The Happy Otter Wedding planning guide

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12 Barn wedding venues in York (up to 30 minutes from city centre – full list)

You want to be close enough to York to benefit from the train station, and historic sights for out of town guests, but you want more space and a more relaxed atmosphere than some of the city centre wedding venues can provide. This list of wedding barns within 30 minutes of York city centre is for you.
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Introduction

If you are planning a big wedding with plenty of guests and want a relaxed and laid back atmosphere while being surrounded in the beautiful countryside – you are probably considering getting married at a barn wedding venue.

Here is a brief intro to wedding barns including the benefits, things to consider, an overview of the different types, and, because I’m a wedding photographer based in York, a list of all the barn wedding venues in York (within half an hour’s drive of the city centre).

7 reasons to choose a wedding barn

7 Reasons you should get married at a barn wedding venue

Wedding barns are becoming more and more popular for large weddings all year round – but what are some of the reasons so many people are falling in love with these rustic countryside wedding venues?

  1. Exclusivity
    Barn wedding venues are usually in the middle of the countryside – there is no reason for members of the public to be on site. Lots of hotels or venues with restaurants will charge extra to guarantee exclusivity of the whole property for the day… but that just comes as default with a wedding barn.
  2. Personalisation
    Generally, wedding barns are big blank canvasses. You can leave them as they are for a minimalist rustic look, or decorate them in absolutely any wedding theme you wish. So – if you are a DIY bride and would feel restricted by the pre-existing decor of Country House wedding venues, a wedding barn might just be perfect for you.
  3. Scenery
    It is almost guaranteed that a wedding barn is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Most wedding barns are nestled amongst beautiful countryside views – fantastic for both posed and natural wedding photos!
  4. Relaxed atmosphere
    The high ceilings and open plan nature of a wedding barn give a very open and relaxed vibe to a wedding. If you want to avoid a stuffy, formal wedding, where everyone is stuck in one room, a wedding barn is just the job.
  5. On one site
    As a wedding photographer, I have witnessed so many weddings where guests get lost between the ceremony and the reception – even if it’s just a couple of miles away. This adds stress, delays the timeline of the day, and even if things go well, a big chunk of wedding time is spent on travel.
    With a wedding barn, you can have your ceremony, photos, and reception all on one site – simple!
  6. Rustic charm
    Whether a traditional farm building converted, or a purpose-built wedding barn – all wedding barns ooze character. They were made for weddings… unlike generic hotel conference rooms which are used for weddings on the weekend and sales conferences during the week.
  7. Lots of space
    Some wedding barns have the capacity for 400 guests! They can be huge! If you want a really big party – choose a wedding barn, you won’t need to worry about cutting people off the guest list. Plus, there is usually loads of space for parking.

How to plan a barn wedding

Lots of the wedding barns you will see advertised in luxury bridal magazines have been purpose-built by experienced members of the wedding industry, but some, often less well advertised, are simply old farm buildings converted by farming families. With this in mind, not all wedding barns will have the same facilities or rustic charm), so here is a list of things to check when researching which wedding barn if the best for you.

Things to consider when choosing your wedding barn venue

Toilets

Not all wedding barns are the same! Some really are barns on family farms that have been converted into a big space for plenty of people – toilets may not always be a given! Nowadays, most wedding barns do have fully functional toilets, but just make sure you check – no one likes a portaloo, especially after 140 people have been using it all night!

Heating

Again, this is only really an issue for old barns that have been converted. Summer weddings will probably be fine, but elderly people often get very cold, especially as the temperature drops in the evening – big open barns, if not heated well, might not be very comfortable for your granny.

Catering facilities

Some purpose built wedding barns have state of the art catering facilities and their own bar – but others will require you to hire in catering vans – something to ask and be aware of.

Corkage fee

Exclusive, luxury wedding barns which include catering and drinks in their package will have a vary different attitude to more rustic, DIY wedding barns when it comes to providing your own alcohol. If you are thinking of bringing your own drinks to keep costs down – check if the venue allows it, and if there is a corkage fee.

Tables and chairs included

Some wedding barns may simply be a big barn that you are hiring. In this case you might need to provide your own seating. Similarly, some more high end barns will have their own tables and chairs and will not be too pleased if you plan to bring 200 bales of hay in for your guests to sit on!

Accommodation on site

Being out in the countryside often means there are fewer accommodation options available to your guests. this might discourage people from staying as late – which could dampen the mood of your big party. Similarly, getting ready on site is something lots of brides like to do, this might not always be possible with remote wedding barns.

Transport for guests

If guests plan to drink they may not ant to drive home – being out in the countryside makes transport a little less easy than in a the city centre – consider hiring a mini bus to shuttle people into York, or to a nearby hotel at various points during the night.

Is it registered

If you plan to have your wedding ceremony at the wedding barn so no one has to travel from one venue to another – make sure you check if the wedding barn is registered for legally binding ceremonies. If it isn’t, you can still have a ceremony conducted by a celebrant – but it won’t be legal, and you’ll need to arrange a legal ceremony at a registry office for another time.

DIY or all included

A few years ago a wedding in a barn was rustic and mostly DIY. But in more recent years experienced wedding businesses have discovered the potential of creating luxury wedding barn complexes specifically created for weddings. They have holiday cottages, restaurants on-site, full-time staff… they sell weddings as a full package – there is very little DIY required, or even allowed in some cases – so, if you dream of creating your own rustic hay bale wedding – don’t assume all wedding barns will be the right sort of place!

Sunset times

Although this won’t decide which venue you choose, or if you should have a barn wedding or not – thinking about the sunset times is cruicial if you are relying on natural light during your day.

This handy infographic details the golden hour and sunset times in York (because I know you’re looking for barn wedding venues in York). Outdoor wedding group portraits will be too dark (without artificial lighting) after the start of the golden hour. But – some couples portraits in the golden hour can be stunning!

sunset times in york

Sunset times in York UK

Sunset times for barn wedding venues in York

The different types of wedding barn

The barn wedding has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a simple, laid-back kind of wedding that combines rustic romance and modern comfort.

Wedding barns provide a little bit of a rustic feel with an industrial element. However, it’s important to remember that wedding barns are not all the same. Here is a brief overview of the main categories.

Purpose-built contemporary. Often called wedding barns… these have never been used to house tractors or sheep! As a result, everything has been designed with a wedding in mind. These usually have onsite accommodation and everything is organised by the venue. These may have some decor to imitate some rustic charm, but straw bale seating would not fit in here!

Converted modern farm building. These are in the countryside but don’t have so much history as a traditional farm building. This can be a bonus as they tend to be more contemporary and some added luxuries that wouldn’t fit into an old stone building. Usually, these are wooden stable blocks. More suitable for people who like the countryside… but don’t want to see any muck on their wedding day.

Renovated traditional farm buildings. These are usually stone or brick with lovely old beams and concrete or flagstone floors. Often they are offered as a wedding space, or a blank canvas, where you will have more involvement in planning and organising caterers, furniture, decoration etc. These are the wedding barns with all the authentic rustic and industrial charm and history – most often they are on working farms and a wedding barn is a secondary form of income.

List of 12 barn wedding venues in York (within 30mins)

York Barn at Villa Farm
Woodstock
Poppleton tithe Barn
White Skye Fields
Sandburn Hall
Deighton Lodge
Woollas Barn
Hornington Manor
The Normans
Priory Barn
York Maze
Barmbyfield Barn

York Barn at villa farm, Poppleton Tithe barn, Woodstock, Deighton lodge, The Normans, York Maze, White Syke Fields, Sandburn Hall, Woollas barn, Hornington Manor, Priory Barn and cottages, Barmbyfield Barns

1. York Barn at Villa Farm

York Barn – image of a wedding breakfast set-up at York barn

image taken from the York Barn website

VenueYork Barn at Villa Farm
Location11 minutes north of York – near Wigginton
FeelRestored former stable block – rustic feel but with all the luxury facilities you would want (it’s not a working farm) this is a wedding and events venue.
ToiletsLuxury toilets
Catering facilitiesBring in your own caterers (they have recommended suppliers) – professional kitchen on site
DIY?Decorate it yourself
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes (indoor and outdoor options)
Accommodation on siteOnsite luxury accommodation – 13 cottages sleeping 113 guests!
Guest capacity150 wedding breakfast, 220 evening
Transport nearby?Close enough for a taxi to the city centre, also close enough to order takeaways to the cottages
CorkageNo mention of a fee, but they say they are very flexible – they have a fully stocked bar.
Tables and chairsIncluded – choice of long rectangle tables or round trestle tables (black or white table cloths also an option)and lovely wooden chairs
(Also plenty of extras such as patio heaters, cartwheels, snug seating area, an easel for the table plan, postbox)
HeatingUnderfloor heating

2. Poppleton Tithe Barn

Historic tithe barn in Poppleton

image taken from the Poppleton tithe barn website

VenuePoppleton Tithe barn
Location13 minutes north-west of York – Nether Poppleton
FeelA historic 16th-century tithe barn – it’s a proper historic building with a charity to protect it! Only a few weddings are allowed here each year. No amplified music is allowed. Must end by 11 pm
Toilets4 toilets
Catering facilitiesA small kitchen, probably need catering vans
DIY?decorate it yourself
Registered for legal ceremony?No, I don’t think so… but there is a church right next door
Accommodation on siteNo – but there is a premier inn less than 2 miles away, and there are plenty of airbnbs in Poppleton
Guest capacityNo mention of max capacity
Transport nearbyTaxi or walk into the village, or Poppleton train station is just over 1 mile away
CorkageTotally DIY – so no corkage, but also no-one to serve drinks!
Tables and chairsVarious tables included, 78 chairs
HeatingBackground heating is mentioned

3. Woodstock

Outside view of Woodstock wedding barn near York

image taken from the Woodstock wedding barn website

VenueWoodstock
Location14 minutes north-west of York (near Shipton)
FeelModern, clean, countryside feel. Modern build stables converted to wedding venue… they say “bringing the city to the countryside”, so not a traditional rustic barn.
ToiletsYes
Catering facilitiesChoose from their catering partners
DIY?Not full control – they provide decoration… but you can add some personal touches
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes
Accommodation on siteNo
Guest capacity300
Transport nearbyNo easy public transport
CorkageProbably can’t supply your own drinks – fully stocked and staffed bar provided
Tables and chairschairs and round tables with table linen
Heatingheated and air-conditioned

4. Deighton Lodge

Blank canvas wedding barn at Deighton Lodge

image taken from the Deighton Lodge facebook page.

VenueDeighton Lodge
Location14 minutes south of York (near to Escrick)
FeelRustic and rural – traditional farm buildings converted with quirky features (milk churn urinals) and a tractor to sit on, plus exposed brick walls and bespoke rustic chandeliers
ToiletsYes
Catering facilitiesno mention – there is a list of recommended caterers.
DIY?Yes – totally blank canvas
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes – indoor and outdoor
Accommodation on siteFarmhouse is included in barn hire – it has 8 en-suite bedrooms (space for 19)
Guest capacity200
Transport nearby
CorkageDIY so provide your own or hire in a bar company
Tables and chairsnot provided (they can recommend suppliers)
Heating no mention

5. The Normans

Ceremony space at The Normans

image from the Norman’s website, photo by https://esmemai.com/

VenueThe Normans
Location17 minutes west of York (near to Askham Richard)
FeelStylish and stunning traditional barn converted – exposed-brick walls and a high-vaulted ceiling – absolutely amazing!
ToiletsYes
Catering facilitiesMust use their catering partner (who will provide all Crockery, cutlery, glassware and table linen, and bar)
DIY?The venue looks fantastic as it is, but you can add flowers etc if you wish
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes
Accommodation on siteThe Norman’s cottage (on-site) sleeps 4 adults. This is the only accommodation on site, but there are plenty of Airbnbs nearby.
Guest capacity180
Transport nearbyBilbrough Top service station on A64 is only 2 miles away, and buses run from nearby Askham Richard to York
CorkageThe caterers will run the bar
Tables and chairsYes – included (as well as a stage for a band, loads of fairylights). round tables are included, or long rustic tables for an extra fee.
Heating Indoor – yes, and outdoor flame heaters
This Airbnb property sleeps 16 guests and is only 1 mile from the Normans

6. York Maze

Wedding breakfast set-up at York Maze wedding barn

image taken from the York Maze weddings facebook page link to their website here

VenueYork Maze (the amazing wedding company)
Location17 minutes east of York (towards Elvington)
FeelRustic feel – lots of wood – plenty of space and various barns with courtyard and terrace… plus – it’s York maze! So you can use the bouncy pillow and play area.
Toilets5 ladies, 3 mens, 4 urinals, disabled toilet and baby change facility
Catering facilitiesCatering provided by the venue
DIY?Yes – strongly encouraged to put your own stamp on
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes
Accommodation on siteOnsite camping (though no showers or electric hook-up)
Guest capacity150 seated
Transport nearbyRegular buses from York Maze into city centre
CorkageBar provided by venue
Tables and chairsPine tables and benches provided
Heating Yes
A list of properties on Airbnb close to York Maze and sleep 6+ people

7. White Skye Fields

Industrial, rustic wedding barn near York – White Skye Fields

Image taken from White Skye Fields website

VenueWhite Skye Fields
Location18 minutes north east of York (Sand Hutton)
FeelRustic farm feel with exposed brick, concrete floor, metal girders – proper unpolished industrial feel. Choice of 2 barns, and ancient woodland.
ToiletsCommunal toilets x2
Catering facilitiesNo mention of facilities – they say you can hire in your own caterers
DIY?Very much so
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes
Accommodation on siteNo
Guest capacity400 for whole site
Transport nearbyRegular buses to York from 10 minutes away
CorkageThey request you to hire their recommended bar tender
Tables and chairsRound and long tables and chairs for up to 100 people, or you can provide your own
Heating Not mentioned
Accommodation near White Skye Fields wedding venue

8. Sandburn Hall

Sandburn Hall wedding breakfast setup

Image taken from the Sandburn Hall wedding brochure on their website

VenueSandburn Hall
Location19 minutes north east of York (Flaxton)
FeelNot really a wedding barn – it’s an oak framed hall with views over a golf course. Oak beans and massive windows gives a very bright feel. A countryside feel with plenty of charm… but nor rustic or industrial.
ToiletsYes
Catering facilitiesCatering all included
DIY?Not really – it’s a full package sort of venue
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes
Accommodation on siteYes – Griffon Forrest Lodges are near the hall.
Guest capacity220
Transport nearbyRegular Coastliner bus from A64 nearby to York
CorkageAll drinks are provided by the venue
Tables and chairsProvided (assumed)
Heating Not mentioned – but as it’s not a rustic barn, it will be heated.

9. Woollas Barn

One of the beautiful rustic spaces at Woollas barn wedding venue near York

Image taken from the Woollas Barn website

VenueWoollas Barn
Location20 minutes south west of York (Appleton Roebuck)
FeelThis traditional rustic barn is on a proper working farm. It has been renovated to a beautiful standard and retains all it’s rural charm. Unlike some modern renovations, this venue hasn’t lost any of it’s character when the family converted it into a wedding barn.
ToiletsUnsure – no mention on website
Catering facilitiesLarge kitchen available – you need to provide your own catering
DIY?Very much – this is a blank canvas type of space
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes
Accommodation on siteNo – but the local village has BnBs
Guest capacity160
Transport nearbyNot really. But the village has pubs and accommodation.
CorkageDrinks packages are available, so you probably can’t provide your own
Tables and chairsYou can provide your own… unsure if they provide any
Heating Not mentioned
Places to stay in Appleton Roebuck near Woollas barn wedding venue

10. Hornington Manor

Inside the wedding barn at Hornington Manor near York

Image taken from the Hornington Manor website

VenueHornington Manor
Location20 minutes south west of York (near Bolton Percy)
FeelFully renovated, retaining some rustic character, this is a luxury wedding space with contemporary touches.
ToiletsYes
Catering facilitiesProvide your own caterer (they can recommend some)
DIY?You can decorate the barn however you wish
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes – inside and outside
Accommodation on siteYes – the Manor sleeps 44 guests
Guest capacity200
Transport nearbyNot really – would need to be pre arranged
CorkageCan’t take your own alcohol – must use their drinks package
Tables and chairsAssumed included
HeatingAssumed

11. Priory Barn and cottages

Upstairs in the wedding barn at Priory Cottages

image taken from Priory barn website

VenuePriory Barn
Location23 minutes west of York (towards Wetherby)
FeelOne of the smaller wedding barns (they add a marquee on for larger weddings) a contemporary renovation of a traditional stone barn with courtyard and cottages on site
ToiletsYes
Catering facilitiesNot sure
DIY?Seems to be a done for you type of service
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes
Accommodation on siteYes – 7 cottages
Guest capacity60 barn only, or 150 including marquee
Transport nearby
CorkageThere is a bar, so probably not available
Tables and chairsProvided
HeatingAssumed

12. Barmbyfield barns

Barmbyfield barns near Pocklington

Photo taken from their website

VenueBarmbyfield barns
Location27 minutes east of York (near Pocklington)
FeelA collection of traditional barns renovated to retain rustic feel.
ToiletsYes
Catering facilitiesYes – they have catering partners they can recommend
DIY?Blank canvas – you decorate it yourself
Registered for legal ceremony?Yes
Accommodation on siteNo
Guest capacity220
Transport nearbyNo, but less than 1 miles from local village which has a pub.
CorkageFull bar service provided
Tables and chairsAvailable for 120 guests
HeatingYes – heating and a log burner mentioned
3D tour of Barmbyfield barns here

Inspiration for wedding barn weddings

 Inspiration for barn weddings can be found on Pinterest, where there are lots of boards dedicated to the rustic theme.

I also have a blog post of a real-life wedding at the Yorkshire wedding barn near Richmond (too far away from York to have made the list below) which is a purpose build wedding barn complex in North Yorkshire.

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