Unique & Unusual Venues to inspire
A unique space can boost engagement, attendee numbers and makes for a very special day. The South East of England has a whole host of unique and unusual venues, from art galleries to zoo's, historic ships to venues in places of outstanding natural beauty.
Here at MEETbeyondLondon we a delighted to showcase some of the most unusual venue spaces in the South, Here you will find out-of-the-ordinary function rooms and quirky meeting spaces, conference venues full of history and heritage and venues that make your delegates go WOW.
Looking for venue in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire or Sussex, take a look below to find out more. From breakfast meetings to product launches, conferences from 6 to 150 or more, private dining spaces or venues with team building activities we can help with it all.
Reaching the South East couldn't be easier, just 30 mins to 90 mins from London, with direct road and rail links. For international visitors both Gatwick and Southampton airports are in the region, along with the Channel Tunnel and a host of international ferry ports.
3 Spaces | Max Capacity 120 delegates
Max Capacity 100 | 8 Bedrooms | 2/4 Bedroom Self Catering
Up to 100 delegates |169 bedrooms
3 Spaces | Max Capacity 120 delegates
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.
Famous for producing Balfour Brut Rosé, one of the most iconic and exclusive English sparkling wines, Balfour Winery is set within the beautiful Kent Countryside. This stunning vineyard offers a sophisticated 'Cellar Door' visitor Center which provides a unique event space for corporate and private events. Set amongst vast woodland, vineyards and orchard, the team will be able to work with you to tailor your event and provide a bespoke package to incorporate learning about winemaking, viticulture and wine masterclasses, tours and tastings.
Battel Hall at Leeds Castle
Battle Hall offers seclusion and luxury with 5 en suite bedrooms and a dedicated housekeeping services. An oak paneled dining room for up to 14 delegates with on-site chef, private lawn and outdoor terrace with direct access to the library and morning room allowing light and fresh air to flood the manor house.
The Hall is part of the Leeds Castle estate offering you all the benefits of having a large experienced team on your doorstep, but in a secluded private environment. Enjoy team building activities such golf, falconry experiences, Segway tours or take advantage of 2000 acres, the chance to punt on the moat or explore the history of the castle.
1 Space | Capabilities of up to 14 delegates
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.
Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery
The Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Whitchurch, Hampshire, sits in a leafy conservation area, just 60 miles from London and 15 miles from Winchester. The site dates back to 10th century; but was most notably a Victorian paper mill, which produced all the banknote paper for the Bank of England and the British Empire. The distillery is the first ever refurbishment project and distillery to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating for sustainability due to its innovative sustainable design, and showcases the iconic Heatherwick Studio-designed glasshouses which house examples of all ten of the botanicals which make Bombay Sapphire gin so exquisite. The Glasshouses have been built to rise out of the crystal clear River Test which runs right through the middle of the venue.
3 Spaces | Capacity of up to 200
Chichester Catherdral sits at the heart of this market town half way between Portsmouth and Worthing. The stunning Nave stretches the whole length of the Cathedral and makes for a unique space for a gala dinner, reception or concert. The Vicars Hall is a beautiful medieval banqueting space ideal for 60 - 100, the charming Eastern Arm of the Catherdral Cloisters is an ideal space for a private drinks reception or networking event and the smaller meeting rooms ideal for interviews, team meetings or private lunches. At your request the team cater for all tastes when it comes to food, choose from working lunches to full three course dining and our onsite accommodation means your guests do not have to travel far.
5 Meeting/Event Spaces | Max Capacity 100 | 8 Bedrooms | 2/4 Bedroom Self Catering
.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.
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.
Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre
At Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre, we pride ourselves on being a truly unique venue that offers something special for every event. With a rich aviation history and contemporary architecture, we're the perfect setting for everything from trade shows and exhibitions to gala dinners. Our team of experienced event planners is dedicated to bringing your vision to life and ensuring that your event is unforgettable. The venue is known for its sleek and modern design, which offers a unique backdrop for any event.
God's House Tower
God's House Tower is one of Southampton’s newest hire spaces, and a unique venue in one of the city’s most important historic monuments. Standing at the entrance to Southampton's Old Town, this 700 year old building has been renovated to create a new arts and heritage centre which can be hired exclusively for corporate events, parties, launches and meetings, or on a room-by-room basis. With four events spaces available set in the heart of the city it is situated just 20 minutes walk from Southampton's train station.
4 Events Spaces | Max Capacity Theatre Style 60
Green Park Conference Centre
There are several miles worth of footpaths and trails around Green Park. What better way to get your daily dose of exercise than a brisk walk on a nice day whilst on a break from your meeting? And if walking isn’t up to your speed, there are always plenty of bikes to hire.
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.
Hobbs of Henley
Our passenger vessels are available all year around for any style of corporate event, from product launches to workshops. Hot breakfast and lunch options, fresh tea and coffee, as well as onboard heating will keep you warm and cosy during the winter months. Our flagship New Orleans vessel even has wifi, and use of a 55in Smart television so you can communicate and present easily to your colleagues. We offer a unique venue making a refreshing change from the normal boardroom or hotel. Whatever the weather, there is always something special to observe along this stretch of the River Thames.
Steeped in unique history, Leeds Castle in Kent offers an extraordinary twist to your next meeting or event. Most famously owned by Henry VIII, Leeds Castle has also been renowned for welcoming politicians, royalty and stars of the silver screen through its doors for special events, talks and celebrations. The Castle today offers stunning meeting and event spaces available for exclusive hire, and brings together a myriad of options for businesses and groups in one historic site. With its incredible meeting rooms, luxury accommodation, on-site Falconry Centre, and vast parkland as a perfect base for your team building activities, Leeds Castle has everything and more to give your team a day to remember. One mile from Junction 8 off the M20, within easy reach of London.
7 Spaces | Theatre Capacity 100 | 20 Bedrooms
Marwell Hall at Marwell Zoo
Take a break from the norm and hold your business event in our zoo. It’s a sure fire way to create a buzz.
Conferences, Team Building Days, product launches and more– our historic Marwell Hall is based in the centre of the zoo and can cater for all types of events, with plenty of outdoor space for team building activities. Alongside our Conference packages we offer various exciting additional activities. 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 | Maximum Capacity 120 delegates (15 - 80 Marwell Hall/ 15-120 Lecture Theatre)
Oakley Hall Hotel
Hold your next meeting or conference here in this stunning period country property with its choice of 7 beautifully elegant function rooms combined with all mod cons such as air conditioning, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi, and a fabulous 2 AA RosSette Glasshouse Restaurant. With 50 luxurious bedrooms including 2 Four Poster Suites and a charming 3 bedroom Garden Cottage, Oakley Hall Hotel is set within 315 acres of grounds just 40 miles from London Heathrow airport and 6 miles from Basingstoke with excellent direct train links to London Waterloo.
Adjoining Oakley Hall’s splendid Grade II listed Manor house, is the brand new Garden Pavilion opened May 2018. This glamorous yet versatile space has varying configurations offering a function capacity of up to 380 guests. or day conferencing up to 400 delegates.
9 Spaces | Theatre Capacity 106 in main house | 400 in Garden Pavilion | 50 Bedrooms
One of the finest hotels in Reading, Pentahotel sits at the heart of Berkshire’s Royal heritage surrounded by castles, churches and outstanding natural beauty. Pentahotel Reading is a 206-bedroom, six floor concept designed with style and comfort in mind. At the heart is the iconic Pentalounge: part bar, part restaurant and part chill-out area, it’s an ideal place to unwind after a long day or get together to plan your next adventure.
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.
Royal Adelaide Hotel, Windsor
Looking for a comfortable, cosy environment to hold meetings? The Royal Adelaide Hotel is the perfect conference venue for comfy conferences. There is plenty of natural light and air conditioning for you and your colleagues to stay relaxed throughout the day. And if your team choose to stay overnight we have 36 ensuite bedrooms available too. A unique approach to conferencing that can give your events the edge they need!
Southampton City Art Gallery
Southampton city centre
Southampton City Art Gallery is situated in the Art Deco Civic Centre, a short distance from Southampton central train station. The Art Gallery has a collection of more than 5,300 works of art and exhibitions are changed on a regular basis. The collection contains works by famous artists including J.M.W. Turner, Claude Monet and Edward Burne-Jones. The core, however, is British twentieth century and contemporary art. The Gallery can accommodate 475 delegates throughout the entire space, or 300 for a standing reception in the Grand Hall. Our internal caterers can provide drinks, canapes and cold food. The Gallery is also a beautiful setting for live music, weddings or performances. Our exquisite paintings and sculptures provide the perfect backdrop for wedding couples and corporate clients seeking a unique venue within the city centre. Seating can be provided for up to 120 people
4 spaces | Capacities of up to 475 standing
Sparsholt College - Conference & Events Centre
Sparsholt Conferences and Events is the perfect venue with wonderful views and fantastic flexible space for a variety of events. We have our newly refurbished purpose-built conference centre, Westley Court, as well as other flexible spaces for your conferencing and event requirements. Enjoy 450 acres of countryside to run team building activities or take advantage of the indoor facilities for ice-breakers and workshops.
3 Spaces | Capabilities of up to 130 theatre style
The Friars, is the home of the ancient order of Carmelite Friars in England. The Friars still live here and offer peace and retreat for visitors and those who are undertaking pilgrimages. Business visitors are welcome here too. Private dining events can be hosted here in the Pilgrims Hall.
Wasing Park nestled in the heart of the Berkshire countryside offers historic buildings for conferences; beautiful grounds including the Secret Walled Garden, stunning lakes and woodlands, as well as a boutique hotel offering a unique luxurious overnight experience.
Less than an hour from London and with easy access from the M3 and M4, Wasing prides itself on offering a bespoke experience to suit your needs whether it’s a small meeting or a large company away day. There is an endless list of activities including Segwaying, quad-biking, archery and yoga. For the truly adventurous combine camping with foraging and camp craft skills! Wasing’s chef can create menus for every need, from the latest trend in street food to fine dining experiences.
6 Meeting Spaces | Castle Barn 160 theatre style | Outside venues 200 | 26 Bedrooms
Located within an hour from London, there can be few more evocative venues for your event than Winchester Cathedral, widely regarded as one of Europe’s finest medieval Cathedrals. Whether you are planning a conference, meeting, client dinner, drinks reception, summer or Christmas party; you will find a venue option to suit the size and style of your event.
Many of the venues offer stunning views of the majestic Winchester Cathedral, from the beautiful Orchard Garden Marquee and Refectory to the contemporary Wessex Centre and Paul Woodhouse Suite. For more intimate events, the medieval Undercroft provides a quaint historic setting. Private group tours of the Cathedral can also be arranged to further enhance your guests’ experience.
5 Spaces | Capacities up to 600 delegates
Only an hour away from London, 11 miles from Southampton Airport and a short walk from Winchester Train Station, the Guildhall boasts an attractive and convenient location in Winchester City Centre. Built in 1871 and opened in 1873, the Guildhall has a rich history which is shown through the historic event spaces, uniquely named rooms and beautiful architecture. The Guildhall has 12 event spaces suitable for 2 – 600 event attendees and is perfect for a range of events including conferences, meetings, exhibitions, product launches and training events as well as weddings and private hire.
12 Spaces | Capabilities of up to 500 theatre style
The National Oceanography Centre
The National Oceanography Centre is able to offer bespoke, tailor-made packages to cater to the requirements of your event at our unique waterside building in Southampton. With up to 25 bookable meeting spaces and years of event-hosting experience, we are the perfect venue to host your event.