Hen weekends with style

Caroline Cassidy

Modern-day hen dos are about much more than a boozy night out and a set of learner plates. Weekends away, activities and novel experiences are par for the course, so if you're looking for something unusual, memorable but with a touch of class, check out these ideas for a hen party the bride will love.

Classy hen weekend ideas
Classy hen weekend ideas

Pic: Getty

For crafty brides
Crafts are all the rage these days, with knitting, sewing and jewellery making once again part of many a girl's skillset. In light of this homecrafts renaissance, there are plenty of opportunities for craft weekends. Everything from lingerie making to flower arranging is on offer. For instance, at Bedruthan Steps in Cornwall, you can enjoy a creative craft weekend where the bride can choose from a variety of activities including jewellery making, shoe making and quilting. Alternatively, why not stay at home and invest in a Scentelier perfumerie box and create your own incredible, personalised fragrance for the big day.

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For foodie brides
If the blushing bride-to-be is obsessed with Masterchef or fancies her chances on the Great British Bake-off, a cookery weekend is just the thing. Here in the UK, there's been a major baking revival, and there are plenty of hen parties catering for cupcake connoisseurs. Cakes4Fun in London, for instance, provide an afternoon session for up to eight ladies, where you'll learn all the tricks of the trade and create some mouth-watering masterpieces. And if the hen do is less than four days before the wedding, you can even kill two birds with one stone by baking your own wedding cupcakes at Bridal Bites.

For a more savoury and luxurious foodie weekend, head abroad to Annie B's Spanish Kitchen in Andalucia, where you'll buy all the incredible fresh produce at the local market for your traditional Spanish meal before lazing on the beach, or stopping off for tapas and fino.

For grand brides
Why share your hen do with a bar full of people when you can go grand at a remote Scottish castle? Perfect for autumn or winter brides thanks to the impressive roaring open fire, Aikwood Tower is a 15th century castle available to rent out for the discerning hens. There are five luxurious double bedrooms, and a kitchen boasting a large oak dining table and vaulted ceiling - ideal for reminiscing with a few glasses of vino. Better still, you can pay local caterers to come in and do all the cooking for you.

For outdoorsy brides
The British weather has been a little kinder to us this summer, and when the sun is shining, a glamping hen weekend is worth considering. From gypsy caravans to treehouses, the number of luxury camping experiences on offer in the UK is growing. For a luxurious but outdoorsy weekend away, Wild Northumbrian Tipis & Yurts cater for large groups of up to 40 people, with bespoke hampers and meals delivered direct to the tent. And these are not just any tents - open fires, decking and comfortable furnishings mean you don't have to rely on a clear blue sky to enjoy your camping experience, while you can even take part in activities like pottery and bushcraft if the bubbly gets boring.

Meanwhile down in the South West, Babes in the Woods provide unforgettable hen dos amidst 300 acres of woodland. Gorgeous walks, morning yoga sessions, bushcraft workshops are all available to outdoorsy types, while champagne receptions, cocktails, massages and musicians provide the evening entertainment. And after all that fresh air and relaxation, luxury Californian dome accommodation provides hens with a peaceful place to rest their heads.
For elegant brides
Let the bride-to-be put on her finery for an elegant hen do with style. A day at the races, for instance, means you can dress up to the nines for the sport of kings, and with most racecourses offering a range of hospitality packages including fine wine and dining from a private box, it's the perfect way to combine style and elegance with the thrill of having a flutter. Alternatively, indulge the bride in A-list style with brunch at Aqua in London, where freshly-made and top class sushi and tapas is accompanied by limitless champagne over the three-hour service, and, if the hens are sober enough, head to the West End for a musical or a play. The perfect London night out.

Did you opt for a classy hen do? Tell us about it below...