All you need to know about weddings at Polhawn Fort

Wedding Guide


From example itineraries to seating plans, our wedding guide details everything you need to know. Simply download and save the PDF guides below and for anything else, our team are on hand to help.

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The Fort is hired exclusively for up to 16 guests and a further 8 guests can be accommodated on request. We’re fully licensed for civil weddings, alcohol and entertainment and health & safety.

While we don’t provide staff as standard, there are people available at additional cost to provide assistance in organising your event.

We hire the Fort out for a weekend from Friday 4.00pm to Monday 10.00am, or mid-week from Monday 4.00pm to Friday 10.00am. We also hire it out for split mid-weeks from Monday 4.00pm to Wednesday 10.00am, or Wednesday 4.00pm to Friday 10.00am.

Weddings generally take place on the Saturday and Wednesday, but these days are not set in stone.

We’ve been more or less fully booked for the last 20 years and rarely have an empty weekend. This means that if you want to visit, it will need to be on one of our changeover days, which are Fridays and Mondays, with visiting hours between 1.30pm and finishing at 3.50pm.

After booking you are welcome to come as often as you wish and to meet suppliers at the Fort, though please bear in mind that our main task during these times is showing round new and potential customers.

How do weddings at the Fort work?

No, the Fort is not damp or cold. There is a powerful central heating system with thermostatically controlled radiators throughout the Fort. The Fort is in effect like an enormous storage heater – when the stone all around you is warm it will stay like that for hours and takes days to fully cool down.

We will ensure the Fort is warm when you arrive. In the summer, the Fort can be thought of as like a cave and stays cool whatever the weather.

Is the Fort cold?

There are ramps from the end of the car park down to the back door of the Fort which can be used for wheelchair access.

Once guests are in the main area, almost everything is on one level including several ensuite bathrooms which can be made available as you choose. These are not specifically fitted out for disabled guests, but are generally quite suitable.

The gardens are down a flight of three steps from the main area and we provide a wheelchair ramp down these. There are two further steps at the entrance to the garden, which can be accessed by ramp.

We advise viewing the space to ensure it meets the needs of any disabled guests.

Is the Fort accessible?

No, the Fort is a non-smoking building and smoking is not permitted in any areas.

Is smoking allowed?

Yes, there is plenty of accommodation nearby including self-catering, hotels and B&Bs. 

Is there additional accommodation nearby?

Hire of the Fort includes full exclusive use of the:
  • Napoleonic hall
  • 8 bedrooms accommodating a maximum of 24 people (3 ensuite double rooms, 3 ensuite family rooms and 2 single rooms sharing a shower room)
  • Kitchen
  • Guest toilets
  • Tennis court
  • Roof terrace
  • Gardens and
  • Private pathway to the semi secluded beach!
  • To make your stay that little bit easier the Fort also includes the following:
  • Tables and chairs for 100 people
  • Cutlery and crockery for 100 people
  • Glassware for 100 people (including champagne, 6oz wine, 8oz wine and half pint glasses)
  • Kitchen equipment (including ice machine, coffee machine, dishwasher, plate warmer, cooking utensils & pots)
  • Wine cooler
  • Bed linen and towels for up to 24 people
  • 3 highchairs and 2 travel cots
  • Tea & coffee facilities in all bedrooms
  • Washing machine, tumble dryer, iron and ironing board
  • White drapes and fairy lights decorating the Napoleonic Hall
  • Sky TV & wifi

What does hire include?

A ceremony fee is paid direct to the registrar office, typically between £530-670 depending on the day of the week. Catering, decoration, flowers and photography is also paid direct to the suppliers.

Are there any extras on top of the tariff?

Though we try to accommodate most things, we have various licensing and noise pollution limitations (see our Terms and Conditions).

You can choose your type of entertainment from live bands to DJs, flowers from the most exotic to none at all. We have had fancy dress weddings (lots of men in tights and friar tuck!). If you are unsure just ask, it may be allowed.

How much freedom will we have?

Our numbers are strictly limited to 100, including children and babies. This applies at all times and unfortunately cannot be increased. 

How many people can attend?

The Fort has a full alcohol and entertainments licence, however we allow you to you provide all your own drinks free of charge to your guests without incurring any corkage fees.

Alternatively, if you would prefer a paid bar we can provide details of suppliers to run this for you.

Do you charge corkage?

Yes, wedding insurance is compulsory at we can provide you with details or you can arrange your own insurance and provide us with a copy of your insurance certificate.

It is important to make sure that the insurance knows that you have the fort for a weekend or mid-week not just for one day, we ask that you take out the insurance as soon as you book the fort. We also insist on £2,000,000 public liability cover.

Do we need insurance?

We allow well behaved dogs. We also allow other pets within reason, please do ask prior to bringing them.

All we ask is that you clean up any mess that is left in the gardens and be considerate to the surrounding livestock in the area.

Can we bring pets?

There’s no need to clean up, we only ask that you leave it tidy and respectable, and return any furniture that has been moved to its original position.

We have cleaners who will thoroughly clean Polhawn Fort between bookings and change the beds ready for the next guests.

Do we have to clean the Fort before we leave?