Aiming for rustic chic? Here’s our rundown of the most fabulous Scottish farms, byres, barns, stables and steadings you can get married in
Words Claire Moulds
For a venue that you can truly make your own on your special day, the Scottish countryside has a wealth of hidden gems. You might be seeking traditional agricultural features, or simply be after the perfect blank canvas on which to put your stamp; either way, we have rounded up a selection of idyllic locations that all come with stunning views and acres of privacy.
“Hidden in the Strathearn valley, we’re an exclusive-hire venue, allowing you to personalise every aspect of your dream day,” says Daniel Parker, manager at Abercairny, in a lovely part of Perthshire near Crieff. “Our gothic stables includes the grand Thistle Hall for ceremonies – it has twin balconies, which can add a touch of drama with surprise musicians.
“Then, for the wedding breakfast, we now have a dining room for up to 120 seated guests (or up to 200 with a marquee), plus a number of side rooms which you can decide to use as a bar, a photobooth or a play room for younger guests. The adjacent terraced gardens provide a romantic backdrop for those all-important wedding portraits.”
Wedderburn Castle and Barns
“Surrounded by the rural beauty of the Borders and within the magnificent grounds of Wedderburn Castle, our barns are set around a pretty walled courtyard, complete with ancient apple tree and rose bower, and can accommodate up to 150 guests,” says Cat Macdonald-Home, who owns the venue.
“The Provender Barn is a spacious room for dining, while the Cart Shed next door has been designed to host live bands, DJs, ceilidhs, dancing and entertainment. Couples marrying at Wedderburn can enjoy the best of both worlds by combining the grandeur of the castle with the charm and romance of the barns by holding their wedding ceremony or drinks reception at the former and then retiring to the latter for dinner and the evening celebrations.”
“Our Victorian barn is a fantastic space in which to celebrate your special day with family and friends,” says Aswanley in-house wedding co-ordinator Lauren Rodman. “Made up of a series of interconnecting rooms, and offering a superb blank canvas, it can accommodate up to 250 guests for the wedding ceremony, reception and dancing.
“The Fireplace Room, with its wooden beams, cartwheel chandeliers and baronial fireplace, makes a lovely backdrop for exchanging vows. For maximum wow factor, we can leave the enormous wooden doors that lead into the dining room closed until dinner is called, so you can surprise your guests with your wedding breakfast theme. The arches that separate it from the ballroom can also be curtained off for an additional reveal later in the evening.”
Cardney Estate and Steading
“Our steading, barns and stables in the heart of Highland Perthshire combine traditional, rustic features with contemporary style,” promises Cardney’s owner Katriona Cameron. “The stone-built Mill House can seat up to 120 for the ceremony, while the Cattle Shed can accommodate up to 250 for an evening of dancing.
“Both open out on to our partially glazed roof courtyard – it allows you to make the most of the weather during the day and then celebrate under the stars. For the ultimate wedding backdrop, couples can also exchange vows by the edge of Cardney Loch or in a secluded woodland clearing – both are just steps away from the main venue.”
“We encourage couples marrying at Dalduff to let their imagination run wild by offering exclusive use of our entire venue from 1pm the day before the wedding until noon the day after. That includes our restored barn (seating up to 120 guests for dinner), courtyard room, courtyard, renovated Dutch barns, gardens and orchards,” says James McFadzean, owner of this atmospheric Ayrshire venue.
“From the custom-made dining furniture to our quirky bar (made up of family heirlooms including granny’s old sideboard, a refrigerated butcher’s counter and an old Belfast sink), we offer a sense of history and rustic charm.”
“With space for 150 guests, Guardswell’s Cattle Court, Granary, Bull Pen and Farm Bar together make the perfect blank canvas for your imagination – but, more importantly, this secluded haven of 150 acres provides the perfect escape from the modern world,” says Anna Lamotte, who owns the Perthshire venue.
“As much as we’re a ‘wedding venue’, we hope that getting married at Guardswell is a very different experience to the normal shebang – one that’s about wild flowers and foliage, plates piled high with delicious, locally grown food, dancing barefoot on the grass under the festoon lights, munching on midnight pizza from our wood-fired oven and wrapping up in woolly blankets by the fire pits as you celebrate the best day of your life with your family and friends.”
“Having bought Pratis Barns in April 2019, my wife Nicola and I are delighted to bring our extensive catering and event management expertise to Fife and to offer couples exclusive hire of this stunning late-1700s venue,” says new owner Patrick Gilmour.
“We can accommodate up to 250 guests, and couples have the flexibility to transform any or all of the venue spaces (the ceremony, day and party barns), using their own decor to reflect their individual style. The whole venue, including the walled garden, offers incredible views, while a newly created outdoor seating area and fire pit is the perfect place to raise a glass as darkness falls.”
Harelaw Farm Weddings
Harelaw, based in the countryside between Glasgow and Kilmarnock, is a short drive from the metropolis, but feels a world away. There are two spacious areas available to rent for your nuptials – the Wedding Byre and the Hay Barn.
“The former is an old milking byre with rustic, exposed stone walls and original wooden beams – there’s space for 150 seated guests for the ceremony,” explains owner Donna Elliott. “Meanwhile, our Hay Barn can accommodate up to 250 for dinner and dancing and comes complete with stage, dancefloor and light canopy, as well as the adjacent Sow’s Ear bar.”
There’s a large lawn should you wish to pitch a marquee, along with a tastefully refurbished farmhouse that boasts a two-storey bridal suite.
“We’re excited to unveil our spectacular new wedding and private events venue – it has been lovingly restored and combines rural charm with contemporary luxury,” promises Louisa Kerr, sales and marketing manager for Rosebery Venues.
“Set amid private grounds and rolling countryside just 20 minutes from Edinburgh, the Steading has been sympathetically developed from a 200-year-old farm village-style complex into a versatile entertaining space with luxurious accommodation for 28 guests, landscaping and a central courtyard. Our two expansive, light-filled barn spaces include the Hayloft, with its innovative sound technology and state-of-the-art lighting, and the Threshing Barn, which caters for up to 100 people seated. The venue also has its own custom Pumphouse bar and boasts many original architectural features such as an historic steeple and doocot.”
The Den at Culross
“Our newly opened venue The Den at Culross, near Dunfermline, can adapt to large or small weddings, comfortably accommodating between 50 and 450 guests,” says owner Audrey Stirling. “For smaller, more intimate celebrations, you could hire our traditional byre, which has fabulous open timber roof trusses and sandstone walls.
“Our barn, meanwhile, can cater for larger functions and features a bar and optional chillout area. The courtyard is also a lovely setting for photographs, your drinks reception or even a barbecue if you prefer informal dining. We have a comfortable and luxurious cottage where the bride can get ready, while the groom can relax in the Loft, which overlooks the stunning courtyard, and watch the guests arriving.”
“When our son and now daughter-in-law were struggling to find a wedding venue to put their own stamp on, we suggested they have it here at Balfreish,” explains owner Isobel Lednor. “The day was such a success that everyone thought we should offer it to other couples looking for something a wee bit different.
“Our Long Barn is full of charm and can seat up to 90 guests for a wedding breakfast. The Old Bull Pen has been renamed Hamish’s Tavern and is a great place to set up a bar. The Cow Shed, meanwhile, has space for up to 50 guests at an indoor ceremony. If you’d prefer to exchange vows outside, there’s our beautiful gardens – your photographer will enjoy capturing the happiness of this special day there.”
Carrick Castle Estate
“We’re in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, which means you’ll have stunning views as the backdrop to your day,” says Carrick’s Hannah Mellet. “The sheer scale of our barn makes it a fantastic, light-filled space and, while many embrace the rustic theme with hay bales for seating and vintage wooden trestle tables, and even using a beer-laden tractor as a bar, ultimately it’s a blank canvas for your ideas.
“The fairylight canopy over the courtyard also comes into its own in the evening, providing a magical setting in which to continue the celebrations.”
“Deep in the South Lanarkshire countryside, Folkerton Mill is steeped in history and has rustic charm in every nook and cranny,” says owner Penny Steel. “Our beautiful wooden Dutch barn can comfortably seat up to 80 people, while our Grade B-listed mill, with its large cast-iron water wheel, offers a unique space in which to showcase your evening entertainment.
“It even comes complete with a bar that has been carefully constructed around the original grain machinery. Underlying our business is a commitment to sustainability – we plant a tree in our grounds for every wedding hosted here, and couples are welcome to make the planting ceremony part of their celebrations.”
Cairns Farm Estate
“Watching the development of our venue has been incredibly exciting,” says Stephanie Stubbs, deputy managing director of Cairns Farm Estate in Kirknewton, half an hour from Edinburgh. “Our new contemporary barn is due to hold its first wedding at the end of June 2020 and we know it’s going to be truly breathtaking, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows that give uninterrupted views across Harperrig Reservoir and out to the Pentlands. We also have separate ceremony and function rooms.
“The wooden cladding that adorns the venue comes from the estate’s own trees – the same timber was used to make the bespoke bar and the gorgeous banqueting tables and has been a brilliant way to bring the outdoors in. Our beautiful Cairns farmhouse has also been lovingly renovated for guests to stay in, and provides a secluded honeymoon hideaway (complete with rolltop bath) for the happy couple.”
“Our newly restored barn – a listed building – gives you unlimited options in terms of how to use the space, so you can truly make the day your own,” says Richard Philipps, owner of this rural venue near Biggar.
“With space for up to 160 guests, Cormiston also has a hayloft overlooking the interior – a perfect spot for guests to sit and chat while others dance the night away below. Set against the backdrop of the rolling hills of the Clyde valley, and surrounded by two acres of mature gardens and woodland, our location also means that many couples choose an outdoor ceremony to take advantage of the extensive, unspoilt views.”
“Restoring 18th-century steading Falside Mill to its former glory has been an adventure,” says Pip Quinn, marketing manager at the Fife venue. “The iconic mill ring has been rebuilt, and is now the perfect setting for smaller ceremonies, or for use as a bar or lounge.
“The reception room can be used for larger ceremonies and by those wanting a more intimate dining experience than that provided by the main hall, which can seat 250. We also offer a relaxing chillout room, where the couple can grab a few private moments together.”