The 37 coolest party palaces
Got a big birthday celebration looming? Or fancy a weekend away with your squad? We've sniffed out the 37 dreamiest party palaces across the land, available for exclusive hire. Grab your gang and let's go!
BEDFORDSHIRE BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CAMBRIDGESHIRE CORNWALL DEVON GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIRE ISLE OF WIGHT KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORTHAMPTONSHIRE NORFOLK RUTLAND OXFORDSHIRE SOMERSET SUFFOLK SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE
Church House Berkshire, Grazeley, Berkshire
Looking for a party pad that’s sexier than a hot priest? Take a pew and drink in the splendour of Church House Berkshire in Grazeley, near Reading. Sleeping 8-12 people, it’s a stunning former Victorian church, full of original features, glam interiors and has had starring role in Made In Chelsea. Totes amazing. This ecclesiastical gem has been fitted with state-of-the-art home tech; has an open-plan lounge with wood burner, a cinema room, plus a hot tub, large garden and the original pulpit is perfect for party preachers. You don’t even have to lift a finger – the concierge team can organise anything from catering and cocktails to a murder mystery and vodka luges. Muddy will hear your confession now… churchhouseberkshire.co.uk
Braywood House Estate, Winkfield, Windsor
Perfect for a right royal knees up, Braywood House Estate is a stonking Victorian vicarage, with onsite concierge, just a stone’s throw from Windsor (squint and Harry and Meghan are practically neighbours). The eclectic decor will satisfy interior-obsessed hipsters – think acid bright details, zebra rugs and garden chandeliers. Owners James and Rachael pride themselves on their family offering (not suitable for under 2s though) and you can’t argue with 10 acres of forestry and gardens with woodland play area, a zip wire, treehouse and fire pit for nights round the campfire toasting marshmallows. Plus you’re free to roam the Crown Estate forest (Shhh! Braywood has special permission to do this) – perfect for Royal stalkers, I mean, spotters. Unusually for self-catering properties you can book your stay like a hotel, from two nights or weeks at a time. How about forever? braywoodhouseestate.co.uk
Brooklands Barn, Arundel, West Sussex
Perfect for a big gathering of family or friends, converted 19th century Brooklands Barn at Arundel boasts 10 bedrooms (sleeping up to 20 total), a kitchen and open plan living area with wood burner and large dining table for meals together. There’s also a studio room and a sauna and heated indoor pool all set around a large courtyard. Chill out in rural surrounds just a 15 minute walk from historic Arundel. You can see the famous castle from the two acre private gardens and you’re also close to Goodwood’s famous racing circuits for fun days out, or gift experiences like flights and spa days if you’re celebrating someone’s special occasion. brooklandsbarn.co.uk
‘Wonderland’, Henfield, West Sussex
For the Sussex Muddy Award winners’ drinks this year our rather quirky venue was the party barn at Rye Farm, Henfield where a series of exotic interconnecting tented rooms with evocative names like Bombay Boudoir, Purple Palace and La Rouge have been constructed to showcase the Arabian Tent Company‘s collection of party and wedding options, all handmade in India. You can use the permanent structure for your own party then you and your guests can crash afterwards in a series of fun rentals on the same site, from a retro airstream caravan to a dome tent, to the colourful Lake House. The varied accommodation sleeps a total 16+ guests over 8 bedrooms and is known collectively as ‘Wonderland’. airbnb.co.uk
Tatham House, nr Bishop’s Lydeard
Tatham House, a sprawling elegant period house sleeping up to 22 people (and two dogs), set in three acres of grounds overlooking the Quantocks is a home from – really large and luxurious – home with space for everyone to party together and yet also do their own thing. Sip icy white wine as you (or the chef – they can arrange one for you) prepare food in the high spec, open-plan kitchen and then dine around the vast wooden table. Cosy up in the snug or slip away through a secret door into the library. Shoot the breeze in two interconnecting living rooms with French windows out into the gardens or shoot a target in the grounds; pistols (not necessarily at dawn), archery, fishing, off-roading, quad bikes and riding can all be arranged. Play ping pong, tennis or have swim in the indoor pool. Enjoy a massage, watch a movie in the cinema room, laze in the hot tub or out the wraparound terrace. See? They’ve thought of everything. There are 10 en suite bedrooms (one has a separate bathroom) with flat screen TVs; one bedroom is fully accessible. Two nights: weekend from £3,950; midweek from £3,250. Week (7 nights) from £7,200. thebighouseco.com
North Cadbury Court, North Cadbury
An historic 16th century mansion with a golf tee-off from the roof and casino and disco in the cellar – not to mention the spa, extra-large Jacuzzi, indoor swimming pool, bumper balls on the lawns, wood-pannelled rooms and more. North Cadbury Court are offering two-day, two-tier party packages from October to December, tailor made to your own requirements and with exclusive use of the house and grounds. We’re talking drinks and canapés in the Morning Room, festive dinners in the historic North Hall, cocktail-making masterclasses in the Ballroom, a spin of the roulette wheel, a live DJ, then, finally, sleep, in a four-poster bed. Phew. Luckily there’s a Recovery Breakfast the next morning. A sample midweek package, based on 25 guests single occupancy (though the house sleeps up to 50 sharing), including venue, catering, cocktails, casino, DJ and yoga is £9,725 or £389 per person. northcadburycourt.com
Grove Farm, Bucks
You’ll get free Prosecco and homemade brownies on arrival at this cosy farmhouse. Need more convincing? Grove Farm sleeps up to 17 in seven luxe bedrooms, with the newly refurbished interiors offering exposed beams, a huge open fire, comfy leather Chesterfields and a large colonial farmhouse table. The house has a rural location, with outside seating overlooking wild fields that lead on to the Chiltern Hills, however, it’s still close enough to bustling Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross if you want to head out for a meal or to a cocktail bar with the clan. kateandtoms.com
Hillmotts Farm, Beaconsfield
Wild weekender in the country, you say? Set within a 2,400 acre estate this newly refurbished country house within easy reach of London is just the ticket for a girls’ trip – it sleeps 12 in six bedrooms, has an outdoor hot tub and is surrounded by reams of woodland and countryside so no one will hear you blasting ABBA until the early hours. Plus all that country air will blast away the morning-after hangover. airbnb.co.uk
Beechwood House, Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire
Want to lord it over your party and impress friends with ability to sniff out the classiest of party pads? Then you need to book this Victorian beauty that sleeps 10 (or 14 if you book the adjoining self-contained studios) in the village of Fulbourn, just outside Cambridge. You can do everything from host a pool party in your private swimming pool, challenge friends to a badminton or croquet tournament on the perfectly manicured lawn or hold a Pimm’s reception on the terrace. You’re near enough to Cambridge to head into the city on by bike, but quite frankly, why bother when your digs are this luxurious – all 19th century charm meets mod cons and 21st century styling. beechwood-collection.co.uk
Fullers Hill Retreat, Little Gransden, Cambridgeshire
Like your parties with more chills than thrills? Fullers Hill Retreat, a collection of four luxuriously-renovated farm buildings around a courtyard in the Cambs countryside, is an idyllic place to spend the weekend with up to 14 friends who want to kick back and be waited on hand and foot. There are no supermarket deliveries to organise before you arrive… breakfast baskets and prepared lunches are provided, and there’s a personal chef and waiter to spoil you on the Friday and Saturday nights. During the day activities include yoga and mindfulness sessions, plus there’s a hot tub and you can pre-book spa treatments. If you’re not too zen after all that pampering, there’s a light and modern communal space in The Granary, which has high-end house party written all over it.
Arden House, Stratford-upon-Avon
The perfect party palace, this beautiful 10-bedroom boutique townhouse is an ideal space for get-together thanks to its prime location in central Stratford. There’s private parking, it’s dog-friendly and, if you hire out the whole building, you get a dedicated House Hosts to ensure your special occasion runs smoothly. Arrange private dining or alternatively enjoy delicious food, drinks and cocktails at Arden House’s award-winning sister hotel restaurant, No.44 Brasserie on the Waterside, only a 5 minute walk away, opposite the RSC theatres. Breakfast and afternoon tea is served in The Garden Room; 5pm is designated Gin O’Clock time and if guests are still peckish they can feel free to raid the bountiful pantry for treats and soft drinks. ardenhousestratford.com
Astley Castle, Nuneaton
Calling all queens! This regal rental has previously been owned by three female monarchs, including Lady Jane Grey. It also inspired 19th century novelist, George Eliot, who lived close by. One of the Landmark Trust’s most popular properties, this unique accommodation has been stitched into the ruined walls of a 13th century historic moated site to combine the thrill of modern architecture with the atmosphere of an ancient Game of Thrones-style film set. Abandoned to the elements and on the verge of collapse after a fire in 1978, the restoration of Astley Castle went on to win the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2013. It now sleeps 8 in two twins and two doubles and has views over the old pleasure gardens. Out and about, there are loads of walks, Coventry, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick are nearby if you fancy a slice of city life and you can visit Astley Book Farm, an Aladdin’s cave of second-hand tomes. landmarktrust.org.uk
Old Reservoir House, Noss Mayo
Always in the kitchen at parties? This luxe 6-bedroomed property on the banks of the River Yealm has a huuuuge open-plan kitchen-diner opening out onto a full-width balcony overlooking the water, spot on for a sit-down family gathering or a genteel soiree. It seats 12 but if you can’t face the catering, call in local chef Lloyd Inwood who trained under Rick Stein and specialises in British classics. That way, you’ll have time to decamp to the cinema room for a film night or “bond” with your guests over Monopoly. In the unlikely event you need to work off a hangover, you can go kayaking, hop across the tidal creek to Newton Ferrers or plump for hair of the dog at The Ship Inn – a Muddy favourite. toadhallcottages.co.uk
Deer Park Country House, Honiton
Deer Park has hosted big bashes for celebs and even foreign royals, though owner Mark Godfrey is far too discreet to name-drop (I did try). The talented team at this exquisite Georgian pile are all about curated hedonism, be it fireworks, silent disco, a Priscilla Queen of the Desert cabaret: you name it, they’ll sort it. The morning after, clear the cobwebs with wholesome country pursuits, like clay shooting or an adrenaline-filled Land Rover experience, rounded off with a rustic feast in the garden. Weekends are booked until 2022 (yep it’s that good!) but midweek is still a go-go with prices starting at £8.5k for a one night exclusive-use stay for up to 30 though they can accommodate 100 and more – so you won’t need to leave anyone (me) off your list. deerpark.co.uk
Broad Oak House, Burley
With a huge sweeping driveway and surrounded by the leafy perfection that is the New Forest, Broad Oak House in Burley is the perfect countryside getaway for up to 15 people. With seven good sized bedrooms and six bathrooms, as well as direct access to the forest itself there’s plenty of space to chill out with your travelling companions or escape for a few hours of peace and quiet if required.
Not one but two properties neighbouring each other, 16a and Two Bare Feet are located on Parchment Street in central Winchester and can be hired for exclusive use for up to 12 guests. With its own private courtyard in 16a and major Instagram decor goals throughout both, this is a great city-based option for you and your crew.
Kingsbridge House, Tewin Bury Farm, Welwyn, Herts
Tewin Bury is a 17th century farm with plenty of contemporary twists and modern-day comforts. As well as the hotel – a sympathetic farmhouse conversion – a cute shepherd’s hut and a lake house, there’s also Kingsbridge House which can be booked exclusively for parties of up to 16, thanks to its eight spacious (all en suite) double bedrooms. It’s a short stroll from the gorgeous Mimram Valley, and although it’s squirrelled away in the farm grounds it’s a safe enough distance from the main hotel to feel secluded. Oh and did we mention the two private hot tubs? Plus, if you don’t fancy arguing over the catering, you can eat on site at Williams’ Bar and Restaurant, or the Cowshed, which transforms into a steakhouse on Friday and Saturday nights. And if you’re celebrating a special occasion, go all out and book Private Dining at The Granary.
Kingsbridge House, Tewin Bury Farm, Hertford Rd, Welwyn, Hertfordshire AL6 0J, 01438 841472
Lordship Barns, Ware, Herts
These three 2 and 3-bedroom barn conversions can be exclusively hired for groups of up to 14 and is less than an hour from London, (plus 30 mins from Cambridge and 10 minutes from historic Hertford). Lordship Barns is set in 600 acres of rolling countryside so you’ll wake up to the sounds of the resident Aberdeen Angus cows mooing and views of green pastures. There’s even a vineyard on site which means the perfect excuse for a wine tasting. Log burners keep things cosy during winter and in the summer you can fling open the doors for a BBQ (Webers included). What’s more, they’re gorgeously decked out, come with White Company toiletries and Nespresso machines. Taking littlies? Travel cots, high chairs and even toys are thrown in, to save you cramming the car with extra gear.
ISLE OF WIGHT
Tapnell Manor, Yarmouth
Casual country manor for the weekend? Don’t mind if we do. Tapnell Manor is a beautiful rural spot for you and 22 of your nearest and dearest. As well as beautiful grounds surrounding the building, you’re also located right by Tapnell Farm which has archery, axe throwing and other outdoor pursuits to try, plus The Cow Co restaurant, one of our favourite spots to eat on the Island. And, as of next year, there’s also going to be a water park as well. tapnellmanor.com
Northcourt House, Shorwell
Northcourt House is an incredible looking (exhibit A, above) Grade II listed Jacobean manor house, located close to the Island capital of Newport. The house is split into a number of different self-catering options but you can also hire it exclusively and to fit up to 40 people across its 21 bedrooms. And, if you’re really pushing the boat out there’s also extra options for those staying including catering, boot camps and use of hot tubs at this family owned home. Nice. northcourthouse.co.uk
Grittleton House, Chippenham
For the party of your dreams, Grittleton House near Chippenham is a venue fit for a princess. Brimming with stunning features it has impressive balconies, sweeping double staircase and an elegance worthy of any fairy-tale. We love the way the team at Grittleton look at each event individually, so if you want to throw a formal occasion in one of the large state rooms, or are looking for a more relaxed gathering in an intimate space, they can help. Each party involves a personalised planning process, based on your individual requirements (and budget, obvs.) Planning a Murder Mystery Evening, an ironic ABBA rave, a gin soirée? This is the venue for you. grittletonhouse.co.uk
Aynhoe Park, Banbury
If you’re looking for a party venue with elegance and a whole load of Insta-potential, this 17th century, Grade I listed, Jacobean stately home in north Oxfordshire fits the bill. The secret hide-out of celebs celebrating big birthdays or weddings (huge congrats to Muddy friend Lisa Faulkner who recently got married here!) has utterly bonkers interiors – think a dash of deco with theatrical touches, chandeliers, intriguing antiques and statement taxidermy (check out the unicorn, giraffe and zebra) – and Capability Brown-designed walled gardens and grounds. The venue can be hired out exclusively with guests able to stay in the 16 individually decorated bedrooms and six apartments that sleep a further 12, plus you’ll also have access to the dining room, library, games room, wine cellar, secret underground bar and team of butlers and (more importantly) barmen. Oh yeah, you can arrive by helicopter or private jet too. aynhoepark.co.uk
The Georgian House, Wantage
This grand south Oxfordshire mansion is made for big family reunions with space for up to 25 people in twelve bedrooms (first dibs on one of the four poster beds please) and a whopping 30 acres of parkland and gardens which include an outdoor pool with terrace (heated on request between May – Sept) and tennis court, open from Apr – Oct. Plenty to do inside the house too with a huge playroom complete with cinema projector, toys, games, plus table tennis and bar billiards in the cavernous vaulted hall downstairs for the grown ups. For dining you can hire chef James Benson (CV: Claridge’s, Lygon Arms) and choose to eat in either the large 18th century dining room, or around the more intimate farmhouse-style table in the kitchen. kateandtoms.com
Churchill House, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
Party at an actual palace, anyone? This seven bedder, which sleeps up to 15 guests, is located on the grounds of Blenheim Palace. The house itself is super-stylish with tasteful interiors and a mix of floor to ceiling glass windows and Cotswold stone. Top marks for facilities too, which include an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, games room, cinema room, (*deep breath*) gym, pool table, sauna, large fire-pit, BBQ and tennis court. Plus of course you’re slap bang in the middle of Blenheim’s stunning manicured grounds which means walks aplenty. thewowhousecompany.com
The Bull at Brenchley
This wonderfully, quirky Victorian English pub has been converted into fabulous, 5-star luxury self-catering accommodation for up to 16 people in the pretty village of Brenchley (10 mins from Tunbridge Wells). It includes 8 beautifully styled bedrooms, 7 bathrooms (6 en suite), a lounge with plenty of seating, a stunning dining area (that will comfortably seat all 16 guests), south-facing courtyard garden and a kitchen that’s so well equipped you’ll find more of what you need than in the cupboards at home. But equally if you’d like the owners to organise a catering service for you, just say the word. And down in the basement is what they call a media room, complete with 65″ curved TV but what we call a cocktail/party den. Bring on the karaoke (because we’re classy like that).
Goodnestone Park, near Canterbury
Goodnestone Park is a stunning, privately owned stately home and garden near Canterbury. You can hire the whole house for that truly special function or weekend with friends. You’ll be in good company – it was a favourite of Jane Austen and, in more recent times, the producers of Downton Abbey. It sleeps 24 in 12 bedrooms and has – deep breath – 11 bathrooms, 5 reception rooms including a drawing room, a dining room with seating for 24, a library, a hallway with sweeping staircase, a huge breakfast room, 15 acres of grounds, extensive terraces, BBQ and ample parking. Muddy Readers get 25% off all stays before 27 Mar 2020 (subject to availability, quote MUDDY when booking), so go corral your pals immediately!
Barton Hall, Kettering
If you want to channel your inner Daisy Buchanan, Barton Hall is the party place for you! It’s a contemporary yet elegant Grade II-listed beauty, with manicured gardens wouldn’t look out of place in Fitzgerald’s Gatsby. The 29 bedroom hotel, available for exclusive hire, is set in nearly 10 acres of grounds and woodland with a gorgeous terrace area overlooking the valley beyond. We’ve never had a bad meal here plus there’s friendly service, warming log fires, beautiful decorations and chic bedrooms. It’s the sister hotel to the equally fabulous Rushton Hall – very well established in Northamptonshire so locals will know kind of quality we are talking here. Dinner, Bed & Breakfast rate of £75 per person – which includes the seasonal menu. Clink, clink!
If it’s elegance, sophistication and class you’re looking for when planning your next special occasion get-away with friends, it’s got to be the former home of press baron Lord Beaverbrook. Nestled in the pretty Surrey Hills, just outside Leatherhead, Beaverbrook is set on 470 acres of gardens and grounds, and has 35 sumptuous bedrooms, two restaurants and a luxury spa. I’ll be propping up that bar. beaverbrook.co.uk
Voewood, Kelling, Holt
If you fancy impressing everyone you know with a fabulously trendy getaway, look no further than the utterly unique Voewood. Imagine Kate Moss with her buddies on a country jaunt and you’ll get the gist. All the laid back rock ‘n’ roll glamour and more, this party property is owned by the rare book dealer Simon Finch. Amazing art and photography adorn the walls in every room, with the decor melding Arts & Crafts with vintage, colonial and modern pieces. With an eclectic yet homely feel, this exclusive hire property sleeps 42 people across 17 bedrooms. The house is nestled in 11 acres of carefully designed magical gardens and wild woodlands, plus you’re close to some of the best Norfolk beaches and the county’s top pubs and restaurants. www.voewood.com
Mount Amelia, Ingoldisthorpe, King’s Lynn
This Grade II-listed luxury self-catering venue by the North Norfolk coast is ideal for large family getaways and special events. The main house has nine bedroom and for even bigger groups you can bolt on the accompanying holiday cottages which will take it up to 34 beds. This is a super-sophisticated country retreat with a sweeping drive and spacious grounds. Light, airy and classically decorated it’s actually surprisingly homely and we particularly love the groovy wallpaper and four poster princess beds. There’s massive amounts of outdoor space to explore including an Insta-perfect wooden swing hanging from an ancient tree. Throw in a games room, huge country kitchen and you’ve got yourself a winner. www.mountamelia.com
House in the Clouds, Thorpeness, Suffolk
You might as well aim high when it comes to throwing a big party, and you can’t get much higher than Suffolk’s famous folly – House in the Clouds, in Thorpeness, the fantasy seaside holiday village created by an eccentric millionaire in the 1920s. The views from ‘the room at the top’ are incredible, whatever the season, but we’d go in summer to make the most of the one-acre grounds with boules lawn and tennis court. There are five bedrooms and a games room, plus a lot of stairs. Don’t worry though, each landing has a little resting spot for when you’ve had too many G&Ts. houseintheclouds.co.uk
Old Hall Barn, Darsham, Suffolk
You can pack this stunning barn conversation to the rafters with fun-loving friends and raise the beautiful beamed roof with a party they’ll never forget. Old Hall Barn is sleeps up to 14 guests in 7 bedrooms, with 6 bathrooms. The location is spot on for a weekend away, Darsham is nicely placed between stylish Southwold and rugged Dunwich, with its famously good pubs. Although forcing yourself to leave the property might be a challenge – as well as the amazing two-storey communal space with pool table, log burner and high spec kitchen, there’s a private garden with not one, but two hot tubs, a sauna, play area, tree house and trampoline. suffolk-secrets.co.uk
LEICESTERSHIRE & RUTLAND
The Grange, Leicestershire
This posh-looking country estate is perfect for family reunions, mini staycations, work-dos and special get-togethers, not to mention those much-needed girls weekends away. It can accommodate 26 people, is set in 1.5 acres of gardens and there’s tonnes to do from croquet on the lawn to trampolining. There’s a games room so you can play pool or darts, or enjoy a glass of something fizzy in the Jacuzzi. If you fancy rustling up a feast for your house mates, the Shaker style kitchen is fitted with a steam cooker, a range cooker, an induction hob and an American fridge and there’s plenty of dining space. After eating, head to one of the lounges to party the night away or get cosy in the cinema room. Bookings can be made via Big House Experiences.
Temple Guiting Manor & Barns, Temple Guiting, Stow on the Wold
The Great Tythe Barn, Tetbury
Discover a real slice of quintessential England at The Great Tythe Barn in the heart of a private estate in the Cotswolds. With accommodation for 90 guests, this Grade II listed, sixteenth century barn is a stonker of a party venue, packed with original features, including exposed stone walls, fireplaces and oak beams. Bop ’til you drop under a canopy of fairy lights as the barn transforms into a dance floor, and no need to keep an eye on the time or worry about taxis – within the grounds are ten self-catering cottages, twelve bed and breakfast rooms, and The Tythe House, so you and all your guests can stay over. Create a whole party weekend and celebrate the night before and the morning after in local Tetbury, mere walking distance away. This one’s got the wow factor, for sure. gtb.co.uk
Barford Beach House, Bude
There is something for everyone at this spectacular quirky beach house, which even has access from the garden to its own private beach. Huge balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows mean sea-views from almost every room, including the indoor sauna and the massive oak dining table which seats 14. Each of the six bedrooms has a luxurious en-suite bathroom; our favourite is the one with the brass freestanding bath. If you lose the fight for that room, nab the wood-fired hot tub outside instead, and don’t tell your frenemy about the secret underground bunker club, complete with survivalist bar, pool table, arcade games and vintage pinball machine. We don’t think you’ll want to leave as there’s also a spa and cinema room, but if you did feel obliged to seek some fresh air, the nearby beaches of Widemouth and Bude are worth the effort. groupaccommodation.com
The Beach Houses, St Ives
The late romance novelist Rosamunde Pilcher lived close by and was enraptured by the colours of St Ives bay – and, boy, we certainly agree. This group of houses set on the sandy, dog-friendly beach at Lelant are pretty special too. When hired together there’s accommodation for up to 24 people but split over three individual properties each with their own kitchen and garden – the best of both worlds as it is sometimes welcome to have your morning coffee in peace. You’ll be spoilt for choice as to what to do first; step straight out of the private garden onto the beach or make use of the heated indoor pool and two hot tubs with a sea-view. The beautiful harbour of St Ives, with its vibrant pub and restaurant scene, is just round the corner if you don’t fancy cooking. groupaccommodation.com