2017 is the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, a hippy gathering in San Francisco preaching peace and harmony. In this spirit, here are our ten top Cornish venues for anyone marrying in our own Summer of Love…
Best for brides wanting a bespoke wedding
The AA 3 Silver Star Talland Bay Hotel sits on clifftops overlooking the beautiful bay below, providing a stunning backdrop for smaller, intimate weddings. The big day is tailor-made and you can opt for exclusive use of the hotel and its beautiful grounds, ensuring privacy. Every detail is hand-picked with the dedicated wedding team to create the perfect setting. The wedding breakfast will be in the Two AA rosette restaurant overlooking the sea. The Talland Bay Hotel is dog-friendly, meaning a warm welcome for the Best Man and Man’s Best Friend!
Best for brides seeking a sense of history
This fairytale fort on the Cornish coastline at St Mawes was built by Henry VIII… and he knew a thing or two about weddings! Cross the ancient bridge and pass through the Arch built for a king to say “I do” in style. You can tie the knot in the intimate Upper Gun Room - with its beautiful arched windows - the atmospheric Garrison Mess Room or Entrance Hall. The Little Fort on the water’s edge is stunning for outdoor ceremonies. Marquees can also be set up in the castle’s beautifully landscaped gardens. St Mawes Castle is another dog-friendly venue.
Best for brides who are foodie lovers
Family-run Rosewarne Manor is an award-winning wedding venue in Hayle where food takes centre stage on the wedding day. Rosewarne has two AA Rosettes and won Gold in the Taste of The West awards for the last three years. Ingredients are locally sourced and Head Chef Phil Thomas will create bespoke menus with up to four options for each course. Cornish produce takes a starring role with dishes like pan-fried mackerel with a seafood chowder, Cornish beef fillet en croute or strawberry pavlova with Cornish clotted cream. Ceremonies can be held in the wooden panelled Connor Room, ideal for intimate parties of up to 14, the Carnhell Room overlooking the manor’s beautiful grounds or the Gwinear Room which can accommodate up to 80.
Best for brides with a sense of style
The Grade II listed Headland Hotel on the cliffs above Newquay’s stunning Fistral Beach is an elegant Edwardian building designed by Cornish architect Silvanus Trevail in 1911. The iconic 4 star hotel oozes style and sophistication, winning awards for its accommodation and delicious menus featuring Cornish produce. The view is one of the best on the North Cornish coast and the perfect backdrop for wedding pictures. With an award-winning spa, The Headland is worth making a weekend out of a wedding.
Best for brides with a sense of Gothic drama
Bodmin Jail offers an unusual place to tie the knot with its Gothic high vaulted ceilings, historic atmosphere and turbulent history. If you’re planning to serve a life sentence with the one you love, ceremonies can be held in the beautiful, former prison chapel or in the jail itself with the wedding reception in the Governor’s Hall. Guests will have the chance to explore the prison during the day – certainly a wedding venue with a difference.
Best for brides who are “deeply” in love
Cornwall has its fair share of unusual wedding venues and here’s one where you can get married in magical woodland or underground. Carnglaze Caverns has four unique places to marry – there’s the underground Rum Store which has an 80m long aisle and is licensed for up to 400 guests or exchange vows by candlelight beside the crystal clear water of the Underground Lake. If you want to marry above ground, there’s the smaller Vine Conservatory overlooking spectacular gardens and the stunning Loveny Valley, or the Enchanted Dell in the heart of ancient woodland of oak and ash.
Best for brides wanting the red carpet treatment
The four-star Carlyon Bay Hotel rolls out the red carpet treatment for the bride and groom as guests are greeted by a liveried doorman. Standing on the cliff-top overlooking St Austell Bay, this luxury hotel is set in 250 acres of glorious grounds offering spectacular sea views. You can marry at the outdoor wedding gazebo or in the glamorous interior. Every little detail is thought of to make the wedding day special and the bride and groom can spend their wedding night in a luxury bedroom overlooking the sea as part of the wedding package.
Best for brides wanting panoramic views
Pendennis Castle stands high on the headland in Falmouth, offering panoramic views over land and sea. Built for Henry VIII on the opposite side of the Fal Estuary to St Mawes Castle, it offers one of the most magical places to get married in Cornwall. Make your vows in the Lower Gun Room in the Artillery Keep which oozes history, the Royal Artillery Barracks’ Melville Room with its sea views or in a marquee on the castle lawns which can accommodate up to 1,500 people making it one of the largest venues in the county.
Best for brides wanting an award-winning location
Polhawn Fort on the Rame Peninsula, with its sweeping views of the Cornish coastline, was named the UK’s Best Coastal Venue 2016 by wedding site Hitched against competition that included The Grand Hotel in Brighton. With exclusive use of the fort (which sleeps 20) you can have your ceremony inside or at the Summerhouse with the sea below. Receptions can be held inside the Napoleonic fort, complete with cannon and drawbridge, or in a marquee on the lawn. There’s private access to the secluded beach below offering lots of opportunities for unique wedding pictures.
Best for brides who think life’s a beach…
Privately-owned Lusty Glaze beach in Newquay is a natural amphitheatre, surrounded on three sides by cliffs, caves and rock pools, and enjoying an uninterrupted view across golden sands to the sea. This is the only place in Cornwall where you can tie the knot on the beach – The Top Deck seats 120 for the ceremony with views out to the Atlantic Sea. As befits this unique location, the wedding breakfast takes the form of a luxury barbecue served in the Marquee which leads on to the beach. Stroll across the sand or just chill out in the candlelit Beach Lounge. Every wedding is different but who could resist the romance of the sand between your toes and the sun setting over the surf? No wonder it’s called Lusty Glaze…