Few things can beat the charm of the English countryside. Here are our favourite venues for the occasion
Capacity 14, 30, 60
USP Its residential feel
Part of Leeds Castle
, Battel Hall
is a recent addition to the grounds. Formerly a residential house, the venue has gone through a two-year refurbishment, but maintained its homey feel. The house (which boasts five en-suite bedrooms), can either be rented exclusively for a small, intimate wedding or in conjunction with a larger party at Leeds Castle.
Capacity 6, 18, 20, 40, 50, 80, 100, 150, 200
USP The beautiful neo-gothic Victorian architecture
Set amid 186 acres of landscaped Sussex countryside, this venue features pristine lawns, secret gardens, lakes and woodland trails through Ashdown Forest. Inside, the striking Richard Towneley Suite is a converted chapel with a vaulted ceiling lit by stained glass windows – both ceremonies and receptions can take place in this atmospheric spot. Our pick of the spaces though, is the Summer House, located on a quiet part of the lawn that overlooks the lake.
Capacity 30, 40, 64, 100, 200, 280
USP Its history (Anne Boleyn grew up here)
With promises that the marriages need not end in decapitation, the Hever Castle & Gardens grounds contain three possible venues. In the winter, the Castle Inner Hall – modelled on King’s College Chapel Cambridge – is the pick, resplendent with log fire and antique furniture. In the summer, the Italian Gardens come into their own. Ceremonies can be held under the arched columns of the lakeside Loggia. All year round, the Astor Wing offers peace, privacy and formal lawns.
Capacity 10, 12, 16, 20, 24, 25, 28, 40, 50, 60, 80
USP Its own dedicated wedding planner
This 300-year-old Grade I-listed stately home has hosted high-profile politicians and provided a backdrop for Beatles films in its time. More recently, it has become a much-sought-after wedding venue, catering for both traditional and contemporary celebrations in glamorous style. There are seven richly decorated function rooms to choose from or the house can be hired for exclusive use (there are 48 opulent rooms and suites).
Capacity 70, 80, 84, 150, 180, 350
USP Its quintessentially English backdrop
In the Regency state apartments you will find the dramatic and sizeable Ballroom, which sets the scene for cinematic civil ceremonies or lavish long-table wedding breakfasts. Diverse menu options range from canapés and bowl food through to set menus tailored to the seasons.