There are so many brilliant things to mention about having a wedding at Ashridge Court. Firstly, the venue is stunning! The barn looks very medieval and the Magic Circle (the part that sealed the deal for us) is surrounded by acer trees and really does feel like you are blissfully in nature. The best thing to do is go for a visit.
I feel I should specifically mention the booking process. After going for a visit and deciding we wanted to have our wedding there, we sent over our deposit to secure the date. It really was that easy - no hidden hurdles to jump through at all. Cat then sent us a list of companies who they've used before to get tables and chairs from. Once we decided, Cat put all the information into a document and updated us periodically, which was very useful because there were a number of occasions when we'd forgotten what it is we'd ordered!
We decided to go down the route of taking ownership of our wedding, by doing all the catering/decorating/ in-house by getting various family members involved. This meant that we were able to keep everything as chilled as possible. However, if it were not for Cat and her wonderful team working their magic in the background on the day, it wouldn't have run as seamlessly as it did. Cat is incredibly dedicated - she was even lugging around chairs whilst having a splint on both her thumbs!
For the price, you will be surprised with how much you get. Of course, you will have use of the Great Barn and the Magic Circle for the ceremony, but you will also have use of the walled garden (which is full of beautiful plants and some ducks); huge amounts of car parking; a field; the kitchen full of crockery, plates, cutlery, glasses, mugs etc; and an extra barn full of stuff you never even knew you needed, such as signage, table tennis, extra tables, jam jars etc. I cannot stress enough how useful having all this available was.
Another really vital part was having the venue over a three night period. Having a gorgeous B&B on site meant that we could take time to relax and enjoy the experience. One of my favourite parts of the whole wedding, was sitting on the rocking chair on Thursday night (two days before the wedding), with a cup of tea and watching the sunset. There is a large area of grass outside the B&B where some of our camping guests could stay, which was brilliant.
Although North Tawton itself is quite rural, no one had any issues with booking accommodation. There were a few guests who booked quite late (we're talking a few weeks before the wedding), but again, there was no problem with finding somewhere.
Five reasons to pick this venue: the stunning grounds and facilities; the welcoming vibe of the place; the ability to decorate and do whatever you want with the barn and magic circle; the helpful and open-minded management team; really good value for money.
Finally, If you are part of the LGBT community, this is a very friendly and welcoming place, so you need not worry about how you will be received. Cat and her team will look after you, just as she would anyone else.