Castles in the Sky
What better way to live the fairytale than by saying 'I do' against a romantic backdrop of turrets and towers? Here are some of our favourites...
1. Lulworth Castle, Dorset
Fairytale by the sea
Seventeenth-century Lulworth Castle in Dorset is a picturesque spot for exclusive-use celebrations among the exposed brickwork and archways of the castle. An Anglican church and a Catholic chapel within easy walking distance means you can have a religious ceremony, or go for a civil ceremony in the atmospheric Saloon or outdoors in the Courtyard.
The details: Up to 130 for a wedding breakfast; up to 150 for the evening.
2. Hedingham Castle, Essex
On a roller
With its dramatic Norman keep, 900-year-old Hedingham Castle in Essex has the timeless charm of a medieval costume drama with a few mod cons thrown in for good measure. Not least of them is the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud that can transport brides from The Garden Cottage, where they get ready, to the ceremony. And once the guests have gone, it’s a great place to spend your first night as a married couple, too.
The details: Up to 130 for a ceremony in the Banqueting Hall; up to 70 for a reception in the castle; 150 in the marquee.
3. Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire
Lights, camera, action
Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire has been used as a location for film and TV since the 1960s so wow-factor backdrops for the wedding album are guaranteed. Plus, it has 14 award-winning bedrooms and suites in the castle, some with 4-posters, and holiday cottages in the estate that sleep 34 additional guests.
The details: Up to 150 guests for a ceremony in the castle; up to 80 for a wedding breakfast in the State Dining Room; and up to 150 in The Great Hall.
4. Drumtochty Castle, Near Aberdeen
Once upon a time…
If you’re after a fairytale setting, Scotland’s Drumtochty Castle could be the one. A neo-gothic venue on the edge of Drumtochty Forest, near Aberdeen, it dates back to 1812. Inside is everything you want from a castle – grand staircases, ancient portraits and antique furniture. Outside is romantic, too, with a tree-lined driveway and a church.
The details: Up to 120 guests for a ceremony and wedding breakfast.
5. Peckforton Castle, Cheshire
Nineteenth-century Peckforton Castle in Cheshire is built in the style of a medieval castle, complete with gatehouse and portcullis. No wonder it was one of the backdrops for the 1991 film Robin Hood with Uma Thurman as Maid Marian. There’s a stained-glass Great Hall and a chapel for a blessing, plus spaces such as the Drawing Room or the atmospheric circular Wine Cellar.
The details: Up to 160 during the day; 200+ for the evening.
6. Leeds Castle, Kent
If you fancy a moat as a backdrop to your wedding album, Leeds Castle in Kent has a serious expanse of water to oblige. The approach to this jewel itself is just one of many jaw-dropping moments for your guests.
The details: Up to 100 for a ceremony and wedding breakfast and 120 for the evening in the castle; up to 80 for a ceremony & wedding breakfast and up to 100 for the evening in the Maiden’s Tower; up to 200 in the evening in Fairfax Barn.
7. Hever Castle, Kent
Garden of England
With a great choice of locations for ceremonies, from the Castle to the Italian Garden under the loggia, Hever Castle in Kent can cater for all sizes of celebrations.
The details: Castle – 60 for a ceremony and drinks, 40 for dining; 120 for the evening. Astor wing – 60 for ceremony, drinks and dining; 120 for evening. Italian Garden and Guthrie Pavilion – 180 for ceremony, drinks and dining; 220 for the evening.
8. Clearwell Castle, Gloucestershire
The buildings at Clearwell Castle in Gloucestershire date back to the 18th century and its rich history includes once being
a recording studio for iconic bands such as Queen. Today, it offers a beautiful 75ft-aisle in the church-style ballroom for ceremonies, plus 15 bedrooms in the castle, cottages in the grounds and two dozen rooms for your guests nearby.
The details: From 60-150 guests during the day; up to 250 for the evening reception.
9. Craig Y Nos Castle, Brecon Beacons
Located on the edge of the stunning Brecon Beacons in Wales, Victorian gothic castle Craig Y Nos has a romantically rural setting. With a Grade I-listed theatre for your ceremony and a conservatory with stunning views for your party, you can also take over the whole castle.
The details: Up to 120 for the ceremony and wedding breakfast; Up to 150 for the evening.
10. Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
Knights of the realm
Recreate the Middle Ages with a jousting match staged for your guests in Bodiam Castle in East Sussex. It’s just one of the highlights at this 14th-century gem, as is holding your ceremony in the courtyard under the gatehouse.
The details: Up to
50 guests for a ceremony; up to 250 in a marquee for a reception.