The East Midlands is home to some fantastic countryside and glorious scenery. From the Peak District to Sherwood Forest, you’re not short of amazing backdrops for any event, weddings included. If you’re on the lookout for a venue in the region then look no further – here’s our list of 10 amazing East Midlands wedding venues you might not have considered before.
Situated pretty much on the border of Staffordshire, near the town of Swadlincote, Catton Hall is a grand 15th century country manor which has been owned by the same family since it was built. Its impressive grounds – 250 acres of parkland – make a stunning setting for any event, including weddings.
Both the Hall and the grounds are available for weddings. The Garden or Park would be a good option if you wanted an outdoor festival-style wedding, still with the grand hall in the background.
About 25 miles from Catton on the other side of Derby is Morley Hayes, an award-winning hotel, restaurant and golf course. Located in 270 acres of woodland and parkland, it might not sound particularly unique, but their barn-inspired Woodland Wedding Lodge provides an amazingly rustic and unique setting for your ceremony. If you fancy braving the Great British weather and taking your ceremony outdoors, the also have a beautiful wedding dome set in a secret garden, providing a picturesque and intimate setting.
If you want to go even more rural and rustic, then Knockerdown Cottages is for you. On a farm in Ashbourne, 5 minutes walk from Carsington Water, this suite of cottages are a true retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life, a great place to host a unique and intimate wedding.
You have the option to hire out the whole complex or just parts if you’d like a smaller occasion. Your wedding can take place in one of the dedicated function rooms, and the surrounding self-catering cottages can host your guests for up to 3 nights. This venue is something a bit different and perfect if you want a memorable and special weekend to share with your closest friends and family.
Also in Ashbourne, Osmaston Park is entirely private countryside venue situated in a whopping 3000 acre park on the edge of the village of Osmaston. This is the one to go for if you want the full outdoor, festival wedding experience, with literally acres of space and the flexibility to do pretty much whatever you want.
There’s a marquee available which can seat up to 200 people, but you’re welcome to bring your own temporary structures if you like (tipis, perhaps?). You’re also not tied down to in-house catering, and you can provide your own alcohol, which could mean a significant cost-saving compared to hotels or golf clubs. Although Osmaston Park isn’t licensed, there are plenty of churches and registry offices nearby where you can make it official before heading to the park to celebrate.
Moving southeast into Leicestershire, near Oakham and Rutland Water, is Barnsdale Gardens, an 8 acre site with 38 individual gardens, each with their own unique style. The gardens include the Paradise Garden with pagoda, conservatory and spectacular feature, a Japanese Garden, and the French-inspired Versailles.
The various gardens give endless photographic opportunities, and you’re also free to pitch up a marquee, tent or tipis in the grounds. Barnsdale is a quirky and magical place to hold your wedding, and perfect if you want a bit of a smaller occasion.
Who wouldn’t get married in a zoo? Exchange your vows and then head off to meet meerkats, giraffes, penguins and otters. Sounds like a perfect day to us.
Twycross offer a few locations and venues to choose from, including the Himalaya room which overlooks the snow leopard enclosure, and the Windows on the Wild room for your reception, which holds up to 90 people. If you want to take it outdoors, they also have grounds in the middle of the zoo where you can have a marquee.
Although we’d pretty much stop the article here and strongly suggest you get married at the zoo, we get that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so here’s a charming, rustic venue in the countryside: Mythe Barn.
With the option to hold your wedding inside one of the stunning oak barns or outside in the picturesque grounds overlooking the glorious Leicestershire countryside, it’s another idyllic place to get married. In-house caterers Galloping Gourmet can provide either a formal wedding breakfast or a more relaxed affair with barbecues and street good in The Courtyard.
If you want to go truly unique, then getting married at a brewery is the way to do it. You might be thinking; “a brewery, that doesn’t exactly sound like an elegant place to get married”, but the Pheasantry Brewery in Newark is in a quaint and rustic setting on an old farm. They offer a range of pretty affordable packages for smaller weddings, with a marquee with space for up to 100 guests.
You can get exclusive use of the grounds and farmland, and sample their traditional beers in the evening, including Dancing Dragonfly, Magnipheasant 7 and Aurora.
Going almost in completely the opposite direction to a countryside microbrewery, did you know you can get married at Trent Bridge, home of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and England test matches? If you’re a massive cricket fan or you’re just looking for a unique wedding venue, this is one of the most famous and good-looking cricket grounds in the world, making it a pretty prestigious place to hold your wedding.
There’s a choice of three stunning rooms; The Long Room, which is atmospheric, ornate and packed with quintessentially English quirk and character; the Derek Randall suite, light and airy and overlooking the ground; and The Boundary’s Edge, sophisticated, contemporary with a large balcony and views of the ground.
Hazel Gap Barn
Rounding off with another rustic but refined barn venue, there’s Hazel Gap Barn in Newark, situated on the historic Welbeck Estate. The traditional red brick farm buildings and the stunning courtyard, trees and planters make it a truly beautiful place to tie the knot.
It’s an informal and relaxed venue with room for up to 150 guests. The Barn and the Farmhouse are licensed for civil ceremonies, and then you’re free to move the party outside. And the best bit? They’ll let you party on until 1am, whereas most wedding venues set a curfew of 11pm or midnight, just when the fun’s really getting started.
We hope we’ve inspired you to pick one of these amazing unique venues for your big day. We know we’d love to attend a wedding at any one of them! And maybe, venue allowing, you might take along our tipis so we can help you make it special. Just let us know!