Britain's unusual wedding venues - Life - Stylist Magazine

Unusual wedding venues

Unusual UK wedding venues

Weird & wonderful places to tie the knot

Finding a good venue is top of most bride-to-bes' to do list, but selecting somewhere that stands out from the rest is easier said than done. Long gone are the days of a simple hotel buffet and now weddings rarely come without elaborate planning and attention to detail, with emphasis on personality and an original slant.

It's becoming harder to find somewhere that's really unique - but not impossible. Below, we've selected 25 British wedding venues that think outside the box and refuse to conform to ceremonial norms. From aquariums to whisky vaults, subterranean lakes to Norman keeps, these places are a far cry from your average stately home or golf club. Click on to find out more...

Please note: Not all these venues come with a marriage licence but those that don't are suitable for non-legal blessings and parties. We'll make it clear when that's the case

  • The Treehouse

    The Treehouse

    Spirit your guests back to childhood with this… More details

    The Treehouse

    The Treehouse

    Spirit your guests back to childhood with this delightfully rustic treehouse overlooking Loch Goil in Scotland. With room enough for just 24 people, it's an intimate and romantic venue with sweeping mountain and lake views and a wedding planner on-hand to arrange Church of Scotland or civil ceremonies.

    The Lodge, Scotland

  • The Power Station

    The Power Station

    If you're aiming for edgy urban chic, you can't… More details

    The Power Station

    The Power Station

    If you're aiming for edgy urban chic, you can't do better than Battersea Power Station. With floor-to-ceiling windows offering a panorama of London landmarks and a decked terrace and lawn, the space is pretty much a blank canvas for you to play with. A hands-on approach is required: facilities are available on a dry hire basis and you'll have to arrange your own licence.

    The View At Battersea Power Station

  • The Film Studio

    The Film Studio

    Make like a movie star and get hitched at the… More details

    The Film Studio

    The Film Studio

    Make like a movie star and get hitched at the world famous Pinewood Studios, the location for a host of box office hits including many James Bond films. Housing cinematic legends such as Marilyn Monroe since 1936, the place radiates retro glamour and you can choose to spread your wedding across both the original manor house (Heatherden Hall) and specific film/TV studios.

    Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire

  • The Arabian Tent

    The Arabian Tent

    Everyone does tipis these days - but a wedding in… More details

    The Arabian Tent

    The Arabian Tent

    Everyone does tipis these days - but a wedding in a themed Arabian tent, now that's something different. The Arabian Tent Company specialises in unique wedding marquees, with eight interiors to choose from. We particularly like the William Morris tent (pictured) and the exotically themed Bombay Boudoir. They're suitable for non-legal blessings and ceremonies.

    The Arabian Tent Company

  • The Old Swimming Pool

    The Old Swimming Pool

    The Decorium in north London used to be a public… More details

    The Old Swimming Pool

    The Old Swimming Pool

    The Decorium in north London used to be a public swimming bath and its original features and neo-classic design make for a truly special - not to mention huge - venue. Dazzle your guests with the elegant foyer entrance and 5,500 square foot "Emperor Suite" dating back to 1895.

    The Decorium, London

  • The Artist's Beach House

    The Artist's Beach House

    If seaside ambiance is your thing, look no… More details

    The Artist's Beach House

    The Artist's Beach House

    If seaside ambiance is your thing, look no further than this charming clapperboard house on a popular stretch of coastline in Kent. Built in 1906 with New England-style features, it can host intimate civil wedding ceremonies for around 40 guests on the sea-facing veranda or - if the weather's chilly- by the log fire in the sitting room.

    The Artist's Beach House, Whitstable

  • The Dinosaur Museum

    The Dinosaur Museum

    Few couples could claim to have exchanged vows… More details

    The Dinosaur Museum

    The Dinosaur Museum

    Few couples could claim to have exchanged vows within the shadows of a T Rex, but at the Great North Museum in Newcastle that's exactly what you can do. Prospective newlyweds can also opt to tie the knot amid the museum's Ancient Egyptian mummies or against the backdrop of its bespoke "Bio Wall." All of the rooms and galleries are licensed so you can mix and match with ceremonies, buffets and drinks receptions across the venue.

    Great North Museum, Newcastle

  • The Napoleonic Fort

    The Napoleonic Fort

    For a more majestic seaside venue, try Polhawn… More details

    The Napoleonic Fort

    The Napoleonic Fort

    For a more majestic seaside venue, try Polhawn Fort - an ancient building perched on tip of the Rame peninsula in Cornwall, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Brides-to-be can opt to say their vows in the Grand Napoleonic Hall, a nearby candlelit church or down on the beach, surrounded by the remote beauty of the Cornish coastline.

    Polhawn Fort, Cornwall

  • The Shark Aquarium

    The Shark Aquarium

    Alton Towers may not sound like the most… More details

    The Shark Aquarium

    The Shark Aquarium

    Alton Towers may not sound like the most glamorous wedding location but who else do you know who's held their reception in a shark aquarium? Couples can get married on-site at the resort (with catering and accomodation packages available) before taking their wedding photos on the rollercoasters and ambling over to the Sharkbeit Reef, where guests can sip champagne beneath a realm of exotic sealife.

    Alton Towers, Staffordshire

  • The Art Gallery

    The Art Gallery

    Why not say "I do" in the company of… More details

    The Art Gallery

    The Art Gallery

    Why not say "I do" in the company of some of Britain's finest masterpieces? Works by William Holman Hunt, Paul Gauguin and Joshua Reynolds are just some of the highbrow crowd pleasers on-hand at Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. There's a number of ceremony spaces to choose from, including the gorgeous 18th and 19th Century Gallery (pictured).

    Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

  • The Inner City Warehouse

    The Inner City Warehouse

    This East London warehouse - most recently a… More details

    The Inner City Warehouse

    The Inner City Warehouse

    This East London warehouse - most recently a motor mechanics - comes minus a wedding licence, but its sheer space and Aladdin's Cave quality of vintage props provide the backdrop for a highly unusual blessing/reception. Couples can select from different floors (with parquet, mezzanine and oak boards), with the industrial charm of skylight roofing, textured walls and random leftover furniture from film and photo shoots bound to delight.

    MC Motors, Dalston

  • The Whisky Vault

    The Whisky Vault

    A shortage of drinks can sometimes be a problem… More details

    The Whisky Vault

    The Whisky Vault

    A shortage of drinks can sometimes be a problem at weddings, but not so at Edinburgh’s Scotch Whisky Experience, where the happy couple can celebrate amid the world's largest collection of the good stuff. With floor-to-ceiling glass and a Swarovski crystal chandelier, it's a stunning venue for a reception - plus organisers will throw in banquet, pipers and a ceilidh for a traditional Scottish wedding in the adjoining Castlehill room.

    The Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh

  • The Jet Inspired Hotel

    The Jet Inspired Hotel

    Most of the time a hotel is a hotel, and it's… More details

    The Jet Inspired Hotel

    The Jet Inspired Hotel

    Most of the time a hotel is a hotel, and it's hard to distinguish one wedding there from the next. Not so with the Aviator, a boutique hotel with a Guggenheim-inspired lobby and stunning contemporary design drawing from an aeronautic theme. Couples can get wed on-site and hire out the legendary 4th floor space for a reception, complete with an atrium and sky lounge overlooking Farnborough airport, to radiate the timeless glamour of a jet set age.

    Aviator Weddings, Hampshire

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    The Old Lighthouse in Dungeness ticks all the… More details

    The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    The Old Lighthouse in Dungeness ticks all the boxes for a stand-out venue. It's a Grade II building with panoramic views of the English Channel and surrounding shingle ridges. Guests can choose between the gallery and bridge level and although numbers are limited to a modest 30, the price tag is also modest - at £400 per wedding.

    Dungeness Lighthouse, Kent

  • The Walking Wedding

    The Walking Wedding

    Why limit yourself to one set venue when you can… More details

    The Walking Wedding

    The Walking Wedding

    Why limit yourself to one set venue when you can get married on the trot? That's the philosophy of Wedding Walks, who will plan your big day around a special outdoor route chosen by you. The ceremonies are not legally binding (the company can arrange private, legal services beforehand) but take place at any given al fresco beauty spot ,with a variety of reception options - from vintage tea parties to woodland wonderlands. They'll even draw up a contingency plan in case of rain.

    Wedding Walks, Hertfordshire

  • The Subtarranean Lake

    The Subtarranean Lake

    Grab yourself a venue of hauntingly tranquil… More details

    The Subtarranean Lake

    The Subtarranean Lake

    Grab yourself a venue of hauntingly tranquil proportions with this underground lake housed within three giant caverns in Cornwall. The entire space is candlelit during ceremonies and there's even a little boat (pictured) for that extra touch of romance. The venue organisers will provide a registrar, along with recommendations for caterers, photographers and florists.

    The Subterranean Lake at Carnglaze Caverns, Cornwall

  • The Beach

    The Beach

    We tend to associate beach weddings with Hawaii… More details

    The Beach

    The Beach

    We tend to associate beach weddings with Hawaii or Mexico but Beach Weddings Bournemouth recently became the first venue in England and Wales to be licensed for official services by the sea. Ceremonies take place around a picturesque ivory-painted beach hut with decking and the option of marquees for more guests. Tie the knot, grab yourself an ice-cream and head down to the sea just yards away...

    Beach Weddings Bournemouth

  • The Gherkin

    The Gherkin

    If it's the wow factor you're after, this iconic… More details

    The Gherkin

    The Gherkin

    If it's the wow factor you're after, this iconic London landmark will surely deliver. Ceremonies take place on level 39 with sweeping views of St Pauls Cathedral. You and your party can then head up to the glass dome - 180 metres above ground level - for champagne and canapés. As the sun goes down there's really no better backdrop for toasts and some dancing than the sparkling lights of London town.

    The Gherkin, London

  • The Tin Tabarnacle

    The Tin Tabarnacle

    From spectacular to simplicity, this delightful… More details

    The Tin Tabarnacle

    The Tin Tabarnacle

    From spectacular to simplicity, this delightful light green tabarnacle with high ceiling, wooden floors and white washed walls is the perfect space for a small-scale and unusual wedding. There's even a summer house out back and a list of local suppliers so you can create your own bespoke celebration from scratch.

    The Tin Tabarnacle near Lewes, East Sussex

  • The Norman Keep

    The Norman Keep

    Step back in history by getting wed in this… More details

    The Norman Keep

    The Norman Keep

    Step back in history by getting wed in this fabulous 900-year-old Norman keep in the heart of the Essex countryside. Couples can enjoy a candlelit civil ceremony in the keep's banqueting hall before exploring the medieval grounds of Hedingham Castle and hosting dinner in the on-site 1720 Queen Anne mansion - for larger parties there's also the option of a marquee on the private Tulip Lawn.

    Hedingham Castle, Essex

  • The Soho Townhouse

    The Soho Townhouse

    The House of St Barnabas is something of a hidden… More details

    The Soho Townhouse

    The Soho Townhouse

    The House of St Barnabas is something of a hidden treasure within the centre of London's Soho. A grade I listed Georgian building, it has recently been restored to make the most of its period features, including chandeliers, silk-lined walls and elegant Rococo plasterwork. There's also a secluded private garden with ivy-covered walls and funds from hiring the venue go to The House of St Barnabas-in-Soho charity to help the homeless.

    The House of St Barnabas, Soho

  • The Cliff Top Temple

    The Cliff Top Temple

    Forget stately homes: neoclassical 18th-century… More details

    The Cliff Top Temple

    The Cliff Top Temple

    Forget stately homes: neoclassical 18th-century rotundas are where it's at. Originally built as a library for an eccentric Earl, Mussenden Temple is perched on a cliff top amid the wild coastal headland of County Londonderry. It seats up to 100 guests in a theatre style space and after the ceremony, the wedding party can go for a coastal walk or explore the beautiful gardens of Downhill Demesne.

    Mussenden Temple, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

  • The Mine

    The Mine

    Get down and dirty in Cornwall's only complete… More details

    The Mine

    The Mine

    Get down and dirty in Cornwall's only complete underground tin mine - a brilliantly quirky venue for a civil ceremony. Ceremonies take place by candlelight and, as the underground bit only accomodates 22 guests, the service can be relayed via video link to more friends and family in a marquee at surface level. Genius.

    Poldark Mine, Cornwall

  • The Royal Navy Ship

    The Royal Navy Ship

    All aboard for a wedding with a twist... the HMS… More details

    The Royal Navy Ship

    The Royal Navy Ship

    All aboard for a wedding with a twist... the HMS President (1918) is a historic vessel permanently moored in the City of London with a presidential suite, a gun room and an original Georgian Ballroom available for hire. The ship's events team can organise anything from on-board celebrants to solo sax players on the upper deck and even speed boat thrill rides, ensuring no-one goes home bored.

    HMS President (1918), London

  • The Gothic Revival Castle

    The Gothic Revival Castle

    Castell Coch, a gothic-inspired Victorian… More details

    The Gothic Revival Castle

    The Gothic Revival Castle

    Castell Coch, a gothic-inspired Victorian fortress surrounded by woodland in Wales, is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. Ceremonies take place in the gold and green embossed drawing room, originally owned by marquess of Bute. There's room for only 30 people and no space for reception but the party can move onto the Great Hall of the nearby Caerphilly Castle.

    Castell Coch, Wales

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