Destination wedding venues: Six great UK escapes with star quality

Destination wedding venues: Six great UK escapes with star quality
The Gallivant is a slice of paradise near Rye. Photo: David Long

Looking for a destination wedding without leaving UK shores? These six fabulous wedding venues fit the bill for style, setting and pure escapism

Destination wedding venues: Six great UK escapes with star quality
Glamour and history – plus a stunning new ballroom – make Trump Turnberry a stellar choice for a grand wedding

Trump Turnberry – Scottish paradise

A slice of Scottish paradise, Trump Turnberry has long been known as an exclusive golf retreat, but it’s also one of our finest wedding venues. Set on the south-west coast in Ayrshire, overlooking the wonderful links golf courses and Ailsa Craig, the five-star resort now has a fabulous ballroom as centrepiece for your grand occasion. With a 500-seat capacity, the Donald J. Trump ballroom features floor-to-ceiling windows with exceptional views. With its neutral and elegant decor and crystal chandeliers, the ballroom can be decorated in your wedding colours and transformed from daytime party setting to glamorous evening ballroom. Weddings here benefit from bespoke menus created by the team of inhouse chefs and there’s a full team on site to help plan your day. And, of course, the hotel has fantastic rooms and a destination spa if you and your guests want to stay over.


Destination wedding venues: Six great UK escapes with star quality
The Great House is a charming venue set on the banks of the Thames in Berkshire. River views are peerless

The Great House – Riverside magic

Located in the Berkshire village of Sonning-on-Thames, The Great House is an idyllic setting for a wedding down by the river and, with luxury accommodation on site, it’s also a great spot to build in a minimoon or weekend party. Elegant retro rooms, plus great food served all day, make it a modern take on the country house hotel. The setting is perfect for alfresco partying, with lawns stretching down to a picturesque and rural stretch of the River Thames. The venue is licensed for civil ceremonies and the light-filled dining room extends out to a terrace overlooking the river. It can host up to 115 for a ceremony and 200 for an evening reception. Accommodation is set across a series of buildings, including the 17th-century coach house and clock tower. There’s easy access to key London airports, making this a convenient setting, as well as a beautiful one.


Destination wedding venues: Six great UK escapes with star quality
The ultimate London retreat, London Wetland Centre is a stunning watery setting close to Barnes, and with a variety of venues overlooking the water as well as wonderful vistas for nature watchers

London Wetland Centre – Watery heaven

While this is a London venue, you’ll feel miles away from the city at the London Wetland Centre, a 105-acre nature reserve on the Thames. A quite unique setting and perfect for ecologists and twitchers, it’s located in Barnes, just a few minutes from Hammersmith. You will be surrounded by a watery paradise full of birdlife thanks to its ponds, wildflower meadow and rain garden. The venues are as unique as the location; The Observatory offers a panoramic view over the lake and London skyline behind it. The Water’s Edge room can seat 110 for dinner and has a decked balcony. For more intimate affairs, the thatched Wetland Living building, has a capacity of 42 for a seated ceremony.


Destination wedding venues: Six great UK escapes with star quality
Ever After is a stunning outdoor setting near the Devon town of Tavistock

Ever After – Devon cream

Wedding venues don’t get much more romantic than Ever After, a stunning outdoor space in Devon. Located in Grenofen, near Tavistock, it is a quite unique location to get back to nature. Since the British weather doesn’t always oblige, Ever After has a glass-roofed terrace, lots of wet weather awnings and canopies that guarantee you remain alfresco without getting cold or damp. The inhouse catering is by local supplier Outside Inn Cuisine, and you can create a truly bespoke day around your wishlist. Ever After is licensed for wedding ceremonies and has specific packages for everything from tiny elopements to hosting a crowd (up to 120 for a ceremony). There is cottage accommodation on site as part of the package for bride and groom, with additional on-site accommodation for two additional guests. The team here are also happy to recommend great holiday accommodation nearby for the rest of your guests.


Destination wedding venues: Six great UK escapes with star quality
Chic New England-style interiors and a stunning beach make The Gallivant a great choice for a romantic coastal wedding

The Gallivant – Beach style

Located right opposite the beach at Camber Sands, and not far from Rye, The Gallivant feels more like a chic beachside home than a hotel (in fact, it calls itself a restaurant with rooms). New England-style interiors, great food and friendly staff make this justly popular with large and small groups and weddings are hosted here year round. In summer guests gravitate between the marquee and the beautiful beach, which is also perfect for photo opportunities. In winter, the setting is even more romantic with roaring log fires and a cosy bar, plus heated marquee. The bedrooms here are lovely, decorated in simple beach style but with lots of luxury touches.


Destination wedding venues: Six great UK escapes with star quality
Brooklands Hotel offers something unique – a slice of racing history in a sleek contemporary setting

Brooklands Hotel – Racing form

Wedding venues don’t have to be traditional and, with its glittering racing associations, Brooklands Hotel near Weybridge, Surrey, is an ultra-glamorous contemporary location for a destination celebration. A light-filled hotel, it sits in the heart of the action with its location on the historic Soloman Straight of Brooklands – the world’s very first racing circuit. The hotel is an artful combination of period and contemporary architecture, referencing the Deco and Modernist styling of early-years motorcars. A vast lobby and exceptional public spaces offer plenty of scope for hosting a celebration large or small. The hotel only hosts one wedding a day, so you are also guaranteed star billing. There are 120 contemporary bedrooms here, including panoramic balcony suites. The signature 319 suite is perfect for bride and groom.


Go wild in Kent at beautiful Port Lympne