bride and groom outside farlam hall stood by the wedding venues pond

Carlisle Wedding Venues: A Photographer’s Perspective

The Venues

Below are just a few fantastic wedding venues in Carlisle and nearby. While there are more venues around, I have focused on venues licensed for weddings and functions so you can all stay in one place. Hopefully, this blog will help you find your perfect all-in-one dream wedding venue in the Carlisle area, from a historic wedding venue to modern and luxury wedding venues with accommodation.

Some blogs focus on unique wedding venues or "The Best" Wedding venues in Carlisle, but I thought it would help a little with a photographer's perspective. While candid photos and portraits in most venues are fairly easy to do with some creativity. It's actually the formal photos that are the biggest issue for most wedding venues! Think about it: where can you huddle a wedding party of friends or family around, have enough room and make it look nice? 

So not only might you find your perfect wedding venue, but am I going to tell you all about those pesky group shot locations!

The Halston

A meticulously restored Edwardian building with a rich history as an old post office, The Halston offers five distinct wedding spaces, allowing couples to customise their special day.

Conveniently located in the heart of Carlisle, The Halston has five licensed civil ceremony spaces, ensuring easy guest access. Whether couples desire an intimate ceremony, a lavish celebration, or something in between, The Halston can accommodate their preferences.

For those seeking a lively evening reception, The Halston's flexible venues can accommodate up to 400 standing guests. They are complete with a movable dance floor, enchanting fairy lights, mood lighting, and a range of catering choices.

Alternatively, couples looking for a smaller and more intimate wedding can choose from The Library and Bartons Yard, both offering unique dining experiences, including traditional cuisine and a distinctive wedding afternoon tea menu.

The Halston is dedicated to making dream weddings an affordable reality, offering superior quality in food, beverages, accommodation, service, and style.

Where to have group photos? The Halston is huge, with multiple rooms available, plus an outside courtyard. We will never struggle for group shots, no matter the weather.

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: 22 luxury apartments & 2 Penthouses.

Exclusive Hire: Available

Capacity: Up to 400

Location: The Halston Hotel, Carlisle, 20-34 Warwick Road, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA1 1AB

Website: https://thehalston.com

Skitby

Nestled amidst the serene North Cumbrian Countryside, Skitby is a true "hidden gem" committed to making your dream day a reality, whatever that dream may be!

Skitby is an award-winning venue with licenses for both outdoor and indoor civil ceremonies, ensuring that your special day is celebrated exactly as you envision it. Our commitment to you includes exclusive use of the venue, providing an intimate and private setting.

We take pride in our beautiful grounds and gardens, with a dedicated member of our team on hand throughout the day to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Our guests often describe Skitby as a beautiful venue filled with joy, love, and enchanting twinkly lights.

From your very first visit to Skitby, we create a relaxed and flexible environment for our couples. Our accommodating approach to menus and ideas means you don't have to compromise your vision for your dream day. We go above and beyond to turn your dreams into a reality.

At Skitby, we offer a highly personalized and bespoke wedding planning experience. We see the planning process as an exciting adventure that we embark on alongside each couple as they begin their "happily ever after."

When you choose Skitby to host your special day, we promise it will be the Best Day Ever!

Where to have group photos? Skitby isn't huge, but it is a space where guests can move around to different locations. Group shots always look better outside, but if we have to go inside, once the ceremony room has been changed around (where staff move chairs from the ceremony room ready for your wedding breakfast), it makes a great space for small group shots.

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: No

Exclusive Hire: Yes

Capacity: up to 200

Location: Skitby House, Skitby Rd, Smithfield, Carlisle CA6 6DL

Website: https://www.skitby.co.uk

The Fleece at Ruleholme 

Combining the allure of rural charm with contemporary luxury, the Fleece at Ruleholme offers a stylish and idyllic setting for your big-day celebrations.

You and your guests will enjoy exclusive access to our exquisite open-plan Hadrian’s Suite, adorned with modern and comfortable furnishings, breathtaking design concepts, and unobstructed views of the picturesque countryside that surrounds us.

In case the Cumbrian weather permits, you are also welcome to unwind in our meticulously maintained gardens or beneath the soft glow of traditional London lamplight on our heated, private veranda.

With an array of delectable cuisine, a refined selection of beverages, and ample opportunities for dancing, we assure you and your guests that cherished memories to last a lifetime will be created.

Where to have group photos? The Fleece has a small courtyard next to the function room, which is a great space for group photos; there is also out the front of the hotel if you like. Besides that, should it be chucking it down, some group photos can be done in the function room, assuming you've not filled it full of tables for your guests!

Pet friendly: Yes on request.

Accommodation: 22 Bedrooms - Sleeps 44

Exclusive Hire: No

Capacity: Up to 150

Location: The Fleece at Ruleholme, Irthington, Carlisle, CA6 4NF

Website: https://thefleeceruleholme.com

Hidden River Cabins & Barn

The recently completed Hidden River Barn boasts a rustic, modern industrial design theme. With a capacity ranging from 50 to 250 people, the barn seamlessly blends into its picturesque surroundings. For a truly immersive wedding experience, guests can enjoy the option of hiring luxury accommodation for a 2 or 3-day stay.

Hidden River Barn takes pride in being a bespoke venue, ensuring that every wedding day is uniquely tailored to the couple's preferences. They readily accommodate ideas, creativity, and inventiveness to make each celebration special.

The glowing reviews serve as a testament to the wonderful weddings held at Hidden River Barn.

Every facet of Hidden River Cabins, from the beautiful log cabins to the oak-framed reception building and barn, is licensed for wedding ceremonies. The new Hidden River Barn is also a licensed venue. Couples can invite their family and friends to Hidden River Cabins, where luxury accommodation with hot tubs and breathtaking views awaits.

Hidden River Barn provides comprehensive catering and bar services for weddings, with the flexibility to customize menus according to individual preferences. They offer a wide range of catering options, including 3-course meals, BBQs, Hog Roasts, and more.

Weddings at Hidden River Cabins take place during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with weekend weddings held on Saturdays to allow ample preparation time. For any further inquiries about weddings at Hidden River Cabins, interested parties are encouraged to reach out for additional information.

Where to have group photos? If you're getting married in one of the hidden river cabins, then you are probably not having a huge wedding. In that case, group shots are usually best on the decking or on the driveways to each cabin. However, the cabins are quite large, and if we move some furniture around, there's plenty of room for group shots!

Getting married in the Hidden River Barn? Then it's zero stress; the barn is a huge wedding venue! It also has an upstairs where the ceremonies take place, with a gorgeous full-height gable end window for a backdrop if we can't head outside for group photos.

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: 56 rooms across the entire site - sleeps 112

Exclusive Hire: Because of the site size, multiple weddings can happen on the same day; however, one can be in the wedding barn while others are in the cabins. It's unlikely you see each other.

Capacity: Up to 250 in the barn

Location: Hidden River Barn, Carlisle CA6 5TU

Website: https://hiddenriverbarn.co.uk

Heather Glen Country House

Nestled within 2.5 acres of charming country gardens, Heather Glen was constructed in 1900 by a local stonemason as his family residence. This traditional country house is the perfect option for private hire venues for beautiful weddings.

Heather Glen is fully equipped to function as one of the most delightful exclusive hire venues, catering to weddings and parties of all sizes. When not hosting private events, the restaurant and bedrooms are open to guests on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The West View Room is licensed for private civil ceremonies and accommodates up to 110 guests. The Eden View Room follows, where guests are seated for the Wedding Breakfast. At Heather Glen, they understand that their guests aspire to exclusive services and the ideal venue for their significant day. With Heather Glen, guests can count on complete privacy and the luxurious experience that comes with hiring and exclusively using their Eden Valley house.

What truly distinguishes Heather Glen is that, by choosing them, their entire country house and its gardens become exclusively yours for the entirety of your stay. Unlike many other venues, they genuinely mean it when Heather Glen speaks of exclusive use.

Where to have group photos? The grounds of this wedding venue are great, and it even has a veranda off the main function room, so you can easily get a photo of everyone. However, if it is a rather cumbrian wet day, then this venue is perfect as it has multiple rooms and function rooms that will perfectly suit group shots of up to 20 people or so.

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: 7 Bedrooms - Sleeps 14

Exclusive Hire: Yes

Capacity: Up to 180

Location: Heather Glen Country House, Ainstable, Carlisle, CA4 9QQ

Website: https://www.heatherglencountryhouse.co.uk

St Cuthberts and Tithe barn 

This is the only church on the list; while it's not the same building, the barn is 50 meters away and owned by the church.

Not far from the majestic Carlisle Cathedral, another historical gem awaits - St. Cuthbert's Church, steeped in history that traces back to at least the 7th century! So, it's definitely one of the oldest Carlisle wedding venues!

Throughout its history, the church has seen multiple rebuilds. The 7th-century church underwent reconstruction around AD 870, followed by another in the late 11th century. The current iteration, an exemplary Georgian town church, was erected in 1778. While predominantly Georgian in style, St. Cuthbert's retains some medieval elements, including a 14th-century window.

The grade 1 listed Tithe Barn, with its origins dating back to the 1470s, had fallen into semi-dereliction prior to its acquisition and restoration by St. Cuthbert's Church in 1969–71. Since then, it has served as the church hall and a venue for various social events, becoming an integral part of the community's social and historical fabric.

Where can we have group photos? Outside of the church and the tithe barn itself, there are small grounds available; however, inside, there is just one function room, so depending on the layout of your tables, etc., group shots might be hard. Typically, however, they would happen in front of the stage area if we had to head inside.

Pet friendly: Unknown

Accommodation: No

Exclusive Hire: Yes

Capacity: Up to 150

Location: St. Cuthbert's Church, Blackfriars Street, Carlisle, CA3 8HB

Website: https://www.stcuthbertscarlisle.org.uk

Farlam Hall

Farlam Hall offers an opportunity to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime with a luxurious wedding day to remember. Nestled in the serene and picturesque Cumbrian countryside, this elegant and intimate venue promises an experience steeped in luxury, relaxation, and beautiful interiors.

From the moment guests arrive, they can expect a personal and professional service that sets the stage for an unforgettable day. Farlam Hall boasts a superb 2 AA Rosette menu, a bespoke wine and bar list, and the assurance of opulence.

This historic English country house provides an impressive and opulent setting in which to exchange vows. Ideal for exclusive-use weddings, Farlam Hall features two enchanting rooms licensed for civil marriages and civil partnerships. These rooms beautifully capture the ambience of a bygone era.

The estate's Victorian-era grounds, complete with a babbling brook and an ornate fountain framed by picturesque trees, offer a captivating backdrop for romantic wedding photographs.

The wedding menu is meticulously crafted by an award-winning kitchen team, while drinks are selected from a carefully curated, extensive bar and wine list. During your special day, Farlam Hall becomes exclusively yours, ensuring an intimate and exclusive atmosphere.

All of the individually designed bedrooms at Farlam Hall exude luxury, style, and relaxation. With sumptuous furnishings, cutting-edge technology, and breathtaking scenery, you and your guests will be pampered and indulged throughout your stay.

For those seeking a longer sojourn at Farlam, the estate also boasts six newly refurbished cottages that can be made available to accommodate your guests.

Where to have group photos? Farlam Hall is set in some stunning Cumbrian countryside only a few miles away from Carlisle. The grand country house makes for a fantastic backdrop for group photos. However, inside, there are function rooms, lounges and drawing rooms where smaller group formals can take place.

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: 12 bedrooms - Sleeps 46

Exclusive Hire: Yes

Capacity: 50

Location: Farlam Hall Hotel & Restaurant, Hallbankgate, Brampton CA8 2NG

Website: https://farlamhall.com

kirklinton Hall & Gardens

Kirklinton Hall & Gardens, a captivating 17th-century country house ruin located just outside Carlisle, a mere 2 miles from the Scottish border.

This enchanting and historically rich estate serves as the perfect backdrop for weddings and events alike. Surrounded by 14 acres of meticulously maintained formal gardens, woodlands, and meadows, it offers endless opportunities for exploration and creativity.

As of Autumn 2023, Kirklinton Hall & Gardens will introduce three separate accommodation options, including the Coachhouse and Tower, currently undergoing restoration.

Weddings at Kirklinton: Kirklinton Hall & Gardens offers a truly unique venue with a plethora of options for a special day. Couples can envision a marquee in the formal gardens at Kirklinton or a romantic candlelit dinner in the derelict hall. Between the months of April and October (inclusive), all couples are warmly welcomed to experience the enchantment of Kirklinton Hall & Gardens.

Petal Pole Marquee: Located in the apple orchard, a Petal Pole stretch marquee is available, featuring fully open or partially panelled window-walled sides. This elegant marquee comfortably accommodates up to 120 guests and includes a bar, along with a hidden catering tent. It creates a beautiful atmosphere for both the wedding breakfast and evening reception, complete with adjacent firepits and path-lined festoon lighting.

Old Hall Ruin: Available from Summer 2025, the 19th-century Victorian hall ruin is a breathtaking three-story open space adorned with dramatic exposed red sandstone walls and climbing greenery. This unique setting brings the magic of the Walled Gardens indoors. While ongoing restoration plans include re-roofing and waterproofing, the current state of the structure is a stunning and distinctive space that many will fall in love with. The hall can accommodate up to 120 guests for wedding breakfasts and ceremonies, offering yet another exquisite option for celebrations at Kirklinton Hall.

Coach House: The newly restored Coach House boasts an open vaulted ceiling and exposed beams set within the original red sandstone of Kirklinton Hall. It provides an ideal space for ceremonies accommodating up to 100 guests and wedding breakfasts for up to 60 guests.

Your Ceremony: Couples have the choice of two options for outdoor ceremonies: the formal terraces overlooking the Main Lawn or the stone steps leading to the Main Lawn, bordered by mature hedges, woods, and a beck, offering a picturesque backdrop to outdoor ceremonies.

St Cuthbert’s Church, Kirklinton: Just 300 meters from Kirklinton Hall Gardens, St Cuthbert’s Church is a charming red sandstone-built Parish Church in Kirklinton, able to provide religious ceremonies if desired.

Where to have group photos? I don't think there's a single part of this venue that doesn't work for formal group shots! Honestly, it's stunning. Either in front of the grand house, in the grounds, inside the main hall, or under a marquee- the possibilities are endless!

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: 3 Cottages. THE PAVILION Sleeps 2, THE COURTYARD Sleeps 4, THE TOWER Sleeps 2.

Exclusive Hire: Yes

Capacity: up to 170

Location: Kirklinton Hall & Gardens, Kirklinton, Hall, Carlisle CA6 6BB

Website: https://kirklintonhallandgardens.com

Rose Castle

Whether they envision an intimate wedding for 20 or an extravagant two-day celebration, or something in between, their wedding is a truly unique experience tailored to the couple.

With a rich history of hosting events spanning over 800 years, Rose Castle deeply appreciates the significance of having friends and family join the couple to commemorate this momentous occasion. Their expertise lies in crafting the perfect venue for the gathering.

Rather than offering predefined packages, Rose Castle believes in understanding the couple's vision and preferences to create a bespoke experience that resonates with them and their guests on a personal level.

At Rose Castle, both the majestic castle itself and its enchanting gardens become exclusively theirs as they exchange vows in front of their nearest and dearest. The picturesque surroundings provide the most breathtaking backdrops for their wedding photographs.

With a diverse range of spaces available, Rose Castle will be exclusively theirs for the entire duration of their wedding day or even an entire wedding week.

Rose Castle is well-equipped to accommodate civil ceremonies and various other types of ceremonies. Their remarkable chapel bathes in sunlight through its handcrafted stained glass windows, while the spacious Chinese Room offers an ideal setting for larger ceremonies, featuring panoramic views of the gardens stretching all the way to the tree-lined river beyond.

Where to have group photos? We could take some VIPs to the chapel or use one of the many large rooms available if we are forced inside. Besides that, the grounds in the Cumbrian countryside are honestly breathtaking!

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: 15 Bedrooms - Sleeps 28

Exclusive Hire: Yes

Capacity: Up to 120

Location: Rose Castle, Dalston, Cumbria, CA5 7BY

Website: https://www.rosecastle.com

The Crown & Mitre Hotel

Nestled in the heart of Carlisle, the hotel boasts views of the city center and the cathedral from many of its guest rooms. It specializes in hosting weddings, offering everything from grand celebrations for up to 250 guests in its majestic Ballroom to intimate gatherings of less than 30 in smaller ceremony spaces. The hotel caters to a broad range of wedding sizes and styles, committing itself to helping each couple create a day that reflects their unique preferences with a variety of customizable packages.

Where to have group photos? While the Crown & Mitre does not have any outdoor space that is their own, we can take group photos inside in the ceremony room, on the magnificent stairs, in the ballroom or outside in Carlisle city center or next door if we are being cheeky we can pop over to the grounds of St Cuthberts which is next door.

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: 94 Bedrooms - Sleeps 180

Exclusive Hire: No

Capacity: Up to 250

Location: Rose Castle, Dalston, Cumbria, CA5 7BY

Website: https://www.peelhotels.co.uk/crown-and-mitre-hotel/

Dalston Hall

Discover the enchantment of Dalston Hall, where weddings of all sizes discover their perfect setting. Whether you prefer the grandeur of the Main House or the captivating allure of the Garden Marquee, we are dedicated to fulfilling your every dream.

At Dalston Hall, you have the option of embracing indoor elegance within the Main House, featuring its original oak panelling, or experiencing the versatile outdoor charm of the Garden Marquee. For a truly unforgettable outdoor ceremony, our hand-carved stone gazebo nestled within meticulously maintained gardens awaits your special moment.

Let the timeless beauty of Dalston Hall create the perfect frame for your wedding memories. Our breathtaking interior and picturesque gardens provide the ideal backdrop for your special day. Craft a love story that will endure a lifetime with Dalston Hall—where every detail celebrates your unique journey.

Where to have group photos? Dalston Hall is full of beautiful rooms and grounds with a huge function marquee, so we won't struggle for formal photos.

Pet friendly: Yes

Accommodation: 12 Bedrooms - Sleeps 24

Exclusive Hire: Yes

Capacity: up to 250

Location: Dalston Hall, Dalston, Carlisle, CA5 7JX

Website: https://www.dalstonhall.co.uk

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