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Weddings are the most magical day for most couples, but a charity raffle organised by a prestigious north Yorkshire venue is offering the ultimate prize for any engaged couple – a £25,000 wedding package including reception in an enchanted barn, and a replica of Hagrid’s cottage as the bridal suite! North Shire is an events venue near Saltburn-on-Sea, just up the coast from Whitby in north Yorkshire, and is hosting the raffle – which ends on 28th August – to raise up to £25,000 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust, to bring clean water to remote villages in Nepal.
"Organising a wedding can be an expensive business, particularly if you want something a little out of the ordinary – but that's what we do for every wedding we host at North Shire, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime offer to win the wedding of your dreams for just £2 per ticket – assuming that your dreams involve magic!" explains Carol Cavendish, the Sorceress Supreme of North Shire. "We can't quite promise a phoenix rising from the flames as you say your vows, but our peacock Fawkes is very fond of posing in wedding photos!"
If the winner is more keen on Middle Earth than Hogwarts, that still isn't a problem – the Hobbit House has seen many brides carried across the threshold, and is also a great place to prepare for their ceremony, and unwind after the happiest day!
Carol isn't limiting the competition to engaged couples – if the winner isn't planning their nuptials, they can swap the package for a £25,000 party package instead. "To be honest, if people would rather just have a great weekend away with their friends and extended family, we're just as happy to host that – we won't be forcing the winner down the aisle if they would rather just enjoy the reception as a party!" adds Carol.
All of the proceeds go to one of Carol's favourite charities, the Gurkha Welfare Trust, whose work she has observed first-hand on a recent trip to Nepal. Funds raised will be put towards bringing clean, safe water to the communities in remote mountain villages, installing individual tap stands and toilets for all households. By ensuring a safe water source and providing education on hygiene and sanitation, GWT sees sharp drops in water-borne diseases. Having a water source close by also reduces the burden on women and children, who traditionally spend hours collecting water each day.
"This is a fantastic cause to support, with the chance of winning one of the most unusual prizes we've ever seen offered – the winner and their guests can spend the weekend living in the Hobbit-style Shire House, a Ground Keeper's Cottage and Dorm Room that wouldn't be out of place at Hogwarts, or indeed, Le Petit Chateau – a remarkable cottage which includes bedrooms found behind secret doors and luxury four poster accommodation," explains Carol. "We're throwing in a barbecue on the Friday evening and catered party on the Saturday in our new Enchanted Barn, so whatever they want to celebrate, this is a remarkable prize."
The venue itself has a fantastic pedigree, having been included in The Times 50 best cottages in Britain. Indeed, whilst many accommodation providers mothballed their sites during lockdown periods over the last couple of years, Carol and partner Karl took the opportunity to redevelop some of the facilities at the site, located in a secluded site on the moors with views over the coast near Saltburn-by-the-Sea, converting a barn into a stunning reception hall for up to 450 people, complete with bar, sofas, dancefloor and even a grand piano that plays itself. A new Orangery has been built to provide all-weather cover for wedding services, which can take place at the venue.
Tickets for the competition are just £2, with no limit on how many can be purchased. For more details or to enter, please visit https://www.northshire.co.uk