Hens on Tour

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a location for your Alternative Hen night. You may be tempted to plump for your hometown; it’s easy; everyone can get there, you know where to go and it’s cheap. But if at all possible try not to settle for this option, as getting away will create more of a sense of occasion and ensure it’s a night to remember, rather than a night down the local. Being somewhere different will also make sure that you don’t bump into anyone that you don’t want to and, safe in this knowledge, any inhibitions you have will just fade away.

When it comes to thinking about your accommodation it’s a case of the more the merrier. Remember the days of pyjama parties and midnight feasts? This is the perfect excuse to relieve those memories. If a group of you need somewhere to stay, book a couple of family rooms in a hotel so you can all gossip late into the night. Most hotels cater for groups of three to four who want to share one room. In the case where there’s a bit group of you, book well in advance and you should be able to get rooms next to each other.

If you do decide to go out locally (and want to save your cash), arrange to stay at one of your chick’s houses. Part of the fun of the morning after is sharing your hangover and dissecting every second of the night before over a greasy fry-up.

All major cities in the UK have a lot to offer in terms of night life and fund things to do in the day. The Alternative Activities and Events sections and the Alternative Directory at the back of this book will give you lots of pointers to help you choose where to go and what to do. You may want to visit somewhere a few of you know well, or strike out and host your festivities somewhere new. If a UK city break isn’t for you, you might want to think about a weekend in the country or an overseas jaunt.

Escape to the country

If you prefer to be out of the city then find yourselves a cosy country cottage to stay in. There are hundreds of places in the UK that are let through companies or from the individuals who own them. The Internet or the Sunday supplements are the best place to staert your search but yu will also find some website addresses in our Alternative Activities section. You can rent out more unusual places such as a castle, mill or a tower from organisations such as the Landmark Trust (www.landmarktrust.co.uk).

Out in the countryside you are sure to have plenty of options for daytime activities in the surrounding area but check this with the local tourist board when you are choosing where to stay. Also bear in mind that you will probably only be an hour or so away from one of the cities in the Alternative Directory, so have a look at the activity listings here as well. On the night itself you can dress up and enjoy having a theme even if you staying in. Turn the evening into a games extravaganza with plenty of forfeits for your hen. Then enjoy a long lazy meal with wine flowing, safe in the knowledge that you don’t even have to find a cab home.

Further a field

You don’t have to limit yourselves to the UK. With cheap airlines making regular flights, Europe and the USA are becoming ever more accessible. You could tempt your chicks with champagne and croissants in belle Paris, paella and jugs of sangria in sunny Barcelona, or maybe one of the ideas in the Alternative Events listings will catch your eye. Budget will probably be the main issue here but if your group feel like splashing out then going abroad will give your Alternative Hen weekend an extra special twist. Our selection of International Ideas has details of good tourist websites for major destinations that will help you to decide where to go and also to plan what to do once you get there.

Notes to Chicks

Things to think about when planning where to host your Alternative Hen night are:

Budget - don’t spend all your money on getting there and have no cash left for cocktails

Convenience - if you’ve got chicks travelling from all over the country to be there, consider somewhere in the middle so that its fair to everyone.

Distance and travelling time - if you’ve got a whole weekend then you may have more time to travel but if you’ve only got one night you don’t want to get ther just in time for last orders. On the other hand, if you do end up going somewhere further away, and you’re all travelling together, be sure to make the journey part of the fun.

What you want to do - if you’re clubbing, you don’t want to be staying in a sleepy village miles from the action.

And, perhaps most importantly, you should of course take into account where your hen wants to go.

A complete guide to planning a hen do with a difference.

Written by Kirstie Rowson & Genna Hayman. Published by Virgin Books

The Alternative Hen – The complete guide to planning a hen do with a differnence.

By Kistine Rowson and Genna Hayman – Virgin Books