Whether you love them or hate them, hen parties are an integral part of weddings. Traditionally, they bring to mind a group of giddy women – most likely dressed in fancy dress – making their way from one bar to the next, but a hen do can be so much more than this.
If you are looking for something different from the usual or want to plan a more grown-up hen weekend, here is our pick of some of the best alternatives you can organise.
Luxury Spa Trip
No matter how wonderful they are, let’s face it, weddings are stressful for everyone involved. In reality, whether you’re the bride to be or one of the bridesmaids, a relaxed pampering session is probably what you really need leading up to the big day.
With so many luxury spas now offering accommodation, like the Lake District Spa, there’s no reason why and the rest of the hen party have to limit pampering time to just one day, when you can spend the entire weekend doing nothing but relaxing and sipping on some bubbly.
For a hen weekend for those with an adventurous side, outdoor pursuits offer a great way for everyone to bond, make memories, and try new things. With plenty of outdoor adventure centres to choose from all over the UK, you’ll be sure to find one near you that caters to groups – and maybe even offers specific packages for bridal parties.
From treetop adventures to zip lining, forest Segway tours and white water rafting, your imagination (and bravery) really is the limit when it comes to planning an outdoor adventure hen weekend.
Granted it’s not the budget-friendliest of options for a hen weekend, but a well-planned city break can come in surprisingly close to the cost of a night out on the town for everyone. For a more affordable city break, there is nothing stopping you from looking at home with beautiful cities like Edinburgh and the vibrant culture of Manchester only a train ride away.
Even if you do decide to head abroad for your hen weekend, with budget airlines often running flash sales and plenty of gorgeous Airbnb apartments to choose from, you can easily jet away for a couple of nights without breaking the bank and make some memories for life with your closest girlfriends.
You’ll have to time this one well, but depending on when the wedding is, a festival offers the perfect venue for a hen weekend. Festivals are known for their feel-good factor and they offer the perfect way to let loose and have some fun without much organising. Beyond getting everyone a ticket and setting up in the campsite (or luxury campsite, this is a special event after all), you have nothing to worry about for the entire weekend except for making sure you don’t lose anyone in the group!
And it’s not just music festivals you can choose from a more grown-up hen party. There are plenty of other types of festivals and weekend events that can act as the perfect backdrop for your group, depending on what your shared interests are.
More of a one-day event than an entire weekend, but we couldn’t miss a group cooking class of this list. A truly grown-up activity for a hen do, a cookery class is a fun way to get everyone together and learn something new. With many cookery schools and companies now offering special packages for bridal parties, you can often enjoy a cooking class followed by some tasty treats and bubbly to wind down and bond over your successful (or not so successful) cooking attempt.
Whichever type of hen do you decide is the right choice for you, remember that there is far more to hen weekends than just bar crawls, with plenty of more grown-up alternatives to choose from.