Check this grand ol’ place out!

This is the beautiful Broughton Hall, up near Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales

I made a special trip up there earlier this week to visit their ultra-modern award-winning venue, UTOPIA, designed by Sir Michael Hopkins.

I was up to meet Kelly, who it seems co-ordinate many of the doings around the vast Broughton Hall estate, as well as green-fingered Lynne from the fabulous Stems Design and Steve from GFS Catering, to throw some ideas around for the future of weddings at Utopia & Broughton.

Utopia is located within the original Hall Walled Garden, a peaceful place of retreat, bursting with scenic gardens.

Originally opened in 2006 to provide state-of-the-art meeting, training and promotional events space, and to offer on-site facilities for those working on site; it has now becoming a super popular location to host a wedding reception.

I love the fact that whatever the weather, and it was a pretty disappointingly gloomy day when I was up, light washes into this place from all sides.

The food on offer is of an excellent standard, but on wedding occasions, outside catering is provided exclusively by GFS I love the natural colours and details everywhere.  It has a scandinavian quality to it.

Stones on the slate-topped tables outside were even engraved with a U Lynne asked if I’d snap an image of the fire pits she can offer for wedding evening receptions.

What a great idea for a lazy summer evening receptions; gathering round a portable fire as the evening settles in and temperatures dip.

She also had with her some giant lanterns too that merited a quick snap.

After our meeting was over, I took the opportunity to have a good stroll round a few of the Grade 1 listed Hall’s 3000+ acres of grounds!

The Broughton Hall Estate has been in the Tempest Family for over 900 years (we met Roger Tempest, the 39th air, while chatting with the gang).
The cherry blossom was out and looked quite delightful.

The Hall’s origins date back to 1597, and many of the surrounding historic buildings (The Home Farm, The Saw Mill to The Water Mill and Stable Courtyard for example) have been converted into the Broughton Hall Business Park where over 50 companies are based.

On my meander I bumped into and had a natter with the groundskeeper (who had a beautiful and impressively well behaved Spaniel), and the upkeep of this place is immaculate and must take a ridiculous amount of work! Some of the buildings were really quaint, with an almost American quality to them (though I bet I’ve just offended someone!)

On the wedding front, on site they’ve got a Catholic chapel which can perform marriages, and about 5 minutes round the corner is a Church of England church.Everything was so beautifully topiared (word?), to an almost fairy tale quality!

Back where I parked my car, the sheep were doing their jobs, keeping the grass short and the grounds neat!

From the woodlands, rivers and moorland, to the wildlife, architecture and proximity to transport links, Broughton Hall Estate would make a brilliant spot to host a wedding.  I think my problem in such an outstanding spot, would be not knowing where to start the shoot…

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