Venue review: Oulton Hall, Leeds
24 May 2017
Bride editor, Amanda Griffiths, takes a tour of Oulton Hall in Leeds, West Yorkshire - part of the QHotels group
Every bride wants to feel like a princess on their special day and that’s exactly the treatment they get at Oulton Hall; it’s no wonder brides come from all over the country to marry here, not just the surrounding Yorkshire countryside.
Located just outside Leeds, minutes from the motorway, Oulton Hall is surrounded by 320+ acres of grounds, including a 27-hole golf course, transporting you into the heart of the Yorkshire countryside with magical views for your wedding photographs – just one of the reasons brides choose this impressive venue. Another is that Oulton Hall can accommodate everything from an intimate wedding to a lavish affair for up to 250 people, and with 152 bedrooms and seven suites most (if not all) of your guests will be able to stay the night too.
Driving up the tree-lined driveway, the anticipation for what we’d find at this 18th century country mansion began to build. After checking in, we were shown to our gorgeous, spacious room before our meeting with wedding co-ordinator, Caroline Smith.
Caroline is one of two wedding co-ordinators who will help you plan your perfect day from the moment you first visit to the time it comes to hand your big day over to the event manager who will be running your day.
Oulton Hall offers three beautiful spaces for weddings. Both the Oulton Suite and the Repton Suite are licensed for civil ceremonies, with the Repton Suite accommodating up to 90 guests for your ceremony and 70 for your wedding breakfast and the Oulton Suite up to 250 guests for everything from the ceremony to the evening reception.
Flooded with natural daylight, the Repton Suite features ornate chandeliers and large mirrors and comes complete with its own private terrace and views of the fountain in the heart of the hotel. The Oulton Suite has a spacious interior and has a separate entrance, bar and foyer area. The room itself can be separated into three sections allowing you to increase your guest list for the evening reception.
Up to two weddings can be held at Oulton Hall a day – but brides, don’t panic – there’s no chance of you bumping into another bride in the toilets. The layout of the Repton and Oulton Suites means there’s no need for either bride to cross paths. A two-hour time difference policy for the arrival of each bridal party helps this no end. There’s even a separate staircase from the entrance to the Oulton Suite leading up to the bedrooms so your guests don’t have to go back through the main hotel.
A third function room, the Upper Claret Jug, located in the golf clubhouse a short distance from the hotel can also be used for your wedding breakfast or evening reception, although it is currently unlicensed for ceremonies. The spacious room can accommodate up to 90 guests, features contemporary décor and a stunning private bar area with terrace with fabulous views over the golf course. As well as partying the day and night away is this venue, I’m told the hotel’s concierge can also arrange for a golf-buggy ride from the main hotel for the bride….
Upper Claret Jug
There’s a number of packages to choose from or you can choose a tailor-made option; whatever you want, staff will do their best to make it happen.
The Oulton Hall bride often chooses the venue for their hen celebrations at the spa, while your husband-to-be can bring team groom for a round of golf. And Oulton Hall has just launched the perfect bedroom suite for brides to get ready in on the morning of their wedding.
The Richmond Castle Suite, offers a luxurious space packed with everything a bride and her bridal party could need on the morning of the big day. From crystal chandeliers and Christian Lacroix wallpaper, to additional phone charging points and plug sockets for hair dryers and straighteners, the new junior suite has got it covered.
The spacious suite also has a separate dressing room complete with full-length mirrors for morning preparations, and double wardrobes, to keep dresses pristine and make sure the bride is able to look her absolute best. A special wedding dress hook, suitable for even the longest of trails, is also available, as well as a large safe to store precious jewellery.
Plus, brides can start the day by waking up in the room’s an extra-deep, king-size bed, enjoying butler-served breakfast and experiencing panoramic views of the scenic estate - the ideal way to calm their nerves before the day ahead.
The Richmond Castle Suite
After our time with Caroline, we were left to discover the beauty and benefits of Oulton Hall by ourselves. We took time to explore the beautiful gardens, mesmerised by the impressive fountain that photographers love to include in wedding photographs.
It’s all too easy to relax here – not just because of the peaceful surroundings, there’s also a spa with heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna and treatment rooms. There’s even a fully-equipped gym if you feel the need to burn some last minute calories… All my good intentions however came to nothing once I discovered there were still some treatment slots available at the spa, and as soon as I saw the words 'hot stone massage', I was sold.
After dinner that evening we retired to our comfortable room, satisfied and relaxed, any guilty feelings at the lack of calorie-burning soon dismissed by a good night’s sleep.
Brides, if you’re looking for a venue that combines majestic features with beautiful views, fantastic hospitality, relaxation and great food, then take a trip to Oulton Hall. It’s so easy to imagine your wedding here – it makes me want to do it all over again.