Some of the most desirable wedding venues are those with a dash of historical charm or significance. The UK has a rich history spanning centuries upon centuries, and with it comes many wonderful potential wedding venues. Here are some of the best historic wedding venues in the UK.
1) Religious Houses
Above, clockwise from the bottom-left: Stanbrook Abbey | The Mirfield Monastery
Historic religious houses in the UK include everything from small churches and abbeys to impressive monasteries and cathedrals. St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) are famous examples where some of history’s most famous moments took place—coronations, weddings, and burials. The UK also offers monasteries such as the Mirfield Monastery—a 19th century building in West Yorkshire nestled in twenty acres of beautiful gardens and woodlands.
2) Castles and Chateaus
Castles are some of the most popular historic wedding venues, and there’s no shortage of them across the UK either. Edinburgh castle is an iconic landmark in the heart of Scotland that draws people from all over the world, and Eastnor Castle is a fairytale castle set within 5,000 acres of stunning Hertfordshire countryside. Step inside your own happily ever after with a traditional castle like Peckforton Castle, or a magical chateau like Chateau Rhianfa.
3) Estates, Priories, and Parks
Estates, Priories, and Parks like Leez Priory and Highfield Park are very established, classy wedding venues that are a fantastic setting for your big day. They’re full of intrigue too—the Grove is one of the leading hotels of the world with a very rich history, reaching all the way back to the reign of King Henry IV. In the 1940s, called “Project X”, it was even the secret wartime headquarters for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
4) Galleries, Museums, Universities, and Town Halls
Galleries, museums, universities, and even libraries are beautiful settings for your big day if you and your partner have a love for knowledge and the arts. Oftentimes, these venues are stunningly beautiful too, like London’s Natural History Museum. Other public spaces include town halls, like St Mary’s Guildhall. It’s a romantic 14th century building that’s played host to the famous playwright William Shakespeare, as well as numerous kings and queens.
Hotels are very common as wedding venues because they come complete with accommodation and numerous extras—including spas and fun indoor and outdoor activities. The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, for example, is a building that traces back to the late 1800s, giving it over one hundred years of history. And Oakley Court Hotel is a Victorian gothic country house from the 19th century that has been used as a film set on numerous occasions. Furthermore, hotels like Rockliffe Hall come complete with spas, gyms, and sporting.
6) Halls and Courts
Halls and courts are some of the finest wedding venues too, and Aramthwaite Hall is a perfect example. Sitting astride Bassenthwaite Lake in the magnificent Lake District, it labels itself “one of the original stately homes of England” and can trace its roots right back to the 11th century. For picturesque locations and an overall beautiful setting, halls and courts are perfect choices for your wedding day. Similarly, How Caple Court includes a medieval church overlying Norman foundations and looks across beautiful countryside toward the Forest of Dean and the Welsh hills. Furthermore, Cusworth Hall is a Grade I listed building built in the 18th century within its own landscaped park.
7) Golf Clubs
Golf clubs are perfect wedding venues for the golf lover. Often to be found in vast swathes of countryside in some of the most lovely and romantic locations, they have great facilities and many wonderful photo opportunities—just like the Springs Hotel and Golf Club in Oxfordshire, whose golf course was designed by Brian Hugget, the Ryder Cup Captain. And the Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club includes a Grade II listed mansion with stunning grounds.
8) Stadiums and Arenas
Above, Newbury Racecourse
Football and rugby arenas/stadiums are great for the avid football and rugby fan, and you may want to choose a venue based on a win of your favourite team.
9) Mansions, Manors, and Houses
Mansions, manors and houses, like high-end country estates, are some of the most spectacular wedding venues you’ll ever come across, with impressive architecture and sprawling acres of gardens and grounds. The Elvetham Hotel, for example, dates back to before the days of the Tudors and includes a court, church, and gardens. The Waddesdon Manor and Estate includes a Grade II listed hotel and was built in the style of a French chateau, and the Heath House is an early Victorian mansion that’s been occupied by the same family for six generations!
10) Gardens and Parks
An outdoor setting to your big day is, a lot of the time, just as important as your inside venue. Therefore, gardens and parks that pride themselves on manicured lawns, beautiful greenery, and dramatic scenery are many couples’ top choices for a wedding venue. Kew Gardens, for example, is a World Heritage Site that includes a very pretty 19th century glass house and a wonderful conservatory. Walton Hall and Gardens is an astonishing Elizabethan mansion in Cheshire set in 32 acres of parkland, and Broxmouth Park sits inside breathtaking Scottish parkland complete with a lake and private woodland.
For more beautiful wedding venue ideas, see our article on 5 of the best wedding venues in Scotland!