Alternative hen party ideas for memorable celebration holiday cottages

Hen Parties

Alternative hen party ideas for memorable celebration

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. For more activity ideas for a hen do, take a look at our outdoor activity guide for groups. 

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.

Where to stay for an active hen party

Bodweni Hall | Bala, North Wales

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Bodweni Hall

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 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.

Where to stay for a creative hen party

Moffat Mansion | Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway

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Moffat Mansion

Crafty hen dos can be held all over the UK, with plenty of local and nationwide workshops, but Moffat Mansion 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 elegant 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

Spa and wellness 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 tip

 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?

Where to stay for a spa hen party

Grange Ford| Bicester, Oxfordshire

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Grange Ford

Located in a peaceful location off a quiet country lane in Oxfordshire, this stunning county house is absolutely perfect for a relaxing and low-key celebration for the bride-to-be. Guests can arrange complementary therapy treatments with the owner including a variety of massages, reflexology, facials, pedicures, and manicures. During the summer, Pilates sessions can also be arranged in the private garden of Grange Ford. Complete the day with a glass of Prosecco in your own private hot tub followed by dinner in one of the restaurants in Bicester town which is just 2.5 miles away. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect hen do package that will please the whole crowd?

Great for hen weekends:

  • Beauty and therapy treatments are available to book with the owner
  • There is a private hot tub and pool table
  • Close to Bicester village for shopping and 2 train stations which provide access to London and Birmingham 


Hen do activities for the foodie 

Foodie hen do

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!

Where to stay for a foodie hen do

Redford Farm Barns | Ludlow, Shropshire

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Redford Farm Barns

We have picked the incredible Redford Farm Bans in Shropshire 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 hen party at home

The hen party at home

For the ultimate pyjama party, organise a hen party at home that offers the chance to play ‘ladies of the manor', 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 for hen parties 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.

Where to stay for a hen party at home

The Colloquy | Kington, Herefordshire

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The Colloquy

This beautiful Colloquy 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 in Herefordshire. 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 classy hen do

The classy 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.

Where to stay for a classy hen do

West Hoy Oast | Smarden, Kent

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West Hoy Oast

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 low-key hen party

Many brides-to-be would rather opt for a quiet hen do without extravagant games, energetic activities, and copious amounts of tasty beverages. A low-key hen party might be a casual meal at her favourite restaurant, shopping in a beautiful city, afternoon tea at a top-notch venue or a relaxing spa day. Non-drinking hen party ideas are a fantastic option for low-key celebrations, and with how hen parties have evolved over the years, are very common and easy to cater for! 

Top tip

Ahead of the big celebration why not order some cupcakes and the ingredients to make an afternoon tea, it's easy to do to ensure your quiet hen do is as simple as possible to pull together. 

Where to stay for a low-key hen party

Lucerne | Cowes, Isle of Wight

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This bright and airy townhouse on the Isle of Wight is the perfect setting for a low-key hen party. Set in the heart of Cowes, a charming coastal town renowned for its sailing heritage, hen parties will be within walking distance of the seafront and a vibrant selection of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Spend sunny days relaxing in the garden at Lucerne, chilling on the beach or exploring an eclectic mix of shops around the town. As evening arrives fire up the BBQ and dine alfresco, cook up a storm and arrange a stylish dinner party around the dining table or head into town and make the most of a fabulous array of eateries. This charming hen party house is perfect for groups who are looking for quiet hen do ideas to celebrate the bride-to-be. 

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!

Where to stay for cocktails and dancing

Shallows End | Bath, Somerset

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Shallows End

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

Book a hen party house

Are you brimming with hen party ideas and ready to plan a lavish or low-key celebration? 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 swimming pools. Check out our ultimate guide to hen party planning for even more top tips and ideas! 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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