Castle has a full team of chefs, headed by Peter Ingram (ex-Mosiman’s), whose menus are accompanied by wines from the extensive cellar.

 

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Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa

Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa

Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 160
Max Banquet 120

The Mansion House, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3TQ

Grade I-listed Luton Hoo sits proudly in over 1,000 acres of parkland. The 18th-century stately home incorporates individually styled bedrooms, while its event spaces range from converted stables to ornate state rooms. The spa comprises a large indoor pool and there’s further indulgence to be had in the fine-dining Wernher Restaurant. Also on the Luton Hoo estate is Warren Weir, a self-contained meetings facility by the river Lea. The 18-hole golf course is another draw.

 

 

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Assembly Rooms

Assembly Rooms

Assembly Rooms
Max Meeting 500
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 310

Assembly Rooms Bennett Street , Bath, Somerset, BA1 2QU

Purpose-built as a function space for the grandees of Bath back in 1771, the Assembly Rooms has been hosting elegant soirées for more than two centuries. It remains the largest banqueting venue in Bath thanks to its centrepiece Ball Room, a dazzling space hung with five Whitefriars crystal chandeliers. There is space for 500 guests to enjoy Champagne and canapés. Adjoining the Ball Room is the famous Octagon Room, one of the most popular civil ceremony venues in Bath, with original portraits by Gainsborough. The pillared Tea Room has space for 300 standing, while the narrow yet stylish Card Room, a south-facing space with views over one of Bath’s Georgian gardens, makes a delightful bar. Don’t expect it all to be too Jane Austen though – menus are bang on trend and service is slick and professional. Prices are surprisingly reasonable too. The Assembly Rooms is managed by Searcys.

 

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Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace
Max Meeting 180
Max Standing 1200
Max Banquet 600

East Molesey, Hampton, London, KT8 9AU

Once home to royalty, including Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is an unforgettable venue. It's magnificently played host to lavish celebrations over the centuries, from gala diners to festive banquets and historic meetings. Originally a dining room for members of Henry VIII’s court, the Great Hall makes a grand setting for banquets. Elsewhere, state rooms, grand staircases, cobbled courtyards and pretty gardens make the venue one of the country’s most impressive palaces.

 

Venue review of Banqueting House

Venue review of Kensington Palace

Venue review of Kew Palace

Venue review of The Tower of London

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Wood Hall Hotel & Spa

Wood Hall Hotel & Spa

Wood Hall Hotel & Spa
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 100

Trip Lane Linton , Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 4JA

The Wood Hall Hotel & Spa stands next to a Carmelite monastery that’s home to a silent order of nuns, and the peacefulness can be felt all around the four-star hillside venue. Meeting rooms, all with Wi-Fi, cater for anything from 10 delegates for a boardroom pow-wow to 100 for a theatre-style conference or private dinner. When the work is done, delegates can enjoy country pursuits such as golf, horse riding and fishing, or just wander the many footpaths that surround the estate. The restaurant’s reputation is growing on the back of the chef’s modern British cooking, and private dining can be arranged in any of the hotel’s function rooms.

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The Great House at Sonning

The Great House at Sonning

The Great House at Sonning
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 110

Thames Street, Sonning, Berkshire, RG4 6UT

Jerome K Jerome rhapsodised about Sonning in his novel Three Men in a Boat, and it’s easy to see why. At the heart of this beautiful village on the Thames, the events-ready Great House dates back to the 16th century. With its own terrace and access to the estate’s four acres, the newly-built Lodge houses five creativity-inducing spaces, a well-stocked pantry and its own bar. Elsewhere, there’s the Coppa Club restaurant and grounds for teambuilding.

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Hambleton Hall

Hambleton Hall

Hambleton Hall
Max Meeting 30
Max Standing 70
Max Banquet 64

Hambleton Oakham Rutland , Oakham, Leicestershire, LE15 8TH

Family-owned Hambleton Hall, which used to be a Victorian shooting lodge, sits in a scenic lakeside location just over two hours’ drive north of London. A Relais & Châteaux member, the hotel has received widespread praise for its unpretentious but professional approach to hospitality for more than 30 years. But the owners are not ones to sit back and congratulate themselves. The attractive public spaces feel fresh and polished and you’ll find thoughtful touches throughout. Meanwhile, bedrooms and public rooms combine comfort with carefully chosen antiques and traditional furniture. The overall integrity is preserved in the hotel’s kitchen, where the head chef treats fresh local ingredients imaginatively in modern British dishes. Michelin-starred cooking (the three-course à la carte menu is priced at £65pp) can be accompanied by wines from a list that in 2011 won an award for being the best in the UK.

 

Hambleton Hall's restaurant review

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Great Fosters

Great Fosters

Great Fosters
Max Meeting 140
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 180

Stroude Road , London, TW20 9UR

Located within half an hour’s drive of central London & Heathrow airport in what was once the heart of Royal Windsor Forest, the Grade I-listed Great Fosters is a genuinely distinctive property. Dating back to 1550, it boasts immaculately preserved Elizabethan architecture, a 15th-century Tithe Barn, internationally renowned gardens & a choice of event spaces. 2008 saw the opening of the self-contained Coach House, which has three bespoke meeting rooms, a conference lounge & 22 bedrooms. The beautiful Orangery, with its tall arched windows & adjoining conservatory, is another secluded space, surrounded by 50 acres of gardens. Main house reception rooms are characterised by Jacobean chimney pieces, antique furnishings & fine art, while 44 bedrooms range in style from the traditional to the contemporary. Both the intimate restaurant & Tithe Barn provide stunning backdrops for dining.

 

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High Elms Manor

High Elms Manor

High Elms Manor
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 180
Max Banquet 100

High Elms Lane, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, WD25 0JX

High Elms Manor is a Grade II-listed Georgian country house in Hertfordshire. Having hosted Midsomer Murders no less than three times, it is also a regular on TV. The house was used as a rehabilitation centre after WWII, and then a school in the 1990s, but it now serves as a smart venue for weddings and corporate functions. A 20-seater mahogany boardroom table has been added to its dining room and a crystal chandelier to the Ballroom. Licensed for civil ceremonies, the library has become an elegant wedding destination with floorto- ceiling silk curtains. There’s even a helipad for anyone planning a particularly grand entrance.

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Addington Palace

Addington Palace

Addington Palace
Max Meeting 800
Max Standing 800
Max Banquet 800

Gravel Hill, Croydon, London, CR0 5BB

This Grade II*-listed Georgian mansion is an exclusive-use events venue surrounded by more than 160 acres of Surrey countryside. Of the spaces in the main house, we like the Great Hall, which is the place to book mid-sized conferences. It also works well for away days and private dinners. Luxury-market events and large conferences are popular in the Royal Pavilion, which has 1,000sq m of floor space to play with.

 

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Langshott Manor

Langshott Manor

Langshott Manor
Max Meeting 60
Max Standing 80
Max Banquet 60

Ladbroke Road, Horley, Surrey, RH6 9LN

Set in an attractive Elizabethan property, Langshott Manor is surrounded by a quaint medieval moat. Its Gallery overlooks a secluded garden, while the Boardroom offers access to a private deck. In the oldest part of the hotel, St Peter’s has a log fireplace and oak beams, with views of the grounds and terrace. The venue works well for exclusive-use events: the Mulberry restaurant can host dinners and serves as a fetching meeting space.
Information on Alexander Hotels & Utopia Spas

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Hever Castle & Gardens

Hever Castle & Gardens

Hever Castle & Gardens
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 280
Max Banquet 200

Hever Castle & Gardens, Hever , Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NG

Once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, today, Hever is well set up for events. Formal banquets suit the grand Castle Dining Room, with its carved-wood minstrels gallery. In the Astor Wing, the Tudor Suite overlooks formal lawns and is a lovely setting for drinks receptions. Set within its 600-acre grounds, the Guthrie Pavilion is the largest event space, while the Italian Loggia, by the venue’s lake, is our favourite spot for summer receptions.

Venue review of The Astor Wing at Hever Castle

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Lough Eske Castle

Lough Eske Castle

Lough Eske Castle
Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 150

Lough Eske, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal, Ireland,

A hotel, spa and event space set within 43 acres of County Donegal woodland, Lough Eske Castle hugs the shores of Lough Eske, with the Blue Stack mountains in the background. Built in 1861, the building is a stage for a storybook wedding, but also a prestigious platform for conferences and retreats. Exclusive-use packages give bookers access to 96 bedrooms (including the luxurious Presidential Suite), as well as the swimming pool and fitness centre, and the property’s extensive range of well-equipped event spaces. There are six function rooms in total, the largest of which is the Ballroom, which can be split in three for multi-stage events.

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Cliveden House Hotel

Cliveden House Hotel

Cliveden House Hotel
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 120

Taplow , Bourne End, Berkshire, SL6 0JF

Set amid 376 acres of glorious gardens and parkland, Cliveden is one of the UK’s finest country houses: it has played host to virtually every British monarch since George I. Business meetings can be held in traditional, naturally lit boardrooms, while conferences, lunches and dinners are well suited to the rococo French Dining Room; two private dining rooms work well for smaller groups. Activity days and teambuilding can be arranged in the grounds.

 

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Tofte Manor

Tofte Manor

Tofte Manor
Max Meeting 50
Max Standing 450
Max Banquet 40

Souldrop Road , Rushden, Bedfordshire, MK44 1HH

Tucked away in the Bedfordshire countryside, 60 miles north of London, and less than 40 minutes from St Pancras, is Tofte Manor. This 17th-century manor house is surrounded by 50 acres of land, five of which are beautiful landscaped gardens. Within the main Manor House, the stand-out space is the wood-clad Dining Room, which will seat 40 guests for a private dinner and slightly more for a meeting. The nearby Drawing Room, Library and Study are also available for use, providing cosy environs for breakout sessions. The Crystal Room, located in the Stables Courtyard, is ideal for serious conferencing and comes with cutting-edge AV kit. For a more loose-tie atmosphere, check out the Sekmet Cottage, which works well for relaxed meetings, or the octagonal Sanctuary, which is hidden away in a private area of the gardens, close to the Labyrinth.

 

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Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa

Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa

Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa
Max Meeting 160
Max Standing 150
Max Banquet 110

Brandshatch Road, Fawkham, Kent, DA3 8NQ

Close to the famous Brands Hatch racing circuit, this Georgian mansion-turned-hotel is popular with the fast set. In 12 acres of private grounds, it’s also a secluded location for meetings and events. Its largest space, the Terrace Suite, has its own entrance, reception, cloakroom and courtyard. Other rooms match wood panelling and sash windows to modern amenities. A large front lawn is the place for teambuilding activities and there’s also a health club with tennis courts.

 

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Kew Palace

Kew Palace

Kew Palace
Max Meeting 10
Max Standing 60
Max Banquet 24

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Kew, London, TW9 3AE

Described as a tiny ‘doll’s house’ of a royal residence, Kew Palace has been gracefully restored to its state when George III lived there. Inside, a clutch of spaces for hire includes the understated but atmospheric King’s Dining Room (where the Queen celebrated her 80th birthday), which holds up to 30 dinner guests looking across the Great Lawn. Receptions for up to 40 standing guests can also be catered for in this space. In the summer, the Queen’s Garden and its adjoining Physic Garden – holding up to 40 people – make a beautiful spot for a garden party or alfresco cocktails. In addition, the newly restored Royal Kitchen (complete with original ovens and fireplace) and its gardens are open for receptions, while Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, located deep within Kew Gardens, provides a charming backdrop for private dining for 24. Group tours can be arranged, and there’s a new meeting room for 10 delegates in the Royal Kitchen.

 

Venue review of Banqueting House

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Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle
Max Meeting 90
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 180

Maidstone , Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1PL

Surrounded by a moat and 500 acres of parkland, Leeds Castle offers a historic setting for conferences, activity days and banqueting. We like the dining room that showcases Chinese porcelain and French tapestries, as well as the standalone Maiden’s Tower (once a Tudor bake house) with its five en-suite bedrooms. The carefully restored timber-framed barn of Fairfax Hall is our pick for receptions, while the Garden House is the spot for small meetings.


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Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa

Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa

Nutfield Priory Hotel & Spa
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 120
Max Banquet 100

Nutfield Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 4EL

On top of Nutfield Ridge, looking out across the Surrey Downs, this country house hotel offers show-stopping views and understated period charm. The neo-gothic main house was built for an MP who wanted his new home to channel the Palace of Westminster. Today, it offers an array of meeting rooms that span the traditional and the contemporary. For banqueting, there’s the Fielden, which can be taken with the adjoining Bletchingley Bar. For more intimate dinners, we suggest the richly appointed Study.

 

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Brocket Hall

Brocket Hall

Brocket Hall
Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 200
Max Banquet 150

Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL8 7XG

A traditional country house atmosphere is the order of the day at Brocket Hall, just 22 miles north of Hyde Park Corner. This Grade I-listed country house matches a classically English setting to elegant modern facilities. The Hall is available for exclusive use, and its two challenging courses and renowned academy facilities make it a great golfing destination. Meeting and dining facilities are also available at nearby Auberge du Lac Restaurant and the Clubhouse.

 

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The Goodwood Estate

The Goodwood Estate

The Goodwood Estate
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 220
Max Banquet 180

Goodwood , Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0PX

The Duke of Richmond’s 12,000-acre estate in West Sussex is home to the famous Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival and Qatar Goodwood Festival. Its Grade I-listed centrepiece, Goodwood House, can be booked exclusively for conferences or celebrations. The racecourse, the motor racing circuit, an aerodrome, a golf club, a hotel and a sustainable restaurant showcasing produce from the organic farm, complete an enticing offer.

 

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The Manor House, an Exclusive Hotel & Golf Club

The Manor House, an Exclusive Hotel & Golf Club

The Manor House, an Exclusive Hotel & Golf Club
Max Meeting 100
Max Standing 100
Max Banquet 120

Castle Combe, Nr Bath, Wiltshire, SN14 7HR

The Manor House is a five-star country house hotel and golf club, set in 365 acres of Cotswolds countryside. Of its spaces, we like the vaulted Dunstanville Suite which leads to a couple of sun terraces with fine valley views. The interconnecting boardrooms, Gorges and Saxam, look out across the property’s lawns and beyond, suiting private dinners as much as meetings. Ask too about the Potting Shed, a new treatment room.

Information on Exclusive Hotels and Venues

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Lower Slaughter Manor

Lower Slaughter Manor

Lower Slaughter Manor
Max Meeting 28
Max Standing 105
Max Banquet 74

Lower Slaughter , Moreton-In-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HP

This privately owned luxury country house hotel occupies a 17th-century manor house in the picturesque Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter, with manicured gardens – including a croquet lawn and a tennis court – and the River Eye flowing by. The manor is well appointed for smaller meetings and events, with a choice of two boardrooms offering modern AV facilities and free Wi-Fi for up to 20 delegates. Some 22 guests can also enjoy private dining in the Panel Room, where food includes delicious local dishes such as Cotswold lamb rump with pearl barley, tomato fondue and mint jus. There are 19 bedrooms, so meetings and conferences can be combined with overnight stays and a spot of teambuilding or tennis. Set in four acres of gardens and very close to the village church, Lower Slaughter Manor is also available to hire exclusively, accommodating events like weddings for up to 74 guests.

 

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Amberley Castle

Amberley Castle

Amberley Castle
Max Meeting 28
Max Standing 90
Max Banquet 56

Amberley , Pulborough, West Sussex, BN18 9ND

Amberley is one of Britain’s most famous luxury hotels, and with good reason. The 19-bedroom property, situated in the rolling South Downs near Arundel, dates back to 1100 and the reign of Henry I. Enclosed by a 60ft high medieval wall, it is well suited to private conferences, particularly those requiring tight security – there’s even a portcullis gate. Meeting rooms include the Great Room, which can accommodate 40 among its tapestries and suits of armour, and the more intimate King Charles Room for groups of up to 12. There is a tree house, which can be hired exclusively, and delegates can relax on an 18-hole putting golf course, tennis courts or the croquet lawn. More unusual teambuilding activities – such as medieval axe-throwing – are also available. Guests will be well wined and dined at Amberley’s acclaimed restaurant, which has three AA rosettes.

 

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Bovey Castle Golf Club

Bovey Castle Golf Club

Bovey Castle Golf Club
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 170
Max Banquet 170

Bovey Castle, North Bovey, Dartmoor National Park , Devon, Devon, TQ13 8RE

The golf club at Bovey Castle is situated within the five-star resort at the centre of Devon’s Dartmoor National Park. Only two hours by train from London Paddington, Bovey offers weekenders and corporate guests a range of over 70 activities, including fishing, horse riding, falconry and golf on the private 18-hole championship course. Conceived in 1926 by JF Abercromby, one of the country’s finest golf course designers, the Old Course rivals its sisters at Gleneagles and Turnberry – it’s undeniably challenging, but rewards golfers with beautiful views of the surrounding moorland. For events, the largest spaces in the main hotel are the art deco-style Edwardian Grill and the Cathedral Room. Dedicated conference facilities are located adjacent to the main hotel in the Mews, which includes the 120-capacity Dartmoor Suite and the three smaller meeting rooms.

 

Venue review of Bovey Castle

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