Recommended Wedding Venues
I consider the venues below to be the best wedding venues in the South West of England. They are scattered across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.
Whilst a few venues in Gloucestershire charge photographers to be on their preferred supplier lists, none of the amazing wedding venues below do. I’m lucky enough to be a recommended supplier at each of the venues listed below. It’s a privilege and an investment in me so in return, here’s a few words about my favourites and why you should go and visit!
These are venues that I have photographed at regularly, that I am very familiar with and that I have a connection with. They are the very best venues, with professional coordinators making sure your wedding day is perfect and beautiful grounds and buildings (two in this list even have a moat!). The are also all exclusive use, solely for your wedding day. The list below is alphabetical as I cannot fathom another way to display it.
The Barn at Upcote is a very special place. I first photographed a wedding here in late 2016, not long after the venue had officially opened and have shot weddings here regularly since. Situated in Withington, just off the A40 near Cheltenham, Upcote is unique. You approach Upcote from above as it sits, very privately, in a small dip in the landscape. I doubt anyone has walked down the main steps without first stopping and admiring the view from the top!
The venue itself comprises 3 renovated farm buildings including a bridal suite, the main barn and a bar/seating area which all surrounds a spacious courtyard. The icing on the cake is the secret garden which has to be seen to be believed. If you head to visit, lookout for the peacocks that love to come say hello.
Andrew and Jo who own Upcote are deeply committed to their couples. I’ve witnessed it on many occasions. Nothing is too much trouble for them and along with Hannah and Katie, they make a great team.
Near Stratford-upon-Avon, the Bell at Alderminster is a gastro-pub with a difference – well an 18th Century coaching inn to be precise. It hosts weddings and it does them well. It’s recently had a refurb and extension so the rooms are perfect for weddings. Outside there is plenty of space and of course, the food is particularly memorable.
An actual castle! It looks like the venues on this page are competing to be the most historic. Berkeley Castle would have a fair claim. Dating from the 12th Century it was originally built to keep out the Welsh but now obviously welcomes them with open arms! The venue offers the opportunity to be married in the Church in the grounds or in two rooms inside – The Great Hall or The Long Drawing Room.
Berkeley Castle is an epic venue in both size and feel. The warm open fireplaces, acres of lawn and woodland and the furnishings inside make it a special place to host a wedding day. Plus it’s got cannons. Who doesn’t love cannons!
Birtsmorton Court describes itself as ‘The most picturesque wedding venue in the West Midlands.’ Who am I to argue! Offering no less than 4 different locations for your ceremony including an on-site church and the beautifully intimate White Garden, this moated wedding venue sits on the border of three counties – Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. As well as the main house and terrace overlooking the moat, Birtsmorton Court offers exclusive use of the grounds, the marquee for your wedidng breakfast and a separate, fairy-light filled Garden Room for your evening reception.
The wedding team that run Birtsmorton, led by Sophie, are incredibly professional and experienced making sure every wedding day I’ve shot here has gone smoothly.
One moated wedding venue on this list not enough…here’s another! Brinsop is special – a country house on an 800 acre private estate in Herefordshire with massive skies, rolling hills and woods ripe for exploration surrounding it. Based around a courtyard, Brinsop is a collection of amazing spaces both inside and out, my favourite being the Banqueting Hall.
Wedding ceremonies can take place in the courtyard, 3 different locations in the house or even in the woodland! For me Brinsop is more than just a location to get married, it’s a great to place to spend a few days either side of your wedding day, with your closest friends and family.
I’ve photographed more weddings at the Great Tythe Barn than anywhere else. I could probably draw you a labelled scale map if you wanted… Seriously though, it is the quintessential Cotswold barn wedding venue offering a large indoor barn area with a mezzanine level, 200 acres of grounds including fields and woodland and some quite epic catering choices. There are also two pigs and a donkey if that’s your thing!
GTB also prides itself on providing lots of accommodation for your wedding guests. They even have a full time gardener to make sure the whole place looks epic all year round. I recommend if you are near Tetbury and looking for a barn wedding venue, go visit and meet the team who will show you all the barn has to offer. Did I mention they allow (encourage no less!) bouncy castles?
7. Hyde House
Close to Stow-on-the-Wold, Hyde House is a purpose built wedding venue with plenty of accommodation, indoor and outdoor ceremony locations, a wedding barn for your reception and a soon to be completed Grange – a bespoke ceremony building. Hyde House does big Cotswold skies well and partners this with a superb team and a very slick operation.
8. Lodge Park
Put simply, this National Trust run venue is England’s only surviving 17th C grandstand complete with a mile long deer course and masses of historical parkland around. Unique enough for you? Offering indoor or outdoor weddings, Lodge Park also provides the Great Hall for your wedding breakfast. If you visit, check out the floor…it’s incredible and don’t forget to have a wander around the back into the woods.
Lodge Park is located in Gloucestershire close to the towns of Burford and Cheltenham.
Sometimes venues break the mould. Matara is a solace, a really special, relaxing place to be on any day, not just a wedding day. It’s a venue I have been associated with for many years and I am proud to admit it’s one of my favourites. Geoffrey, who owns the venue has created an unquestionably relaxed space with the flexibility of no other. Whether you want a ceremony under the cloisters in the courtyard or indoors in the Hilarium, Matara will oblige.
Some of my favourite moments over the years have been photographing a tree planting in the grounds complete with colourful ribbons, the multiculturalism that Matara attracts, Kate Nash performing at Araba and Jon’s epic wedding celebrations and winning The Best of The Best Award for one of my images last year. If you are visiting the best wedding venues in the south west of England, give Holly and Olivia – the two amazing wedding coordinators – a call and ask for a look around, you won’t be disappointed.
Catering for weddings of between 50 and 150 people, Middle Stanley Farm is a private oasis offering flexibility for you to create your perfect day. Close to Cheltenham, it is a combination of Cotswold stone buildings, epic views, 2 lakes and a marquee for your wedding breakfast plus accommodation for up to 30 people – the perfect place for a wedding party! If you visit, ask to see The Havana Club!
11. Owlpen Manor
If a barn isn’t your thing, how about a haunted 800 year old Tudor Manor House on a 215 acre estate? Owlpen is steeped in History. It offers 9 cottages for your wedding guests and if you like private, it’s about as isolated as they come, situated in an Area of Natural Beauty near Stroud. Grist Mill is easily my favourite building but do mind your head!
The greatest thing about Owlpen from a photography point of view is the gardens. They are immense, varied and inspiring. I always take time when I visit Owlpen to remind myself of the space in the morning, to walk amongst the gardens and view the main house and Cyder Barn from a distance and I recommend you do too.
12. Oxleaze Barn
Oxleaze Barn is a family run venue near Lechlade on the Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire border and is only an hour from London on the train. Still part of a working farm, and originally a grain store, Oxleaze oozes Cotswold charm. I’ve lost count of the number of epic spots for pictures at Oxleaze: a walk round the pond, beneath the willow trees, over to the farmyard, a trip through the long grass or into the beautifully kept private garden – you are spoilt for choice.
The main guest area at Oxleaze consists of a barn and courtyard area which blend effortlessly via large opening doors along with a raised level. Weddings are often held under a marquee on the edge of the courtyard which can be attached to the barn.
13. Priston Mill
Not one, but two wedding venues situated in an idyllic location in between Bristol and Bath, Priston Mill comprises of the Watermill and the Tythe Barn.
The Watermill was given to King Athelstan by the Monks of Bath Abbey in the 10th Century- it’s old! Sprinkled with coloured shutters, surrounded by landscaped gardens, a pagoda, and a terrace, the three floored building can seat up to 90 guests in the main reception room.
The Tythe Barn can cater for up to 140 guests and features a beautiful lawn and babbling brook, just outside of course. Both venues are stunning and both have use of the adventure playground in between them…that zip wire is a must-do!