10 Outstanding Alternative Wedding Venues In Cambridgeshire
A a Cambridge Wedding photographer I have worked at some fantastic wedding venues all across my home county of Cambridgeshire. There are some truly awesome venues from the fabulous architecture within the colleges of Cambridge University to the many large country house and hotels in the area there are a wealth of options. For this post I wanted to focus on venues that offer an alternative to the more traditional options. These are alternative wedding venues in Cambridgeshire with a quirky or unique appeal that sets them apart.
Here are my 10 Favourite Alternative Wedding Venues In Cambridgeshire…
If you’re looking for an amazing mix of both traditional and quirky then Anstey Hall located just outside of Cambridge ticks all of the boxes.
Anstey Hall is a former country house built in the 17th century. The Grade 1 listed mansion offers the perfect location for weddings as it is tucked away with a feeling of exclusivity and rural tranquility yet only 2 miles from the heart of Cambridge city centre. The decor has the typical sense of grandeur and opuolance of a country house with some lovely quirky and really personal touches that make it feel grand and homely at the same time.
Anstey Hall is surprisingly spacious and from a photography perspective the light inside the building is just fabulous. The detailing throughout this venue is wonderful and I personally love the vibrant colours of the decor throughout – it’s a great fit for my photography style.
The morning room caters for intimate wedding ceremonies of up to 20 guests, perfect for micro weddings and intimate ceremonies. The library on the ground floor can accommodate 60 and the Venetian ballroom can accommodate 120.
Rooms are all individually furnished with four poster beds and antique furniture all set within beautiful surroundings.
If you want to escape to the country for that festival feel or simply want a fun focused wedding day in a truly rustic setting in Cambridgeshire – Willow Grange Farm is a must visit venue.
Clara (who runs & lives on the farm) and her now husband Errol got married on the there in April 2019 and loved it so much that they wanted to open it up for others to enjoy, offering weddings, social parties, glamping and events. So while the Farm is long established as a venue it’s an exciting new venture while remaining a working farm.
It’s perfect for my love of weddings and couples on the non-traditional and quirky side. The buildings have bucket loads of character with loads of awesome nooks and crannies. The opportunities for capturing stunning couple portraits are plentiful. The textures and colours of the rustic buildings are fabulous and the light in the barns is so beautiful it genuinely excites me.
As a Cambridge wedding photographer I get to shoot at some amazing venues that are steeped in tradition but this venue is where my heart is – weddings full of fun with couples who like to do things a little differently and want to have an amazing, informal party.
Willow Grange Farm is superbly placed just off the A10 around 20 minutes north of Cambridge and 10 minutes south of Ely
Sheene Mill is a magnificent 16th Century Mill House set on the River Mel. With outstanding views over the Old Mill pond and the surrounding Cambridgeshire countryside. The Grade II listed house is packed with character and makes for a wonderful backdrop for wedding photos with tonnes of greenery and open space.
In the grounds at the rear, the pond is overlooked by a picturesque wooden gazebo, which is where outdoor ceremonies are conducted.
This venue is a very popular Wedding ceremony and reception venue and it’s a really great fit for those having smaller weddings or a more understated occasion. The beautiful black and white building oozes character and the grounds have a real sense of intimacy and exclusivity about them. Sheene Mill is located just north of Royston and only around a 25 minute drive to Cambridge.
Visit: Alternative Wedding Venues in Cambridgeshire: Sheene Mill
Any wedding at South Farm always feels extra special. It’s one of the area’s busiest wedding venues and it’s easy to see why. It’s a fantastic farmhouse which sits alongside a yard of listed timber framed barns which have been beautifully restored and are also home to some popular and rarer breed farm animals.
There are stunning gardens all around the buildings including a small nature reserve and wooded area. The farm is accessed via an amazing long tree-lined entrance which is tastefully lit at night, the site also includes four gypsy caravans – both of these features are really popular for Bride & Groom photos. One of the best things about South Farm is that it has multiple ceremony and reception options available. Outdoor weddings are held in the Summerhouse (for up to 146 people), or indoors, in the Drawing Room (up to 35), the Old Dairy (100) or the splendid Tudor Barn (146) So they really can cater for weddings of all shapes and sizes.
This awesome Cambridge wedding venue feels really relaxed but is a run with military precision, testament to the incredible professionalism of the super friendly staff (something which should never be overlooked).
There are stacks of options for capturing amazing couple portraits and the sunsets here are really special too. Most wedding suppliers in Cambridgeshire are full of praise for South Farm.
Visit: Alternative wedding venues in Cambridgeshire: South Farm
Ok, so this one is not technically in Cambridgeshire but it’s so close and has so much to offer. Hockwold Hall is a spectacular Grade II listed manor that operates as a wedding venue in Norfolk, near the borders of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire counties and only 30 miles from Cambridge. The estate marries historic charm with natural beauty and was once the Royal home of Prince Victor Duleep Singh, godson of Queen Victoria.
The venue has super options for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies throughout the year and has a permanent marquee in the grounds for large receptions. Hockwold Hall provide options to for budget and style requirements for those interested in an elegant country estate venue, a barn wedding venue, or simply an alternative wedding venue near Cambridge.
I love this super venue because has a real sense of history about it and is quintessentialy British without being pompous. It’s appeal is far reaching an it has played host to some famous guests who love it’s Old English charm and sense of privacy and escape from the outside world.
Visit: Alternative wedding venues in Cambridgeshire: Hockwold Hall
This is the only venue in my top ten that isn’t listed online as a wedding venue – it’s actually a campsite, but it’s possibly the most unique alternative wedding venue in Cambridgeshire that I have worked at so I had to include it.
Burleigh Hill sits in the tranquil Cambridgeshire countryside, just ten miles north of Cambridge on the outskirts of St Ives, on a small family run arable farm. For an authentic rustic and rural wedding it’s fantastic and ideal for a more left-field couple looking to party with friends over a few days. The barn itself is a blank canvas that can be decked out however you like and can accommodate up to 150 guests.
The surroundings are amazing – fields, big skies and a woodland area that has a perfect clearing for performing humanist ceremonies with room for guests on hay bales and a natural clearing creating an “aisle”
The farmland vibes are everywhere and can be incorporated into photos to provide a real sense character and of fun. The owners offer a limited number of weddings per year which adds to the venues unique feel.
If you’re looking for an elegant and altogether classic venue in Cambridgeshire you’d be hard pushed to beat Barrington Hall.
Set amongst hectares of rolling green lawns and woodlands, wandering peacocks and giant cedars, Barrington Hall is known for its homely charm and timeless, classic character. The venue has 2 beautifully decorated reception rooms that are both licensed for civil ceremonies, as well as their Kendall Suite.
They offer exclusive use of a private house within the grounds to bridal parties. The two bedroom areas are perfect for hair and make-up and the large kitchen area is great for breakfast or brunch and the all important bottle of fizz.
There is something very tranquil and peaceful about Barrington Hall and it has a timeless quality that is unrivalled in the surrounding area.
If you’re planning a wedding near Cambridge with a boho or vintage feel and some classic and traditional touches it’s a fantastic choice.
8. The Thatch Barn
For a superb rustic wedding venue in the heart of Cambridgeshire The Thatch Barn is a great choice.
The renovation of the magnificent Grade II listed barn was completed in 2013, the use of oak beams and glass throughout offer warmth and great light inside.
Set on a working farm, the Heritage award winning barn is situated beside crops of wheat, beans, lavender, wild flowers and daffodils, all of which provide an awesome backdrop for photography, depending on the time of year you visit.
The thing I really like about this venue, located in Yelling near St Neots is that everything is under one roof, in one room. It’s a fantastic way to keep all your guests together and creates a proper party atmosphere where everyone will want to hit the dance floor.
The surrounding fields are fab too and I have captured some of my favourite ever bride and groom sunset portraits at here.
9. Hotel Felix
Hotel Felix is a boutique, independent hotel on the outskirts of Cambridge. Set in leafy gardens, just a mile from Cambridge city centre. It combines traditional Victorian architecture with contemporary design, and provides a stylish and characterful alternative to the other nearby hotel venues.
A great choice for smaller weddings, the hotel’s contrast of old and new creates a unique charm not found at the larger chain hotels in Cambridge. There are options to marry in one of the reception rooms or on the picturesque lawn under the gazebo. Guests can mingle on the lawn or in the bar area and the overall feel is very informal and relaxed.
The large windows provide great lighting in the individually decorated rooms and the light in the gardens (particularly later in the day) is soft and warm making it lovely for socialising and exquisite for photographers.
Update: Since writing this post Hotel Felix has now close.
10. Horsley Hale Farm
An “Oasis in the Fens”, the multi award winning Horsley Hale Farm is a magical venue just ten minutes from my home city of Ely and half an hour from Cambridge. I’ve been lucky enough to shoot at the farm a few times and did some photography for the venue when they first started doing weddings back in 2016. The owners, Stuart and his family are great, they’re so chilled and nothing is too much trouble. You’ll struggle to find a friendlier more approachable venue for your wedding.
As a photographer who loves to shoot non-traditional and quirky weddings it ticks all the boxes for me. It oozes character and rustic charm and offers a wealth of shooting possibilities for stunning couple portraits. I love to get great golden hour shots and the huge open fenland skies mean this can be achieved with ease (if the weather is good of course)
The wooded, bunting clad avenue makes for a gorgeous entrance as you pass by the resident alpacas and chickens. The lake is a stunning and a perfect setting for a wonderfully whimsical wedding. Ceremonies are usually conducted on the jetty down by the lakeside where guests are provided with hay bale seating. It is such a cool spot and a truly memorable place to tie the knot.
There are some really cool options for accommodation as the site offers exclusive glamping for the wedding party too.
Being a wedding photographer in Cambridgeshire is fantastic and I am spoilt with a wealth of historic places to capture couples wonderful celebrations of marriage. I am always on the lookout for interesting new places to shoot and always hoping to discover new and exciting alternative wedding venues in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
If you’re planning a wedding and looking for an alternative wedding venue in Cambridgeshire then please do check out the rest of my website and blog posts for inspiration and to get a feel for how my style of wedding photography is a great match to the quirky, relaxed and non-traditional venues listed here.
I’d love to hear from you.