The great outdoors

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Wherever you are in the UK, you can find an array of open-air event venues suitable for hosting a corporate celebration that makes the best of the British summertime. PA Life presents a selection from around the country.

Type of outdoor space: A spacious roof terrace in central London adjoined by the Ann Rylands Terrace Room.
Maximum capacity: Accommodates 60 for a reception.
Venue hire rate: From £50 per person.
Unique selling point: The venue is popular for its street food menu and alfresco dining during the spring and summer months, but the terrace can also be used for winter parties. The events team can organise outdoor heating and lighting to create an open-air oasis.

Type of outdoor space: A walled garden, 130 acres of grounds, plus outdoor terraces all around the hotel.
Maximum capacity: The walled garden is ideal for a private event and accommodates up to 80 guests. The Lake Suite has its own private terrace overlooking the gardens and parkland and can accommodate up to 140 guests.
Venue hire rate: £95 per person; 24-hour delegate rate is £350, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight stay.
Unique selling point: The luxury treehouse suite package, where guests can choose to stay in a secluded treehouse overlooking the parkland. Further unique spots include the Summer House conservatory, which has views of the glen and accommodates up to 100.

Type of outdoor space: The Acre is actually close to four acres in size. This large grassed area at the heart of Leeds Metropolitan University’s Headingley Campus is overlooked by the James Graham Building, which contains the Great Hall, the Acre Room and the Jubilee Room, as well as a seminar room, five lecture theatres and nine computer training rooms. Any of these can be booked alongside the Acre.
Maximum capacity: 2,000 delegates either inside a marquee or on the lawn.
Venue hire rate: Bespoke cost, depending upon requirements.
Unique selling point: It has hosted a range of events such as a pop-up kitchen from Jamie Oliver’s catering company, a climbing tower courtesy of Carnegie Great Outdoors, giant inflatables for a Sky family fun day, an Asda garden party, and even a helicopter display.

Type of outdoors space: Brasted’s barn has an adjoining outdoor terrace.
Maximum capacity: Conferencing with lunch for up to 100 delegates; use of the barn and grounds for up to 150 delegates
Venue hire rate: From £30 per person; 24-hour rates start at £130 per person including breakfast.
Unique selling point: Aside from its corporate offering, Brasted’s has a two AA Rosette restaurant, a boutique bed & breakfast and specialises in outdoor catering.

The Corinthian web

Type of outdoor space: The £250,000 roof terrace development undertaken by Oval Events created a new terrace space on top of the ground’s OCS grandstand.
Maximum capacity: 400 delegates.
Venue hire rate: Packages start at £349 per person, including tea, coffee and breakfast upon arrival, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and a complimentary bar.
Unique selling point: The venue provides grazing menus, a DJ booth for post-match parties and stylish seating areas alongside an amazing view over the grounds.


Type of outdoor space: An enclosed hedge garden and the castle courtyard.
Maximum capacity: 90 delegates for a reception in either space.
Venue hire rate: Private hire is available from £250-£4,000, depending on requirements such as the length of stay; bedrooms are £120 per night.
Unique selling point: A stunning refurbished castle within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, two miles from the nearest village and hidden in the heart of a forest in a 90-acre estate that includes ancient woodland, Victorian gardens, river walks and grazing fields.

Type of outdoors space: A 300-acre site that combines a historic airfield and runway with visitor facilities. For corporate entertaining, a host of public events takes place, including four air shows a year.
Maximum capacity: Dependent on type of event required.
Venue hire rate: Tickets for air show hospitality packages start at £50 per person; a bespoke hospitality marquee package can be arranged.
Unique selling point: Other on-site activities include taking to the skies in a Tiger Moth or Dragon Rapide, the thrill of a tank ride, a bespoke tour, a talk from a museum guide, or a ride on the museum’s flight simulator. A range of team-building activities, including treasure hunts and outdoor challenges, can be tailored to individual requirements.

No.11 Orangery web

Type of outdoor space: The central London venue boasts an 18th century-inspired orangery, which leads on to a courtyard garden.
Maximum capacity: 200 reception-style; 120 seated.
Venue hire rate: £50 per person. The venue is offering 20 per cent off venue hire for new bookings made by PA Life readers, available until 30 September, for events booked and hosted by 31 October. Simply quote PA Life.
Unique selling point: Fruit from the orangery is used by No11’s chefs to make homemade marmalade, which is given to guests. The garden also features a ‘living wall’ installation and water fixture, with wooden stools and tables for seating.

Type of outdoor space: Patio adjoining the restaurant and ground-floor suites for parties or alfresco dining, plus a flat grass area for putting up marquees.
Maximum capacity: The outdoor patio can take more than 180 people; the maximum capacity of the suites adjoining the patio is 180.
Venue hire rate: £35 per person; 24-hour rates from £139 per person; golf from £49 per person.
Unique selling point: Offers a golf course, hotel and spa under one roof with a view over the Chilterns.

Type of outdoors space: 40 acres, including terraces all around the hotel, an ornamental pond and a forest garden.
Maximum capacity: 160 delegates for an event theatre-style; bespoke events can be created elsewhere in the grounds.
Venue hire rate: From £55; an overnight stay starts at £119 with breakfast.
Unique selling point: There is an activity field for motor sports, duck herding, archery and segway rides. The hotel also arranges team building on the seashore, including boat rides and group sailing.

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson