Bursting with period features and surrounded by walls that could tell plenty of stories, it’s no wonder historic wedding venues are so popular. From castles with royal connections to manor houses that ooze charm and character, we’re spoilt for choice with historic wedding venues here in the UK. In summer months, large historic country estates are perfect for a quintessentially English marquee celebration. In winter, we can just imagine sipping mulled wine by the roaring fire of a medieval Scottish castle. Whatever the weather, it’s time to get inspired…
One-time home of Vita Sackville-West who was part of the infamous Bloomsbury Group, Sissinghurst Castle Garden even inspired some of Virginia Woolf’s works. Take your guests to the top of the tall redbrick tower to admire both the estate gardens, which are laid out like a series of rooms, and the Garden of England itself.
Birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is one of the largest houses in the country, and without doubt one of the best historical wedding venues in the UK. The only non-royal house in the UK to hold the title of ‘palace’, it’s the ultimate location for a no-holds-barred celebration.
Located in easy reach of London, yet with the atmosphere of a remote country estate, Eltham Palace is Tudor on the outside but Art Deco on the inside. Childhood home of none other than King Henry VIII, it’s regal enough for even the biggest of princess brides.
Built in the early 18th century, Grade I listed Clandon Park‘s stunning features include a double-height marble hall, a Dutch sunken garden, and a genuine Maori meeting house, which the owners transported plank by plank fron New Zealand.
A large and beautifully preserved Cistercian monastery, Fountains Abbey played a crucial part in Henry VIII’s formation of the Church of England. Founded in the 12th century, the abbey has seen fire, battles and disulution from Henry’s troops. And, those flying buttresses make a seriously dramatic photo setting.
Proudly placed on Hyde Park Corner, Wellington Arch is one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Famously built to celebrate Britain’s victories in the Napoleonic Wars, did you know it houses a beautiful events room, too? Take your guests out onto the roof terrace for private views across the capital.
Not all historic wedding venues are stately homes… Unique and boutique, Fazeley Studios is a converted 19th century chapel in the heart of Birmingham, and can he hired in conjunction with The Custard Factory – the original Bird’s custard factory – for a quirky celebration.
Fortnum and Mason
Established in 1707, Fortnum and Mason is one of the most famous department stores in the world. An iconic symbol of all things British and favourite of the royal family, the lavish interiors of this small London venue can host a glamorous intimate banquet.
Quite simply, everyone knows The Globe. Right on London’s Bankside the current Globe is a rebuild of Shakespeare’s original, but still houses all of the magical atmosphere. Both the undercroft and balcony room at The Swan are available for theatrical-inspired weddings.
A favourite restaurant amongst the A-list and thespians alike, The Ivy has nearly a century of history in fine dining. Its star-studded guest list over the years has included Laurence Olivier, Marlene Dietrich and Noel Coward, and it remains a London institution.
The world’s largest collection of living plants, Kew Gardens was founded in the Victorian era as an exotic garden just on the edge of London. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the herbarium alone contains over 7 million preserved plant specimens. Host your wedding breakfast in its incredible Orangery and unleash your inner jungle queen.
Currently home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (and Prince George and Princess Charlotte) Kensington Palace certainly has the royal seal of approval. A regal residence since the 17th century, the Hyde Park palace has survived the Blitz, and its famous occupants include Princess Diana.
Although famous for its connections with Henry VIII, 13th century Leeds Castle was also a favourite residence of Edward I. Over the centuries the castle has seen plenty of drama, including a total transformation for Henry’s first of many wives Catherine of Aragon – many of the Tudor details still remain to this day.
The only remaining part of the original Palace of Whitehall, the Banqueting House is a bit of an architectural wonder. Its Palladian facade leads to all-out glamour on the inside: is city wedding chic at its very best.
Spanning back across centuries of Scottish history, Marlins Wynd lies beneath the streets of Edinburgh city centre. Built in the 16th century, the network of cellars provided transport links in the newly establish capital. Now a state-of-the-art venue, fantastic lighting and a Georgian dining room make it one of Edinburgh’s most exciting party spaces.
Surrounded by iconic gardens, Powys Castle is an unexpected slice of the Mediterranean in Wales. From rare plants to historic statues, this one-time medieval fortress is now a luxurious stately home – and wedding venue.
Out on the Isle of Wight, Osborne House was Queen Victoria’s paradise away from mainland England. Designed by Prince Albert in Italian Renaissance style, host a marquee reception in their sun-kissed gardens in summer.
Hampton Court Palace
World-famous and packed with history, Hampton Court Palace is as grand as it gets. A Tudor landmark extended by William III in an attempt to rival to the Palace of Versailles, it blends some of England’s finest architectural styles. Amongst many lavish features, the palace is surrounded by grand statues of the ‘King’s Beasts’…
A picture-perfect country manor house, what you might not expect about Finchcocks is that it houses over 100 pianos and keyboard instruments in a spectacular musical museum. Best of all, it’s still a private house, and comes complete with an idyllic 18th century walled garden.
ss Great Britain
Launched in 1843 by Brunel and dubbed ‘the greatest experiment since the creation’, ss Great Britain is so much more than a boat. Now docked in Bristol, the ship has sailed around the world. And, if you’re a fan of fabulous food, they’ve got three Michelin stars, too.