Nine original ideas for a girls weekend away
Between family life and work commitments, it’s difficult to get everyone together in one place at times. If a catch-up with your closest friends is long overdue, perhaps it’s time to make some plans for a weekend away. Whether you’d prefer to stay in the UK or perhaps jet off over to Europe, there’s bound to be something on our list of original ideas for a fantastic girls weekend away.
1. Soak your stresses away in an outdoor thermal spa in Bath
Price: £52 per person
While having a spa break seems like one of the more obvious ideas, the Thermae Bath Spa in the city of Bath offers a unique twist. Here, you can enjoy the ‘twilight package’, which allows you to have a three-hour spa session in an outdoor thermal pool, while the sun sets over the city. Inside the spa, you’ll find a sauna and steam room, along with an indoor pool.
Where to stay: 33 Crescent Gardens is a spacious and modern townhouse, located in the city of Bath. It sleeps up to 12 guests, so it’s great for getting the whole group together.
Where to eat: Sotto Sotto is a contemporary restaurant within easy walking distance of the spa. It serves up classic Italian cuisine and offers an impressive wine menu.
Where to drink: The Canary Gin Bar is a snug cocktail bar, offering a wide selection of locally-distilled gins and expertly made cocktails.
2. Test your balancing skills at a paddleboard session in the Lake District
Location: Lake District
Price: £45 per person
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, paddleboarding classes are a great way to get together and develop a new skill. Lake District Paddle Boarding offers half-day group classes along the gorgeous Derwentwater lake. Once you’ve got the hang of paddling and staying balanced, it’s a nice way to soak up the all the surrounding scenery of the Lake District.
Where to stay: Barn Owl Cottage is a comfortable cottage, complete with a toasty log fire for you to return to after a busy day of paddling about. It sleeps up to six guests.
Where to eat: With mesmerising views of the lake, Waterhead Coffee in Ambleside is one of the most scenic spots in the lakes to enjoy tasty home-baked treats.
Where to drink: The Fenwick is a traditional pub, with its origins dating back to the 18th century. Enjoy a drink and a catch-up in its sunny beer garden.
3. Spend the day enjoying ‘Gin and Tea’ in London
Price: £44 per person
Visit Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour in the city centre of London for an afternoon tea with a difference. Instead of pouring yourself a hot cup of tea, you’ll be served a delicious variety of gins – there’s more than 200 to choose from! If that isn’t enough to convince you, then we’re sure the assortments of cakes, scones and sandwiches served alongside will.
Where to stay: The Pop Art House is a stylish and quirky home close to central London, sleeping up to six guests. This plush pad even has its own indoor hot tub in the bright and airy sunroom.
Where to eat: Sushinoen is a contemporary Japanese restaurant located in London’s East End. Enjoy freshly-made sushi and authentic home-cooked Japanese meals.
Where to drink: For a fantastic selection of craft beers, gins, and cocktails, head over to The Oliver Conquest in Whitechapel.
4. Stargaze at the Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve
Location: Exmoor National Park
If you’re all a little tired from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then a cottage in the peaceful surroundings of Exmoor National Park might just be what you need to relax. The area is a Dark Sky Reserve, which means you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views of the night sky as you spend some quality time together catching up.
Where to stay: Bridge House is a comfortable cottage that sleeps up to six guests, located in the heart of the Exmoor National Park. From here, you’ll enjoy gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside.
Where to eat: The family-run Driftwood Coffee Shop and Deli in Barnstaple serves up freshly made lunchtime meals, cakes, and coffee.
Where to drink: The Bridge Inn is a country pub in the nearby town of Dulverton. Here you’ll find a big selection of ales, craft beers, gins and wines.
5. Take on the challenge of an army assault course in Norfolk
Price: £20 per person
If your friends would rather head outdoors than spend a day stuck inside having spa treatments, then a visit to the ExTREEme Adventure Centre in Norfolk might be a more suitable choice. Here, you can test your fitness levels on the army-style assault course, before jumping on the quad bikes for an off-road adventure. You might want to bring along some spare clothes if you’ll be heading out for drinks or dinner afterwards!
Where to stay: Laurel Farm is a beautiful country house with lots of character, sleeping up to eight guests. Most of its traditional features have remained, including the inglenook fireplaces and beamed ceilings.
Where to eat: The Ship Inn is a relaxed pub and restaurant with lovely sea views, serving up dishes crafted from local quality Norfolk produce.
Where to drink: The Banningham Crown is a historic 17th-century inn and public house. Grab a table by the roaring open fire for a cosy catch-up.
6. Go dolphin watching in the Gran Canaria
Location: Gran Canaria
Price: £30 per person
Pack your summer clothes and fly over to the Canary Islands for a long weekend of sun, sea and sand. While you’re there, make sure to go on a dolphin and whale watching tour with Spirit of the Sea. The boat even has a glass bottom so you can watch the dolphins and sea turtles swimming by.
Where to stay: Sleeping up to eight guests, Villa Algodones is a spacious and comfortable holiday home. It has its own private swimming pool, complete with sun loungers for you all to chill out by. Perfect for a relaxed hen weekend.
Where to eat: Located in the seaside resort of San Agustin, Gorbea Restaurant offers a varied menu with quality meals, ranging from fresh seafood to succulent steaks.
Where to drink: La Azotea de Benito is a stylish cocktail bar, with plenty of seating on the roof for you to enjoy fantastic views of the city.
7. Explore the Peak District on a mountain bike tour
Location: Peak District
Price: £15-35 per person
For a girly weekend with a difference, pack your comfy gym clothes and head over to the Peak District for mountain biking. To make sure you explore all the best places, go on a guided tour with an expert mountain bike instructor. Lost Earth Adventures offers a range of tours around the national park, which can be as challenging or as chilled out as you like!
Where to stay: Bradley Hall is a luxury home in the Peak District, sleeping up to eight guests. The cosy patio, with its private hot tub, is great for sitting out on, in the evenings, with a drink in hand.
Where to eat: Enjoy classic French cooking at Piedaniel’s, a classy restaurant in the town of Bakewell. All of their dishes are crafted using locally-sourced produce.
Where to drink: The Royal Oak is a cosy inn, offering a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere with its open fires and traditional interior.
8. Find your inner zen at a meditation retreat in Devon
Price: £33 per person
If you’ve all been complaining of work stresses in the group chat, then a day of quiet meditation might not be a bad idea while you’re away. At Gaia House in Devon, you can learn the ropes of meditation during their day-long introduction course. Whether you’re a complete novice or a master of mindfulness, it’s a nice way to completely unwind.
Where to stay: Galmpton Farmhouse is a luxury retreat, sleeping up to eight guests. It has a great garden for al fresco lunches and dinners, where you can all catch-up over a home-cooked meal.
Where to eat: Ephesus Restaurant in Torquay is a stylish Eastern Mediterranean eatery, offering a delicious variety of authentic Turkish and Greek dishes.
Where to drink: The quirky and colourful Soho Cocktail Bar in Torquay is a great place to celebrate your girls weekend together.
9. Sample authentic French wines on a Bordeaux vineyard tour
Price: £93 per person
Head over to Bordeaux in south-western France and enjoy a vineyard tour with Rustic Vines. The full-day wine tour includes a trip to Saint-Emilion, where you can sample a huge variety of excellent wines. You’ll also get to soak up the stunning scenery and enjoy a traditional French lunch.
Where to stay: Domaine Dans Les Vignes is a luxurious country home, with fabulous views of the surrounding vineyards and valleys. This stylish and spacious property sleeps up to 12 guests.
Where to eat: Nofa is a cosy, family-run restaurant in Bordeaux, serving up a variety of beautifully presented French and Italian inspired dishes.
Where to drink: La Comtesse is a snug and quirky bar in Bordeaux, offering a huge choice of cocktails and wines.
If you’re arranging a hen party and one activity isn’t enough, how about a weekend packed full of fun? Excel Activity Group provide a range of amazing things to do, from dance experiences, sumo wrestling to bubble ball races. Whether you’re in the city centre or glamping in the country, Excel will come to you and make your hen one to remember.