Introducing Euridge Manor, a classic English venue so enchanting it will take your breath away.
DREAMING OF A VINTAGE-INSPIRED TRAVEL set in the rolling English countryside? This exquisite property, the former hunting lodge of Sir Walter Raleigh, is the perfect location. Sitting pretty in the heart of the Cotswolds, on the edge of Castle Combe, this magical venue could be straight out of Alice In Wonderland. Take, for example, the grounds of the Secret Garden Orangery: artfully pruned topiary, fountains, a Gothic maze and row upon row of scented roses.
Think Champagne and canapés on the lawn, followed by romance after dark, with candles flickering on banquet tables as music plays. With capacity for up to 250 guests, there are several areas within the grounds licensed for weddings, including the property’s cloisters, the Secret Garden Orangery and the boat house – a stunning space beside the lake with views out to the hills beyond.
Perhaps most spectacular of all is the ballroom, which has a beautiful ancient grotto attached to it. And if you’re dreaming of a traditional church ceremony, there’s a village church in nearby Colerne. With 500 acres of private woodland, a picturesque boating lake and a sweeping valley backed by a historic castle, Euridge Manor is one of the most glamorous venues we’ve seen in a long time. Book now for 2020 dates. You’re welcome.
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Coworth Park BERKSHIRE
The 10-acre wildflower meadow is Coworth Park crowning glory – and makes a pretty big-day photo backdrop. The ethereal vibe continues in the Oval Room, a blank canvas with fresh white walls that looks splendid when adorned with flickering church candles. After tucking into modern British food with a twist, cast open the glass doors to the private patio, festooned with fairy lights. Top marks for romance. dorchestercollection.com
The Hurlingham Club PUTNEY, LONDON
Tucked away within 42 acres on the banks of the River Thames, this private members’ sports and social club feels like it’s in the middle of the countryside rather than SW6. Make a slick, James Bond-style entrance by boat before heading to the glass-domed Palm Court in the Georgian clubhouse (for smaller gatherings, the Terrace Room has commanding river views). The Sunken Garden is a green oasis for cocktails. hurlinghamclub.org.uk
Kew Gardens RICHMOND, LONDON
If there was an award for the leafiest loveliness in the capital, the restored Temperate House would claim first prize, hands down. The largest Victorian glasshouse in the world, it makes for a sensational evening setting as guests dine and dance among some of Kew Gardens’ 10,000 species of plants. Other options are the Nash Conservatory and the Orangery, which also tick the botanical box and offer an abundance of natural light. kew.org/venue-hire
Port Lympne Reserve KENT
Fancy adding some animal magic to your big day? Then Port Lympne, Kent’s largest wildlife reserve, is for you – after all, not many people can say they got married and took their guests on a VIP safari to feed a giraffe! There’s also a Moroccan Courtyard decorated with antiques for afternoon tea and treehouses for a buffet with views of the rhinos. aspinallfoundation.org
Thirlestane Castle BERWICKSHIRE, SCOTLAND
This ancient castle with a sandstone facade and majestic turrets is as pretty as a picture. The sumptuous State Drawing Room overlooks the Rose Garden; the cobbled Courtyard is superb for an al fresco celebration (book a marquee so you don’t have to worry about the weather). Then spend your first night as newlyweds in The Maitland Apartment – the setting is sublime. thirlestanecastle.co.uk
Borthwick Castle MIDLOTHIAN, SCOTLAND
This restored 15th-century keep, 30 minutes from Edinburgh, was once a refuge for Mary Queen of Scots, no less. A wedding here is about full-on Scottish flavour: saying your vows in the Garrison, a medieval banquet (or more casual barbecue), bagpipers and ceilidhs and, at the end of the night, drams of whisky in front of a roaring fire. Kilts for the groom’s party: optional. borthwickcastle.com
Kensington Palace LONDON
Home to our favourite young royals, Kensington Palace is literally fit for a king. The beautiful Orangery where Queen Anne once hosted lavish balls has a south-facing terrace; the Sunken Garden is special in spring for drinks when the tulips are in bloom; and the red King’s Gallery gets our vote for dinner. The shop has some inspired ideas for bridesmaid and usher thank-you gifts, too. hrp.org.uk
Achnagairn Castle SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
Part of the Achnagairn Estate in Inverness, this castle has an ornate vaulted ballroom that seats up to 200 for dinner (fun fact: it’s one of the largest venues in the Highlands). Not keen on formalities? Tie the knot under the grand stone arch in the grounds before exploring the maze – just be back in time to raise a glass for the toasts! perfect-manors.com
Osborne House ISLE OF WIGHT
Once the family home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, this palatial property by the sea is exquisite. Have your ceremony on the private sandshingle beach, Champagne on the Belvedere Terrace and dinner in the grand Durbar Room, among a glittering collection of treasures given to the Queen as musicians play from the gallery above. No wonder this special house has the royal seal of approval. english-heritage.org.uk
Blenheim Palace OXFORDSHIRE
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to stellar spaces at this Baroque beauty. From the Orangery overlooking the Duke’s Italian garden (it was once used as the Marlborough family’s private theatre) to the Long Library with 10,000 books, each room is as enchanting as the next. The best place for a party? The L-shaped Water Terraces, which have space for bands and dancing. To really make an entrance, why not arrive by helicopter? blenheimpalace.com
Ashford Castle CO. MAYO, IRELAND
No request too large, no detail too small’ – that’s the attitude of the planning team at this 800-year-old castle, just outside the village of Cong. Guests will be wowed by views of Lough Corrib before gathering in traditional Oak Hall, all red walls and gold-framed paintings. And did we mention the wine cellars for tastings and the Reagan Presidential Suite, with its antique four-poster? ashfordcastle.com
Clearwell Castle GLOUCESTERSHIRE
This castle in the Forest of Dean has seriously cool credentials, as it was once a recording studio for Led Zeppelin and Queen. It also has a showstopping 75-foot aisle (the perfect excuse for a long dress train) in the Ballroom, a Drawing Room with a baby grand piano, and a cellar bar with a dance floor. On warm days, kick things off with cocktails on the terrace and afternoon games of croquet. countryhouseweddings.co.uk