10 Stately Venues
Sweeped in history and romance, there's much to love about these stunning wedding venues
1. Pynes House, Devon
In the heart of the Exe Valley sits Pynes House, one of Devon’s most beautiful stately homes. Believed to have inspired Barton Park in Jane Austen’s Sense
& Sensibility, the property has played host to both royalty – Queen Victoria reportedly enjoyed an overnight stay – and nobility over the centuries. Built in the early 18th century, this venue certainly has a story or two to tell. You can marry outside on the entrance steps or in one of the beautiful state rooms within the property (the largest can hold up to 130 guests). Up to 96 guests can dine in the Ballroom, while larger parties often choose a marquee on the lawns for the wedding breakfast before retreating back inside the house to party. Want to extend the celebration? Book Pynes House for a whole weekend over the summer and have a two-night party with your loved ones.
Best bit: This venue has a real home-from-home feel – luxe yet cosy and you won’t want to leave
2. Hampton Court House, Devon
Another Georgian stunner, this one was completed in 1757. Centuries of entertaining have taken place within its walls and Hampton Court House is one of Surrey’s dreamiest venues. Set in nine acres of gardens, the property was once described as ‘an elegant and recherché mansion, suitable for a wealthy merchant Prince’. Dog-friendly and corkage-free (for dogs and booze are two of the most important parts of any wedding!), it can hold civil ceremonies for up to 150 guests. And the estate was once home to the 4th Earl of Sandwich, the inventor of the sandwich.
Best bit: The heart-shaped lake and shell-lined grotto, by Georgian architect Thomas Wright
3. That Amazing Place, Essex
This venue is, well, amazing. Set in picturesque Old Harlow, it comprises a romantic 15th-century manor house and 14 deluxe bedrooms. Offering couples total exclusivity and surrounded by acres of beautiful grounds, That Amazing Place offers a combination of privacy and a party-perfect environment. Indoors or out, the venue can hold up to 150 guests across a variety of spaces. Love the idea of exchanging vows at dusk? Explore the Twilight package, which promises a celebration like no other.
Best bit: It’s a toss-up between the beautiful lake or the mirrored wall in the Hall
4. Lucknam Park, Bath
Whether you’re craving an intimate party or an all-out bash, Lucknam Park could be the host-with-the-most for your day. Nestled a proverbial stone’s throw from Bath itself, this venue is equally glorious in the blazing beams of summer sun as it is with a shimmering sprinkling of winter snow. Exclusive hire of the property is available for couples who want the ultimate in privacy for their ‘I do’ moment, which includes the wedding breakfast, overnight use of the 42 bedrooms and even the opportunity to plant your very own tree in the property’s grounds to commemorate your marriage.
Best bit: The mile-long tree-lined drive that leads to the venue offers a fairytale entrance
5. Boconnoc, Cornwall
Take your pick from a wide range of ceremony locations when you book your wedding with Boconnoc, a stately home in Lostwithiel with roots stretching as far back as the Doomsday Book. Whether you marry in the venue’s Georgian Bath House, the picture-perfect Dorothy Garden, or the beautiful 15th-century church a stone’s throw from the main house, it offers indoor, outdoor and religious with ease. Factor in the wild beauty of Cornwall and the fact that you and your guests can plan your own mini festival – glamping is welcome, with the venue able to advise on yurt hire – and it’s an option that’s as rock star as it is romantic.
Best bit: Make a whole weekend (or week!) of it by booking out the whole house
6. Ardington House, Oxfordshire
If you were to imagine the quintessential English stately home, it would look something like Ardington House. This Cotswolds beauty is another Georgian-built gem (they really knew how to do it back then, didn’t they?) and whether you choose to get married in one of the stunning reception rooms, or to decide to head outside for a ceremony in the venue’s Island Temple, it offers a great backdrop for celebrations of all sizes and styles. The indoor Imperial Hall can hold up to 60, while Island Temple can comfortably fit 200. Opt for exclusive hire to make the most of the 12 bedrooms, which can sleep up to 25.
Best bit: The magical firelight ceiling over the dance floor in the Lakeside marquee
7. Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire
Four-poster beds, antiques, fireplaces… As if the interior of Rushton Hall wasn’t enough, this Tudor-built Grade I-listed manor also offers a jaw-droppingly elegant backdrop for your wedding day, too. Whether you swap vows in the Picture Gallery or the Ballroom, you’ll be spoilt for choice when you hire the venue’s beautiful Orangery space – and the packages on offer (the enticingly named Fairytale, Platinum and Gold) are just as tricky to choose between. As well as a quartet of beautiful reception rooms, when you book the Orangery also gives you access to a dozen bedrooms, so you and your family and friends can enjoy a leisurely breakfast together the morning after the night before. Hire of the whole venue is also available.
Best bit: The Great Hall is rumoured to have inspired Miss Havisham’s wedding in Great Expectations
8. Doxford Hall, Northumberland
Be their guest, and be impressed – Doxford Hall is the only four AA red-star-rated wedding venue and spa hotel in Northumberland and it’s in the top 10% of all four-star hotels across the country. Built in 1818, its Regency-esque design could have come from a Jane Austen novel. Think sweeping driveway, column-adorned entrance, full-size ballroom, arched windows… It holds 160 for your ceremony and reception, numbers can expand to 200 for the evening party, with 36 bedrooms available for your guests to book themselves into.
Best bit: The maze, which offers a fantastic aerial photo opportunity
9. Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire
It’s not every wedding venue that sits at the heart of 543 acres of beautiful parkland, but Brocket Hall is the exception. Take your pick from a range of locations: tie the knot within the property, head to Auberge du Lac, the 17th-century hunting lodge that’s now a stunning waterside restaurant, or go for the Oak Room with its floor-to-ceiling glass doors and terrace. The hall is a great choice for history buffs, too. The earliest evidence of a property on this site stretches back to 1239. The Brockets moved in and rebuilt it in the 15th century, and it’s been in the family ever since.
Best bit: The opulence of the ballroom with its hand-painted ceiling
10. RSA House, London
Marble floors and sweeping staircases are just two of the details architecture buffs will adore about RSA House. With a range of spaces to suit any size of party – as well as exclusive hire of the venue – it’s a city gem that combines London cool with eclectic creativity. Wedding packages include everything from a three-course meal to decorations and hire of an AV system. The venue doesn’t offer accommodation, but the RSA team can arrange preferred rates at hotels including the Corinthia and The Savoy.
Best bit: The photo backdrops include the London Eye, the Shard and a stunning staircase