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Category Archives: Local to Milton Keynes

Weddings in a Marquee

We’ve designed several Cute Maps for marquee weddings over the years. This week we’re busting any pre-conceptions and showing you the beauty and endless possibilities, they offer.

Style of marquee

1. Traditional The traditional style marquee is suitable to many wedding styles. The canvas sides and king poles not only help the shape and stability but also give it that distinctive classic feel. The poles, floors and versatile ceiling spaces give you a great canvas to build a stunning environment to fit your style. Canvas, bunting, pom poms, balloons, lanterns, fairy lights, branches & foliage can all be used in impressing inventive ways to create magical results.
2. Pagoda/Canopy These are great if you’re having a destination wedding with reliable weather. For a UK wedding, these are more of a practical but pretty feature than a venue, but as they stand alone without the need for poles they can be placed in almost any location and can be used for chill out lounges, kids areas, bandstands, bars or for the catering.
3. Yurt A vintage or bohemian theme wedding is perfectly placed in a yurt. Its traditional circle shape can be useful for all types of wedding needs from the ceremony area to the main reception, you’re only limited by your own imagination! The trellis walls and ceilings give you a great backdrop to dress and in themselves give a really rustic and authentic atmosphere.
4. Stretch/Capri This style of marquee is a statement piece, suited to contemporary airy summer weddings, but beware the UK weather! Additionally, you are again limited to erecting these in a grassy area but if you’re brave and have the appetite for a fully outdoor day these are a stunning element to your day.
5. Tipi The tipi has taken weddings by storm over the past 5 years. Bohemian, rustic and popular due to its festival feel. As they’re normally modular large or small gatherings are nicely accommodated and they’re also great for all weather types, so there is no need to worry about the changeable UK climate.

Here are some top companies in the U.K to hire wedding/event marquees: https://www.burgoynes-marquees.co.uk/
http://www.marqueeswithpryde.co.uk/
https://www.yorkshireyurts.co.uk/
https://caprimarquees.com/
https://www.weddingtipi.co.uk/
https://www.countymarquees.com/

Alternatively, you can buy your own second hand from places like eBay which may work out cheaper than a hire for traditional and canopy styles depending on the size and material. Shop around the hire sites, local companies and second hand options  before making a decision, to ensure you’re getting the one that ticks all your boxes at the fairest price.

Practicalities
Things to consider are access for guests and suppliers, toilet facilities for your guests, running water for guests and catering. Is there access to power or do you need a generator? Is there parking for your guests? These are just a few things to consider before you commit. Fortunately many venues that offer marquees as an option in their grounds have thought of these already, but its always worth asking these questions and if any other practical elements may yield hidden costs. A wedding planner can help take a lot of the stress away from the couple when it comes to planning a marquee wedding. They are often held on private land or at a cross purpose venue such as gardens, farmland or grass etc. If you’re looking for this type of venue local to us at Cute Maps in Bucks or South Northants check out our previous blog story which includes venues Flaxbourne gardens, Stoke Park Pavilions and Crockwell farm.

Photo Credits:
Collage 1, pic 1- http://www.thewildebunch.co.uk/venue-gallery/marquees/
Collage 1, pic 2- http://thesecretgardenatduffrynmawr.co.uk/
Collage 1, pic 3- https://memphite.com/eXVydCB0ZW50cyB1aw/
Traditional- https://www.absolutecanvas.co.uk/
Pagoda- http://www.classic-marquees.co.uk/
Yurt- https://www.theweddingsecret.co.uk/cheltenham-yurt-hire-wedding-marquees-cheltenham-gloucester.html
Capri- https://www.tentickle-stretchtents.com/de/stretch-tent-gallery/
Tipi- https://kempandkempcatering.co.uk/marquee-weddings/
Collage 3, pic 1- https://thetipicompany.com/tag/tipi-hire
Collage 3, pic 2- http://www.reallygoodmarquees.co.uk/2017/02/28/marquee-hire-top-10-tips/

Local Wedding Venues- Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire

For this post we’d thought we’d give a helping hand to Brides and Grooms local to us searching for their ideal wedding venue. Milton Keynes & Northampton are strewn with beautiful green pockets and quaint villages so there are many beautiful locations and areas to explore. A good rule of thumb when planning your wedding is to expect to spend 45% of your budget on your venue including food, drink and incidentals like decoration, linen, chairs, corkage etc. Here we’ve detailed some great organised wedding venues, but if you’re up for the ‘dry-hire’ challenge and really want to get some bang-for-your-buck and the freedom to plan every aspect your way, there are some wonderful village halls and community centres that you can hire for your special day. www.hallshire.com/ is a great place to start hunting.

All price ranges below are a guide and are dependent on time of the year and day of the week.

Top value venues

(picture clockwise from top left: The Walnut Tree Inn, The Saracen’s Head Hotel, The Sofitel Woughton House Hotel, Hilton MK Stadium)

The Walnut Tree Inn
Set in the idyllic village of Blisworth, this quaint ex station-house inn is a cute foodie-loving venue. It is only a short walk from the Grand Union Canal so is perfect for those picturesque photo shoots!
Capacity: 60 ceremony, up to 120 reception
Hire: from £650 for ceremony & reception
21 Station Rd, Blisworth, Northampton NN7 3DS
https://www.walnut-tree.co.uk/

The Saracens Head Hotel
Nestled in the the historic town of Towcester, this venue dates back over 400 years and even features in Charles Dickens’ first novel, The Pickwick Papers. Perfect place for a country inn wedding. 
Capacity: up to 75
Venue hire from £200
219 Watling St, Towcester NN12 6BX
https://www.silverlinings.co.uk/wedding-suppliers/wedding-venue-saracens-head-towcester

Sofitel Woughton House Hotel
A beautiful country house set in the ancient village of Woughton on the Green inside the Milton Keynes grid, surrounded by the beautiful Ouzel Valley. You wouldn’t even know you were in the city.
Capacity: up to 160
Hire: £250 – £850
Newport Rd, Woughton on the Green, Milton Keynes MK6 3LR
https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-6627-woughton-house-mgallery-by-sofitel/index.shtml

The Hilton, Milton Keynes Stadium
This stunning indoor venue can cater for a lavish party or a small gathering. Perfect for urbanites who’d like a contemporary feel to their day or sports fans who can’t get enough of that stadium atmosphere as most function rooms overlook the pitch.
Capacity: 40-750
Fee for ceremony applies. From £40 per head for evening reception. If you are only having your reception here then a room hire charge applies.
Stadium Way, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK1 1ST
https://doubletree3.hilton.com/Milton_Keynes

Mid price range venues

(picture left to right The Barns at Hunsbury Hill, Silverstone Golf Club & Hotel)

The Barns at Hunsbury Hill
This 18th century barn comes complete with farm buildings, courtyard and landscaped lawns, oozing country charm and rustic elegance.
Capacity: 40 – 180
Hire fee: £1395 – 2495
Harksome Hill, Northampton NN4 9QX
https://hunsburyhillcentre.co.uk/

Silverstone Golf Club & Hotel
This beautiful location, surrounded by forest and countryside also offers very quaint and colourful private cottage accommodation for wedding guests.
Capacity: up to 160
Hire fee: £800 – £1500
Silverstone Road, Buckingham MK18 5LH
http://www.silverstonegolfclub.co.uk/weddings.html


(picture left to right The Safari Lodge, Dodmoor House)

The Safari Lodge at Woburn Safari Park
This is the perfect venue for animal and nature lovers! Set in Woburn Safari Park it is also the perfect location for something unusual and quirky.
Capacity: 80-220
Hire fee: £1950 – £2150
Woburn Park, Milton Keynes MK17 9QN
https://www.woburnweddings.co.uk/luxury-wedding-venues/safari/

Dodmoor House
This dedicated rural Northamptonshire wedding venue offers 2 barns, 4 acres of grounds a licensed bar and a courtyard garden.
Packages:  £2,750 – £7,250 including overnight stay for the newlyweds, dining equipment, toy box and tv for children, lighting decoration and no corkage charge for the daytime.
Dodmoor House, Weedon Lane, Northampton NN7 4TA
https://www.dodmoorhouse.co.uk/


(picture left to right Furtho Manor Farm, Plum Park)

Furtho Manor Farm
This popular dry hire wedding venue just above Milton Keynes is situated in a stunning countryside location with a beautiful waterside ceremony option and contemporary rustic barns.
Capacity: up to 150
Hire: £2,000 – £4000
Northampton Rd, Milton Keynes MK19 6NR
https://www.furthomanorfarm.co.uk/

Plum Park Hotel
This restored Victorian Manor House has a beautiful courtyard, gardens, terraces and a picturesque outdoor space.
Packages from £2,499 – £5,799 including the use of marquee, terraces and gardens, one drink per guest, dining equipment, stage and dance floor, cash bar, use of a bridal dressing room, overnight accommodation and  breakfast for the newly-weds.
Plum Park, Watling St, Towcester NN12 6LG
http://www.plumpark.co.uk/

Generous budget venues

(picture left to right Chicheley Hall, Flaxbourne Gardens)

Chicheley Hall
If you’re looking for the tree-lined driveway leading to an impressive stately façade then Chicheley Hall will tick your boxes. This beautiful 18th century Hall is set in 80 acres of kept grounds and is one of the most popular venues in Milton Keynes.
Capacity: Indoors 100 Ceremony, 150 reception. Marquee for up to 600
Packages including food and drink: from £6,999+ (for 60)
Chicheley Rd, Newport Pagnell MK16 9JJ
https://www.chicheleymiltonkeynes.co.uk/partner/chicheley-hall/

Flaxbourne Gardens
This unique venue in Aspley Guise offers a blank canvas for every bride and grooms dream wedding. You can choose from marquees in the gardens, arches amongst the flowers, candles in the waterfall grotto and much more.
Capacity: 40 – 200+
Packages from £3,590 (for 40) to £6350+ (for 100) including food and table drink, marquee, dining equipment, dance floor, outdoor furniture, facilities, cash & card bar, children’s treehouse, helicopter arrival area.
Salford Rd, Aspley Guise, Milton Keynes MK17 8HZ
https://www.flaxbournegardens.com/

(picture left to right: Holdenby House, The Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey)

Holdenby House
This 20-acre private estate dates back to the Elizabethan era and emanates old-school, aristocratic luxury. Their grand state rooms all overlook the stunning gardens which offer the perfect dreamy backdrop to your big day.
Capacity: up to 110
Hire: £4,750+
Holdenby House ,Northampton, NN6 8DJ
https://www.holdenby.com/weddings

The Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey
Truly a statement venue, the Sculpture Gallery set in the grand Wobrun Abbey estate offers a stunning palatial backdrop to your wedding day and even has its own private rose gardens overlooking a small lake.
Capacity: up to 250
Packages including food and drink from £145 – £188 per person
Woburn Abbey, MK17 9WA
https://www.woburnweddings.co.uk/


(picture left to right: Stoke Park Pavillions, Brampton Grange)

Stoke Park Pavilions
This 1630 Italian Palladian style park is set amid handsome grass and woodlands of Northamptonshire.
Capacity: 250+
Hire: £3,590 – £3,850
Stoke Park House, Stoke Bruerne, Towcester NN12 7RZ
http://www.stokeparkpavilions.co.uk/weddings/your-wedding-at-stoke-park-pavilions/

Brampton Grange
This  historic venue set in 25 acres of private estate offers 3 character barns for ceremonies and receptions.
Capacity: up to 260
Hire: £2,750 – £7,250
Sandy Ln, Chapel Brampton, Northampton NN6 8AD
http://www.bramptongrange.co.uk/top-navigation/weddings-and-celebrations/weddings-celebrations.html

 

Photo credits- left to right:

https://www.ukbride.co.uk/wedding-venues/the-walnut-tree-inn

https://www.weddingwire.co.uk/hotel-wedding/saracens-head-hotel–e111223

https://www.woughtonhousehotel.co.uk/

http://www.asianvenueguide.co.uk/item/stadiummk

https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/the-barns-at-hunsbury-hill_6467.htm

https://www.theweddingsecret.co.uk/silverstone-golf-club-wedding-venues-buckinghamshire.html

https://hirespace.com/Spaces/South-East/166433/Woburn-Safari-Lodge/The-Lodge/Weddings

https://www.wedding-venues.co.uk/wedding-ideas/2013/venue-spotlight-dodmoor-house

https://www.boho-weddings.com/2016/02/25/furtho-manor-farm-wedding-in-buckinghamshire-by-will-reddaway-photography/

https://brillpix.com/plum-park-wedding-photographer-beth-chris/

https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/chicheley-hall_5912.htm

https://www.weddingwire.co.uk/unique-wedding-venues/flaxbourne-gardens–e114039

https://www.holdenby.com/

https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/crockwell-farm_3213.htm

https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/stoke-park-pavilions_4124.htm

http://www.bramptongrange.co.uk/

Local walks in Milton Keynes

Now that the sun is shining and spring is on its way, it’s the perfect time to explore some local walks and, being based at MK Arts Centre in the beautiful grounds of Linford Manor, we thought we’d share some local walks in the Milton Keynes area. Milton Keynes is known for being a melting pot of urban and rural landscapes. As a result it has many green open spaces that flow with the original footprint the ‘city’ was built upon enveloping and preserving over 14 villages inside the grid road network. Some popular walking areas are Willen Lake, Ouzel Valley Park, Campbell Park and Caldecotte Lake, but there are always beautiful meadows, parks and little village pockets to be found.

The Parks Trust website lists many local walks in and around Milton Keynes including a 25 mile challenge, guided walks, self-guided walks, discovery strolls,  woof walks, health walks and information on the women’s walking network: https://www.theparkstrust.com/activities/walking/. Whether you’re walking for fun, fitness or just taking the dog for a stroll, there is plenty of truly beautiful places to explore. Ignore the old 1980s reputation Milton Keynes was labelled – get off the grid and look at what’s inside it – it’s beautiful!

 

Here at Cute Maps we have fortunately designed quite a few walk maps with many local businesses, organisations, charities, parishes and MK Council. ‘A dog walkers guide to Milton Keynes’ compiled by Debbie Greaves and Rob Angell has 14 different dog walks that Cute Maps designed. One of our favourites is Dog Walk 2 that meanders around Loughton and Great Holm. Highlights on this walk are lakeside views, ancient hamlets, the 13th century All Saints Church, one ancient village green and one new village green. Another favourite walk of ours is Dog Walk 8, which takes you through the ancient villages of Woolstone, Woughton and a portion of the scenic Ouzel Valley Park which runs the length of the city. This is an hour and a half walk taking in pubs, riverside and canal towpath sections, historic landmarks, children’s play parks and a village green. All walks in this book have nuggets of useful information that’s perfect for every dog walker, such as dog-friendly pubs, poo bins, parking & grazing areas and the length of road walking. The book can be purchased here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/550547534/a-dog-walkers-guide-to-milton-keynes

Another walk we designed was for dance group MOTUS’ event Pedalling the Tracks https://www.motusdance.co.uk/about. Although designed for cycling, walkers were also encouraged to the event and it makes a great walk suitable for all types of walkers, predominantly along the old train track the ‘Newport Nobby’ which ran from Newport Pagnell to Wolverton and includes the preserved train station platforms complete with retro station signs. Featuring the Cute Maps studio building, which was formerly an old gatehouse to Linford Manor in Great Linford, we really recommend this pretty walk to locals and visitors.

Recently Cute Maps also designed the ‘Wolverton Town Trails’ boards, whose walks can be found on the app of the same name in the Apple App Store, Google Play store and on Milton Keynes Councils’ website. There are four trails – here’s a peek of the ‘Walk in Railwaymen’s Footsteps’ walk. Look out for the boards in Wolverton planned to be erected later this year!

 

First Picture- from left to right, top to bottom.

Great Linford Manor- https://discovermiltonkeynes.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/great-linford-manor/

Ouzel Valley Park- https://www.theparkstrust.com/parks/ouzel-valley-park

River Crossing- http://www.mkramblers.org.uk/

Peace Pagoda- Instagram @errazti_93

Launch of the Milton Keynes Cute Shop!

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This week Cute Maps delivers its charming and detailed illustrated map of the city to the MK community and public beyond. This delightful representation of the sites and attractions of this contemporary town is sure to capture the attention of MKphiles and tourists alike. You can view and purchase them through the Cute Maps website http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/product-category/milton-keynes-shop/. The comprehensive design includes landmarks as recent as the Leaping Man Statue to soon-to-be-missed iconic The Point. Stickmen cycle Dansteed Way, wakeboard Willen Lake, fish on Furzton Lake and shear the sheep in the surrounding farmland. The cutting edge architecture of MK Theatre, Intu, Stadium MK & Oxley Park Eco Houses cutely sit amongst the treasured historical landmarks of Bletchley Park, Bradwell Abbey, Walton Hall & Great Linford Manor amongst many, many others.

Milton Keynes is Director Sheree’s home town. Sheree recently relocated back to MK where she felt inspired to create a detailed ‘Cute’ depiction of the visionary city. Milton Keynes is very close to Sheree’s heart and she has loved creating this map! The Milton Keynes ‘Cute Map’ marks Sheree’s first comprehensive map design of a town or city.

The Milton Keynes Cute Map is currently available as an A4 Mounted Print – great wall art for all MKphiles out there! And more practically as a cotton tea towel. These are available to buy at http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/product-category/milton-keynes-shop/ alongside matching note cards, where you can scribble down your messages to friends and loved ones  to  a backdrop of our cute & wonderful Milton Keynes landmarks, and mini framed MK motifs in a brushed silver chunky frame: the cutest of all Milton Keynes collectibles! Available  as single  frames or a set of three landmarks.

I’m sure you’ll agree that they are in fact, very cute indeed! Head over to the shop now to get your hands on your very own MK memento!
http://www.cutemaps.co.uk/product-category/milton-keynes-shop/