Durham Wedding Photographer
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.
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.
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.
Redworth Hall Hotel
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!
Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County
Located on the banks of the River Wear in the city of Durham, this wedding venue is perfectly situated for those who desire easy transport links and want to soak in the small historic city of Durham from a Champagne Terrace. Upon arrival, an aged historic black oak staircase greets you in the main entrance and provides the perfect backdrop for your wedding photographs. With 5 event rooms, the Durham Marriott Hotel can accommodate up to 120 guests in its largest space. It also has 149 bedrooms on offer so that all of your guests can stay the night too and share the experience with you.
Are you or your other half crazy about Cricket? With such a quirky and unique venue, you are guaranteed to be the talk of the town by holding your wedding ceremony on the four-acre pitch, home to Durham County Cricket Club and the location of several important international matches. Host your breakfast or night time celebrations in either the Castle View Suite or the Riverside Suite. Maximum capacity sits at 220 during the evening in the Riverside suite. Alternatively, if you like the venue but wish to be wedded away from the pitch, you can host the ceremony itself in the contemporary Cathedral Suite located below Castle View. Note, there is a 120-person wedding ceremony and daytime capacity that rises to 150 at night, and 180 for reception drinks. Why not win your lover’s heart and host your wedding is this picturesque English sporting setting?
Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel
With a Victorian façade, set in the heart of market town Darlington, located in the North East of England, the Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel boasts a picture-perfect traditional setting for your special day. It is possible to host events in either the intimate Pullman Lounge (suited for up to 40 guests) or the elegant and luxurious Kings Ballroom. Complete with nine historic chandeliers and modern decor, Kings Ballroom fits up to 300 guests or 180 seated. Overnight accommodation is also available with up to 83 bedrooms for your guests to stay in.
National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool
If you or your partner are in the Navy, or simply have a great interest in military history, the HMS Trincomalee, located 8 miles north of Middlesbrough in County Durham, is the ultimate venue to host your wedding. As Europe’s oldest floating warship, it is near impossible to find a venue as unique as the Captain’s Cabin on board the historic HMS Trincomalee. This cabin holds up to 75 guests and is bound to inspire awe in your friends and family on your big day. Alternatively, the museum itself is home to two large function rooms – the Sir William Grey Suite or the Baltic Suite - both licensed to hold civil ceremonies for up to 120 guests.
The George Hotel, Piercebridge
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.
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!
Sporting Lodge Inn
The Sporting Lodge Inn located near Middlesbrough, in the North East of England, sells itself as an informal and relaxed wedding venue in which to host your civil ceremony (if desired) and reception. With 140 bedrooms to choose from and a maximum of 100 wedding guests, you are guaranteed an intimate environment. The Maltby Suite itself also boasts a private bar, patio, and gardens. As a cherry on top of the cake, Sporting Lodge Inn invites you to celebrate your one-year anniversary at the hotel and provides a complimentary meal in the Old Poste House.
The Croft Hotel
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.
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.
Radisson Blu Hotel
With the River Wear visible from your bedroom window, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham offers a reminder of the countryside while still being located in Durham’s beautiful city centre. This venue caters fantastically to all manner of wedding party sizes. From hosting an intimate wedding of up to 20 people in their Wedding breakfast oval set up in the Seam Suite to seating up to 220 people for an evening reception in Auger 1 & 2 Suites. Whatever the size of your big day, Radisson Blu Hotel is keen to be there for you. Further, with 207 bedrooms and suites available, all of your guests are welcome to stay the night!
Blackwell Grange Hotel
Blackwell Grange Hotel, equipped with 108 rooms, is a stunning historic 1693 Georgian mansion located in County Durham’s countryside, one mile from Darlington. The Bruhenny Suite accommodates up to 140 guests by day and 200 by night while the George Allan Suite, overlooking the gardens, accommodates 80 guests during the day and up to 130 at night. With access to a gorgeous Wedding Gazebo, you are bound to get the perfect shot to capture your big day.
Beamish Park Hotel
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.
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.
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.
The Town House
If you looking to host a smaller wedding in a gorgeous and intimate setting, then look no further. The Town House is a Grade II listed Georgian-era building with secluded garden apartments a mere ten-minute stroll from the city of Durham’s eleventh-century cathedral. The Town House provides private dining for a minimum of 15 people and a maximum of 35 as well as 11 expertly and individually-styled bedrooms in a fantastic central location.
If a fairy-tale wedding is top of your list, then Durham Castle will not disappoint you. The jaw-dropping Great Hall, adorned with hand-painted portraits, a sky-high ceiling, and an abundance of natural light, dates from 1284 and is suitable for wedding breakfasts with up to 200 guests. Alternatively, for a smaller and more intimate setting, you may opt for the Senate Room (up to 40 guests) and enjoy a drinks reception in either the Tunstall Gallery or the Courtyard of the Castle. Note, however, because the castle belongs to Durham University, larger weddings with more than 50 guests are only available during University vacations, please see their website for further information about this.
Hardwick Hall Hotel
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.
Hall Garth Hotel & County Club, Darlington
Located close to the A1, Hall Garth Hotel and Country Club is set within a tranquil 67 acres of parkland and gardens. The hotel radiates a sense of hidden charm and photographic opportunities are abundant owing to the majestic weeping willow trees and romantic kissing bridges within its gardens. Hall Garth is also home to its own Par 73 golf course, spa, gymnasium, and beauty treatment rooms. While the Brafferton Suite accommodates up to 250 guests, the Summerson suite seats up to 140 guests for breakfast and 160 for evening festivities while the Orangery seats up to 40 guests. To end the night, guests can choose from one of several stunning rooms with a 15% discount.
Hallgarth: The Manor House, Durham
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.
Black Horse Beamish
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.
Wynyard Golf Club
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.
The Morritt Hotel
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.
I am happy to work as a wedding photographer at venues throughout the county. If you are looking for a Durham Wedding Photographer then please view my wedding photography page.