The Cotswolds are an area of outstanding natural beauty situated on the borders of South Warwickshire, Worcestershire, West Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. They comprise of many beautiful villages and are famous for their honey coloured buildings made from limestone. The villages are quintessentially British with a mix of chocolate box cottages, beautiful country pubs and manor houses. No wonder it’s a popular destination for a wedding.
The Cotswolds are not only popular with weddings for local couples but also those from further afield, many travelling up from London to enjoy the glorious countryside only a couple of hours away from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke.
The Cotwolds even have a romantic road – a tour of some of the more popular villages stretching from Cheltenham, up to Chipping Campden and back down through Stow on the Wold and Lower Slaughter. What a fantastic idea for a honeymoon, travelling the beautiful countryside in a vintage car!
The Cotwolds also have an amazing array of beautiful wedding venues and as a wedding photographer many of these are on my ‘must shoot’ list. Personally I love barn venues – I love the atmosphere they provide, I love that they are a blank canvas for you to turn into whatever you like and I love the whole countryside surroundings.
There are many beautiful Cotswold barn wedding venues including Kingscote Barn, Cripps Barn, Cripps Stone Barn, The Great Tythe Barn and Oxleaze Barn to name but a few.
If you want an intimate venue for your wedding you could try hiring a private country house, something like Honeystone Manor. Set in it’s own grounds with a walled garden, tennis court and even a water garden. It’s exclusively yours for a private reception and if you are having an intimate wedding your guests can also stay in one of the seven bedrooms in the main house. Meanwhile the bride and groom can hole up in the loft of the dining barn, a very quirky bridal suite accessed by ladder only!
If you’d like a venue with impeccable service for your wedding there’s the beautiful Lords of the Manor in the village of Upper Slaughter. With its Michelin starred restaurant, and landscaped gardens it’s the ultimate choice of a luxury Cotswold wedding venue. They also have a full calendar of ongoing events throughout the year if you fancy a weekend away in the country.
As you can probably tell my heart really does belong to the countryside and to live so close to the Cotswolds is an absolute dream as a wedding photographer. My first visit included a trip to the beautiful Hidcote Manor. As I mentioned in my About Me section, I love gardens, and Hidcote Manor Garden was the most beautiful garden I have ever witnessed. You can also have your wedding at Hidcote Manor, which is a National Trust property. The garden was created by American horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnston and is a veritable maze of pathways and includes a fountain and Italian shelter. Cerney Gardens is another secret retreat with beautiful gardens and it can be hired for private events.
If you want to go for something really different for your wedding why not have a look at Sezincote. It’s a 200 year old Mogul Indian Palace with temples, grotto’s and waterfalls. Imagine the photography! Again this is a venue open to visitors, an ideal opportunity to get a feel for this Cotswold wedding venue.
If you’re looking for a more traditional Cotswold wedding venue then have a look at the Swan and Old Minster Mill, set on the River Windrush. This family owned property is set in beautiful grounds with great food. It’s a mix of boutique hotel and gastro pub with great service and spirit.