Wedding Fever at Hazlewood Castle

Hazlewood Castle is a great venue for a wedding, a romantic weekend getaway or just for afternoon tea. Step into my elegant shoes, we are going to Leeds to discover the history and charm of this magnificent stately home…

Just a short drive out of Leeds City Centre, heading up the A64 towards York is the small village of Hazlewood, which is where we find Hazlewood Castle, now a hotel.

Hazlewood Castle, Leeds Hazlewood Castle, Leeds Hazlewood Castle, Leeds Hazlewood Castle, Leeds

Hazlewood Castle History

Once a baron’s residence, this grand castle, which is now a prestigious country hotel was first recorded in history in the Doomsday Book.

The castle was occupied by the Vavasour family for over 900 years and over the centuries hosted many royal visitors, including Mary Queen of Scots in 1569.

Hazlewood Castle and its residents witnessed what has been chronicled as “probably the largest and bloodiest battle on ever fought English soil” in 1461 during the War of the Roses when the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians in the Battle of Towton in the village of the same name, over which the castle presides.  It is said that 28,000 lives were lost during this battle.

In 1908 Hazlewood was sold by the Vavsour family when they relocated to New Zealand, and the site changed hands many times over the subsequent years: during the second world war and right up until 1953 it served as a maternity hospital. In fact, my father was born in that year and went to school with a girl called Hazel, who was the last baby to be born there and was therefore named after the castle.

Until 1958 it was owned by the Fawcett family and then after exchanging hands a few times more it became a monastery and retreat for the Carmelite Friars, a Roman Catholic religious order, from 1971 until 1996.

In 1997 the house was re-opened as Hazlewood Castle Hotel and the chapel that had been used by the monks was decommissioned as a catholic place of worship.

A Wedding at Hazlewood Castle

Hazlewood Castle oozes charm and history from the sprawling landscaped grounds to the grand castle itself.

Unfortunately, my cousin could not have picked a worse day for her wedding: the wind and rain lashed at us all day. Luckily the castle’s reception room was large enough to receive all the guests before we were invited into the spacious banquet hall where the wedding breakfast was served.

Hazlewood Castle

The fact that Hazlewood castle is a hotel and its being out of the city centre prompted us to stay over.

My parents’ room was in the original castle building and our room was in the new annexe. To get to the annexe we had to go through the old library, which has been turned into a bar but whose walls are still lined with leather-bound books, and through a secret passage.

The rooms, all named after flowers, really are beautiful and elegant and each of the 35 bedrooms is decorated in its own fashion and none are the same shape or size.

Adding to the charm of the old place is the legend that the castle is haunted by a black-habited monk. I’m pleased to say I didn’t see him! Several of the bedrooms are said to be haunted.

Hazlewood Castle Breakfast

When you book to stay at Hazlewood Castle, breakfast is included and is served downstairs in what were once the castle’s kitchens and what now is the Vavasour Restaurant.

I have heard very good reports about the restaurant itself but unfortunately breakfast was not up to much: the food was nice enough when it arrived and the presentation was lovely but we waited nearly an hour after ordering before the meal was served, and some of the wedding party didn’t even get served at all, including the bride’s parents!

However, the weather the day after the wedding was, in stark contrast to the previous day, gloriously sunny and warm, and those of us who had been lucky enough to get breakfast, walked it off on a tour of the castle grounds before leaving.

Hazlewood Castle, Leeds

Planning a Wedding at Hazlewood Castle

Hazlewood Castle is well equipped for hosting weddings, with its fabulous banquet room, accommodation for guests, beautifully manicured grounds for wedding photos (for those who are lucky with the weather) and that grand castle feel.

The castle does special offers out of season, has open evenings where you can meet with professional consultants and discuss the finer details over a glass of champagne, and even has wedding fairs.

Necessary information for those who want a Hazlewood Castle wedding:


Address: Paradise Lane, Hazlewood, Nr Leeds & York, North Yorkshire, England, LS24 9NJ
Telephone: 01937 535315
Google map:

View Larger Map


The hotel has 35 rooms, each one different and uniquely decorated. Some are in the original castle building, some in the new annexe and the rest in the courtyard area. See the room rates here.

Parking Facilities:

There are two car parks within the grounds; one for visitors and one for residents. Just follow the signs.

Disabled Access:

This castle is centuries old so accessibility is not its strong point, however, thanks to refurbishments, most areas of the castle are accessible, but if you have special needs it would be wise to speak with the management before booking anything.

Click here to see all my photos from the day on Flickr.

Or click here to read more things to do in Leeds.

Filed Under: featuredleedsUK

About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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