Derbyshire wedding venues from a photographer’s perspective
Seeing as I am Derbyshire born and bred, I thought I’d write a little something about the stunning wedding venues Derbyshire has to offer. In short, there’s a shed load! Country piles. Industrial urban mills. Old farms. Spas. Golf clubs. Country Estates. Stable buildings. Marquees. Tipis. Literally something for every type of wedding.
From the cities to the rolling hills of South Derbyshire to the rugged peaks in the north of the Peak District. For outdoor weddings, relaxed weddings, humanist weddings or formal weddings, the choices are endless.
We’ve done over 700 weddings now, so we’ve photographed at many of them. I’m not going to lie – there are a few that suck! But I’m pleased to say there are lots that I love so I’ve tried to whittle them down to just 10 of my favourites. It was pretty hard but here goes….
Our top 10 wedding venues in alphabetic order
I don’t have a favourite venue here in Derbyshire, so the only way I could do it was alphabetical. Read on!
Alrewas Hayes, although technically in Staffordshire, has a Derbyshire postcode. But don’t worry about that – We’re going to class it as Derbyshire for the purpose of this post as it’s such a stunning wedding venue, we couldn’t not include it!
A gorgeous country estate, shrouded in history with its grade II listed Queen Anne residence as the main building, It’s the perfect place to get married. Surrounded in trees and open fields, whether you’re having a smaller intimate ceremony in the light-filled Orangery, or a wedding for up to 650 guests in the great barn, it’s got everything for every type of wedding!
We always enjoy photographing there. The buildings are lovely and offer loads of photo opportunities with pockets of interesting light around inside. Then you head outside and you can explore the wooded areas with the camera, or make the most of the beautiful open gardens that surround the main house.
You can also stay there, with accommodation for you and your guests. With their 11 uniquely styled beautiful bedrooms, you and your bridal party to really enjoy an amazing weekend together.
Contact Alrewas Hayes
So Cripps & Co own some of the most beautiful venues in England. They have a passion for beautiful buildings and excellent food! They specialise in finding historic but neglected buildings, then converting and refurbishing to the highest standards. Attention to detail is key and they really nail it. They have 7 venues at the moment, Grangefields will be their 8th. We already work regularly at Shustoke Barns (it’s like our second home – we LOVE it), Hazel Gap and we have our first booking at Thorpe Garden this year. Honestly, we cannot wait to photograph at Grangefields.
They are planning to open the doors officially for weddings, from 1st August 2021 onwards. The best thing is that they have the capacity for large weddings!
- 140 person capacity – ceremony in the Oak Room
- 180 person capacity – ceremony in the Dutch Barn or outside in the Sheltered Courtyard for an outdoor civil ceremony
If you prefer a church service, there are lots of pretty churches nearby in Long Lane or Trusley for example. As well as lots more in the local vicinity.
Phone: 01332 943 644
Address: Grangefields, Long Lane, Derbyshire, DE6 5BH
Get married at home
Getting married at home can be such a great idea. If you’ve got that stunning childhood home that you grew up in, why not made the most of the gardens with a Tipi or Marquee. You could even have an outdoor humanist ceremony. So many people are choosing to get married this way now as it means that you don’t have to have a religious ceremony if you’re not religious, and a humanist ceremony means that you can pretty much do what you want. Indoors or outdoors.
We can recommend lots of amazing companies to supply you with a Marquee or Tipi – Here’s two of our favourites:
If you like a spa, in the most beautiful Peak District countryside, then Losehill House is the place for you. Surrounded by the peak of Mam Tor and little country villages such as Edale & Hope, it is a quintessentially English wedding location, that’s for sure. Throw in some beautiful fine dining food and you’ve really got somewhere special.
One of the nice things about Losehil House for a wedding is you can stay there the night before with your bridal party. Wake up in style to be pampered by your hair and makeup artist and before you know it it’ll be time to head out to the light-filled orangery for your wedding.
Once you’re married, what better way to enjoy the day with your wedding guests then heading outside to soak up some of the beautiful countryside. We love photographing there – With guests nice and relaxed, having a drink outside, it’s great to be able to create intimate documentary images in natural daylight. The sun also sets beautifully behind the house so a quick walk into the neighbouring fields and you’ve got a perfect place for couples portraits.
Contact Losehill House
Address: Lose Hill Lane, Edale Rd, Hope Valley S33 6AF
Phone: 01433 621219
Newton House Barns
We love a Newton House Barns wedding!! Set in the South Derbyshire countryside is the tiny village of Newton Solney. Along one of the little lanes sits Newton House Barns. It’s a renovated barn with acres of beautiful gardens. What a setting! Think about everything you love about marquees and barns, then combine the two together and add a little extra amazingness! Such a great venue.
One of the nice things is you can get married outside there, with views over the little lake while your guests sit below you, watching everything amazing unfold.
The light is also amazing there too – Catch it right and it sets beautifully over the fields across the road so you can have the most stunning golden hour sunset photos. Open the camera aperture up wide and let that gorgeous sunlight flare the lens and you’ve got some real magic right there!
Other info: They have plenty of parking and there is lots of accommodation closeby, including a fairly big hotel in the village. If it’s a church wedding you’re after, there is St Marys in the village or the bigger church of St Wystans in Repton.
Civil Ceremonies: Yes
Outdoor Ceremonies: Yes
Newton House Barns Website: www.newtonhousebarns.com
Some of our favourite Weddings at Newton House Barns: CLICK HERE
Contact Newton House Barns
Phone: 01283 701918
Address: Newton Lane, Newton Solney, Burton-on-Trent, DE15 0RY
Osmaston Park, Ashbourne
So, this is a marquee wedding venue in one of the most stunning landscapes in Derbyshire. Osmaston is an estate village close to Ashbourne and most of the houses seen today were built around 1850 when the village was redeveloped to serve Osmaston Manor. Osmaston Manor was built by Francis Wright and completed in 1849 in the early Victorian Tudor style of limestone and echoed the architecture of Tissington Hall. The house was set within 3500 acres of parkland with trees and lakes which are perfect for wedding photography; Sir Joseph Paxton (Head Gardener at Chatsworth) advised on the layout of the park. Once completed the house had 70 rooms, a bake-house, washhouse and a brew-house and a central tunnel carried smoke from the house to a communal chimney in the garden.
The village still retains it’s picture-postcard appearance, with beautiful half-timbered cottages and thatched roofs. The village green overlooks a duck pond and the 160-year old church, St. Martins is perfect for your wedding ceremony. The vicar here is lovely too!
Francis Wright died in 1873 and the Osmaston estate was sold in 1888 to Sir Andrew Walker. However, the manor house became a financial burden to the family and like many other houses at that time, was demolished in 1965 by Sir Ian Walker who’s family continue to manage the estate. Sad times indeed. But it’s so lovely the countryside and estate still exists for others to enjoy!
A modern day Osmaston Park
Now owned by Sir Andrew Walker-Okeover Bt. the estate is thriving again. The site of the former manor house has been recently restored and although the house itself is missing, the surrounding grassed terraces, ponds, stone steps and balustrades are now intact and provide a spectacular and Unusual Wedding Venue and Private Event Venue.
Sir Andrew and his wife Phillipa had their own wedding at St. Martins Church in the village, and it was the epic party that followed at Osmaston that inspired them both to create this stunning and quintessentially Derbyshire Wedding Venue. It’s an amazing place for a wedding and as a photographer it really is stunning. The lake is beautiful in the evening, especially at golden hour and there are so many places for intimate portraits of our bride and grooms. There’s plenty of space for wedding guests to have fun during their evening reception and we never get bored of photographing there! Whether we’re shooting natural light, photographing intimate portraits, or documents photography, it’s a stunning place for a wedding, and we love it as Derbyshire wedding. photographers!
Address: (Office) Osmaston Park, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1LW
Tel: 01335 350 279
The Riding School at Calke Abbey, Ticknall
Calke Abbey stands on the site of a medieval religious house. People first came to live at Calke in the 12th century as part of a small religious community. Calke Priory only lasted a few years as the canons moved to nearby Repton.
After passing through several hands, the estate was sold to Henry Harpur in 1622 for £5,350. It stayed in the Harpur family until the National Trust began caring for it in 1985.
George Crewe the 8th Baronet was a devout Christian and felt a strong duty to all his fellow men. On the Calke estate, he was shocked by the poor conditions in which his tenants lived and worked. To this end, he rebuilt the churches at Ticknall and Calke, built new schools in nearby communities and staffed them with better-educated clergy.
The 10th Baronet showed a strong inclination toward the family interest in natural history. Calke’s natural history collection is the largest owned by the National Trust and much of it was assembled by Sir Vauncey. He acquired eggs, shells, grasses, insects and many other items – a lot of the specimens came from his own hunting expeditions. Sir Vauncey was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Hilda. Hilda was the first to install a telephone at Calke and lifted the ban on motor vehicles on the estate. Hilda’s son continued to modernise the estate. He ensured that proper sanitation was brought to Ticknall, and installed electricity at Calke for the first time in 1962.
Calke Abbey – Then & Now
Charles’s brother Henry inherited the estate in 1981, at a time of high capital taxation. He faced a tax debt which, at the height of the crisis, attracted interest charges of £1,300 a day. Henry worked to save Calke for the nation, granting permission for historian Howard Colvin to access family records. This resulted in Colvin’s book, Calke Abbey, Derbyshire: A Hidden House Revealed, generating interest in the campaign to save Calke. Colvin’s work showed that the interiors of Calke had scarcely changed since photographs of the house in 1886. Rich layers of history awaited in the family’s belongings, the estate buildings, and the house and gardens. Despite a divided opinion, Calke Abbey was declared to be ‘of heritage quality’ and eventually came into the hands of the National Trust.
Now you can get married in The Riding School, this stunning building has space for 160 guests. The bride & groom can have photos in The Walled Gardens and the Orangery.
Contact Calke Abbey
Address: The Riding School, Calke Abbey, Ticknall, Derby DE73 7LE
Tel: 01332 871654
Tissington Hall, Tissington
Tissington Hall was built in 1609 by Francis FitzHerbert to replace the moated fortification that guarded the Norman Church of St Mary’s in the centre of the village. For over 400 years the Hall has presided over this picturesque Estate Village which is five miles north of the delightful market town of Ashbourne at the southern tip of the Peak District. Sir Richard inherited the estate and hall in 1989. He lives there with his wife Fiona and it is a home to the four children, six dogs, two cats and a plethora of other animals.
Tissington, with its rich history dating back to the eleventh century, is unique in that it is one of only 300 homes in the country that can boast that fact that the descendants of the original builder still live there, 400 years later. The Family welcome visitors from near and far every year and all the staff will ensure your visit is a special one.
The beautiful house acts as the location for your wedding ceremony, either inside the hall itself or outside on the patio near the rose garden. After a relaxing drinks reception in the landscaped gardens, everyone can head over to the semi- permanent marquee, for the wedding breakfast and evening party!
Contact Tissington Hall
Address: Tissington Hall, Tissington, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 1RA
Tel: 01335 352200
The West Mill, Derby
The West Mill is part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. The World Heritage Site occupies a 15-mile stretch of the Derwent Valley between Matlock Bath and Derby. This building is a magnificent Grade I Listed, former industrial mill, dating back to the early 1800’s. The mill has been restored and converted into a beautiful wedding venue creating a magnificent setting for your wedding day. Originally built as a cotton spinning mill, the building played an important part in history and the industrial revolution. Having laid empty and derelict the four-storey building has been lovingly restored back to life.
The mill’s renovation has retained all of the industrial architecture of the 1800’s and the building is positioned in a superb setting on the riverbanks of the River Derwent. Inside, think barrel-vaulted ceilings, exposed brick walls, cast-iron columns and beams, all a stone’s throw away from the breathtaking waterfalls of the weir. The West Mill is licensed for civil weddings and wedding receptions. The building is positioned in a superb setting on the riverbanks of the River Derwent and the waterfall over the historic weir.
Originally built as a cotton spinning mill, the building played an important part in history and the industrial revolution. Having laid empty and derelict the building has been lovingly restored back to life.
I can’t tell you how much we love photographing weddings here, the interior of the building is stunning, the four floors have been expertly converted and designed. The light in this building is wonderful but not for an inexperienced photographer. It is necessary to know how to use light and lighting techniques – both of which we can do and in fact we love to do. There is also now accommodation on site at The Mill House.
Contact The West Mill
Address: Darley Abbey Mills, Haslams Ln, Darley Abbey, Derby DE22 1DZ
Tel: 01332 229029
The Hall was built on its present site in about 1800 for Edmund Evans, whose family made their money from a mill at Darley Abbey, Derby.
There have been many other owners since Edmund Evans and the property had a long spell within the ownership of Francis Wright and his descendants. Francis Wright was a director of the Butterley Ironworks Company whose notable projects included St. Pancras Railway Station. Wright also owned Osmaston Manor, a nearby estate, and he has a memorial in his honour in the market place, Ashbourne. Yeldersley Hall can also proclaim a royal connection, albeit fairly remote! The Duchess of York’s great grandfather, FitzHerbert Wright, owned Yeldersley Hall and her grandfather, Henry FitzHerbert Wright, was born here.
James Bond 007 at Yeldersley Hall
Ian Fleming created James Bond in 1953 as part of the novel Casino Royale. Fleming visited Yeldersley Hall on several occasions, primarily to see Muriel Wright with whom he had a passionate, but doomed wartime affair. Muriel Wright was the daughter of Henry FitzHerbert Wright. Apparently a woman of great beauty, and a skier and polo player of some repute, it has been suggested that she could have stepped straight into the pages of a James Bond novel. Did Yeldersley Hall play a part in inspiring the James Bond tales we all know and love today?
Yeldersley Hall is a fab wedding venue, with accommodation on-site and available to hire for the whole weekend. Stunning gardens and stable blocks too.
Contact Yeldersley Hall
Address: Yeldersley Hall, Hall Ln, Ashbourne DE6 3DY
Tel: 01335 343432