10 of the Best Waterside Venues
Tales of the riverbank, or could that be moat, lake or sea? Let your photos tell stories you will cherish forever at one of these gorgeous waterside venues
1. For a Boho Vibe…
THE GALLIVANT, EAST SUSSEX
The Gallivant in East Sussex is a relaxed restaurant with rooms behind the dunes at Camber Sands. Bleached wood, shells and nautical touches enforce its seaside location beautifully. Optional extras include an oyster bar and flip-flops, so guests can spill onto the beach over the road.
The details: Ceremonies and receptions for up to 120 guests.
2. For a Sense of Drama…
MUSSENDEN TEMPLE, NORTHERN IRELAND
High on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic, the 18th-century Mussenden Temple at Downhill Demesne in County Londonderry, was inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli. You can have a small drinks reception afterwards while you have photos taken, before moving the party elsewhere.
The details: Ceremony up to 100 seated; March to September only.
3. For Sand Between the Toes…
POLHAWN FORT, CORNWALL
After a ceremony at Polhawn Fort, Cornwall, a coastal path leads directly to the beach, so you can kick off the heels and splash in the surf. Or pose for photos with the ocean in the background. Receptions can be held in the fort itself or in a marquee in the grounds.
The details: Ceremony in The Emperor’s Room for 30; in The Grand Napoleonic Hall for 120.
4. For a Slice of History…
HEVER CASTLE, KENT
Weddings inside Hever Castle, Kent, are steeped in history, but the grounds have glorious options, too. Go for a ceremony under the columns of the Italian Loggia overlooking the lake, where you can have drinks afterwards. Follow with a wedding breakfast in the Guthrie Pavilion, or in a marquee beside the iconic moat.
The details: Italian Garden ceremony for 25-180; marquee reception for 600.
5. For Lakeside Views…
LAKE VYRNWY, POWYS, WALES
All four rooms licensed for ceremonies at Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, have views over this spectacular lake. And not surprisingly, the hotel proudly features Welsh lamb, Welsh cakes and Merlyn liqueur cheesecakes on its canapé menu.
The details: Ceremonies for 120; wedding breakfast for 210; evening reception for 250.
6. For Sunset Settings…
LEEDS CASTLE, KENT
Stunning Leeds Castle in Kent has a moat that will make guests gasp. Views of the water twinkling in the sunlight can be had from weddings in the castle itself, or from the Maiden’s Tower, a Tudor stone tower adjacent to the castle.
The details: Castle ceremony and seated reception for 100; evening for 120. Maiden’s Tower ceremony and reception for 80; evening for 100. Fairfax Barn, evenings only for 200.
7. For Sailing into the Sunset…
CHRISTCHURCH HARBOUR HOTEL & SPA, DORSET
Located in a Grade II listed building, Christchurch Harbour Hotel & Spa, Dorset, looks out over Christchurch’s natural harbour with lovely waterside touches like a wooden swing.
The details: Ceremony in the Waterford Suite with private terrace and Champagne Beach Hut Bar for 100.
8. For Living the Fairy Tale…
BIRTSMORTON COURT, WORCESTERSHIRE
The centrepiece at Birtsmorton Court, Worcestershire, is the moat. After a ceremony in the White Garden beside a tinkling fountain, it makes the perfect backdrop to drinks on the terrace.
The details: White Garden ceremony for 60 seated, unlimited standing; wedding breakfast for 160; marquee for 270 attached to the Garden Room barn.
9. For Cotswold Chic…
OLD SWAN & MINSTER MILL, OXFORDSHIRE
You can marry indoors at the Old Swan & Minster Mill, Oxfordshire, but it’s hard to resist the pretty grounds beside the River Windrush with its romantic little temple. The 15th-century Old Swan has 15 bedrooms for friends and family to make a weekend of it, with 40 more contemporary rooms a stone’s throw across the road in the mill.
The details: Indoor or outdoor ceremony and seated reception for 60.
10. For a Romantic High…
THE LODGE ON LOCH GOIL, ARGYLL, SCOTLAND
Lovingly restored in the style of the Arts & Crafts movement, The Lodge on Loch Goil, Argyll, has a ridiculously romantic treehouse. Overlooking the loch, it’s the perfect spot for an intimate ceremony. For larger weddings in the lodge, the treehouse still makes a stunning backdrop for signing the register.
The details: Treehouse ceremony for 20; The Lodge ceremony and reception for 70.