Romantic, rural and secluded: it’s hard to beat a converted barn or steading as a venue. We’ve picked ten of the best blank canvases to show what’s possible
Take a nosey at many engaged couples’ wedding vision boards on Pinterest and it’s a safe bet there’ll be a rustic barn setting – adorned with twinkling fairy lights and stylish foliage – in there somewhere. Ever since it burst onto the scene a decade ago, this is a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. Scotland, with its plentiful byres and steadings, is at the forefront of the rural chic movement and has an incredible selection of ’gram-worthy locations to choose from. We’ve rounded up ten gems to give you all the inspo you need.
Cardney Steading, Perthshire
There are so many options at Cardney Steading that no two weddings here are the same. You may choose to exchange vows in the woodlands or host drinks on the lochside lawn, before moving into the cattle shed for an evening of dancing. The steading and barn at this Perthshire hideaway were a water mill and cowshed in a previous life, and they’ve retained many original features such as stone walls and wooden details.
Up to 299 guests can be accommodated, so there’s room to invite everyone and their granny. Wanting a space for them to mingle? The courtyard or Double Barrel bar are just the places to make that happen. Love surprises? Guests can escape through the back of the bar area to a secret fire pit.
Bachilton Barn, Perthshire
If getting married in a chic barn and having your guests spend the night afterwards are non-negotiables on your list, Bachilton Barn will set your heart aflutter. The Perthshire venue is over 150 years old and kept all of its original charm when it was converted for weddings in 2015.
The blank-canvas spaces mean it’s entirely up to the couple how the venue is styled, with the wooden beams and concrete flooring adding to the aesthetic. 40 of your nearest and dearest can spend the night, making use of the neighbouring five cottages and two cosy yurts – not to mention the onsite hot tubs which will be a treat to relax in after the celebrations. Bachilton remains a working arable farm, cultivating the likes of rapeseed, wheat and peas, and its 740 acres mean a wealth of photos ops in the beautiful open space surrounding the barn.
The Den at Culross, Dunfermline
Having a blank-canvas venue doesn’t mean being handed the keys and told to ‘get on with it’, as Audrey, owner of Dunfermline’s popular Den at Culross, tells us: “We provide lots of support in the run-up to the wedding as well as a co-ordinator on the day. They are highly experienced in making sure the celebrations run smoothly, allowing the couple to enjoy their time here.”
The ceremony and drinks reception can take place in the courtyard – a firm fave among those who’ve tied the knot here, meaning the beauty of the barn can remain a secret until dinner is ready. Since its transformation into an events venue in 2019, the Den has hosted ceilidhs in the courtyard and casino tables in the barn – a reminder that there’s ample scope to plan your day your way.
Rossie on the Earn, Perthshire
Having only just opened this spring, Rossie on the Earn is gearing up for a big year ahead. It looks set to be a huge draw with couples looking for a venue offering an atmospheric byre, sprawls of enchanting gardens and several charming cottages to accommodate their loved ones. The byre can be decorated in any way you please, and its four interlinking rooms are packed with appealing traditional features such as stone walls, cattle troughs, raised walkways and a warming fire.
There’s enough space for 160 seated guests as well as loads of entertaining space outside, so why not use the landscaped courtyard for your reception drinks and canapés? You’ll have the romantic Ochil Hills as a backdrop – just imagine the wedding pictures!
Blackhouse Forest Estate, Selkirk
Set in more than a thousand acres of natural woodland in the Yarrow valley, Blackhouse Forest Estate is an enchanting place for couples to say ‘I do’. Events are centred around the beautifully converted barn, where foliage and festoon lighting suspended from the ceiling gives it an intimate feel and large windows bring in plenty of natural light.
The venue will particularly appeal to the eco-conscious: the owners plant broadleaf trees to help tackle emissions and carbon offset any event. The barn can cater for elopements or weddings with up to 50 guests. Make a weekend of it with loved ones and stay in the Croft House: the stylish accommodation sleeps ten in en-suite rooms.
Wedderburn Barns, Borders
What if we told you that your celebrations could combine the charm of a barn setting with the grandeur of a fairytale castle? This is possible at Wedderburn in Berwickshire. The venue offers couples the use of two adjoining barns with a courtyard garden in the centre. One barn is usually used for ceremonies and dancing, the other for dining (with space for up to 150 guests).
The courtyard, meanwhile, is a beautiful spot in which to tie the knot. Couples can also use the castle for ceremonies, drinks receptions and accommodation, combining the two venues on their wedding day for the best of both worlds.
Falside Mill, St Andrews
“Our aim at Falside is to take away as much stress as possible when organising your big day,” say the team at this popular Fife venue. “We can offer in-house catering, furniture and a bar. This includes our cocktail and prosecco tuk-tuk – ideal for your drinks reception.”
The layout of the building gives a natural flow to the day: guests will be welcomed into the mill ring, then move through to the ceremony room before finally entering the main hall for the wedding breakfast and evening reception. The central courtyard scores major brownie points as it can be used as a picturesque area for a drinks reception if the weather plays ball.
Eden Leisure Village, near Glasgow
It’s not often you stumble upon an American Western-style venue on the outskirts of Glasgow, but Eden Leisure Village really is a delight. The Cumbernauld site was converted into a wedding venue in 2017 and has been a hit ever since with couples looking to marry somewhere relaxed with glorious countryside views.
You can choose to have your big day in the marquee and barn, hosting 100 guests for the wedding breakfast and a further 120 for an evening of celebrations. Looking to stay a little longer? Eden never has back-to-back weddings, meaning you can take advantage of its exclusive use and enjoy a wee mini-moon to reflect on your big day.
Barn at Barra Castle, Aberdeenshire
“One of the wonderful things about our barn is that the space is incredibly versatile – you can throw away the wedding rule book,” smiles owner Sarah Stephen at the Aberdeenshire venue. “We don’t have a formulaic approach with ‘no room for this’ or ‘room for that’. The size of the barn is easily adaptable, and we have six ceremony space options.”
The barn was originally a cowshed in the grounds of the 16th-century tower house before it was demolished and rebuilt from scratch. It looks and feels properly authentic, with its timber beams, cosy snug and wood-burning stove, but it also has some impressive mod cons such as underfloor heating, making it a delight for intimate winter nuptials. Planning a summer do? We’d suggest making use of the lawn to host the ceremony – those views will serve as a truly spectacular backdrop for your snaps. Both micro weddings of 20 and grand shindigs with 250 guests are feasible, thanks to the barn’s flexible interiors.
Rosebery Steading, Midlothian
Gorgeous backdrops for photos, the option to make it a weekend-long wedding, and two barns with room for up to 100 guests? Rosebery Steading has it all. Set just to the south of Edinburgh and surrounded by rolling hills and extensive estate grounds, the scenery is pretty marvellous.
The venue is a historic A-listed ‘farm toun’ – where farmers lived and worked – dating from the 18th century. As well as the two barn spaces (the threshing barn and the hayloft), there’s the Pumphouse bar and contemporary cottage accommodation. There is even an unconsecrated chapel not far away, beside the nearby Rosebery House. Choosing chic floral arrangements to maximise the look of the barns would be our first pick for decor, while photos under the clocktower in the courtyard really are a must.