Alternative hen party ideas for the classy bride-to-be holiday cottages

Hen Parties

Alternative hen party ideas for the classy bride-to-be

Sarah P 25 July 2020

Gone are the days when a hen party consisted of flashing L-plates and a night at the disco; today's bride, and bridal parties demand more, and why not? It has become the norm for couples to get married at an age when they're financially independent; therefore, a bigger (albeit sometimes quieter) ‘do' is much more attainable for all, and we have some great hen party ideas to suit. 

These days, a typical celebration can last up to a week, with hen parties now becoming hen weekends, or even hen holidays! There's no longer a need for the cliché stripper, and all that entails so, with that in mind, we've put together some alternative hen party ideas that are full of elegance and class, and you can host them from one of our hen party houses for the complete package.

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The active hen party

Perfect for the more adventurous hen; choose an activity she’ll always remember. We’re thinking stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, white-water rafting or coasteering. Trying something new can be a fabulous way to reconnect with friends, but also to break the ice among groups who may not all know each other that well. Many activity providers will offer dedicated hen packages to ensure that the whole experience is extra special, throwing in a few games and plenty of banter to go with it.

TOP TIP: Whether you go for a whole day or half-day option, make sure food is arranged for after the activity to banish any hunger pangs! See our ideas for feeding a crowd.


Bodweni Hall | Bala, North Wales

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The great thing about the luxurious Bodweni Hall is that you can hire kayaks and enjoy a range of water sports on-site! But if you need a little tuition and guidance, situated just outside of Snowdonia National Park, you’ll be in the perfect location for outdoor pursuits. Often referred to as the adventure capital of the UK, you’ll be sure to find all kinds of activities in the local area – perfect for the adventurous hen parties. You can kick back and relax in true style at the end of the day as you reflect on who spent more time in the water than on the board.

Great for hen weekends:

  • A games room for evening entertainment
  • A hot tub for post-activity relaxation
  • 75 acres of grounds gardens


The creative hen do

If you’re looking for a hen party idea that is truly unique, then a creative hen party will tick all the right boxes. Whether the bride-to-be is the crafty sort or just likes to try new things, a hen party workshop or craft class can be a fun activity to bring a group of hens together! You could do anything from flower arranging and jewellery making to soap workshops and life drawing. The beauty of it is, you don’t have to be good at making; in fact, the worse you are, the more fun you’re likely to have with the girls in some hilarious circumstances as you embark on a challenge or two. Don’t panic though, as there are plenty of mobile workshops and instructors that will come to you and take the lead on this one!

TOP TIP: Why don’t you arrange to make some of the DIY decorations for the wedding itself? It might help to lessen the wedding to-do list.


Cotswold Grange | Dursley, Gloucestershire

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Crafty hen dos can be held all over the UK, with plenty of local and nationwide workshops, but the Cotswold Grange is simply the most fabulous venue to host a hen weekend. If you’re looking for a venue that will wow the hen and her girls from the moment you arrive along the sweeping driveway, then look no further than this stunning wisteria-clad Georgian mansion. Not only is there plenty of space to spread out and get crafty, but when all the fun and games come to an end, the girls can unwind with a selection of wonderful private facilities.  

Great for hen weekends:

  • Spend sunny afternoons by the outdoor swimming pool
  • Relax in the private hot tub
  • Get competitive in the games room or catch a movie on the big screen


Spa and wellness hen break

For hen party ideas to suit groups of mixed ages, you’ll probably want to find an activity that everyone will enjoy, and who doesn’t love a chance to be pampered? It might be a welcome break from the wedding planning for the bride-to-be, the first night away from the children, or a break from busy work schedules. You’ll be feeling so relaxed that you’ll be ready for whatever the days running up to the wedding throw at you.

TOP TOP: If you fall in love with hen accommodation that doesn’t have spa facilities, why not book a hen party house with a hot tub and arrange for a mobile treatment provider to create a bespoke package?


The Lodge House | Nant Ddu, Brecon Beacons

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Located in the grounds of a Brecon Beacons spa, you couldn’t find a better hen party house for a peaceful and low-key celebration for the bride-to-be. Guests are free to use the indoor pool, sauna, jacuzzi and steam room, and treatments are available at a discount when booked through the owner. Complete the day with tea and cake in the beautiful gardens followed by dinner in the on-site restaurant. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect hen do package that will please the whole crowd?

Great for hen weekends:

  • Access to the on-site spa with discounted treatments
  • An on-site restaurant and bar
  • Beautiful walking opportunities straight from the door


Hen do activities for the foodie 

Cookery classes for the foodie is a fabulous way to celebrate the impending nuptials. It’s not just something the hen will love, but a chance to reconnect with dear friends over good food and drink, and what sounds more fabulous than that? You could choose a theme based on something that is important to the hen, for example, an Italian cooking class because that’s where the couple got engaged, or a Thai workshop ahead of their honeymoon in Thailand. It could also be a chance to learn how to make something you’ve always thought about trying but never got round to, like breadmaking or an introduction into the craft of making chocolates.

TOP TIP: If you choose a particular cuisine, why not theme the whole hen do around it? You could use it to inspire the decorations, games, music and treats!


Redford Farm Barns | Ludlow, Shropshire

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We have picked this incredible property because it has not one, but two fabulous kitchens to choose from, but anywhere with an open-plan kitchen/diner would work for this hen party idea. Not only was the main kitchen featured in Nigella Lawson's Christmas special in 2018, but there is also an outdoor kitchen and a rustic barn with a bar! You’ll have plenty of entertaining space to choose from, whatever delicacies you plan to cook. Simply stunning, this venue is sure to be one that the bride-to-be and her hens will fall in love with. 

Great for hen weekends:

  • An outside kitchen and fire pit area
  • A games barn with its own bar
  • Divide into two halves to make it perfect for partying and privacy

The party house takeover

For the ultimate pyjama party, organise a party house takeover that offers the chance to play ‘ladies of the manor' for a time, allowing private access to the property and its facilities. A little like a grown-up slumber party, indulge yourselves in some time away with your nearest and dearest in style. Most manor houses available to hire in a ‘takeover' are brimming with appealing amenities perfect for pampering and plenty of fun. These facilities can include spa treatments and treatment rooms, tennis courts, swimming pools and even vineyards, perfect for the ultimate relaxing hen weekend with the girls.

TOP TIP: Even if you plan to spend most of the hen do relaxing at the property, it’s a good idea to make a rough plan so that all the guests know when to expect activities and mealtimes.


The Colloquy | Kington, Herefordshire

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This beautiful property offers a wealth of impressive features and things to do, so there is no need to leave once you and your hen party arrive at this peaceful retreat. Complete with a hot tub, sauna, swimming pool, squash court and a stunning dining room that becomes a cinema room by night, it makes the perfect party house takeover venue. With a mix of complete relaxation and fun and frivolity, your whole group will love every second of the hen party weekend fun!

Great for hen weekends:

  • Private sauna and hot tub
  • Swimming pool
  • Squash court for healthy competition

The refined hen do

No hen party will be complete without a few cocktails or G&Ts. Whatever your signature tipple, why not really get to know it on your hen do? With the rise of craft gin in the UK, you don’t have to go far to find a distillery that will offer you and your girls the chance to partake in some tasting! Or perhaps wine is more your thing? The South Coast certainly lays claim to some of the UK's finest vino. Many vineyards and distilleries will offer a range of different tours and tastings, often including lunch or dinner too! We think that this is a hen party idea that will suit all your guests. 

TOP TIP: Book a minibus and collect money from your guests ahead of the celebration so that you can all enjoy yourselves without designating drivers.


West Hoy Oast | Smarden, Kent

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Within a few miles of Hush Heath Vineyard, Kent Vineyard and Biddenden Vineyards, this quirky oast house well and truly sets you at the heart of England’s winemaking country. You’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding which tours and tastings to book the group on to and if you have a few days to spare, why not do more than one? West Hoy Oast is the perfect base for tantalising your taste buds with wine because after an enjoyable day out with the girls you can return to the property and relax in the hot tub or take a dip in the swimming pool. There’s also a big dining area that would be perfect for hosting your own tastings should you decide to go it alone!

Great for hen weekends:

  • Within easy reach of three of Kent’s top vineyards
  • Access to a private hot tub and swimming pools
  • Your own private games room


The beach party

When you’re craving sea air and sunshine but heading abroad is off the cards, why not recreate the hen’s summer beach party dreams, right here in the UK? Choose a hen party house right by the beach, and you can spend days soaking up the sun and evenings drinking tropical cocktails and BBQing with a view. Or, why not just stay on the beach from sunrise to sunset and create special hen memories that’ll last a lifetime? The more active types will love water sports, boat trips and beach games too!

TOP TIP: Hen parties should be fun! So why not set aside a day for beach games and set up a friendly competition of things like volleyball and rounders in teams?


Bonny Blink Cottage | Seaview, Isle of Wight

It might not be a Greek island but hopping on the ferry to the Isle of Wight will certainly feel like a holiday. Bonny Blink Cottage is in the village of Seaview which is home to a beautiful seaside resort with long sandy beaches, water sports, shops, restaurants, and a real seaside holiday vibe. There is direct access across the lawns of the property down on to the beach, so days on the sand are super easy. It’s the perfect location whether you’re an active group who wants to try their hands at kite surfing, or sunbathing all day is more your thing. If you want to make the trip extra special, there is even space to moor a yacht – now there’s an idea!

Great for hen weekends:

  • Direct access to the beach
  • Al fresco dining terrace with views out to sea
  • Large and spacious rooms for big groups

Cocktails and dancing  

While L-plates and butlers in the buff are off the cards, classy drinks and tapas in the city certainly aren’t. A night or two away with the girls lends itself to a night on the town, even if you’re the kind of girls who are back in your PJs eating pizza by 11pm! But if that’s the case, then you need somewhere pretty spectacular to chill out, play games, and have fun, and we’ve found just the place. You can tailor this hen party idea however you wish, making it the perfect celebration for the bride-to-be. 

TOP TIP: If you’re heading out, arrange for everyone to be ready an hour before you leave so you can set yourselves up with nibbles and drinks in the garden. It’ll be the perfect photo opportunity too!


Shallows End | Bath, Somerset

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This incredible property definitely has the wow-factor worthy of a hen party house! Shallows End is a luxurious, modern property with everything a group needs for a special celebration. We’re talking tonnes of space, hot tub, sauna, fire pit and a games room with a bar, not to mention all that outside space. Conveniently, it’s only 5 miles from the fine city of Bath so after a night in Bath’s classiest cocktail bars you can return with ease to relax in the sumptuous living room or one of the decadent bedrooms. With all those fabulous facilities on offer, your hangover will soon be a distant memory.

Great for hen weekends:

  • Private hot tub and sauna
  • A games room with a bar
  • Huge rooms with plenty of chairs and sofas for big groups

Are you brimming with ideas and ready to plan a lavish hen weekend? We hope these alternative hen party ideas have inspired a celebration to remember, whether you’re planning your own hen do or a surprise for the bride-to-be. Keep the inspiration rolling with our top hen party houses with hot tubs and spa facilities. If you’re looking for stag party ideas, these suggestions that don’t require a passport are a great place to start.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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