My guide to County Durham Wedding Venues
County Durham Wedding Photographer Simon Hogben can provide professional wedding photography at hotels and venues throughout County Durham.
I live in County Durham – next to the border with North Yorkshire on the River Tees. County Durham is an historic area which scores of country hotels and castles which are perfect wedding venues. As a wedding photographer, I am fortunate to get to work at many different locations and we are spoilt for choice in many ways in this part of the UK. I don’t recommend any individual venues as such but I am happy to highlight some of my favourites which are worth a look if you planning a wedding in County Durham. I am biased of course because having a beautiful setting for your wedding also makes for a stunning backdrop for wedding photography. These are some of the wedding venues I would highlight in County Durham.
Set among what feels like acres of endless countryside, The Beamish Park Hotel is 7 miles from Newcastle and 10 miles from Durham making it a fantastic and accessible venue for the North East of England. Their function room, named The Tanfield Suite, caters for up to 150 guests while the hotel itself houses 42 guest bedrooms, with Wedding guests receiving preferential treatment. Further, hosting only one wedding per day, Beamish Park Hotel ensures the happy couple receive the highest level of care every step of the way.
Set in the Red Row Estate, the Black Horse Beamish, located in North East England, is the perfect backdrop for a decadent fairytale wedding celebration. Picture your wedding in the Orchard marquee, surrounded by fabulously landscaped gardens and apple orchards with up to 250 of your friends and family. Alternatively, the enchanting 300-year-old George Ridley room offers high ceilings, open fires, stone floors, and panoramic views over the valley for up to 80 guests in the evening (with a maximum of 54 at the ceremony and 44 at the reception). To end the night, up to 10 guests can exclusively hire Red Row Retreat house or choose from twelve suites available on Old Red Row.
Located less than 5 miles from Durham, Bowburn Hall is set on 5 acres of meticulously landscaped gardens and offers 20 bedrooms for your guests to enjoy. If you are planning on wedding in the summer, and have up to 120 day guests, you can opt to host your ceremony in the quaint garden gazebo and have your guests seated on the lawn. As an added bonus, Charlie, the hotel’s manager, plays the bagpipes and is available free of charge on your special day. Bowburn Hall also guarantees exclusivity and ensures only one wedding per day.
Offering both traditional and cultural weddings, Hardwick Hall is a premier luxury wedding venue in the North East of England, located just outside of Sedgefield. While the original estate dates back to 1183, builders completed the Manor itself in 1435. Nestled within County Durham’s countryside, the luxury of Hardwick Hall Hotel is complemented by neighbouring views of Country Park Lake and Serpentine. The hotel itself accommodates ceremonies with anywhere from 10 to 500(!) guests and offers 50 rooms should guests choose to stay the night.
Just over 3 miles from Durham, Hallgarth Manor is situated in the small village of Pittington. Once a sixteenth-century residential estate, today Hallgarth Manor House combines its traditional charm with an updated modern interior. Hallgarth hall offers four different settings for weddings – the Mirrorball suite (hosting up to 240 guests), a more intimate restaurant venue (suited for up to 50 guests), an outdoor wedding (amid 4 acres of land), or at the local church, located five minutes away from the Hotel itself. For guests wishing to stay the night, the hotel offers 24 rooms to choose from.
With over 600 years of rich history hiding beneath its walls (including a variety of royal guests), the magnificent Lumley Castle stands between Durham and Newcastle. Home to a bygone era of honour and chivalry, keep the magic alive by hosting your wedding at this venue. Lumley Castle Hotel offers 73 unique and individually decorated bedrooms. The King James suite even boasts a 20ft high four-poster Queen Anne Bed and an ensuite with a Jacuzzi to enjoy views over the surrounding park. With a maximum capacity of 150 guests, you can choose to host key events in either Baron’s Hall, Scarborough State Room, or Northumbria State Room. It is a historic and beautiful gem in which to enjoy your special day.
Located in Carrville near Durham, Ramside Hall Hotel has over 350 acres of land, extensive well-maintained gardens, two 18-hole golf courses, an on-site spa, and an award-winning restaurant. It is the only silver awarded AA rated Spa Hotel in Durham and is licensed for both wedding ceremonies and receptions. Ramside Hall has eight function rooms to choose from and, as such, caters for both small intimate weddings and larger extended guestlists (maximum 500 guests). The hotel also offers 127 bedrooms for your guests and can house a further 10 people in a beautiful 1800s Farmhouse located on its land, complete with an Aga cooker. How romantic!
Situated within 26 acres of carefully landscaped grounds, Redworth Hall is a romantic seventeenth-century Jacobean Manor House. With high ceilings and low-swinging antique chandeliers, this Manor expertly blends modern day luxury and period features. Guests can stay in one of the 143 bedrooms available and take advantage of a special two-night offer. With space for up to 180 guests, choose from either the atmospheric Great Hall or the modern Prince Bishop Suite. After the day has finished, your guests may even have a relaxing soak at the spa or enjoy one of the treatments on offer. Perfect!
Rockcliffe Hall is nestled between the quaint rural villages of Croft on Tees and Hurworth in County Durham. An air of harmonious tranquillity graces this venue, owing in no small part to its remote location. With 375 acres of land, this gorgeous secluded wedding venue provides an expansive backdrop to capture every moment of your special day. Importantly, Rockcliffe Hall guarantees exclusivity so all the attention, both from staff and guests alike, will be on you. Despite feeling like you are a million miles from anywhere, Rockcliffe Hall is still accessible to guests. It is a 30-minute drive from the city of Durham and an hour from the likes of Newcastle, Harrogate, York, and the Lake District.
Situated 13 miles outside of Durham, Seaham Hall is a five-star luxury hotel and spa spread over 37 acres and home to a stunning cliff top backdrop. As an eighteen-century Georgian County Hall, Seaham Hall Hotel and Spa elegantly fuses essences of modernity with a traditional classic sensibility. The largest function room, known as The Ballroom, seats up to 120 guests for a ceremony and 100 guests for a wedding breakfast. Alternatively, should you desire a high valued glass ceiling and marble floors, The Courtyard seats up to 90 guests for Civil Ceremonies. Why not end the day watching fireworks from The Terrace over Durham’s idyllic coastline? Note, the hotel has 21 suites for your guests to stay in once the festivities have drawn to a close for the night.
Near to Darlington in County Durham, The Croft Hotel is a Grade 2 listed venue situated in the small village of Croft-on-Tees, right on the bank of the River Tees. It is located next to a Grade-I listed Church that is said to have inspired Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat! With a warm and comfortable atmosphere, the Hotel is fully licensed for civil ceremonies and offers the perfect place to celebrate with your guests after. The venue holds up to 200 evening guests and offers 24 bedrooms for your guests to stay after. The Bridal Suite also comes with its very own beauty salon too, helping the Bride relax and get ready with greater ease. Perfect.
Located on the Yorkshire/ Durham border, The George Hotel of Piercebridge is a popular venue close to Darlington. In fact, in 2014 the hotel was selected as a finalist in the North of England wedding awards as Venue of the Year. The hotel itself has three function rooms (The Pavilion, The Ballroom or The Library) available and can host up to 180 evening guests depending on the room chosen. After a night of festivities, the George Hotel has 30 bedrooms for your guests to spend the night if need be. It should be said, there are some wonderful spots to take fantastic photos too as it is located on the bank of the River Tees and boasts a sixteenth-century bridge as part of its backdrop.
Atop ruins of a Roman settlement, the late-seventeenth century Morritt Hotel is situated in the heart of the Teesdale countryside in County Durham. The Morritt is surrounded by endless picturesque landscapes and benefits from a luxurious modern spa on site. The hotel offers 26 individually designed guest rooms as well as a self-catered cottage that sleeps up to 18 people, complete with a games room, hot tub, and sauna (perfect for your family to spend the night in)! When it comes to the civil ceremony and reception itself, you can choose from one of five venues – ranging from space of 16 guests up to 300 guests. There is something to suit everyone at The Morritt Hotel.
Enjoy imagining life as a fairy princess by holding your wedding at the Grade I listed, twelfth-century Walworth Castle in Darlington, County Durham. Complete with 32 spectacularly decorated bedrooms (including a double jacuzzi bath with views over the 18 acres in the happy couple’s Honeymoon Suite), Walworth Castle is pleased to offer both indoor and outdoor Civil Ceremonies. Alternatively, if you would like something really quirky, you can opt for a dungeon wedding for an intimate and unique ceremony by candlelight.
With over 200 acres of tranquil, mature woodland and rolling parkland, Wynyard Golf Club is surrounded by nature on the exclusive Wynyard Estate. There are two options available for you to choose from for your wedding – either the Wellington Suite, accommodating up to 120 guests for your wedding breakfast, or the Dukes Suite that overlooks the golf course and seats up to 50 guests. If neither is suitable, you can hire both together! Unfortunately, with no hotel attached, guests will have to retire elsewhere however it is conveniently located less than 2 miles from Billingham, where you can find rooms for sale.
I am happy to work as a wedding photographer at venues throughout the county.
If you want know more about my wedding photography then please view my portfolio or pricing page.