Heavenly weddings made in Ribble Valley
18 Apr 2016
Marriage is the business in this beautiful area of Lancashire
Businesses in Lancashire’s Ribble Valley are really feeling the love – they have joined hands to create Ribble Valley Wedding Heaven, promoting the borough as a premier wedding destination. To date 17 venues licensed for civil ceremonies and a range of suppliers are working together to offer an exclusive portfolio of wedding services.
Ribble Valley Borough Council tourism and events officer Tom Pridmore says while 95 per cent of weddings are for brides and grooms living within a 50-mile radius (including Liverpool and Manchester), the Valley is attracting more and more weddings from further afield as couples see the benefits of a celebration offering good value as well as a breathtaking location, unique selection of venues and attentive service.
“An occasion as special as a wedding needs a tailored, attentive service, in a breathtaking venue. Here in the Ribble Valley, not only is there a stunning range of beautiful wedding venues, but also experienced people dedicated to ensuring that each and every wedding is memorable and unique. The exquisite selection of venues ranges from buildings steeped in historic splendour to exclusive contemporary facilities. There are venues for intimate occasions and also venues for large celebrations. Each venue has its own unique atmosphere but all of them share the backdrop of the beautiful Ribble Valley,” says Tom.
“Here in the Ribble Valley weddings have all the other essential ingredients required for a successful wedding. Whether you need back-up accommodation, professional photographers or florists, there are so many places and people available in the Ribble Valley that you will be spoilt for choice. As well as your big day, you can enjoy the stunning scenery and delicious dining opportunities before and after the wedding with family and friends. Ribble Valley weddings are unique and special for your big day.”
As one of the Valley’s many romantic claims to fame is that it is at the heart of the Kingdom, accessibility is a great selling point too. “Situated minutes away from the M6 and with the A59 running directly through the Ribble Valley, the ‘Centre of the Kingdom’ is more accessible than ever before,” says Tom.
Here’s a selection of what the Ribble Valley Wedding Heaven venues have to offer.
Where else could you have a wedding day selfie with a cow? Bashall Barn offers a real rural wedding experience without fixed prices. “In fact you can get married here for nowt,” says entrepreneurial MD Simon Barnes, who has built his foodie destination on the family farm from a small farmshop to a restaurant and food visitor centre. Cath Spendlove’s extraordinarily creative The Wedding Cake Co is on site, so you can choose your cake when you book your wedding down on the farm. Weddings inside, or under the pergola, are held from 4pm and all food is produced in the kitchen, bakery and ice cream parlour.
Bashall Town, Clitheroe, BB7 3LQ
Tel: 01200 428964
Browsholme Hall and the Tithe Barn
Browsholme, built in 1507, and the oldest surviving family home in Lancashire, is attracting an increasing number of international weddings to its quintessential English country setting. You can hold a ceremony and drinks reception in the main house, courtesy of charming hosts Robert and Amanda Parker, and then celebrate in any manner from vintage tea party to disco in the converted Tithe Barn, which is also licensed for ceremonies and has its own bar, sound and lighting system. The choice of wedding breakfast ranges from Lancashire fine dining to barbecues, and the parkland with lake is a spectacular backdrop for photographs. No accommodation, but brides can get ready in the morning in one of the hall’s grand bedrooms.
Clitheroe Road, Cow Ark, Clitheroe, BB7 3DE
Tel: 01254 827166
An Eaves Hall wedding is an event whatever the season. The exclusive-use Georgian mansion with its grand, sweeping drive is the perfect setting for one big house party with beautiful ceremony and reception rooms, fine wining and dining, gorgeous grounds and 30 lovely bedrooms. The three-bedroom Lodge, which is a mini-mansion in itself, is available the night before the wedding for the bride and her entourage and the seven acres of grounds are a photographer’s delight. The oak-panelled snooker room with private bar is the perfect place for guests to wind down.
Eaves Hall Lane, West Bradford, Clitheroe, BB7 3JG
Tel: 01200 420831
Gibbon Bridge Hotel
There can be no better testimonial for weddings at Gibbon Bridge Hotel than a mother and daughter celebrating their wedding in the same spot, on the same day, three decades apart. Fiona Ward and Nick Street married at St Mary’s Church in Goosnargh and then headed to Gibbon Bridge Hotel for their reception. When Fiona’s parents Helen and John Ward celebrated at Gibbon Bride 31 years earlier, the bridal bandstand hadn’t been built so they marked the occasion in a specially-erected marquee located in the very same part of the 23-acre grounds. Hotel owner Janet Simpson, who was at both events, says: “When Fiona’s parents celebrated here more than 30 years ago we could only accommodate 74 wedding guests in the main building and had six guest bedrooms. Today we can accommodate almost 200 diners in the conservatory alone, with accommodation for up to 60, including our beautiful bridal suite.”
Gibbon Bridge Hotel, Green Lane, Chipping, Forest of Boland, PR3 2TQ
Tel: 01995 61456
Best Western Higher Trapp Hotel Country House Hotel
You get a lot of wedding for your money at the refurbished Higher Trapp where there’s a variety of seasonal and mid-week packages. But this is no bargain basement venue – the setting is spectacular with acres of landscaped gardens housing a pretty pagoda complete with sound system and licensed for civil ceremonies throughout the summer. All this is set against a panorama of some of the finest countryside Lancashire has to offer. There are three indoor rooms licensed for ceremonies. The grand, oak staircase provides a great photo opportunity for the bride’s entrance and the ‘Girlie Room’, sleeping up to five, is the place for the ladies to get time together before the big day.
Trapp Lane, Simonstone, Burnley, BB12 7QW
Tel: 01282 772781
The Inn at Whitewell
Its breathtaking setting amid the Duchy of Lancaster’s estate makes the ancient and modern Inn at Whitewell a glorious setting for a wedding, with a choice of licensed rooms including the orangery, main dining room and riverside marquee. The 23 pretty bedrooms, plus the adjoining Piggeries holiday home, ensure this a great place for a celebration that could run into several days, and for couples wanting a church wedding, St Michael’s is right next door. The Inn’s reputation for food is legendary – superb but unpretentious – and guarantees a creative wedding breakfast offering the best of Lancashire.
Clitheroe, Forest of Bowland, BB7 3AT
Tel: 01200 448733
This award-winning, lovingly-restored Tudor manor with its romantic riverside setting is part of the Lancashire-based James’ Places group and is one of the most prestigious wedding venues in the UK. The impressive party room complete with private adjoining bar, the oak-panelled reception rooms, riverside terrace and gardens provide a spectacular setting that combines history with contemporary chic and the menus are sumptuous and scrumptious.
Mitton Road, Mitton, Whalley, BB7 9PQ
Tel: 01254 827181
Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel
A wedding is all about family – and that’s the ethos behind the whole business of Mytton Fold too. Family members run it – and the rest of the team are part of that hotel family, guaranteeing a warm Lancashire welcome and attentive service. The hotel that started life as a bed and breakfast on the Hargreaves family farm 30 years ago now has 43 bedrooms, conference rooms, an 18-hole golf course overlooking the Ribble Valley and the Abbey Suite or garden gazebo for memorable wedding days. There’s a choice of packages and menus, with traditional regional fare such as hot-pot, braised beef in Lancaster Bomber ale and Lancashire cheeses on offer.
Whalley Old Road, Langho, Blackburn, BB6 8AB
Tel: 01254 240662
Spread Eagle Hotel
The Spread Eagle in its pretty village setting with views of the Ribble offers weddings from elegant to traditional knees-up. The Abbey Room has striking fireplaces, chandeliers and a dancefloor and there are seven bedrooms for the newlyweds and guests. Menus are tailored to each wedding, ranging from classic dishes such as pan-fried fillet of salmon or slow-cooked lamb Henry to meat and potato pies and hot-pots - and the canapés and puddings are divine.
Sawley, Clitheroe, BB7 4NH
Tel 01200 441202
Other venues in the Ribble Valley Wedding Heaven portfolio...
Marry in the Atrium café and restaurant or Steward’s Gallery then take a romantic first stroll atop of the castle before your wedding party in this unique venue.
Castle Street, Clitheroe, BB7 1BA
Tel: 01200 442630
Foxfields Country Hotel
Foxfields, set in nine acres of Ribble Valley countryside, can cater for an intimate celebration for up to 50 guests or a grand gathering for up to 200. every detail.
Whalley Road, Billington, Blackburn, BB7 9HY
Tel: 01254 822556
This boutique hotel offers a choice of celebration rooms: the Louis Roederer suite for 55-60 guests, with private entrance, bar, lounge and courtyard; the Vintage room seating 36 and the Cristal Room for up to 14.
Northcote Road, Langho, BB6 8BE
Tel: 01254 240555
The Out Barn
Clough Bottom, Talbot Bridge, Clitheroe, BB7 3NA
A sympathetically-converted barn, which marries old and new materials, on a family farm with views over the Pendle Valley.
Tel: 01254 826285
The Shireburn Arms Hotel
This 17th century country inn with views of the fells hosts bijou weddings in the Ribble Room, which opens onto a south-facing terrace and picture-perfect gardens.
Whalley Road, Hurst Green, Clitheroe, BB7 9QJ
Tel: 01254 826678
Stanley House Hotel and Spa
Award-winning hotel and wedding venue for intimate or grand celebrations, together with a world-class spa.
Further Lane, Mellor, BB2 7NP
Tel: 01254 769200
Stirk House Hotel
Stirk House has countryside views, landscaped gardens, a ballroom for banquets and three rooms licensed for weddings. The staff take special pride in their food, promising a truly memorable taste sensation.
Gisburn, Clitheroe, BB7 4LJ
Tel: 01200 445581
What could be more romantic and spiritual than a wedding in this historic venue with exclusive use of the house and the photographic opportunities in the magical gardens amid the remains of a medieval Cistercian monastery.
Whalley Abbey, The Sands, Whalley, Clitheroe, BB7 9SS
Tel: 01254 828400
Visit www.ribblevalleyweddingheaven.com for more details.
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