Marquees & temporary structures

When the sun is shining there is nothing quite like an outdoor event to make everyone smile, however as the British public knows only too well, we can’t always rely on the weather at these occasions. Marquees and temporary structures are the best options at large outdoor events, offering guests a place to keep dry should the weather take a turn for the worse, yet still providing the opportunity for an enjoyable event al fresco should the weather behave itself. London is a great city for outdoor events and SquareMeal’s list of venues below all offer superb al fresco spaces that include the added bonus of a marquee or temporary structure. 

Updated on 11 October 2017

Marquees & temporary structures

The British weather might be a joke the world over, but that doesn’t dampen our enthusiasm for outdoor events. And if you’re planning an al fresco function soon, there are plenty of outdoor venues in London for you to choose from in this list above.

Compiled by the outdoors loving team at Squaremeal, the marquee venues featured here make their business out of defying the weather and come rain or shine they will ensure your event goes on regardless. Whether you are looking for outdoor wedding venues, summer party venues or exhibition venues, these locations will be able to cater for your needs.

Some of these outdoor venues in London are small, intimate affairs that make great wedding reception venues, while others are able to accommodate well over 1,000 sit-down guests, which are perfect if you have a lot of people to invite to your big day. Their capacity also makes them perfect for businesses that are looking for an outdoor alternative to conference centres and hotels.

If you don’t find what you are looking for here, then visit our page that lists all the London venues with outside event space. Alternatively, look through the menu on the left of this page.


Summer Marquee at Gray

Summer Marquee at Gray's Inn

Summer Marquee at Gray's Inn
Max Meeting 0
Max Standing 600
Max Banquet 300

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, 8 South Square , London, WC1R 5ET

The five-acre private garden at the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn is one of the largest in central London. Originally designed in 1606 by the society’s then treasurer, Sir Francis Bacon, the historic grounds play host to a striking marquee in the summer. Available for evening and weekend events from the end of June to the end of July each year, it can accommodate anything from barbecues for 600 to dinner-dances for 300. The top-of-the-range structure is carpeted and comes with its own cloakroom, smart loos and kitchen, plus dedicated chefs, waiting staff and support staff. The outside area has plenty of space for alfresco entertainment.

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The Deck

The Deck

The Deck
Max Meeting 120
Max Standing 170
Max Banquet 100

National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX

Sitting on the roof of the National Theatre, The Deck has been recently refurbished in time for 2018 summer events. The new space is wrapped in glazed panels, which means panoramic views of London can be enjoyed both inside and out on the terrace. State-of-the-art AV from the theatre’s Sound and Lighting departments means that conferences, away days and product launches will go without a hitch, while an in-house catering team looks after dinners and receptions.

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Serpentine Galleries

Serpentine Galleries

Serpentine Galleries
Max Standing 250

Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA

Kensington Gardens is home to two of our favourite modern art galleries: the Serpentine Gallery and the more recent Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Together, the spaces combine the sense of occasion of a listed building with the coolness of a contemporary art space. The former will host private dinners, while both make formidable spaces for drinks receptions. Come summer, the temporary pavilion is a striking one-off space for standing soirées.

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Gray

Gray's Inn

Gray's Inn
Max Meeting 200
Max Standing 600
Max Banquet 300

The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn 8 South Square , London, WC1R 5ET

With a colourful history going back more than 600 years, the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn is a distinguished event venue located between the City and the West End. Stand-out spaces among its six function rooms include the large oak-panelled Elizabethan Hall, an attractive portrait-lined room that sits beneath a beautiful hammer-beam roof, and the 150-capacity Large Pension Room, which has ornate chandeliers and a marble fireplace. The property’s five acres of gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for a popular summer marquee (available to hire from June to July each year), holding up to 300 guests for dinner-dances or 600 for informal barbecues.

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Chelsea Physic Garden

Chelsea Physic Garden

Chelsea Physic Garden
Max Meeting 150
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 150

66 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HS

Established as the Apothecaries’ Garden in 1673, this is London’s oldest botanical garden. Its walls now shelter around 5,000 different medicinal, herbal, edible and otherwise useful plants. Hire the garden today and your money is plowed back into its fertile soils. The options for private events include the Gallery; an outdoor awning; a marquee on the main Garden Lawn; or you can give yourselves the run of the Lower Lawn. Evening events, including candlelit canapé receptions, can be arranged.

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Raven

Raven's Ait

Raven's Ait
Max Meeting 250
Max Standing 400
Max Banquet 320

Ravens Ait Island, Portsmouth Road , Surrey, Surrey, KT6 4HN

In the middle of the Thames, between Surbiton, Kingston and Hampton Court, the island of Raven’s Ait offers the convenience of a London location with the tranquillity of the countryside. Weddings, Christmas parties and other special occasions can all be catered for, and there’s a launch to bring you and your party to this private island. There are meeting spaces for groups ranging from 20 to 400. With the Thames at the end of the garden, you can break out into activities like boat racing at any stage. When it’s time to eat, bookers can take advantage of the 320-capacity Marquee, or the three smaller spaces for groups of 12 to 150.

Bloomsbury Big Top

Bloomsbury Big Top

Bloomsbury Big Top
Max Meeting 1000
Max Standing 2000
Max Banquet 1000

Coram's Fields, 93 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1DN

The Bloomsbury Big Top in Coram’s Fields brings 2,500sq m of event space to this leafy part of London each Christmas. Best suited to large-scale dinners and conferences, the venue has also catered for fashion shows, weddings and concerts. It’s a temporary structure, but the Big Top’s team deliver an experience you’d expect from a quality permanent venue. It comes with a thermostat-controlled heating system, carpets, posh loos and on-site catering.

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The Fountain Room

The Fountain Room

The Fountain Room
Max Meeting 450
Max Standing 500
Max Banquet 300

Corams Fields, 93 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1DN

Next door to sister venue Bloomsbury Big Top in Coram’s Fields, The Fountain Room is an elegant marquee well suited to dinner-dance events. For party nights, the interior of the venue is draped in white, while a glass wall forms the entrance around an uplit fountain. Purpose-built for the full spectrum of corporate events, the structure is available through the autumn/winter party season, with catering from Fusion Hospitality.

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