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On since 2022

Last update: November 2023

Canford School is located in Winborne, Dorset. A picture-perfect fairytale setting for your upcoming wedding celebrations. Situated on the bank of the River Stour in the idyllic village of Canford Magna in Dorset, the estate is the ideal choice for a romantic celebration.

We are licensed for civil ceremonies of between 60 and 130 guests taking place in the Long Gallery or Old Library. For your reception choose the baronial Great Hall, with its sweeping staircase and minstrels’ gallery where the Prince of Wales once danced after a shooting party, We offer receptions for up to 130 guests for dining and up to 180 for an evening celebration. With exclusive use of the formal lawns for your wedding day, there is the option of an outdoor ceremony with views to the arboretum and parkland beyond.

The flexibility of what we offer within such a distinctive venue means that, whatever your style our wedding planners will work with you to create a memorable day. Your wedding will be tailored to you, catering is run by our in-house team and you can make use of our extensive knowledge and network of local professionals, or choose your own suppliers for everything else. Our aim is simply to create your perfect day.

Frequently asked questions

Venue Type:

In the Country
Stately Home

Ceremony Options:

Civil Ceremony Licence

Dining Options:

Seated Meal Facilities
Alcohol Licence
Buffet Meal Facilities
In House Catering

Evening Entertainment:

Dance Floor
Entertainment Licence
Live Band Facilities
Evening Reception Facilities
DJ Facilities

Overnight Accommodation:

Overnight Accommodation for Wedding Couple

Venue Staff Assistance:

Master of Ceremonies/ Toastmaster
Wedding Coordinator

Other Features:

Exclusive Use
Disabled Facilities
Car Parking
Confetti Permitted
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5.0 out of 5 rating
Hitched Wedding Awards 2023 Winner
20 reviews
  • Quality of the service
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Response time
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Professionalism
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Value for money
    5 out of 5 rating
  • Flexibility
    5 out of 5 rating
100% Recommended by couples

16 User photos

20 reviews
Emily G. Married on 14/04/2022
5 out of 5 rating

April 2022 wedding

I cannot recommend Canford School highly enough! From the initial meeting to view the venue right up until the day after the wedding they were just perfect. The wedding coordinators were so attentive and nothing was too much trouble. They were flexible to meet my visions and would happily offer alternative ideas to get the most out of the venue.
The food was incredible and the venue itself is so timeless and beautiful. The grounds are well kept and the exclusivity was such a big selling point for us.
I could haven’t asked for a better day and Canford truly offers something magical that we just couldn’t find anywhere else!
Huge thank you to Olivia and Chloe for being the best coordinators I could have asked for and taking care of everything so the day ran just as i had planned!
Love Emily & Sam
Ben O. Married on 02/04/2022
5 out of 5 rating

Lovely venue

We got married in April 2022 and had a very good experience with Canford school. The venue is beautiful but what really sets them above other options is their excellent wedding co-coordinators, Olivia and Chloe. They are so lovely, caring and completely take away all the stress of organising a wedding. They accommodated all of our requests, spoke to all our suppliers directly to organise on the day logistics so we didn't have to worry about timings etc and even managed to get a better ceremony time from the registrar for us! If you want a stress-free, chilled day then chose Canford :)
Abbi B. Married on 20/05/2023
5 out of 5 rating

September Wedding

We had the best day! The venue was lovely, and we had a lovely day for it. All our guests said how amazing the food was, and it was the best wedding food they had ever had. There is so much space, and it’s perfect for all ages, the children loved running around outside and the older people just loved sitting in the library room. Our wedding pictures are amazing, so many photo spots to have amazing photos. Olivia and Chloe were amazing, all the way up to the big day and on the day, the day run so smoothly. 100% recommend this venue.
Anna K. Married on 08/04/2023
5 out of 5 rating


I cannot fault Canford, the service was exceptional from the beginning to end. Nothing was ever too much and we just had the most incredible day within such a beautiful venue. Thank you so so much once again!!
Bex J. Married on 29/10/2022
5 out of 5 rating

The Perfect Wedding Venue

The staff at Canford School were excellent from start to finish and made the whole wedding planning process an easy one. From the very first email I sent, they made me feel special and welcome and that was a rare find. I planned our wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic and living overseas in Australia meant we had to cancel our wedding twice and re-book. The staff at Canford made this easy and we always felt like we were in safe hands. Nothing was too much trouble.

The venue itself is the most beautiful on the South Coast, with stunning grounds next to an idyllic river. In Autumn, the surrounding trees turn to stunning shades of red and orange which is the perfect backdrop for the magical buildings. It was important for us to have exclusivity on our wedding day to avoid having members of the public in our photos and you absolutely get this with Canford School. Walking into the Great Hall felt like walking into Hogwarts and with four big rooms to use how you like on your big day, it doesn't even matter what the weather is doing as everything can be kept inside.

The food was incredible from start to finish and made our guests very happy. I've never had better food at a wedding and I'd love to go back in time just to sample the food once more! The service was professional and was impressive.

My husband and I loved every minute of our wedding journey with Canford School and the team and will always have very special memories of this very special place.
Francesca Married on 19/03/2022
5 out of 5 rating

Amazing venue

Olivia and Chloe were extremely professional throughout the planning and the actual day. Nothing was too much trouble and they guided us through the planning process as we were slightly unsure what we wanted. They were very patient with us. Cannot recommend enough - it’s a fantastic venue ran by great people. Thanks again.
Anonymous Married on 10/08/2019
5 out of 5 rating
Canford School is an absolutely exquisite venue for any event. It was the dream backdrop for our wedding day. From our very first viewing, we thought we would be in safe hands with our event coordinator Olivia; her organisation and communication throughout was top-notch and she went above and beyond to ensure everything went smoothly. We loved our meal tasting and the food on the day was delicious with excellent service. All our guests were blown away by the venue and we had the perfect day.
Anonymous Married on 15/12/2018
5 out of 5 rating

We hit the jackpot with Canford School!

When we started looking for our wedding location it became apparent that it wasn't just the venue that we needed to consider, it was important that we liked the planner, after all we were going to be working with him or her for quite some time. We hit the jackpot with Canford School, stunning location and we got Olivia too. She was able to guide a slightly neurotic bride and handled her first groomzilla with ease. The day was amazing, all the rooms we chose to use looked stunning and the magnificent staircase proved the perfect backdrop for some truly memorable pictures. Many guest commented on how watching Olivia managing the day was like watching a conductor directing their orchestra, this made for a calm Mr and Mrs who could relax and enjoy every last second. Thank you Olivia, thank you Canford for your beautiful venue and thank you to the chefs for some delicious food. With love and wonderful memories Mark and Rachel Lambert
Anonymous Married on 27/10/2018
5 out of 5 rating

The biggest thank you!

I just want to start by saying the biggest thank you. When I look back on my wedding day you're one of the biggest things I am most thankful for. From the minute we met you made me feel like mine was the only wedding in the world and that it was the most important job you had. I sent you emails upon emails with random crazy trains of thought and lists of questions..... but each email was answered with such a upbeat tone and you never made me feel silly for asking anything. The venue is magnificent and I still don’t know how I got so lucky to have my wedding at Canford!! The grounds, the fountain, the library, the entrances... eeeekk it really is the most beautiful, grand setting!! It looks like something out of a fairy-tale and I felt like a princess. You made my vision come to life, from helping me chose the right way for everyone to enter, to helping with my menu, where things should be placed, helping me find the DJ money on the night, advising on details that I had forgotten about and helping me find solutions to them to fit them in my day and just making it feel like you were my best mate and with me all the way. All my guests complimented the venue and the how well the entire event flowed. They all mentioned how fantastic you were Olivia!! You even arranged all up lighting without me being there and it was perfect. The venue is the most picturesque setting for a wedding no matter what time of year but it’s not enough, it’s not a wedding without everything you do. Thank you for helping make the best day of our lives. Big hugs and love!!!
Anonymous Married on 25/08/2018
5 out of 5 rating

Want to do it all again

From the day we were shown around Canford School we immediately knew that it was where we wanted to be married – the stunning grounds, the beautiful ceremony room, the grand Great Hall where we ate and danced – it truly was the most perfect setting.

Naturally we were expecting a little stress along the way but it honestly never happened! The whole experience was like a dream! Olivia, the events co-ordinator, was an actual angel! She took the stress out of everything and anything! Nothing was ever too much trouble, whenever we made contact she replied instantly and always with kindness and a sense of humour. We met frequently to discuss all aspects of the day – a particular highlight was the menu tasting! We were blown away by how amazing the food was, it was such a tough decision deciding which options to go for. Still to this day our guests tell us how much they enjoyed the food!

The entire team on the day were just faultless, they were so attentive, professional and friendly – we are so grateful for all that they did for us and all of our guests. We really cannot thank them enough for making our day so special.

My husband even said to me ”Please can we get divorced so that we can do it all again?!” I considered this!!

On a serious note though, we can both say that our wedding day at Canford School was the best day of both of our lives and we cannot speak highly enough of the venue and the entire team of staff who are part of it.
Anonymous Married on 11/08/2018
5 out of 5 rating

It really looks like something from a period drama

It really looks like something out of a period drama, which I just love! So much more character than a hotel or marque.
Our wedding day was everything we hoped it would be and more (despite the drizzly weather!), and you played a massive part in that which we can't thank you enough for! The day ran like clockwork (it just went too fast!) and the way you had laid everything out and co-ordinated my chosen suppliers was perfect (which is important to an OCD Bride lol). The food was amazing too. So many people were wow'ed and said it was the best wedding they had been to! I would absolutely recommend Canford as a wedding venue
Gerald Married on 29/07/2017
5 out of 5 rating

Magnificent Ground and Buildings

My son, David was married in the parish church at Canford Magna last Saturday, 29th July and their reception was held at the school.

I don’t need to tell you how magnificent the grounds and school buildings are and despite the unseasonal rain it was a lovely place to be.

The arrangements for the reception and the details of the afternoon could not have been faulted, the staff were all smiling, friendly and helpful, the food outstanding and supervising it all Olivia was everywhere not only making sure that everything ran smoothly but lending a hand practically when needed.

The service that she provided to us both before and during the event was exceptional and I wanted to write personally to express our thanks and to say how satisfied we were with all the arrangements.

My wife and I are very grateful to the school and all those involved in giving us such happy lifelong memories.
Anonymous Married on 22/07/2017
5 out of 5 rating


Myself and Hannah just wanted to say a massive thank you for making our wedding day so perfect .
You really did us and our family proud .
Not only from the day we first met you, but throughout the whole wedding preparations.
You worked tirelessly to make sure everything went to plan and it sure did.
We had the best day of our lives, it went so fast though!!
It was magical from start through to the finish and that's all down to your hard work.
Thank you so much.
5 out of 5 rating

Splendid Day

My Daughters wedding was a wonderful success, the staff worked tirelessly all day to ensure everything went smoothly.The food was an absolute delight,we could not fault anything and would reccommend Canford school to everyone as a premier venue for their BIG DAY.
5 out of 5 rating


The weather was perfect, the venue exquisite, our guests were very impressed with the school.
The staff made the day flow perfectly, everything went without a hitch.
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Hitched Wedding Awards 2023 Winner

Canford School Real Weddings

Claire & Rich
35 photos · 12/09/2020


Canford Magna BH21 3AD Wimborne (Dorset)
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