The Best Wedding Venues in the Cotswolds

top venues 2021

We’re completely spoiled in this part of the world in that the best wedding venues in the Cotswolds probably overlap with the top wedding venues in the UK! From Gloucestershire to Oxfordshire and down towards Bath it’s a picture perfect area of outstanding natural beauty. Golden stone barns, grand Manor Houses and ornate Mansions sit within rolling green hills. Most venues offer outside ceremony options to really make the most of the views and there are endless pretty villages for church weddings. Basically you can’t go far wrong! Here are the top venues in my opinion after 10 years as a wedding photographer in the South West.

Best little known venue: Grittleton House

Marriage at Grittleton House
A relative newbie on the block as a wedding venue but dating from 1660, Grittleton House started with a bang, quickly being labelled ‘one of the best kept secrets of the Cotswolds.’ As soon as you enter the long drive leading up to the house you can feel it’s something special and the characterful Jacobean charms persist when you arrive. Grand entrance ways and ornate ceilings wow you in every direction as you take in the scale of the building, it’s huge! Thanks to its large rooms and roofed orangery you can choose to have your ceremony inside or out, with the later providing beautiful views of the gardens. 
 
Location and capacity:
Set just north of Castle Coombe there’s easy access from the M4. They currently have 9 luxury House bedrooms for yourself and your family or friends to stay, increasing to 11 in 2022. Capacity wise they can 180 inside and 400 in the orangery. If you’re really keen on a party they have a late licence available to 7am!
 
Address: The Street, Grittleton, Chippenham SN14 6AP

Website: https://www.grittletonhouse.co.uk/

After the ceremony kiss
wedding twirls at Grittleton House

Most Beautiful Venue: Euridge Manor House and Orangery

Top Cotswolds Wedding venues. Euridge Manor
Euridge Manor is just out of the world. A crazy mix of the most stunning architecture with immaculate gardens that twist and turn around the house. I honestly think it’s best if I let my blog post full of photos do the talking: https://www.joabsmithphotography.co.uk/euridge-manor-and-the-lost-orangery-wedding/
 
Location and capacity:
Nestled between Bath and Chippenham it’s fairly easy to get to, though you very much feel like you’re hidden away in the countryside. 
 
Address: Euridge Manor Farm, Colerne, Chippenham SN14 8BJ
 

Most typically ‘Cotswolds’: The Painswick Hotel

The Painswick Wedding venue
This one’s another gem – and not just because it’s smaller than many of the others but because it really sparkles. Just pay a visit to the hotel for either an afternoon tea, sunday lunch or just a drink at the bar and you’ll see that pretty much everything ‘The Painwick’ does is a notch above the rest, and the same goes for when they host a wedding. Expect attentive staff and spectacular food in boutique surroundings. – photos wise It helps that it’s in the village dubbed ’the queen of the Cotswolds’ too!
 
Location and capacity: Sat on a steep hill in Painswick (Southeast from Gloucester) it has marvellous views of the Slad valley. Capacity wise they state ’40 to 50 guests is an ideal number, although we can host up to 60… and up to 100 for an evening bash!’. If guests would like to stay they have 16 luxurious bedrooms.
 
Address: Kemps Ln, Painswick, Stroud GL6 6YB

A little About me

Now’s hopefully a good time to mention that these are also a collection of my favourite venues to photograph weddings at. I love to capture couples naturally to beautifully tell the story of your day whilst letting you have as much fun as possible. If you like my photos above I’d love to hear from your once you’ve picked your dream venue!

 

Prettiest barn conversion: The Barn at Upcote

The Barn at Upcote Wedding venue
I’ve only seen Upcote on a gorgeously stunning day so perhaps I’m biased but it was rather idyllic. An outside ceremony in front of a pristine barn with rolling, corn filled hills all around. Stunning. They have the main barn as well as a separate building with a bar, so I can only imagine it works well if the weather’s not so good too!
 
Location and capacity: the Barn at Upcote is 20 minutes southeast of Cheltenham, or just under an hour west of Oxford. Capacity for the day is 110 (evening is higher 150+) and for accommodation they have a honeymoon suite for the happy couple as well as accommodation for up to 18 people Glamping.
 
Address: The Barn, Upcote Farm, Cheltenham, Withington, Cheltenham GL54 4BL
just married at Upcote Barn
wedding ceremony at Upcote Barn
Twirling in the sunshine at Upcote
Sparkler fun wedding venue

Best all round wedding venue in the Cotswolds: Kingscote Barn

Kingscote barn wedding venue
Kingscote barn best wedding venues in the cotswolds
If you’re looking to have a barn wedding in the Cotswolds you are a little spoiled for choice. There are a lot of options but Kingscote Barn is definitely up there with the best of them! 17th century and in traditional Cotswold stone it’s sat amongst rolling hills and quite honestly ticks all the boxes. Again it offers an outside ceremony option and when you’re drinking and chatting on the lawn afterwards it has that garden party feel with lovely views to match.
 
Location and capacity:
Nestled 5 minutes from Stroud and 10 minutes from Tetbury Kingscote can cater for 150 in the daytime and 200 in the evening. Their (rather special) accommodation can sleep up to 50 guests for the night of the wedding.
 
Address: Binley Farm, Kingscote, Tetbury GL8 8YE.

Best rustic wedding venue: Cripps Barn

Cripps barn was another venue that really impressed me. It’s a converted barn like many other pretty venues, but in my opinion is just a little more special than many. With tastefully modern additions the barn remains very old and is complete with a gorgeous original fireplace. In contrast however the dining room offers light and space with lovely curved oak beams and plenty of glass. As many of my favourite venue do, it too offers an outside ceremony option and if I remember correctly the canapés afterwards were sublime! 
 
Location and capacity: Cripps is located just north of Cirencester and is temptingly close to Bibury if you’ve got time to nip away for photos! They state their capacity as: “Licensed for 120 guests in the main stone barn, however a further 30 can be seated in the adjoining Oak Room. Reception capacity: Space for 150 guests for your reception and up to 250 for an evening party.”
 
Address: Fosscross Ln, Cirencester GL7 5BA. (45 minutes from Oxford)

Most impressive: Tortworth Court

Any ‘best of wedding venues’ list, even for the country should include Tortworth. It’s grand orangery alone warrants such an honour but they have a multitude of spaces set across 30 acres of country estate grounds, including access to a beautiful arboretum. If you’re looking for classy, grand, opulent or ornate I’d recommend having a good look around their website
 
Location and capacity: They say: ‘Just 20 minutes from Bristol, 30 minutes from Bristol airport and with easy access to J14 of the M5. Able to host weddings and celebrations large and small with ample space for up to 280 guests’ – not bad! 
 
Address: Tortworth, Wotton-under-Edge GL12 8HH

Most exclusive: Babbington House

I’m going to be honest here and say that I’ve not actually photographed a wedding at Babington House, but it no doubt deserves a place on the list of best wedding venues in the Cotswolds. Sister venue to Soho House in London it’s typically reserved for members and perhaps no surprise that it’s often the choice of impressive celebrities. Luckily when it comes to weddings it can be yours for the day!
 
Location and capacity: Technically sat just South of the Cotswolds border between Bath and Frome. Weddings at Babington cater for up to 120 guests.
 
Address: Charity Ln, Frome BA11 3RW.

Most Award Winning – and closest to Cheltenham:

Manor By The Lake

Winner of the Best Town or City Wedding Venue Award in the South West 2020, Manor by the lake ticks every box. The first two big ticks are obvious but worth mentioning, it’s a gorgeous Manor, with a picture perfect lake surrounded by 7 acres of well pruned gardens. As you’ve perhaps come to expect at this point you can have your ceremony outdoors under the Italian pavilion if the weather lovely, but the inside option isn’t too shabby either. 
 
Location and capacity: Easily accessible on the outskirts of Cheltenham The Manor can cater for 300 guests during both the day and the evening. For accommodation it and can sleep 12 in beautifully-appointed rooms.
 
Address: Hatherley Ln, Cheltenham GL51 6PN

Best Location: Hyde House

 
Hyde house has many spaces with it’s crown being a more modern barn style building they call The Grange. ‘Bright and airy, large bay windows, rustic oak beams’ – perfect! As with all great venues it also has an outside option with ‘The Arbour’ and once again you’ll be sipping on prosecco with quinticentially British countryside views. The House and barn just so happens to be 5 minutes from one of the prettiest villages in the cotswolds, Lower Slaughter. You can of course have your ceremony at Hyde House but the church in the village would be rather lovely too!
 
Location and capacity: Ceremony & dinner 150, standing capacity 170. Accommodation: 20 bedrooms
 
Address: Fosse Way, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham GL54 1JX

The best of the rest! Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire

1. Blenheim Palace 

A genuine Palace in Oxfordshire! Once home to Sir Winston Churchill you’ll no doubt feel like royalty getting married here.

2. The Matara Centre

A beautiful Asian inspired venue with outside ceremony options and well looked after gardens.

3. The Great Tythe Barn tetbury

A lovely spacious barn with lots of accommodation. Not far from The Prince of Wales’ House!

4. Owlpen Manor

A traditional Cotswolds Stone Manor house sat on a 215 acre estate near Dursley.

5. Stone Barn

Another Cripps and Co triumph, Stone barn near Cheltenham meets all of their high ‘rustic chic’ standards.

6. Hamswell House

Not far from Bath Hamswell House is an enchanting little Manor house and winner of ‘Bridebook best of Britain award for outstanding wedding venue.’ Not bad!  

7. Merriscourt 

Set on 500 acres of Cotswolds countryside between the border of  Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire Merriscourt has three beautiful barns for you to plan the perfect wedding day around.

Top Cotswolds Wedding Venues

So there we have it! The best wedding venues in the Cotswolds. If you’re also looking for a photographer I’d love to hear from you, you can contact me here: Contact

And If you’re still looking I have another ‘best venues’ blog post for Bristol also: here

 

 

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