Revealed: the best country house wedding venues

Revealed: the best wedding venues for exclusive hire
Autumnal magic at St Audries Park in Somerset

Absolutely Weddings has tried and tested hundreds of country house wedding venues across the UK to bring you the very best for exclusive hire. All of which you can view in your PJs from your sofa, by booking a private virtual tour

Words: Isabella Eckett

Planning a wedding can be stressful even in normal times. However, the very first thing on your wedding checklist should be to find your dream venue. The setting determines everything; the size of your guestlist, style of catering, flowers, even the dress code. Ordinarily, it’s where the majority of your wedding budget goes, making it the biggest decision you’ll face. It can be totally overwhelming with so much choice out there. Especially if you’re searching for a place large enough to sleep all your loved ones under one roof.

We’ve handpicked the best country house wedding venues available for exclusive-hire. And for the first time ever, you can be transported to your potential venue from the comfort of your home by booking a virtual tour to experience all that’s on offer. A truly special opportunity for you and your fiancé to view venues during lockdown – don’t forget to crack open a bottle of bubbles for the occasion.

All these country house wedding venues are not too far from London and have brilliant indoor and outdoor ceremony options. Choose to take over one of these grand houses and you’ll also have a Personal Wedding Manager to help with all the little details.

Most importantly, the entire estate will be all yours and there’s plenty of luxury accommodation for all your guests. We can’t think of a better way to choose your venue and then let the exciting countdown begin.

Holmewood Hall, Cambridgeshire

exclusive-use wedding venues holmewood hall cambridgeshire
Front view of the magnificent Holmewood Hall

Recently lovingly restored to its former glory, this Tudor-style mansion is fast becoming a go-to for glamorous couples and we can see why. The decadent Gold Room is breathtaking with an 18-carat gold-leaf ceiling and the Banqueting Hall is a superb space for your wedding breakfast. In summer months, marry outside at The Bandstand looking over the rustic parkland. Sleeping 40 across beautiful accommodation, including the bridal suite with four-poster bed and statement chandelier, hiring out this spectacular venue will make for an unforgettable celebration.

Clearwell Castle, Gloucestershire

Exclusive-use wedding venues clearwell castle gloucestershire
The fairytale turrets at Clearwell Castle

Always dreamt of a fairytale big day? Then Clearwell Castle, situated in the enchanting Forest of Dean, is your perfect exclusive-use wedding venue. The ballroom is dazzling with marble columns and a 75-foot aisle making for a show-stopping entrance. The vaulted Cellar Disco & Bar is a great place to party the night away. Outside, you’ll soon be able to marry under the bandstand overlooking the magical castle. The pretty village of Clearwell is in walking distance, home to a charming pub perfect for the groom or hosting a laidback get-together the night before. The estate sleeps 79 across luxe castle bedrooms and homely cottages.

Gosfield Hall, Essex

exclusive-use wedding venues gosfield hall essex
The Rococco Bridal Suite at Gosfield Hall

Marry like a royal at this Georgian estate and former palace, a fabulous choice all year round thanks to the spacious reception rooms which can be exclusively yours. The Queen’s Gallery is sure to impress with its 120-foot aisle (one of the longest in the country) or the Grand Salon which features a hand-painted decorative ceiling and baby grand piano. Outside, there’s a pretty courtyard and the recently restored carriageway provides a unique setting to say I do. There’s 23 luxurious bedrooms and the crown jewel is the magnificent Rococco Bridal Suite designed during the residency of Louis XVIII. Country House Weddings also own the local village pub, great for relaxed welcome drinks and extra guest accommodation.

St Audries Park, Somerset

exclusives-use wedding venues st audries park somerset
Say ‘I do’ at the stunning orangery at St Audries Park

You’ll be swept away by the tranquility of this grand estate. Nestled in the rolling Somerset hills with panoramic sea views, St Audries Park sleeps over 100 guests across the main house, a number of cottages and lodges, making it a spacious and diverse exclusive-use wedding venue. A winding driveway leads to the Gothic-style manor house, an unforgettable backdrop for your wedding photos and inside the Great Hall’s vaulted ceiling adds to the wow-factor. Tie the knot in the opulent Victorian orangery with one-of-a-kind golden aisle or there’s a picturesque church all within the grounds. There are fabulous facilities for a weekend packed full of fun, and we’d suggest hosting an al fresco BBQ the night before.

Leez Priory, Essex

exclusive-use venues leez priory essex
The rustic Coach House at Leez Priory

This Tudor mansion is one of the longest running exclusive-use wedding venues in the UK so you know you’re in good hands. Exchange vows up (or outside) the Grand Tower, which has church-like charm. Your drinks reception can be held on the lawn by the picturesque lake, while your guests play a spot of croquet. Create your dream wedding menu with produce from the garden and dine in the magnificent Great Hall or the more rustic Coach House. Sleeping up to 50 guests with a super-cute cottage for the bridal party on the wedding eve.

Bourton Hall, Warwickshire

exclusive-use wedding venues bourton hall warwickshire
The former Catholic chapel and exterior at Bourton Hall

A slice of Tuscany in the heart of Warwickshire, hosting its first wedding this November after an extensive refurb. The Italianate style mansion is set in 12 acres of colourful gardens and houses a stunning former catholic chapel. Inside the main house, there’s an impressive sweeping staircase, banqueting hall and 20 bedrooms for your guests. Plus, a Gate House Lodge for the night before. Marry outside under the Portico, a very romantic setting ideal for those craving a destination wedding. The bridal suite has a dressing area with doors onto a large balcony, where you can take in the views of the Leam valley and Draycote Water in the distance.


Read our Best 100 Venues Guide 2020