Our rolling Suffolk landscapes are unmistakably English, set amongst 8,000 rural acres, seven miles inland from the seaside town of Southwold and two hours from London.
Wilderness Reserve consists of two adjoining estates: ‘Chapel Barn Estate’, a 15th century thatched long barn, and ‘Sibton Park Estate’, a Grade II* Georgian mansion.
Both are set in their own private parklands with a collection of beautifully appointed barns, spa farmhouses and cottages offering a total of 86 bedrooms in 18 houses, and a wide variety of wedding reception venues (60-300 guests) both inside and outside.
Each estate is available separately or together. Your wedding at Wilderness Reserve comes with the freedom to create your own unique wedding. We are happy for you to treat this 8,000-acre nature reserve as a blank canvas.
We cater for a maximum of 10 weddings per estate each year, either over a long weekend or mid-week, all on an exclusive estate use basis. Our experienced wedding coordinators, hosts and chefs, together with other support staff, can work either directly with you or with your wedding planner to create a unique and memorable wedding in one of the most remote areas in England.
We are located 7 miles inland from the seaside town of Southwold and two hours from London, in what is affectionately referred to as ‘Sleepy Suffolk’.
We have a deep rooted respect for the Suffolk traditions, and this coupled with an old fashioned first class service attitude, think traditional hands off housekeeping (not concierge) and a truly outstanding Estate Kitchen with 14 chefs providing exceptional cuisine makes for a winning combination for your most important day.
There are a variety of external or internal wedding ceremony venues, from the traditional Georgian Orangery attached to Sibton Park, the mature evergreen oak walk on the hill that is Kendals Wood, marquees on the jetty at the very edge of one of our lakes, surrounded by curious sheep and cows, Chapel Barn, the 15th century thatched long barn with its own stained glass window, or the very formal drawing room at Sibton Park mansion with its listed hand painted botanical wallpaper, together with a number of other wedding licenced options. For those wishing to tie the knot before God, the recently refurbished St Peter’s Church at Sibton, or the church at Heveningham next to Chapel Barn Estate, are perfect.
We have multiple venues across both Chapel Barn and Sibton Park estates that work hand in hand for the wedding breakfast/reception plus the before and after party (we can cater for between 60-300 guests and possibly more on occasions). The choices we have to offer vary from the traditional stained glass window chapel within Chapel Barn to the Sibton Park orangery which overlooks the lake and parkland. We also offer more unique venues such as the lakeside jetty as well as nearby Kendals Woodland, where you can admire beautiful sunsets and the rolling countryside.
Exceptional foods, fine wines and first-class old-fashioned service, lost deep in the English countryside surrounded by nature, are what we strive to achieve. We have an Estate Kitchen with 14 exceptional chefs, and are fully equipped to cater for any number of different styles and tastes for the wedding breakfast and before and after parties.
Both Chapel Barn Estate and Sibton Park Estate provide ideal venues for your after party, allowing you and your guests to celebrate to your hearts’ content - perhaps followed by an early morning wild swim!
For any guests staying the night before the Wedding Day or suitably energetic the morning after, we offer a range of unique dining and entertainment experiences that only 8,000 wild acres of countryside can provide. On Sunday, once you’ve all enjoyed a buffet brunch down by the lake, we suggest gathering for a party around our sunken pool, where we’ll set up a prosecco truck, some acoustic musicians and perhaps even a wandering oyster shucker.
We are NOT a hotel. Ours is an experience defined by English manors, barns, spa, farmhouses and cottages, though not as you know them. Our well appointed accommodation has been restored or built to respect local traditions, without foregoing modern comforts. Contemporary styling, underfloor heating and cutting-edge technology are present, but never distract you from the simple pleasure of our views.
The oak-framed Moat Cottage, thatched and painted in Suffolk pink is an example of our eclectic mix of houses, you’ll find it on our Chapel Barn Estate. We have three spa houses with their own treatment rooms, heated swimming pools, state of the art self cleaning hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms, together with an exquisite collection of barns, farmhouses and cottages, and six ‘Lost’ cottages (very remote hideaways for two).
An extensive range of indoor and outdoor activities are available, together with spa treatments for you and your guests to enjoy during your two- or three-day wedding. Our team of expert rangers can host a variety of activities, from traditional target sports like axe throwing and clay pigeon shooting to spoon carving, paddle boarding, wild water swimming and all sorts of nature walks. If your guests are looking for something a little more relaxing, or perhaps some pampering, why not indulge in one of our spa treatments (111 Skin and Bamford products) - our spa therapists can visit your property at any time.
Once you’ve chosen Wilderness Reserve as the ideal venue to celebrate your wedding, we will arrange a complimentary night’s stay in one of our cottages or, alternatively, if you are rushed for time, a day-return helicopter up to one hour each way flight for up to six people (London is 40mins each way). During your overnight stay or day trip, you will meet our entire team of experienced wedding coordinators, hosts, florists, sample our chef ’s cuisine, meet our spa manager and head ranger, visit the houses and various ceremony and reception venues, and discuss every detail to ensure that your wedding is exquisitely planned and truly memorable.