When you are in your 20s and 30s, it is all well and good celebrating an upcoming wedding with the traditional hen party format of copious amounts of drinking and dancing. Even those of us who were never big party animals could don a dress and a pair of high heels and hit the dancefloor as a last hurrah to our days as a single lady. If you decide to get married later in life, however, the idea of marking the occasion with a weekend fuelled by alcohol and nightclubs is often nothing short of a nightmare.
Ruling out a wild ride of partying does not mean that you should miss out on a get together with the girls before saying ‘I do’. No matter what you love to do, there is a UK destination that is perfect for your hen party. From a shopping spree on Oxford Street followed by a West End show to a chocolate-themed food tour in the historic city of York, you are spoiled for choice no matter your interests. Find inspiration for your celebration with our top 5 UK hen do destinations for older brides.
Cambridge – for relaxation
There is nowhere more restful than this picturesque city, and Cambridge is easily accessible by train so you can start relaxing from the very outset of your trip. Put your feet up and take a traditional punt down the river – don’t worry, a gondolier-like guide will do the hard work for you. Explore the awe-inspiring historic architecture on foot or by bike. Pitch up at the local markets to sample street food favourites or buy pretty mementos. Dine at quiet charming restaurants in the evenings. Bliss!
Lake District – for outdoor activities
England’s adventure playground for children and adults alike, the Lake District promises a fast-paced and fun-filled experience for visitors of any age. Feeling particularly energetic? Hike the highest mountain. Fancy something exhilarating? Zoom through Grizedale Forest on a zipwire. You can also make the most of your lakeside location and try your hand at paddle-boarding which will test your balance and guarantees lots of laughs! End the days with traditional English fare in a cosy pub.
London – for shopping and shows
Avoiding nightclubs doesn’t necessarily mean forgoing the buzz and bright lights of a big city. A weekend in England’s diverse capital can be whatever you want it to be, but the best reason to head to London is for the shopping and shows that are second-to-none. Stroll Oxford Street in search of luxury labels, browse Borough Market’s endless array of edible delights, and chill in Carnaby Street and Covent Garden. Top off your trip with one of London’s unmissable West End shows.
Harrogate – for sensational spas
Recently branded as ‘the destination that will make you feel better’, Harrogate is the ultimate hen party location for ladies looking to pamper themselves. In addition to spectacular surrounding countryside and pretty parks where you can re-energise in the fresh air, Harrogate has a selection of sensational spas, each offering their own unique yet equally indulgent experience. Take a traditional treatment at the 120-year-old Harrogate Turkish Baths, or be immersed in limitless luxury at Rudding Park or the Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa which sits on the edge of the historic Bolton Abbey estate.
York – for foodies
Once known as the Chocolate City, York is an unsurpassed hen party destination for foodies – because ladies love nothing more than chocolate! York was the centre of British chocolate production throughout the Victorian era, and visitors to this historic city can still see the old Terry’s and Rowntree’s factories as part of the mouth-watering guided tour ‘York’s Chocolate Experience’. If you’ve still got room, make sure to stop off at the iconic Betty’s Café Tea Rooms for a traditional English cream tea, or go the whole hog with a Michelin-star meal at The Star Inn The City.