Wedding venue inspiration - Glorious gardens

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.

Glorious gardens: 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.


Glorious gardens: 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.


Glorious gardens: 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.


Glorious gardens: Rhinefield House Hotel, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Rhinefield House Hotel, Brockenhurst, Hampshire

Known locally as the 'jewel in the forest' this historic venue is a wedding gem. Make your way down the long tee-lined driveway and be prepared for plenty of stop-stare moments from your first glimpse of the impressive 19th-century Tudor and Gothic country mansion. Set in the heart of the National Park with 40 acres of glorious grounds, two ornamental ponds and a maze, there's no shortage of fabulous photo opportunities. You can host your whole day here and take your pick of a choice of rooms and spaces suitable for weddings large or small. The Keepers Room, with its ornamental fireplace and large bay windows, is ideal for relaxed intimate weddings while Hurst Castle is the venue's largest private wedding space. The fully, self-contained modern suite has its own entrance and facilities as well as an outdoor terrace overlooking the topiary orchard and can host up to 100 loved ones for the ceremony, 120 for the wedding breakfast and an extra 30 for the evening reception.


Glorious gardens: 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.


Glorious gardens: 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.


Glorious gardens: 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.


Glorious gardens: 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.


Glorious gardens: 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.


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