If you need space and style, here are four palatial wedding venues that offer grand rooms and acres of glorious gardens. Best of all, all these grand venues are less than two hours from the capital
One of the great things about London is that it is surrounded by picture-perfect countryside, complete with spectacular manor houses, grand palaces and historic castles. These four romantic wedding venues are the last word in high style, giving you the opportunity to host a crowd and ensure a truly palatial celebration where you will be queen for the day.
Capture the castle
The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle is steeped in history and romance, and with a truly magical setting in the Kent countryside. The 13th-century castle with double moat stands in 125 acres of glorious grounds and includes a stunning lake that offers perfect photo opportunities.
Despite the grand setting, you have options for weddings ranging from the grand to more intimate scale – from hire of the castle to the country-house style Astor Wing or Italian Garden with lakeside setting. Hever Castle offers a varied menu focused on seasonal dishes and there are 28 bedrooms if you and the wedding party choose to stay there for the celebration. hevercastle.co.uk
Just an hour away from London, Wickham House is a splendid Georgian manor house overlooking the Kennet Valley. Private home of the D’Arcy family, it retains a personal atmosphere that is perfect for exclusive weddings. The fantastic grounds, with walled garden and pool, are perfect for a marquee and there is also a barn for civil ceremonies and receptions.
Inside the manor house, the dining and drawing rooms can host smaller drinks receptions and photographs. Couples can also take advantage of the historic church on site for ceremonies and there are a variety of excellent hotels nearby, as well as glamping opportunities in the grounds. wickhamhouse.com
With splendid formal gardens, elegant cobbled courtyards and magnificent Tudor and Baroque architecture, Hampton Court Palace is a glamorous location for hosting a memorable wedding party. The gardens are a key feature, and the airy Garden Room (220 guests) opens onto a garden reserved exclusively for the wedding party.
For period finery, the Great Hall has a hammer beam ceiling and is perfect for your own grand feast, while Henry VIII’s own beer cellar the Undercroft, and the oak-panelled Cartoon Gallery, are both wonderfully atmospheric settings. The Little Banqueting House is set away from the main house and features fabulous river views and murals by Antonio Verrio. hrp.org.uk
One of the Europe’s finest palaces and home to the Dukes of Marlborough, Blenheim is set in glorious Oxfordshire countryside, close to Woodstock. It is steeped in history – not least through its association with Winston Churchill, who was born here and proposed to his darling Clementine in the Temple of Diana that stands in the grounds. The palace is on an awe-inspiring scale and offers a variety of lavish spaces for ceremonies and celebrations – from the grand Orangery, Great Hall and Long Library to the more intimate Saloon. For a wedding on a huge scale, there is also scope to erect a marquee (capacity up to 2,000) on the South Lawn.
The palace’s gardens are something special and incomporably romantic. For weddings, perhaps the most romantic spots are the Italian Garden (perfect for celebration drinks) and the beautiful Water Terraces. In particular, the Water Terraces are laid out in the style of Versailles’ Parterre d’Eau and make a spectacular venue for receptions with music and dancing. blenheimpalace.com