When Willy Straws Just Won’t Do: 10 Venues for a Sophisticated Hen
14 Jul 2015
Are you dreading the stripper shame that stereotypically identifies a party of hens? Well Bride may have the alternative answer to your hen-do fears...
Feather boas, 'L' plates and Tequila shots are the fodder of many a bride-to-be's nightmares... and if you're one such woman, you may be looking to escape the local clubs and bars for a more sedentary, sophisticated affair. So in a bid to help you find a moment's respite we've found 10 venues that are guaranteed to make your pre-wedding celebration more Downton, less TOWIE.
1. Sibton Park
If the bride to be enjoys classic luxury style and mod-con gadgets, Sibton Park could be the perfect place for a special weekend away. Sleeping up to 24 guests in 12 bedrooms, this Georgian manor is set in 350 acres of private woodland and parkland and comes complete with gym and cinema room as well as private chef, maid and butler service.
From £104 per person, per night.
2. Smedmore House
Smedmore House has eight bedrooms and is set on the stunning Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site in Dorset, so if the bride loves the great outdoors she can spend all day walking through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK before settling down in front of a roaring open fire with 13 of her best friends, and even her dog.
From £33 per person, per night.
3. Private Manor House
This classic Edwardian Private Manor House is within easy reach of London but offers complete seclusion. It has five double bedrooms, perfect for a hen do of 10 ladies. What’s more, all the ladies will be able to keep fit and work off last night’s excesses with exclusive use of the house’s tennis court, gym, sauna and indoor heated swimming pool.
From £68 per person, per night.
4. Alladale Wilderness Lodge
Nestled amongst spectacular Caledonian Scots Pine forests, Alladale Wilderness Lodge is a traditional sporting lodge that combines stunning, peaceful surrounding with cosy sophisticated luxury. Hens can even head off into the wilderness to try their hand at a spot of shooting.
From £61 per person, per night.
5. Wyelands Estate
A hen weekend at Wyelands Estate will give your special group of ladies a taste of the lifestyle fit for the former High Sheriff of Monmouthshire. There are 26 acres of ‘pleasure gardens’ and 300 acres of fabulous estate, while the Spa Wing of property boasts an octagonal swimming pool, steam room and even a mirrored dance studio so the ladies can practice their moves ready for a night out.
From £55 per person, per night.
6. Little Gaerfields
Set in the heart of rural Herefordshire, with views across to Wales and The Royal Forest of Dean, Little Gaerfields is the perfect place for a group of hens to get away from it all. A traditional red stone barn originally built in the 1600s, Little Gaerfields has been brought right up to date with swimming pool, swim jet and sauna, plus a wonderful terrace for a group of ladies to enjoy a glass of wine and a barbeque in the evening sun.
From £14 per person, per night.
7. Brinsop Court
How many ladies can say that they stayed in a house surrounded by its very own moat for their hen do? Brinsop Court is a Grade I listed medieval manor house offering stunning accommodation, with gothic grandeur cleverly combined with modern luxury, so the bride to be can relax in the hot tub after a hard day walking round 800 acres of private estate and formal gardens. Sleeping 34, it is a great option for a large party.
From £29 per person, per night.
8. Assynt House
Fancy something a little bit different? Why not spend a weekend catching brown trout and salmon at Assynt House – and if fish aren’t your thing there is the option of dolphin or Nessie spotting nearby. Perfect for a group of 14, the house has large gardens for games and barbeques in Summer, and if the weather turns out not to be great there are cosy open fires and welcoming kitchens to retreat to.
From £39 per person, per night.
9. Duchray Castle
Hidden deep within The Queen Elizabeth Forest in Trossachs National Park, you will struggle to find an escape that offers more privacy and escapism for your hen do than Duchray Castle. It has historic links to Rob Roy (but not Liam Neeson, as far as we are aware), and combines modern luxury with the kind of character you would expect from a 500 year old castle, so you can enjoy complete relaxation with seven of the brides closest friends with only deer and red squirrels for neighbours.
From £63 per person, per night.
10. Smallfield Place
It may be just a short ride away from London, but Smallfield Place offers the kind of peaceful escape that is perfect for both recharging the batteries and also enjoying time together. The house has 7 generous en-suite bedrooms and six acres of gardens to explore, so you can enjoy a game of croquet on the lawn before retiring to the drawing room to relax with a chilled glass of wine in a comfy chair.
From £71 per person, per night.