Have a Question?

Find most answers to your questions right on this page.

Cote How is a small family business which offers its home as a private hire venue. We live onsite and welcome you to our home where we host your wedding with fully exclusive use, however we are not a hotel which offers services to non residents, or the general public. You will benefit from hiring a bespoke venue which specialises in intimate and exclusive weddings and can be completely flexible.

We can arrange a show round of Cote How by appointment only. If you wish to bring any friends or relatives with you then can we suggest that you limit your visits to 4 people. Weekends are an extremely busy time for us particularly in wedding season and we cannot offer show rounds when the venue is in use as each couple have sole exclusivity for the duration of their stay. 
For those travelling from afar we offer virtual guides via our Youtube channel or we can arrange a live virtual tour. 

The venue is used on an exclusive basis so rest assured that there are no other guests on the premises throughout your wedding. Your wedding style will determine how much of the venue is in use on the day for you. Some weddings are for the house only and some include the barn too. These areas are clearly defined in your wedding contract. There are also some areas of the house and grounds that are marked as private as these are ‘staff only’ areas, are off limits due to health & safety, or is our private living accommodation. Access to the main staircase that leads to the bedrooms is strictly limited to residents only. Therefore on the wedding day we ask that any additional members of the bridal party that are not residents arrive ready and wait in the downstairs reception areas of the house and not in the bedrooms.

Yes, Caroline agrees all of your arrangements with you during your planning stages and it is her, Steve and the family team that serves you and your guests on the day ensuring that every detail of your wedding is carried out to perfection. 

Yes, we believe that your wedding is a private and intimate affair and so we only offer total exclusivity for every wedding on-site, whether a 2 hour ceremony for 2 people, or a full weekend package for 32 people.

Yes you can hire either the house, lawn and house terrace only (these are the only options for Winter Weddings, as the barn closes) or the house and barn which includes barn courtyard. Some parts of the venue are closed after use to suit the flow of your event. For example the house ceremony room and guest lounge are closed in the evening once the party has moved to the barn. If your wedding is in the house only then all rooms will remain in use.

We do offer late notice discounts if our wedding is within 45 days and we have availability. We also will offer alternative days to the norm if we are available. If you are on a budget and need to make savings to your budget please ask Caroline for expert ways of trimming budgets without impacting on quality – She is in expert in this!.

Yes, the meadow leading to the lake edges of Rydal water is ours too, so unlike other venues you can actually take a short stroll along the river bank and dip your toes into the lake! Rydal Water is literally 200m from our barn gate and we do encourage you to take advantage of this amazing treat. Your photographs are so important and the views on the lake side are truly amazing! 

We have two cash bars which are open throughout the day. The house bar is situated off the main reception room, and the barn bar serves local real ale and chilled lager on draft. The house bar does close once the party moves to the barn for dinner and evening reception in order to keep your wedding in one place.

All guest numbers include the happy couple!


  • 32 people  for the wedding ceremony
  • 24 for a formal wedding breakfast (3 tables of 8 people)
  • 24 for an Afternoon Tea (3 tables of 8 people)
  • Up to 16 for fine dining in the main reception room


  • 12 people for the wedding ceremony


  • Up to 16 for fine dining in the main reception room


  • Up to 32 for a wedding ceremony or wedding Breakfast 


  • Up to 12 for a wedding ceremony 

Midweek weddings all finish at 21:00 and include a little time for chilling at dusk.

Weekend weddings include an evening reception from 19:00 – 23:00

We do not allow marquees or teepees on site. As we specialise in smaller more intimate weddings, which suit our infrastructure, therefore additional capacity is not really required. If you are looking for a larger wedding then we feel that larger venues can accommodate this much easier.

Yes you have your own dedicated wedding planner in Caroline. With over 30 years experience in the wedding. design and hospitality business, you can be assured of the best advice. Caroline will guide you through every step of your wedding, plus we will offer you a whole host of guides from the client area of our website once you have booked your wedding here. These guides are a valuable step by step guide and timeline to ensure that you know exactly when things are due or need addressing. This service is all free of charge.

Once you have decided that you want Cote How as your venue, email Caroline to let her know and she will guide you through the steps.
You will be required to pay a £1,000 booking fee to secure the date whilst the paperwork and the registrars are confirmed. A booking is not confirmed until this has been received and your wedding contract signed. There is then a 7 day “Cooling Off” period after which time the Wedding Contract becomes binding. Please see full terms and conditions

The local registrar’s office is in Kendal:

County Offices
Busher Walk

Online Form: Registrar Wedding Enquiry Form

Tel: 0300 303 2472 (select South Lakes area)
or Email: [email protected]

Yes you have your own dedicated wedding planner in Caroline. With over 30 years experience in the wedding. design and hospitality business, you can be assured of the best advice. Caroline will guide you through every step of your wedding, plus we will offer you a whole host of guides from the client area of our website once you have booked your wedding here. These guides are a valuable step by step guide and timeline to ensure that you know exactly when things are due or need addressing. This service is all free of charge.

We can arrange private or group viewings with our wedding planner Caroline, once you have completed some preliminary questionnaires. 
As you will no doubt understand, time is limited, as we have many couples wishing to make appointments each year. Mid-week is less time constrained and we can usually arrange private viewings then. Weekends are very busy and so a group show around might be the best available option. Where possible, these visits also need to be limited to one hour, in order to try and accommodate everybody!
To arrange a viewing, please make an enquiry by downloading our wedding brochure and following all the links.

Yes we encourage this in order to go through the details again closer to the wedding date. As our time and venue vacancies are extremely limited between events we do need to limit your visits to just one ‘Final Planning Meeting’. This is timed to be 8-12 weeks prior to your wedding date. You will come prepared having completed our online wedding guide and time line so we literally just need to check the finer detail at this stage. If you have suppliers such as photographers and venue stylists wishing to view the venue you must arrange for them to attend this meeting too. We time this for one hour after our meeting starts and you can show them around alone as Caroline may have other appointments to attend to.

It is really important to us to make the venue car free for the wedding itself. This enables photographs form any angle at any time and actually makes your photographers work much easier. We have tried very hard to create and maintain a naturally beautiful environment and believe that this in the most important factor with choosing this venue – It is surrounded by natural beauty…. So a bright yellow car in the centre of a great shot is a real spoiler!
We move our own cars in order to accommodate this too as we genuinely try to make the venue look stunning on your day. We therefore need you to believe in this and be happily on board with this policy. People driving to the venue late for the ceremony expecting to park onsite is what we wish to avoid. We do explain all of this in our Guest information Pack which is available from our client area once booked. Taxis and pre-booked transport is an essential part of accommodating our car free policy and does make your wedding day far less stressful.
For overnight residents we can accommodate 3 cars, though these are removed to the lane or car park down the lane for the wedding itself, then retrieved after the weddings has moved into the barn and all garden photos are completed. There is limited parking on the lane outside and plenty in the public pay and display car park just 50m down the lane, though they get filled very early at busy times and during good weather as walkers will arrive early for a day in the fells. Again we emphasise that your guests are best transported via pre-booked minibuses. These will do pickups in Ambleside or Grasmere and will ensure that your guests arrive and depart in a timely manner. We have plenty of minibus numbers and taxi companies in our suppliers section of the client area of the website.

Yes, the nearest is called Pelter Bridge Car Park just 50m before us on the lane. This is a pay and Display Car Park and is patrolled by the National Park. It is £7 per day and only takes £1 coins!

It does however get full first thing in the morning and is not a reliable fall back – Taxis from Ambleside and Grasmere are less stressful. 

We have our own on-site caterers and we source all of our food locally. We develop our own menus seasonally and have tried and tested our menus ensuring that we have control over the quality of what we offer, in addition to the provenance of the food we serve. We offer a wide and varied selection of food options, but if you have any special requests outside our normal menu selections, we will do our very best to accommodate them. 
Menu options are available here 

Yes! we have many years’ experience and have built a fine reputation for attention to detail and flexibility, so whether vegan, dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, or raw diet only, we can cater for you! There are additional charges for special diets outside of the normal menus meat or vegetarian options.

The only food permitted to be brought in is your wedding cake. We will supply a table and a knife for your cake cutting photos. If you wish to have a particular type of cake stand, you will need to hire this in, although we can offer a traditional 10” glass stand or a wooden tree ring free of charge.

Yes. We can offer this service and can cut your cake into portion sizes and supply plates, forks and napkins for a buffet or served to your table. There is an additional charge for this service.

As a fully licensed premise we do not offer any form of corkage, but do havea flexible range of cocktails, beers, ciders and lagers plus a selection of red and white wines, Prosecco and English Sparkling wines.

We have a comprehensive list of wines, including our standard ranges, premium, ethical and organic options. We also offer local real ales and Peroni on draft in the fully stocked barn bar. 

Yes. We often manage a tab behind the bar to accommodate a varied list of drinks. This only works from the barn bar, where there is plenty of space for guests to be served quickly. If a round is needed for a toast, it is advisable to pre-order the same round, as it can be ready all at the same time and served quickly to the tables. Likewise, we advise wine with a formal meal, as we can leave equivalent bottles to the glasses per person, pre-ordered on the tables to save walking to and queuing at the bar during food service.  Any pre-paid drinks are then left on the side tables for distribution throughout the meal.
We allow 6 glasses per bottle, so bottle equivalents are allocated to each wedding. Any further drinks required can be purchased from the bar or, if authorised, added to the wedding tab.

We base all of our bar pricing on local pub prices with a full price list available on request.

Our house wines are a mid range selection for mour suppliers at EWGA and include:

  • Reds: Merlot, Rioja, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Whites: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc 

Yes. Unlike many venues we will take responsibility for this (very stressful) element of your wedding. We have a Sonos sound system throughout the house and barn and can play the same music simultaneously. We will play your ceremony music for you, plus we can play your own playlists as background and milling music throughout your wedding. This way you have personalised music which plays a major part in setting the tone of your wedding day. 

If you wish you can use our Sonos System and playlists for a low key evening in the barn. If you want anything more then you can source your own entertainment to suit your style and budget. The house will only accommodate a live acoustic singer due to size. The barn will take a live entertainer / disco set up or a 3 piece band. Midweek weddings are kept low key, and so no bands mid-week!

We do not have any disco lighting for entertainment, so you will need to arrange this via your entertainment provider.

We recognise that some couples are very into their music and this is a really important element of their day, others are very relaxed about the music and would prefer us to play background music from our archives. If you wish to design your own playlists then we can play these for you via our Sonos Sound System..

To complete your wedding booking we require an initial £1,000 holding fee to save the date. This is retained for a maximum period of 7 days whilst your contract is agreed, signed and returned. After this time your holding fee and any payments made on account are non-refundable. In addition to your holding fee, full payment of the wedding is required in stages with the final payment being due not less than 3 months before your wedding date. Any estimated extra costs must be paid in advance e.g.: Bar Tab, extra guests added at late notice, damage or loss (see below), any surplus is refunded to you within 7 days of your wedding.
We usually ask for £1,000 deposit / booking fee on booking
25% deposit payment 30 days later
25% 9 months before the wedding
25% 6 months before the wedding
Final 25% 3 months before the wedding.

You can make over-payments towards your wedding at any time, provided that the full amount is paid in advance of your balance due date as quoted on your wedding contract.  
If you cancel your wedding, the monies paid towards your wedding on account can be refunded on a sliding scale – Please refer to our website for our full terms and conditions for details. The initial holding fee is non-refundable after 7 days have elapsed from paying this. For these reasons we therefore strongly advise that you take out wedding insurance to insure against any unforeseen circumstances.

We are dog friendly at Cote How and can allow ONE well behaved dog to the ceremony and drinks reception part of the wedding if you so wish. However, they are not permitted upstairs in the house and therefore overnight stays are not possible. Some of our local accommodation providers do take dogs. From the meal onwards we ask that you employ a dog sitter / walker to look after your dog off site.
You must ensure that your dog is taken out of the grounds for toilet breaks!
Take a look at our blog about “Tips for happy dogs at weddings”

Cote How is not a “child friendly” environment with many hazards evident.
We also feel that although we love children (having had three ourselves) that the relaxed chilled style of wedding we promote cannot be achieved if there are lots of children and strict supervision required at all times by all parents – who then themselves would find a full day’s wedding hard to relax and gain the most enjoyment from.

As such, rather then ban children, we set a limit to the children of the happy couple only  (
maximum of three under 10 years old)

We do not offer a child’s menu, but a smaller plate of the adult choices!
For afternoon teas we do offer a picnic bag as an alternative.

Children are all those aged below 10 years of age. 
Children aged over 10 are classed as adults for catering purposes.

We have one high chair which is free to use. Children under the age of 2 are not charged but do take a place at the table and so will be counted in capacity numbers.

Yes. We have three rooms on-site which are reserved for the immediate bridal party only. This includes the Bridal Suite and two other rooms which are reserved for family members only (this excludes bridesmaid parties). These rooms are available for weekend weddings as a two night stay for the same guests. As we are such a small team we cannot accommodate room changes after one night so we will only allow the same guests for both nights.

No. We do not have any accommodation on-site other than that reserved for the main bridal party. 

If you have booked a midweek one day wedding, then there is no accommodation included and we will expect you to arrive ready to go!
If you have booked a weekend wedding then you will have the opportunity to arrive the night before, enjoy breakfast then get ready in your own room.
If you are travelling a distance, then we advise that you book the venue for a 2 night wedding. This allows access from 16:00 the day before the wedding, and also allows for any venue styling that you may wish to attend to ahead of the wedding. The barn is available from 16:00 – 18:00 the night before the wedding, provided that you have booked the venue for that evening too.
If you booked a midweek wedding then we can allow the use of one bedroom for final touches and dressing. This is limited to the bride and one helper only. You will only get access from 30 minutes before your partner and guests arrive.

Always refer to your wedding contract for check in and check out times as midweek weddings all vary.

Weekend weddings allow a check in time of 16:00 on the Friday afternoon and check out is 11:00 on the Sunday morning.

Yes – If you wish to have items such as chair covers, sashes, any other items then we encourage you to hire these in from a professional who can set this up pre-wedding for you. If you wish to add any finishing touches to the venue yourselves such as bunting, table dressing, table decorations favours and flowers etc this can only be accommodated as a weekend wedding when we will be on hand the night before to assist with this. If you have booked a smaller mid week wedding then there is no time to dress the venue yourselves as access is only from 12 noon.  

It would depend on the numbers involved, but we will advise on best layouts for each wedding. For example, any more than 40 for a sit down meal will have to be accommodated in a horseshoe layout rather than round tables due to size restrictions.

We have 5 x 5ft round tables which each seat 8 people comfortably.
We have 8 rectangle tables which measure 1.9m x 0.7m.
We have 50 gold chairs with green velvet seat pads used in the house Fairfield ceremony room. The style is called Cheltenham.
We also have 50 white chairs for use outside or in the barn. These are slightly larger than the indoor chairs  (44 cm wide) and do not take a chair cover. Sashes are sometimes used on these as added decoration, but not essential.

Yes. We include white linen tablecloths and napkins in all weddings and this is calculated into your wedding costs.
Any additional styling such as chair covers and sashes are at an additional charge

Can we access the barn and venue the night before to decorate it ourselves?
Access to the barn and whole venue depends on the package you have booked. To access the barn the night before, you will need to book the venue for the night before the wedding, in addition to the wedding night. Weekend packages include a check in from 4pm on the Friday night. the barn is then available from 4-6pm for decorating.

The barn measures approximately 10m long and 5.5m wide. It has two ‘A’ framed beams in the centre which are 5.5m wide. Most people add bunting in a cross formation and/or under the two beams. We have added cup hooks to the ends and centre of the beams to make this easy to put up.
Barn Measurements for bunting (remember to add plenty extra to these measurements to allow spare and for the drape of the bunting):
The main beams or ‘A’ frames in the ceiling form a corner to corner for criss cross – From corner to corner measures 8m taught. You will need two lengths.
Bar measures 3m and has 3 cup hooks – 1 each side and 1 in the centre. 
Window Ledge measures 2.7m x 45cm deep. There is a cup hook on each side.

The barn already has a plethora of twinkling fairy lights and the beams are adorned with festoon lights. These are fixed into place and cannot be changed. Due to health & safety implications we cannot allow any further electric decorations to be brought onsite. We limit the ceiling decor to bunting. Table decorations can include battery operated lighting. The rectangle tables are narrow, therefore large table decorations will not fit. Please limit your table decorations to jars of flowers interspersed with tealights / battery operated lighting. 

Yes it is easier for you to book the transport for your guests in coaches or minibuses as this helps to make sure they arrive and depart in a timely manner. There are a few companies that will offer a private booking using minibus shuttles between here and their accommodation.

Taxis are sometimes reluctant to take advance bookings which is why we recommend minibus / private hire companies. However – if you do need a private taxi it is worth enquiring now, then confirming any booking closer to the date. 
All taxis must be pre-booked to collect between 11:00pm and 11:15pm. The barn will close at 11:30pm prompt. 
Please note that we cannot ring taxis for guests. All pre-booked taxis will wait on the terrace in front of the house and will not go down to the barn. Make sure you are waiting on the front terrace if you have booked a taxi. Cote How cannot be held responsible for any taxi bookings.

Larger coaches are great but due to the narrow single track lane access is limited. Coaches must drop off on the main A591 outside Rydal Lodge (opposite Rydal Church) then guests walk across the wooden footbridge over the River Rothay and into our field. The house is on the left hand side. Wellies advisable if wet weather!

For contact details of coaches, minibuses and taxis please refer to our Wedding Suppliers page of our Client area once you have booked your wedding here.

Didn't find your answer?

Please refer to this list and if you cannot find your answer please feel free to email us your query

Start your wedding journey now...

Social Media

Get Connected

Follow us to keep up to date with our latest news, events and wedding tips

Scroll to Top