We've found wedding venues that are full of character and ideal for weddings from two to 40 guests
If you’re inviting just your closest family and friends, you’ll want a venue that specifically caters for a smaller number of guests. We’ve found 6 venues that are full of character and ideal for weddings from two to 40 guests.
1. Barnsley House, Cotswolds
Dating back to 1687, Barnsley House is an 18-bedroom Grade II-listed countryside retreat in the heart of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. It is the former family home of the celebrated garden designer, Rosemary Verey, and the gardens are a real feature of the property, providing a wonderful backdrop for weddings and other special occasions. There are also 18 bedrooms, a private cinema with pink leather sofas and a heavenly spa.
Barnsley House is used to holding intimate weddings and the hotel’s ‘small is beautiful’ wedding provides unique ways to mark the big day. A wedding team works with each couple to ensure that it is as perfect as possible, be it highlighting trusted suppliers, suggesting wonderful flower arrangements, or devising a delicious wedding breakfast. Celebrate al fresco in The Garden Temple – a wonderfully romantic option in the hotel grounds – or gather your nearest and dearest in the highly-acclaimed Potager Restaurant. Whether a celebratory lunch, afternoon tea or dinner is chosen, all menus will feature the finest seasonal ingredients.
Prices start from £10,000 for up to 10 guests and include house champagne, seasonal canapes, wedding breakfast (pre-planned with the chef in advance), wine, tea & coffee and a private cinema screening. The wedding couple and their guests can also spend time in Barnsley Spa with its outdoor hydrotherapy pool, treatment rooms and relaxation area.
Standing high above the dramatic Ayrshire coast in the southwest of Scotland’s historic lowlands, Glenapp Castle is a family-owned five-star baronial castle set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, complete with fairy-tale turrets and oak-panelled rooms. Bedrooms are individually styled with furnishings, fabrics, antiques and art, and all feature open fires for the winter months. There are numerous activities available including a Hebridean Sea Safari with butler on hand, clay-pigeon shooting, falconry displays, croquet, wildlife photography and foraging.
Whilst the hotel is used to catering for weddings or all shapes and sizes, the hotel’s Intimate Wedding for Two is ideal for the current restrictions in place. Hosted in one of the Master Suites, the ceremony takes place in the beautiful castle library. In finer weather, couples can say their vows in the open air with views of Ailsa Craig’s volcanic outcrops. Other wedding locations include Glenapp Castle’s romantic late Victorian Mackenzie and Moncur Victorian Glasshouse which dates to 1832.
Priced between £2,775 and £3,375 (depending on timings), the Intimate Wedding for Two includes three nights’ accommodation in a Master Suite, full Scottish breakfast (with a breakfast in bed option the morning after the wedding), a three-course gourmet dinner on the first and last evening, rose petal turndown on the wedding night. The wedding package itself includes two glasses of Champagne after the ceremony, a selection of canapés, six-course gourmet wedding celebration meal with coffee and petit fours, half a bottle of premium wine with the meal, traditional Scottish piper and two castle witnesses for the wedding ceremony.
Situated near Buckingham Palace, The Goring is the oldest privately-owned luxury hotel in London and the only hotel in the UK with a Royal Warrant from The Queen. Step inside the Front Hall with its hand-painted Fromental wallpaper and it’s easy to see why – the hotel offers an oasis of calm and elegance with beautiful surroundings, exquisite food and impeccable service.
The hotel is famously known for hosting the Duchess of Cambridge on the eve of her wedding to Prince William and is an ideal venue for small-scale weddings. Guests have plenty of flexibility and can hold proceedings in either The Dining Room, The Veranda, The Garden Room or The Drawing Room. Prices start from £4,000 ( based on 10 guests) and include half a bottle of Champagne per guest, a selection of delicious canapés, three-course Michelin-starred dinner, wedding flowers and an overnight stay in either a Junior Suite or Belgravia Suite for the wedding couple.
Set in an elevated position overlooking the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake and Mount Skiddaw, Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa is a perfect spot for a wedding. With four venue options to choose from, including the stunning outside Woodland Gazebo, plus delicious wedding menus and a dedicated wedding co-ordinator per couple, there is something to suit every budget and style. The historic house was one of Cumbria’s first stately homes and there are also tranquil gardens, two restaurants, a cocktail bar and a spa with an infinity pool and outdoor hot tub. The hotel offers a variety of wedding packages to suit gatherings large and small including a unique package for two.
The ‘Just the Two of You’ package is from £1,095 and includes ceremony room hire, bridal bouquet, groom’s buttonhole, two witnesses if required, Champagne and canapes, dinner in the Lake View Restaurant and a double room with full Cumbrian breakfast. If the wedding couple wish to bring their own witnesses or a couple of friends or family, there is an additional charge of £375 per couple, £185 per single room or £87.50 per day guest.
With its picture perfect façade, oak beamed interiors, open fires and medieval courtyard gardens, the 15th century Swan at Lavenham Hotel and Spa is a magical venue for weddings all year around. It’s also licensed for civil ceremonies throughout the building. For smaller, more intimate weddings The Swan has three elegant private rooms catering from four to 40 guests. Bridal couples and their guests can also enjoy the luxurious facilities in Weavers’ House Spa or book a relaxing treatment before, or after, the big day.
Wedding breakfast menus are designed using the finest ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible. Brides can choose from The Swan’s selection menus, or work with the chefs to create a bespoke menu that focuses on their favourite dishes. Packages range from £85 up £135 per person.
Located on the edge of Cheltenham Racecourse and close to the Regency town of Cheltenham, Ellenborough Park is a historic five-star Cotswold manor house with opulent antiques, enormous stone fireplaces and wood-panelled rooms. Set in 90 acres of rustic countryside, there are 61 bedrooms, two restaurants and a spa offering a range of treatments.
For intimate wedding celebrations, the hotel is offering a ‘Tie the Knot Package’ for weddings of up to 15 people which is available on Thursdays and Sundays. The price is £3,500 for 15 guests and includes an arrival drink, three-course wedding breakfast, an extra cheese course during the speeches, two glasses of house wine per person and a glass of Prosecco for the toasts.
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