Easily accessed by train from London in an hour, Lewes is a popular wedding destination. The town is steeped in history and boasts its very own castle, as well as the famous Harvey’s Brewery, filling the air with a comforting smell of hops.
Lewes’ popularity as a wedding venue has really increased in recent years and many of the Town’s venues have upped their game to cater to couples who have fallen in love with Lewes’ charm.
Perched high up on the hillside overlooking the town are the ruins of Lewes Castle, where you can hold a romantic outdoor ceremony with panoramic views of the Sussex countryside and the river Arun down below. The Castle makes a fabulous backdrop for wedding photographs, with beautiful stone walls and fragrant climbing roses.
Our top tips
Because the castle is in ruins it’s not possible to have an indoor ceremony within the Castle, although a cover is provided if it does rain, so do bear this in mind. Being an historic venue, access to the ceremony location is via a considerable number of zig-zag steps, which makes a dramatic entrance for the bridal party but is something to bear in mind if you have guests with walking difficulties.
Lewes Castle & Museum, 169, High Street, Lewes, BN7 1YE. Tel: 01273 486290
Lewes Registry Office/The Grange
Lewes Registry Office is in Southover Grange, a beautiful 16th Century Grade II listed manor house set amongst the incredibly well-tended Southover gardens. The registry office interiors have had an uplift in recent years and now boasts two beautiful ceremony rooms, with oak panelling, moulded plaster ceilings and open fireplaces. After your ceremony, you and your guests can spill out into the gardens, where there are endless opportunities for photographs amongst the colourful plants. Honestly, we’ve photographed a lot of registry office weddings and this one takes some beating!
Our top tips
In summer months the ‘hatch’ just inside the entrance to the garden (where you usually exit your wedding ceremony) does an array of cakes, hot drinks and treats so if you’re getting married on a hot day, why not treat your wedding guests to ice cream after your ceremony?
Anne of Cleves House
The house was gifted to Anne of Cleves by Henry VIII and has a rich history. As well as a museum, the House is also ideally suited to intimate wedding celebrations for up to 50 guests in a truly historic setting.
Our top tips
Anne of Cleves House is a small venue so is unsuitable if you are planning a large wedding. If you do visit the venue before your wedding they do a lovely cream tea in the museum gardens!
Sussex Past: Anne of Cleves House and Lewes Castle Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Packed with Georgian charm, Pelham House has recently undergone a huge refurb and now the former hotel opens its doors exclusively for luxury weddings. Located in the centre of Lewes yet tucked away down one of Lewes’ intriguing steep lanes, the venue offers stunning views of the South Downs, as well as the opportunity for you to hold an outdoor or an indoor ceremony. There are sweeping terraces for your drinks reception and in the evening Pelham has an impressive array of outdoor catering options, including BBQs and its very own pizza oven (we can highly recommend!)
St. Andrews Lane
We’ve photographed a number of weddings over the years at the Shelleys and its a great venue for smaller weddings. Shelley’s is a licenced wedding venue and offers couples the chance to have either an indoor or outdoor ceremony in their quaint garden summerhouse.
135-136 High Street
Lewes Friends Meeting House
Looking for a modest location to hold your wedding reception? The Quaker Friends Meeting House is a hidden gem located in central Lewes. The Centre can be hired for a modest hourly rate and is perfect if you are looking for a DIY venue where you can also provide your own catering.
The Friends Meeting House doesn’t have its own car park but there is a pay and display car park nearby.
Situated right in the centre of Lewes, Fitzroy House is a reception venue with a difference. In fact, from the outside, the building appears quite unassuming until you step inside and can marvel at its impressive neo-gothic interior. With its domed ceiling, dark wooden features, stone pillars, balcony and central fountain, it has a strong Shakespearian feel that’s quite unlike other wedding venues.
Our top tips
If you’re after a quirky wedding then do book a viewing!
10 High Street
Iford Village Hall
Located just outside Lewes in Iford, the village hall is a gem of Art and Craft design from 1935. It’s maintained to a high standard, has luscious views of the Sussex Downs and plenty of parking. There’s even space for a marquee for larger functions. It’s a lovely affordable DIY venue for anyone getting married in Lewes and looking for a modest reception venue.
Our top tips
This is an out of town location so your guests will need transport if you are planning to get married in the centre of Lewes.
Iford Village Hall,
The Party Field
Venues don’t come more DIY than the Party Field, which, just as its name suggests, is a field that you can hire to host your wedding celebration! The venue does provide a list of approved suppliers for tents, marquees and all the wedding essentials and it’s a blank canvas with which to truly make your own. Whether you’re after a circus-themed big top, wedding glamping or hoping to host your own music festival, it really doesn’t come much more customizable than this!
The Party Field
Another superb country house wedding venue just outside Lewes is Firle Place. Your wedding guests are sure to be impressed when they make their way along the grand driveway through Firle Park and take in views of Firle Place and the impressive grounds.
Firle offers the use of the Georgian Riding School, where your guests can spill out onto the croquet lawns for games and canapes. Alternatively, there are also a number of marquee sites around the property, such as the South Lawns and Dell Garden, with its own walled garden and flower meadow – both offer lots of great little spots for your wedding photography.
If you’ve got your heart set on a church ceremony then St Peter’s Church is just a short walk from Firle Place and the Vicar, Peter is somewhat of a local legend!
The Estate Office
Broyle Place is a Grade II Elizabethan Manor House near Ringmer, just outside Lewes, perfect for traditional country house weddings. It’s a licenced wedding venue so you can have the whole of your day, from ceremony to reception and then overnight accommodation all under one roof. With views of the South Downs and all the features you’d expect from a traditional country manor house: make a grand entrance up the sweeping driveway, sip champagne with your guests on the stone terraces and then take a moment to enjoy being newly married while having your wedding photographs taken surrounded by sweet wisteria and fragrant climbing roses in the gardens. There’s also a variety of options for your wedding reception, from yummy hog roasts to a sit-down wedding breakfast.
We’re a wedding photographer and wedding film maker duo based in Lewes & Brighton and covering the whole of the UK. We’ve designed this guide based on some of the lovely venues we’ve been lucky enough to work at over the years to help you with your wedding planning. Feel free to get in touch with any questions!