Oxfordshire, famous for the City of Oxford and the internationally renowned Oxford University but actually, Oxfordshire is about so much more than the dreaming spires of academia and the “city of aquatint” extolled by Evelyn Waugh in his novel, ‘Brideshead Revisited’.
Oxfordshire has one of the greatest selections of unusual and imaginative wedding venues and is streets ahead of some of the other Shire counties for sheer originality and innovation. However, couples can also rely on stylish and traditional venues which Oxfordshire offers in abundance.
Located to the north west of London between the Chiltern Hills and the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Oxfordshire has a rich rural landscape peppered with picturesque villages, ancient manor houses and stone barns and a total smorgasbord of attractive wedding venues for the discerning bride and groom.
Choose a small stately home or splendid Georgian mansion with landscaped gardens, some with riverside settings on the Thames, also known as the Isis. There is a huge array of quality and distinctive wedding venues in Oxfordshire, some offering exclusive occupation and the capacity to accommodate plenty of wedding guests and all with stunning locations. One or two of these venues offer grandeur with a quirky twist so if you are looking for a splendid backdrop with a distinct difference then make sure you browse all of the options as some of these houses have chosen quite a different design to what you might expect.
If you really fancy pushing the boat out then why not marry at Blenheim Palace, a masterpiece of 18th century Baroque architecture in a landscaped park. Blenheim Palace is the birthplace and ancestral home of Winston Churchill and situated just twenty minutes from the centre of Oxford.
It is hard to overlook Oxford as a city and if you want an upbeat town vibe to your wedding then Oxford has plenty of options. There are cool wedding venues with a humanist vibe, riverside weddings with just green space and tents or tipis and some with a distinct artisan, city feel. Choose a riverside setting where the bride and groom arrive by boat. Contemporary options include former industrial buildings stylishly converted into art galleries with niche cuisine for the reception.
A more traditional Oxford wedding must involve selecting one of the colleges as the quintessential stylish backdrop, they are hard to beat with ancient stone courtyards surrounding beautifully manicured lawns and exhaling what Evelyn Waugh described as “the soft airs of centuries of youth”.
Oxfordshire has the benefit of excellent travel links from all over the UK due to its location – Oxford is only sixty miles from London. Train services are operated by First Great Western and take around ninety minutes from Paddington in the capital. The central road link is the M40 motorway which was extended into Oxfordshire in 1991. All the London airports are less than seventy miles away, the closest is London Luton which is forty miles away and Birmingham airport is also accessible at around fifty miles distance.