Watermills and windmills the ideal wedding venue for nature lovers

11 May 2018

National Mills Weekend begins tomorrow. Watermills and windmills throughout Britain will be opening their doors to visitors on Saturday and Sunday. So, if you love natural settings and are still trying to find that perfect wedding venue - your search could soon be over

If a natural setting filled with flora and fauna, close to a river, sounds like the ideal romantic backdrop, then a windmill or watermill may be the perfect venue for your wedding

National Mills Weekend – an annual event – takes place tomorrow and Sunday, May 12 and 13. Hundreds of mills, including some not normally open to the public, will open their doors to celebrate Britain’s mills and their wildlife.

Millhouses make ideal venues for small weddings and receptions and are often set in acres of picturesque, secluded space. So, if your guest list keeps expanding, some mills will offer you the option to set up a marquee in the grounds and decorate it in your own style.

So, if you love the idea of a tying the knot in a beautiful, natural setting, choosing a mill for your nuptials may be the answer. Many mills are havens for wildlife: watermills by ponds, rivers and streams; windmills set apart to catch the gusts and gales to turn their sails.

And striking landscapes with a mill as their focus are home for much of our country’s wildlife including otters in Devon or Swallowtail butterflies on Wicken Fen

Here are four beautiful mills licensed to hold weddings:

  •  Sculthorpe Mill, see main image, is a riverside mill in Fakenham, North Norfolk. It has a wedding licence and a riverside garden suitable for a marquee. On the first floor is a wooden-beamed restaurant that seats over 50 and has fantastic views across the river and surrounding countryside
    Sculthorpe, Norfolk:  Sculthorpe Mill and Gardens
  •  Michelham Priory is set in Cuckmore Valley close to the South Downs. Wedding ceremonies and receptions take place in the Elizabethan Barn. Just outside is the moat terrace where the drinks receptions are held with views overlooking the Priory house, historic watermill and the largest moat in England.
    Michelham Priory, Sussex:  Michelham Priory
  • Houghton Mill is an 18th-century working watermill set on the Great Ouse River. The mill is licensed for wedding ceremonies for up to 40 guests
    Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire: Houghton Mill and Waterclose Meadows
  • Quarry Bank is one of Britain’s great industrial heritage sites. The historic cotton mill is still a working mill. It is set in acres of beautiful gardens.
    Quarry Bank, Cheshire: Quarry Bank Weddings

To find out if there is a licensed mill near you, see the guide  Mill Wedding Venues

Details of mills taking part in National Mills Weekend can be found at www.nationalmillsweekend.co.uk.

National Mills Weekend is run by the Mills Section of SPAB (the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) and aims to highlight the importance of mills to the natural world. 

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