It could be romantic or rustic, serene or spiritual, coastal or castle (or both!), Northumberland has a venue for every taste, every vision and every idea no matter how wild your imagination. Here are 10 of Northumberland’s most stunning, idyllic and unusual wedding venues that will make the stars align and all your dreams come true on the big day.
1) Bamburgh Castle
Some people spend their childhood dreaming about that fairy-tale wedding - scribbling about it in their diaries, snipping whimsical wedding photos from magazines and gluing them in a scrapbook complete with diamante stickers and ribbons. If this describes you, then what better place to tie the knot than in the ‘King of Castles’. At Bamburgh Castle, couples can have their ceremony in the grandeur of The King’s Hall, or arrange an intimate wedding in the rustic, stone-walled castle keep. Panoramic views of the coast will act as your backdrop here, and the Castle Green offers an excellent opportunity for placing a marquee. They are even undergoing renovations in the South-West Tower so that the bride and groom can get ready for the big day in the castle itself.
2) Langley Castle Hotel
The medieval splendour of Langley Castle Hotel is enough to make anyone feel like royalty on their wedding day. The enchanting, 14th Century fortified castle, tucked away in the Northumbrian valley of the South Tyne, is ideal for a dreamy escape and a fairytale-esque wedding day. Anything is possible here, from intimate wedding parties to big blowouts, a ceremony in the Battlements, and an array of magical touches such as fireworks, a horse-drawn coach, and even singing waiters.
3) Chillingham Castle
For anyone who likes to go against the grain, trick-or-treat yourself to a haunted wedding at Chillingham Castle. This historical, unusual venue’s dim lighting, stone walls and roaring fireplaces are just a few elements of the décor that ooze mystery, excitement and romance. As the most haunted castle in Britain, with the highest levels of paranormal activity in the country, a wedding day here offers anything but the norm. Plus, staying overnight with family and friends after the ceremony is a thrill in itself, as guests spend the night in anticipation of things that go bump in the night. Seating and reception capacity is up to 100.
4) Hemscott Hill Farm
For a truly stripped back, cosy and elegantly rustic day of celebrations, Hemscott Hill’s ‘The Barn on the Bay’ is the perfect option. Painted, vintage bicycles, reams of bunting, smatterings of fairy lights and numerous candles make everything about this venue homely and warm. Perched on the coast, beachside ceremonies in beautiful Druridge Bay are a possibility here, just under a minute’s walk from the farm. The overnight stay experience is just as unique as the daytime ceremony, as guests can camp out in the campsite that can be made exclusive to wedding guests. If you want to add a touch of luxury, it’s also possible to stay in the Canvas Village where stunning, furnished Bell Tents and wooden pods can be set up. And finally, alpacas can accompany your wedding day here, as you can take an alpaca for a walk to really add a quirky touch.
NAMASTE IN NATURE
5) The Sill
Pair your wedding dress with your walking boots, thread some flowers through your hair and have your ceremony at the gateway to Northumberland’s Countryside, The Sill. This venue is for the karmic couples out there who prefer the great outdoors to the pub, have inspirational quotes scattered across their minimalist apartments and munch on organic foods to nourish their body that is a temple. With the staggering National Park as a backdrop and iconic sites such as Sycamore Gap just a short walk away, this location is picture perfect, allows you to reconnect with nature and offers the spiritual, laid back wedding day you’ve been looking for. The Sill takes pride in its highly personalised service, mouth-watering meals made from locally-sourced ingredients and their focus on sustainability in everything that they do.
6) Kielder Waterside
Laidback boho, festival-chic, rustic and ethereal… if these words describe the wedding day that you’ve envisioned then look no further. A wild, woodland, waterside wedding venue is exactly what you need, and a Kielder Waterside Tipi wedding offers just that. Flower crowns, fairy lights, a Nordic tipi nestled beneath a woodland canopy all blend together beautifully to achieve the carefree elegance that boho brides desire. Photographs amongst the whimsical woodland of Kielder Forest are a must, and Kielder reservoir offers a breath-taking setting for capturing the big day.
SOMEWHERE FAR, FAR AWAY...
7) Lindisfarne Island and Castle
Looking for a remote, private and almost secret wedding location? How about a wedding on the only island in the UK that is cut off from the rest of the world every day by the passing tide... it doesn’t get much more remote than that. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne emanates its highly spiritual past as the home of St Cuthbert, arguably one of the greatest Northumbrian saints who developed the gift of spiritual healing and acted as a spiritual guide. The wedding venue itself, jutting and dramatic Lindisfarne Castle (National Trust), clings to a rocky plateau and holds two terraces, one of which offers idyllic sunset views over the Cheviot Hills. Just remember to time your wedding with causeway crossing times for that day!
8) Cuddystone Hall
Some bride and grooms just want to get away from everything (and everyone) and completely escape for their wedding day. Cuddystone Hall feels as though it’s based in the middle of nowhere, sitting in the heart of the valley with surrounding, uninterrupted views of lush, rolling hills and miles of Northumberland’s countryside. Only 12 cars are allowed here per day, offering complete privacy and the secluded, personal atmosphere that some couples crave on their special day. In fact, the only intruder you might find here is a wild Cheviot goat roaming the countryside and posing in the background of your wedding snaps.
HISTORY BEFORE THE HONEYMOON
9) Brinkburn Priory (English Heritage)
Historical wedding venues offer an eerie, grandiose affair ideal for a traditional, formal and somewhat unusual wedding day. This 12th century Augustinian Priory and abandoned manor house are elegantly set in a secluded wooden ravine by the river Coquet, offering tranquillity in a picturesque setting. The gothic architecture of the priory, along with the characteristic derelict interior and peeling wallpaper of the manor house, define the intriguing and mysterious history of the site, and hints of former grandeur can be found amongst the crumbling features. Ornate flower arrangements and traditional decorations sit beautifully in the exquisite priory here, with colourful stain-glass windows filtering the light that shines through onto the altar.
10) Old Gaol and Moothall, Hexham
These two stunning, medieval building in the heart of Hexham offer one of Northumberland’s quirkiest and most historical wedding venues. Both buildings belonged to the Archbishop of York, and Old Gaol was the earliest purpose-built prison in England, built in 1333 using stone from Corbridge Roman site. Here, the imposing exterior combined with a grand interior, the dramatic stone staircase, exposed brick walls and wooden beamed ceiling evoke a sense of the turbulent past that lingers in the prison corridors. A grand fireplace and windows overlooking the marketplace add to the traditional atmosphere that this venue has to offer, and an intimate wedding of up to 60 guests can be held here.
Bamburgh Beach image Photo credit: Unfurl Photography