Hen Do City Breaks vs Country Retreats – Which Is Right For You?
Deciding on the right location for your hen party is one of the most important steps in your plan. Even the closest group of friends are likely to have different ideas about where the perfect destination is. Plus there’s also budget, travel and a number of other factors to consider.
With so many things to think about, it’s definitely worth deciding on the nature of your hen party weekend - starting with whether your group would prefer a buzzy city break or a chilled country retreat. Read on for some guidance on how to decide which is right for you and your hen party.
Agree on a budget
A good place to start is to get an agreement from all your hens about what budget they’re comfortable with. City breaks are likely to be more expensive than country retreats, though it really depends on the kind of activities, accommodation and entertainment you have in mind. For example, you won’t necessarily spend less in a rural location if you treat yourselves to Michelin Star dining and limousine transport.
Need some tips on planning those finances? Read our free guide on how to budget for a hen party.
Once you have your budget projections in place you can start whittling the options down to a handful of realistic possibilities. Which brings us neatly on to…
Ask your group for their preferences
Sounds obvious but it’s really important to make sure your group feels heard when deciding on the location. Set up a WhatsApp or Facebook group and share some potential options to get the ball rolling. Ask people what their first and second choices are, and why. If some of your group live in a busy urban environment, the thought of a city break might be a bit of a letdown, unless it's somewhere new and exciting. And vice versa with those who live in the country.
If you can’t get your hen party to agree, how about suggesting a compromise such as the beautiful city of Bath? Here you’ll find plenty of entertainment and glorious places to eat, as well as lush countryside and riverside walks to enjoy.
Looking for the perfect accommodation in Bath? This gorgeous Georgian townhouse sleeps 8-10 in four bedrooms and is centrally located close to many of the delights that Bath has to offer.
Decide on your preferences for entertainment and activities
If your group is struggling to make a decision, have a collective think about the kinds of activities and entertainments that will make it the weekend you’re all hoping for. If your gang is up for some world-class clubbing, retail therapy or simply a livelier atmosphere with more choices for pubs and dining, a city could be your best bet. That’s not to say you can’t have fun in a countryside location, just that your options for late-opening bars may be limited and you might not get the choices of cuisine or activities that you want.
For a more chilled vibe, a countryside retreat could be just the thing. Relaxing in a spa or strolling through a pretty woodland could be just what the doctor ordered. And if kicking back isn’t your bag, how about making the most of the beautiful British countryside and trying out some activities such as kayaking, coasteering, sailing, surfing or rock climbing? You’ll definitely have earned those drinks by the end of the day!
Choose an accessible location
When gauging your hen party’s preferences, make sure everyone considers how they will get to the venue. Cities are generally easier to access but if your heart is set on a rural destination, find out if your group are OK with getting public transport there if they need to, or how you could work car sharing. You might also be able to check ahead to see if there are any disruptions to services or planned roadworks during that weekend. Your group might be happy to lift-share or drive themselves but don’t put them under pressure to do so.
Consider the weather
No matter which hen party location you choose, you need to be open to the fact that our famously changeable weather could thwart the most well-considered plans. Cities are generally more accommodating places in terrible weather as you can pick from a greater number of indoor activities. But as long as you’re dressed for the occasion, you needn’t dismiss a country retreat due to the possibility of rain. Naturally, you are more likely to hit weather-related road bumps if your hen party is during winter. But as long as you have a cosy, comfortable place to return to (and a log fire at home or in the local pub) you should be fine.
Looking for a super-cosy country retreat with a fireplace? This beautiful detached Dorset farmhouse is a wonderful choice for your hen party.
Ultimately, you want to make sure your bride-to-be has the best time possible on her hen do. So, when the choice of a city break or country retreat arises, prioritise her preference. As a group, consider her interests and the kind of hen weekend that will make her feel really special. One that makes sure she has plenty of wonderful memories to treasure and some photos to giggle at!
We hope these tips have helped you decide on a city break or countryside retreat for your hen party. Why not take a look at our full range of accommodation to discover the ideal place to stay on your weekend to remember.