Upthorpe Wood are members of WVSG and ABWB

What is Dry Hire?

The venue is hired out as a blank canvas.  Allowing you to choose your own suppliers (excluding Bar Companies), furniture etc and to set up  and decorate to your own style.   We also ask that you leave the venue in the same condition as hired.  We have a strict 'Leave No Trace' policy, which includes clearing the site of all decoration, rubbish, food items, bottles etc.

How is the venue hire fee calculated?

Our blog, which can be found on the Notes page of the website, explains how we calculate our fees.  The hire fee includes much more than the venue use on your wedding day alone, in fact the wedding day is only a very small part of the venue fee. In order to run as a sustainable business the fee includes all aspects of our running costs/admin/licences/maintenance/meetings/emails/telephone calls/professional planning advice  etc.

 What are your maximum guest numbers?

100 is our maximum guest number, this includes children/babies.  With car parking limited we would ask all guests to car share or use a minibus where possible.

Apart from the venue hire, what else will we need to hire for our wedding?

You will need to book either a Registrar or celebrant (if choosing a celebrant, we have our own in-house celebrant which we ask you to use)   If having a seated wedding feast, tables and chairs will need to be hired.  Other things to be considered are Caterers, entertainment and decor.  


Do you have your own In House Bar at the Wood?

Yes we do, so unfortunately we do not allow other bar companies onsite and do not allow caterers to supply drinks for your day.

Can we bring in our own alcohol for the wedding day?

We allow couples to bring in a quantified amount of table wine but all other drinks are to be supplied by the Bar.

Will you reduce the hire rate if we only have a small number of guests?

Regardless of smaller guest numbers our venue hire remains the same for  15-100 guests.  If you are planning a small intimate wedding for up to 20 maximum, with up to 8 hours venue hire  (this must include your setting up and clean up time) then we can give you a bespoke price for a Sunday afternoon/evening wedding.

Do you have an On The Day Co-Ordinator or Wedding Planner included in the hire rate?

No, although should you wish to include this in your package we do have an in-house Co-Ordinator, who we request you use.  We can recommend Wedding Planners but our staff don't deal with this role.

Do you hold a wedding licence?

Yes we do, After passing all the rigorous checks with the appropriate authorities, we became a Licenced venue last Spring. We are licenced for up to 100 people.  Our Barn and Woodland Den are both licenced.  Our local Registrars Office is based in Bury St Edmunds.  Our couples must contact the office directly.

Do you have an In-House Celebrant should we wish to have a blessing rather than a legal wedding?

Yes we do, Allan is our celebrant at Upthorpe Wood.

Can we hire the venue for additional hours?

Additional hours are possible for Friday or Sunday.  Maybe you'd like to extend your hours on Sunday and have all guests back for brunch?  Additional Hours are charged at an hourly rate.

Do staff help set up and clear down?

We leave that to you, friends/family.  Stylists can be organised to help set up and style your day.  We can offer a Clean Up Service if required.

Can we have an After Party?

If you're looking for a mad all nighter, I'm afraid we aren't the venue for you.  We ask for all music to finish by 11pm.  

Can guests camp over on the wedding night?

Unfortunately, we don't allow overnight camping.  However there are many campsites within 5 miles of Upthorpe Wood.

Are we allowed to hire bands to play outside, in the woodland?

Unfortunately not, due to our close neighbours.  No amplified music is allowed outside the barn, although we love unamplified acoustic!  After 7pm all music must be located inside the barn.  

Can we bring in our own food?

It's your wedding day and we'd prefer you to sit back and be catered for by a professional caterer.    

Is the woodland wheelchair accessible?

Yes, there is access through the reception areas and barns, however some areas in the woodland may prove more difficult to access.

Do suppliers need to provide their own equipment?

Yes they do, this includes staff.  Caterers and other suppliers, will need to bring in their own generators, if required, as well as refrigeration units, gazebos and lighting.  Suppliers have access to the venue during your hire period hours.  

Is there plenty of accommodation available in the area?

Yes there is, within 3 miles you'll find many Air bnbs, hotels and cottages for hire.  Our nearest large town is Bury St Edmunds (9 miles away)  which has plenty of hotels etc.

Just ask us for recommendations.

Children must be supervised at all times.

We open for weddings between May- September each year and only host weddings at weekends.

We only allow pets by prior arrangement only due to the wildlife onsite.


We have car parking for up to 30 but caterers and glamping may lower this number.

Receipt of a Non Refundable deposit (£1,500) will confirm your preferred exclusive weekend hire/booking.

Prices are non-negotiable.



Travel, Hotels, Info.

Image by Rhema Kallianpur
Image by chuttersnap


We have lots of local Air BnBs  and several campsites within 2 miles, check by postcode IP31 2AP.

Local Hotels:

The Grange, Thurston - 3 miles

Stowlangtoft Estate Cottages - 2 miles

The Angel, Bury St Edmunds - 9 miles

The Chantry, Bury St Edmunds

All Saints Hotel, Bury St Edmunds

Premier Inn, Bury St Edmunds

Travel Lodge, Bury St Edmunds



We would ask guests to car share or arrange a minibus as much as possible, as our Car Parking is limited.

Local Train Stations are:

Thurston (direct to London, Norwich), Bury St Edmunds and

Diss (Direct to London, Norwich)

We are on a Bus route from Bury St Edmunds and Diss

For Sat Nav use IP31 2AP

Image by Lexi Ruskell


Taxis will need to be pre-ordered

Bury St Edmunds

A1 Cars  01284 766777

Bury Travel  01284 771520

Getaway Cars  01284 701999


Express Taxis  01379 212020

Diss Town Taxis  01379  414141


Acorn Taxis  01842 775050

A2B Taxis  01842 755222