Wedding venue inspiration - Country havens

Deciding on your ideal wedding venue is an key part of your wedding planning.

There is a huge choice of different venue types in Hampshire and Dorset including hotels, barns, country manor houses, romantic castles as well as chic city and town centre locations.

Check out these stunning wedding venues and those further afield in our listings below.

Country havens: Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Dorset

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Dorset

Escape to an exotic location surrounded by lush plants for a big-day with a difference. A nature-lovers dream, Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens is right on the Dorset coast too. Established more than 250 years ago, the magnificent 30-acre site is filled with rare and unusual plants from around the world. You can say 'I do' in the purpose-built wooden gazebo just across the lawn from the permanent luxury pavilion. Nestled in the heart of the gardens, the pavilion has been carefully designed to blend with the beautiful surroundings. Your very own oasis, it opens out into a private space accessed by its own entrance gate. With seating for 150 guests, it's hung with floor-length awnings and the wide doorways open out so you can make the most of the glorious setting.


Country havens: Audleys Wood Hotel, Hampshire

Audleys Wood Hotel, Hampshire

Nestled in the Hampshire countryside, surrounded by woodland, this former hunting lodge oozes character and charm. The Victorian country mansion is warm and inviting, furnished with antiques and fine paintings to complement the elaborate carvings, ornate stonework and beautiful stained glass windows. There's a choice of licensed spaces inside and out for weddings large or small. The church-like Conservatory provides a wow-factor setting for your 'I dos'. With high vaulted ceilings and large windows overlooking the private grounds, it can host up to 100 ceremony guests. Celebrate afterwards in the elegant Garden Pavilion, only a stone's throw away in the hotel gardens, the light and airy space makes the most of the tranquil countryside views. With its own bar and a dreamy fairylight canopy you can host your wedding breakfast and reception here with up to 200 family and friends.


Country havens: Harry Warren House, Dorset

Harry Warren House, Dorset

If you're looking for a picture postcard big-day setting, this coastal venue is hard to beat. Perfect for an intimate wedding the charming 19th-century country house is set in four acres of stunning grounds. Your guests are sure to be impressed as they round the bend in the drive to catch their first glimpse of the sweeping views over the bay – a real pinch-me moment! Weddings here are a bespoke experience, so you can celebrate your day, your way. The lawn overlooks the sea and with steps leading directly down to the sandy beach, perfect for stunning photos. You can exchange vows in the Sunken Garden looking out to sea or if you're planning a church service, the Norman Church of St Nicholas is only a five-minute walk away and can hold up to 120 people. Guests can park in the National Trust car park for the whole day and take a leisurely stroll to arrive at the house on foot for maximum impact from the panoramic views. Marquee receptions are held in the grounds, providing a blank canvas to create your own look and style with the historic house and beautiful bay as your backdrop.


Country havens: Weddings In The Woods, Hampshire

Weddings In The Woods, Hampshire

If you go down to the woods, be prepared for a big surprise. Discover Weddings In The Woods a magical al fresco venue nestled within the glorious New Forest National Park. It's an idyllic place to celebrate, with the freedom to create your day, your way. There's a large expanse of grass and wooded areas and a spacious indoor area, so you don't have to worry about the unpredictable British weather. Big enough for up to 150 guests during the day and more for the evening do, you can marry here and dance the night away without fear of being disturbed. The rustic Carpenters Barn is licensed for ceremonies and comes complete with a large slow-burning wood stove and brick chimney, to keep everyone toasty. Oak beams span the roof and the neutral décor provides the ideal canvas to add your own personal touches. Alternatively, the romantic Bridal Hut is an intimate place to say 'I do' before a blessing in the woods in front of all your loved ones.


Country havens: Wilkswood, Dorset

Wilkswood, Dorset

If breathtaking views are top of your wish list, this chilled wedding venue could be just what you're looking for. Overlooking the rolling Purbeck hills, the bright and seamless clear span marquee allows you to make the most of the panoramic vistas. Complete with pleated ivory linings, a stage for the evening entertainment, a solid wooden dancefloor, chandelier lighting and more, you can celebrate with up to 350 guests. There's plenty of space for al fresco drinks and outdoor games with street food and catering trucks for the evening celebration and at the end of the night, you can glamp out under the stars. Although the venue's not licensed for ceremonies, it's the perfect spot for an outdoor service with your own bespoke vows.


Country havens: Gorwell Farm, Dorset

Gorwell Farm, Dorset

Escape to the country for your big day and host your celebration in a rustic venue. Gorwell Farm is set in a beautiful valley close to the Dorset coast and has a spacious 17th-century stone barn, large enough to seat up to 130 guests with room for dancing, there's underfloor heating, a bar and kitchen and it offers the freedom to plan your day, your way. The outside area can be used for the drinks reception or for a marquee or party tent to provide extra space. Licensed for ceremonies you can have your own bespoke wedding in a beautiful setting and there's accommodation on site for at least 18 people.


Country havens: St Giles House, Dorset

St Giles House, Dorset

If you're on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind backdrop for your big day, this ancestral home in the Dorset countryside is hard to beat. A labour of love, the historic landmark has been sensitively restored, breathing new life into the historic building. Be prepared for plenty of stop-stare moments from the instant you arrive and catch your first glimpse of the place. Set in beautiful private parkland, surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the award-winning venue sits in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. Grand, yet intimate and inviting, think sumptuous interiors, marble fireplaces and ancient leather-bound books. The house has been in the same family since the 15th century and has evolved over the generations to the treasure it is today. Licensed for ceremonies for up to 120 guests, you can take your pick from a number of fabulous rooms, all beautifully decorated or Wimborne St.Giles Church is just next door.


Country havens: Gilbert White & The Oates Collections, Hampshire

Gilbert White & The Oates Collections, Hampshire

Celebrate your wedding in an idyllic setting in the South Downs National Park. Gilbert White & The Oates Collections offers a distinctive English country backdrop with a range of romantic spaces. Set in 30 acres of heritage parkland and gardens; it's a breathtaking venue with endless photo opportunities and picturesque spots to wander through and enjoy. Inside the house the Great Parlour is a historic room for intimate ceremonies with up to 35 people or you can marry in the 16th-century Hampshire Barn with 100 loved ones or 150 with guests seated outside. The bandstand at the side is also licensed for outdoor ceremonies and offers wonderful views over the meadows. The barn boasts a magnificent oak beamed roof and period features with large double doors opening out to the parkland beyond. Festooned with fairylights and with nooks and crannies throughout, you can add your own personal touch with decorative details to suit your style. With space in front for outdoor games and seating, the bandstand makes a great chill-out area too and with a firepit to gather around in the evening, you can relax and watch the sun go down.


Country havens: Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Oozing with traditional English charm and historic grace, this New Forest treasure boasts a grand oak staircase, wood-panelled walls, open fireplaces, beautiful gardens and more. Take your pick from a number of stunning backdrops, elegant reception rooms to romantic outdoor spaces, there's something to suit a host of big-day themes. The elegant Cedar Suite has its own entrance and secluded walled garden so you can host your whole day here in private, joined by up to 150 loved ones for the evening reception. The Cedar Garden provides a romantic spot for al fresco ceremonies set against the backdrop of the traditional handmade oak pavilion and there's a 10-acre field designed especially for fun festival-style celebrations.


Country havens: The Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu, Hampshire

The Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu, Hampshire

This welcoming English country house hotel offers comfort and style in picture-postcard surroundings. Located in the heart of the historic village of Beaulieu, with its tidal river, the free-roaming New Forest ponies and donkeys frequently wander past – great for quirky photos! The Grade II listed building is full of atmosphere and charm with an award-winning restaurant overlooking the terraced garden, sink-into sofas and upholstered club chairs in the cosy drawing room, not to mention 24 en-suite bedrooms and two duplex suites all individually styled. Ceremonies take place in the light and airy Oakwood Room overlooking the garden or the Terrace Restaurant, which can accommodate 100 friends and family. For more intimate affairs the Paris Room provides the perfect cosy setting for your 'I dos'. Celebrate afterwards with a delicious wedding breakfast in either of the rooms or take over the award-winning 3AA rosette restaurant and enjoy a bespoke menu your guests are sure to remember.


Country havens: Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Balmer Lawn Hotel & Spa, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Set in the heart of the New Forest, you can't miss this landmark hotel. Set back behind the cricket pitch it's a perfect mix of traditional and contemporary. With sun-drenched terraces and beautiful gardens, you'll be spoilt for choice for picture-perfect backdrops. Looking out over the lawn, the impressive building boasts a fascinating past and has been used as everything from a hunting lodge and a field hospital to an army staff college and coaching inn. A destination hotspot for weddings, you can marry outside in the garden's oak-beamed Sylvan Pavilion or in the hotel's Beaulieu Suite, joined by 140 loved ones. Set back from the main hotel, with its own entrance and facilities, you can host your whole day here in private. The suite includes the refurbished Beaulieu Room and two additional spaces, the Hamble, with its own bar and dancefloor, and the Avon, an additional seating area. There's access to three outdoor terrace areas as well, including the hotel gardens, and come the evening you can party the night away with up to 220 family and friends.


Country havens: Athelhampton House & Gardens, Dorchester, Dorset

Athelhampton House & Gardens, Dorchester, Dorset

You can't fail to be impressed by the picture-perfect gardens at this Tudor manor house wedding venue. A jewel in the region's crown, it's seven miles from Dorchester in the heart of beautiful Thomas Hardy country. As well as countless amazing photo opportunities it's totally private too as the venue is closed to all other visitors when there's a wedding taking place. Wander through the stone walled gardens and enter the Great Court, with its yew pyramids and sunken lawn, a quintessential English setting for croquet and garden games post-vows and the magic doesn't stop there. Venture into the subtropical garden and be prepared for more stop-stare moments. Suitable for weddings large or small, the venue boasts five distinct settings all licensed for ceremonies and with a character and style of their own.


Country havens: Three Choirs Vineyards, Shedfield, Hampshire

Three Choirs Vineyards, Shedfield, Hampshire

Set in the Hampshire countryside between the rolling hills of the Meon Valley and Wickham, outdoor lovers are sure to be wowed by this original wedding venue. A stunning place to hold a wedding, inside or out, it can can cater for weddings all year round. The vineyard provides an ever-changing backdrop in tune with the seasons and offers two outdoor spaces licensed for ceremonies. You can marry in the Gazebo with the vines in the background and up to 100 loved ones looking on, or the Byre in the courtyard; ideal for outdoor ceremonies no matter what the weather brings. Alternatively, tie the knot in the renovated Vine Room with its neutral colour scheme, painted beams and scenic views.


Country havens: Ventnor Botanic Garden, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Ventnor Botanic Garden, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Picture your perfect wedding in an exclusive sub-tropical garden paradise? At Ventnor Botanic Garden, your dreams can come true. Set in the balmy under-cliff on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight, it's home to more than 33,000 rare and exotic plants and trees covering the geographical regions of the world, from Australia and New Zealand, to Japan, the Mediterranean and beyond!


Country havens: Rownhams House & Gardens, Southampton, Hampshire

Rownhams House & Gardens, Southampton, Hampshire

Surrounded by 12 acres of gardens and woodland, complete with its own lake and ice house, Rownhams House is an idyllic setting for a magical wedding venue. The lawn is ideal for al fresco drinks receptions and garden games post-vows and garden games. There's also a rustic outdoor bar for serving your guests and plenty of seating too. The beautiful Georgian house oozes romance and character and is licensed for ceremonies. You can marry inside with up to 120 people in the Grand Library, an impressive space with ornate plastered ceilings and large sash windows allowing the natural light to flood in. For more intimate weddings, the decorative Billiard Room is the cosiest room in the house. Big enough for up to 50 family and friends, the green coloured walls reflect the wonderful garden views. You can also marry outside under the Coach House arch, in the woods or by the the lake, surrounded by trees.


Country havens: The Elvetham, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire

The Elvetham, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire

If you're looking for wedding venue with the wow factor, The Elvetham is hard to beat. A wonderful example of Victorian architecture, the impressive building is set within 35 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens surrounded by the vast family-owned estate in the heart of the Hampshire countryside. A picture-perfect location for a stylish big day, the venue oozes history and charm and caters for weddings large or small. Full of original features, it's a photographer's dream with fireplaces, stained-glass windows, oak-panelled walls and a spectacular staircase – great for romantic just-wed shots.


Country havens: The Kings Arms, Christchurch, Dorset

The Kings Arms, Christchurch, Dorset

If you can't decide between traditional or contemporary style for your big-day, this distinctive wedding venue blends the old with the new to provide the best of both worlds. Set in the heart of Christchurch, the hotel enjoys fabulous views of Christchurch Castle, the town's priory and Avon River. Opposite the main building, the hotel has its own traditional bowling green and pavilion which has been lovingly restored into a beautiful New England style wedding venue. A bright and airy space, the French doors open on to a private veranda, allowing the sunlight to flood in as you exchange vows watched by up to 96 guests. Afterwards, stroll across the lawns for a chilled drinks reception and enjoy some outdoor garden games before hosting a private reception in the Kings Priory Suite. With its own private bar and dancefloor, it can host up to 200 people for the evening do.


Country havens: Poole Museum, Poole, Dorset

Poole Museum, Poole, Dorset

Set in a wonderfully unique Victorian quayside warehouse Poole Museum offers a range of original spaces for a wedding venue in the museum itself and neighbouring Scaplen's Court. The historic buildings are full of character providing the perfect setting for a wedding with a difference. The Grade l listed Scaplen's Court is steeped in history with exposed stone walls, Medieval doorways, a charming courtyard and walled garden, all adding to the atmosphere for a memorable big day. Scaplen's Court is available for exclusive use so you can have the house, courtyard and outdoor spaces all to yourself, for you and your guests to enjoy with the flexibility to plan your day your way. The stunning Upper Hall is the largest of the rooms and the main ceremony area. You can say 'I do' surrounded by period features including a stunning stained glass window and up to 56 guests. Celebrate afterwards with a sit-down wedding breakfast and invite up to 20 more for the evening reception.


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