Main image: Nettlestead Place (Kerry Ann Duffy Photography)
We explore five Kentish venues with plenty of outdoor space for socially distanced celebrations
Marleybrook House, Canterbury For a celebration filled with family fun, this 17th-century thatched farmhouse is full of unique character, history and old-world charm. Secluded in the heart of Kent, the venue offers privacy and exclusivity within the seven miles from the city of Canterbury. The five acres not only showcase landscaped gardens, paddocks and woodland for a picture-perfect setting, but also a hidden vintage funfair complete with its own Ferris wheel – great fun for both young guests and the young at heart.
Above: The vintage fun fair at Marleybrook House
The BarnYard, Upchurch Nestled in the heart of Upchurch, Sittingbourne, in a natural valley surrounded by 150 acres of stunning landscape combining rolling hills, natural woodland and romantic orchards, is The BarnYard. A tranquil and charming escape is home to a barn conversion and a permanent grand marquee which can host lavish receptions for up to 300 guests.
Penshurst Place, Tonbridge Once home to King Henry VIII, Penshurst Place is set within 11 acres of gardens. Believed to be one of the oldest wedding venues in Kent dating back to 1346, inside, the awe-inspiring medieval Baron’s Hall features an original 60ft high chestnut beamed ceiling. Outside, couples can explore the ground’s secret hideaways, from the avenue of lime trees and the apple orchard, to the 16th century Italian garden centrepiece with oval lily pool.
Above: Penshurst Place
Nettlestead Place, Maidstone If you are looking for your happily ever after for a fairy-tale wedding, Nettlestead Place is a quintessentially English Grade I listed venue plucked straight from a storybook. Inside, it features stone walls and magical archways, while outside, couples can escape through the winding pathways of the rose gardens and share time together overlooking the tranquil pond.
The Plough Inn, Hildenborough If it’s a small, intimate celebration you are after, The Plough at Leigh is an independent 16th-century pub, which was originally a row of four cottages, with a rustic barn and country gardens. Decorated with Kentish hops and fairy-lights, the barn and garden hedgerow gazebo are both licensed for civil wedding ceremonies suitable for a maximum of 150 during the summer months and 130 during the autumn and winter.
Above: The outdoor ceremony gazebo at The Plough Inn