Event venues that will go down in history!
If you want your next event to go down in history take a look at our top list of conference and event venues with an exciting heritage to draw inspiration from.
It's not only castles and historic houses that have stunning meeting and event spaces available for hire - we can point you in the direction of plenty of unusual and unique venues in South East England offering an exciting twist for your next meeting or event.
Can we tempt you with a private dinner in the venue where HRH Prince Charles was married or in a 900-year-old English castle with views at every turn of the surrounding moat? Maybe you prefer a Neo-Classical style mansion full of rustic charm or under the wings of a Harrier Jump Jet? All is possible in the South East of England, just a stone's throw from London.
3 Spaces | Max Capacity 120 delegates
Max Capacity 100 | 8 Bedrooms | 2 Bedroom Self Catering
Max Capacity 200 | 20 Bedrooms including 8 State bedrooms
3 Spaces | Max Capacity 120 delegates
Step back in time and host your conference or event in the historic Portsmouth Guildhall. Completed in 1890 by architect William Hill, the building was originally named the Town Hall and drew inspiration from Hill's earlier design of Bolton Town Hall. Renamed the Guildhall in 1926, the building suffered catastrophic damage during WWII but survived thanks to the resilience of Portsmouth and its people. Rebuilt and reopened in 1959 by HM The Queen, the Guildhall is now a leading conference and concert venue. Experience the city's indomitable spirit at the Portsmouth Guildhall.
The Queens Hotel Portsmouth
The Queens Hotel sits on the edge of Southsea Common just a few minutes’ walk from the beach. Within walking distance is the D-Day Museum and Historic Dockyard, home to the Royal Navy and attractions such as HMS Warrior, HMS Victory and The Mary Rose. Originally built in 1861 by Augustus Livesay, Southsea House was first constructed as a large private home for Sir John and Lady Morris. The house was situated in an almost identical position to the front half of the existing hotel, but was at that time surrounded by woodland – stone woods – and the Royal Albert Yacht Club. In the latter part of the 19th century, around 1865, during a boom in construction and tourism in Southsea, the house was converted into a hotel by William Kemp Junior. The Queens became one of the first hotels in Portsmouth. The current owners took over in April 2017 and commenced a painstaking, multi-million pound restoration and redevelopment of the hotel to return her to her former glory.
The Bodleian Libraries provide a spectacular setting for all corporate and private events, including lectures, presentations, drinks receptions, dinners and awards ceremonies. The Divinity School is one of the oldest surviving purpose-built rooms in Oxford University. This hall was designed to impress and celebrate the University as a centre of great learning and importance. Over the road, Blackwell Hall, is a bright and airy atrium space with a colonnade overlooking Broad Street, a smooth stone floor, high ceilings and a visible gallery of books. The Bodleian Libraries continues to impress as some of the most beautiful event spaces in Oxford today.
Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower
Gosport, Near Portsmouth
The Grand Magazine at Explosion Museum boasts a magnificent vaulted ceiling and beautiful Georgian wood floors that could hold up to 4500 barrels of gunpowder in its heyday. The Grand Magazine can seat up to 120 guests theatre style or 150 for a seated dinner. You can also make use of our camber basin for reception drinks and photographs, with beautiful views of the waterfront and the Naval Dockyard.
The pride of Queen Victoria’s fleet, HMS Warrior offers an iconic and unforgettable backdrop for your event. Launched in 1860, her timber frame tells over 150 years of history and is awaiting your occasion to become part of it. HMS Warrior has a variety of spaces perfect for a variety of occasions from weddings and private dining through to corporate hire from 20 to 240 guests.
Princess Royal Gallery
With capacity for up to 100, the Princess Royal Gallery at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard boasts spectacular views of both HMS Victory and across Portsmouth Harbour. The space comes complete with historic naval objects and paintings as points of interest for your guests. Opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, this venue offers a large flexible space that can accommodate meetings, conferences, receptions and private dinners during both during the day and evening.
Housed in the magnificent Boathouse No.6 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Action Stations offers a wide range of facilities for conference and event organisers. The combination of a spacious auditorium, Horizon Suite and open plan first floor make it a truly unique and versatile venue. The 275 seated auditorium and 100 seated Horizon suite both come complete with video conferencing systems, perfect for hybrid events. Both spaces also feature full sound system, radio microphones and lectern. Clients can opt to add on the open plan first floor as a networking or exhibition space. Looking for a post event dinner or reception? Speak to our team about the other historic spaces we can offer at the Dockyard including HMS Warrior and HMS Victory.
This is the home of the Carmelite Friars and they have been here since 1242. They were forced from their Priory in 1538 but returned 400 years later in 1949. You will find one of the finest Medieval courtyards in England and a 17th Century thatched barn. It has provided a hostelry for pilgrims since the late 1200's. When the Carmelite family returned in the mid-20th century, they restored the chapels and gardens. Well worth a visit is a look inside the
Reading Town Hall
Reading Town Hall enjoys a long and illustrious history. It consists of four buildings built in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1786 the oldest building - the Victoria Hall - opened as a purpose-built town hall designed by Charles Poulton. Reading Town Hall survived the threat of demolition in the 1970s and was comprehensively refurbished in the late 1980s. It has undergone further changes to meet modern requirements and now hosts a leading conference and banqueting venue, Reading Museum, and the Berkshire Coroner's Office. The Town Hall is also the visitor hub for exploring the historic Reading Abbey Quarter with The Pantry cafe.
University of Reading | Venue Reading
The Meadow Suite which is a multi-functional airconditioned room located in the traditional setting of Park House, Whiteknights and boasts plenty of natural daylight. This modern room can be customised to meet your requirements and is suitable for all types of events, including training days, workshops, day meetings, and residential conferences. The Meadow suite comes fully equipped with AV & presenting technology including 4 large screens.
Cliveden is unique. One of the world's finest luxury hotels, this grand stately home is set in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and parkland with panoramic views over the River Thames. From the French Dining Room to the Waldo's, the Motor House or Cellars Dining Room the 8 meeting/event spaces are each full of their own character, charm and history. The standards set 100 years ago by Lady Astor are still rigorously maintained today ensuring the highest quality meeting or event is achieved and every delegate leaves being inspired, rejuvenated and with a story to tell.
8 Meeting/Event Spaces | Maximum Capacity Theatre Style 50 | 48 Bedrooms
This elegant grade 1 listed building, designed by Sir Thomas Fitch and completed 1689 is steeped in history and a dominant feature of the town. Set among the splendour of historic Windsor with its easy access, famous visitor attractions and superb shopping and dining offer, Windsor Guildhall is an ideal venue for meetings, gala dinners and weddings. There are two rooms available. The imposing Council Chamber houses a fine collection of royal portraits spanning the years between Queen Elizabeth I and HM Queen Elizabeth II. The Chamber also features two impressive solid brass chandeliers, each weighing over 6cwt, which are on permanent loan from HM The Queen. The intimate Ascot Room was chosen by HRH Prince Charles for his civil ceremony in 2005 and again later the same year by Sir Elton John for his civil partnership. Whether you are searching for a venue for a wedding or family celebration, gala dinner, drinks reception or meeting, Windsor Guildhall is sure to impress.
2 Function Rooms Max Capacity 100 Theatre Style
The Grange Hampshire
The Grange Hampshire is the epitome of elegantly distressed chic. Once the home of Alexander Baring, a hunting lodge for the Prince Regent and the meeting place of Churchill and Eisenhower pre the D-Day landings, today it is a space to make your own. A semi-derelict neo-classical mansion with a plush 590 seat auditorium and its own vineyard, with access to fabulous countryside, cottages for overnight stays, and a farmhouse with drawing rooms. Sophie and her team are experts at helping businesses achieve the results they need from their events and will help design bespoke itineraries that make the most out of the available space
‘The team offer a range of team-building exercises grounded in the heritage of the estate and its sustainable focus
4 Spaces | Capacity for up to 590 guests | 4 Self catering properties | Camping Space
The Old Ship Hotel
The four-star Old Ship Hotel is an historic Georgian hotel that overlooks Brighton beach. Just a 5-minute walk from Brighton Pier, Brighton Pavillion and The Lanes, parts of the hotel date back to 1559 and it features 10 flexible meeting rooms, including the historic Paganini and Regency Rooms, and can seat up to 250 delegates theatre style in the largest room. Close to Brighton mainline train station and only 31 miles from London Gatwick Airport it has excellent transport links, 154 bedrooms (49 with sea views), private dining opportunities in the 400-year old cellars and is the perfect South Coast conference destination.
12 Function Rooms | Max Theatre Capacity 250 | 154 Bedrooms
Fifteen centuries of English history lie behind the iconic Winchester Cathedral. It stands at the heart of historic Winchester, once the seat of Anglo-Saxon and Norman royal power. Alongside the Cathedral itself the extensive grounds offer a variety of alternative venues to suit the size and style of your event as well. Their friendly and professional event team is always here to help, both with the planning and on the day and can put together a bespoke event package to suit a wide range of budgets.
5 meeting spaces | Capacities of 80 theatre style
Guildhall Winchester is a magnificent Victorian building situated in the heart of Winchester, and one of the largest and most flexible meeting spaces in Hampshire. Only an hour away from London, 11 miles from Southampton Parkway Airport and a short walk from the Train Station, the Guildhall is an historic part of the Winchester, boasting an attractive and convenient location with City Centre car parks and a range of hotels in close proximity. With 14 flexible and varied venue spaces, choose from the King Charles Hall built in 1871, the Mayors Parlour –housing photographs of Mayors dating back to 1900, or the quirky Courtyard with low ceilings and pillars used as the cells of a police station in 1873.
11 spaces | Capacities of up to 520 theatre style
Built in 1119 by Robert de Crevecoeur Leeds Castle and most famously owned by Henry VIII. Leeds Castle in Kent is considered “the loveliest castle in the world”. It offers an historic setting for meetings and conferences in the 900 year old Castle and Tudor Maiden’s Tower. Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland, with luxury bedrooms Leeds Castle is the perfect venue to mix business with pleasure. One mile from Junction 8 off the M20, within easy reach of London.
7 spaces | Capacities of up to 100 theatre style.
Marwell Hall at Marwell Zoo
Once the home of Sir Henry Seymour, brother of Henry VIII's third wife, Marwell Hall takes centre stage at the award winning Marwell Zoo. With three beautifully decorated spaces of varying sizes, some retaining links to their Tudor past, this venue enables you to combine history and heritage with fun team building experiences for your delegates to enjoy. Alongside our conference packages we offer various exciting additional activities including sunset safaris, explorer trails and team building games. Booking your event with us carries a range of added benefits. These include entrance to the zoo, unlimited free parking, organiser loyalty scheme and complimentary Wi-Fi.
3 Spaces | Max Capacity 80 delegates
Mercure Dolphin Hotel
A stunning grade II listed 4-star hotel located in the heart of Southampton – offering a modern and contemporary feel, while retaining its traditional appeal. Situated in the heart of the city, Mercure Dolphin Hotel is the oldest hotel in Southampton and is steeped in tradition and packed full of character and history. The hotel offers guests a truly memorable experience. The hotel has two meeting rooms which both offer tonnes of natural daylight and are of a good size with high ceilings, providing the perfect venue for any meeting or event.
2 Meeting/Event Spaces | Maximum Capacity Theatre Style 100 | 99 Bedrooms
Oakley Hall Hotel
Built in 1795, Oakley Hall has a distinguished and fascinating past. The author Jane Austen was a friend of the Bramston family – the then owners – she was a frequent visitor to Oakley Hall and it is mentioned fondly in Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra. The 18th Century Georgian manor house is a beautifully contemporary and elegant venue, with 8 stunning function spaces illuminated by striking chandeliers and 50 luxurious bedrooms including the charming Garden Cottage.
Adjoining Oakley Hall’s splendid Grade II listed Manor house, the stunning Garden Pavilion has recently opened. One of Hampshire’s finest, most glamorous yet versatile conference and function spaces, it is capable of varying configurations, with a day conferencing capacity of 400 delegates.
9 meeting spaces | Max Capacities 106 Main House | 400 in Garden Pavilion | 50 Bedrooms