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One of the key jobs for the Chief Bridesmaid is to organise a Hen Do for the Bride, and this will be your opportunity to wow everyone and ensure she has a memorable send-off.
The first task will be to decide a destination. If you’re able to opt for an entire weekend, then you will need to decide between a far flung European destination, or somewhere a little closer to home.
Key to your requirements for a suitable destination will be easy access, a good variety of activities, suitable accommodation options and most importantly, budget.
If you are considering a European destination, places such as Barcelona, Paris or Rome may come to mind. But with the weak pound you may prefer to stay in the UK. Flying abroad will also mean taking a day or two off work to make the journey worth it. This may not be an option, particularly if you have a larger hen party group.
Bristol - A “Gurt Lush” Choice for a Hen Weekend
When weighing up the options, a weekend closer to home is currently the preferred option for the majority. One destination that has recently shot to the top of the list for most popular UK hen weekend destinations is Bristol. We’ve put together a guide showing just why a Bristol hen weekend is the choice for so many.
Bristol might not be the first place that spring to mind as a hen party destination. You may well be thinking about a capital (London, Cardiff or Edinburgh) or perhaps a seaside destination (Newquay, Brighton or Blackpool). There are many other cities that might appear more established as hen and stag destinations such as Newcastle, Leeds or Manchester.
The following factors have worked together to put Bristol top of the charts for hen weekends:
•Bristol has received massive investment over the last 20 years, transforming itself into a modern, uber cool destination. •A broad range of accommodation to suit all budgets •Huge selection of stag-and-hen-friendly bars and restaurants suitable to all tastes •A plethora of activities in and around the city •Easy access by motorway, rail and a busy regional airport
As you would expect from one of England's largest cities, Bristol has business hotels, boutique B&Bs, backpacker hostels and everything in between. Many of the hotels are located in the City Centre but there is also a number of options in the leafy, upmarket Georgian area of Clifton.
Bristol night-life and restaurants
Bristol is a seriously buzzing city, which has seen huge amounts of regeneration over the last few years. This translates to you having multiple options during the evening. Depending on your tastes and budgets there are a number of areas where you could spend your Friday or Saturday night.
As you'd expect, the City Centre contains the broadest options for wining and dining, with Corn Street, Park Street and King Street especially popular with hen parties. Or if you are looking for more of a raucous night then head to the Harbourside area, where you'll find many bars and restaurants.
Park Street is the posh end of town, with many swanky cocktail bars and up market restaurants.
Running just off the 'Centre' is Corn Street where their raucousness peaks with more chain pubs such as the self-proclaimed hen and stag party central, The Walkabout Bar.
If your hen party is looking for a slightly more refined evening that's still brimming with bars and restaurants then look no further than Clifton Village. Clifton is only a short taxi ride away from the centre but is a world away from the chaos of the Harbourside and Corn Street.
Clifton has a number of top restaurants and in some cases we're talking Michelin stars. Generally, in this area you'll be paying a bit more for your food and drink but it is much less rowdy than the City Centre.
Excellent pub choices include The Albion and Somerset House, or perhaps one of the Speakeasy style cocktail bars, such as Red Light or Hausbar.
Gloucester Road running through the north of the city is famous for all its independent pubs and alternative vibe, especially around the Stokes Croft area. North St just south of the centre is a local area on the up and has a good range of bars and eateries for all budgets.
Bristol and the surrounding area activities
There are so many options here, but we have picked out a number of ideas, from the quirky to the mainstream.
Bath Thermae Spa Day
You could consider getting the girls on a train for the short ride over to the World Heritage city of Bath and head to the glitzy Thermae Spa for a day of pampering and excess.
Bath is only 10 minutes by train from Bristol and the Spa is a short walk from Bath train station.
Getting to Bristol
Bristol is situated on the M4 and M5 motorways making it accessible from any part of the UK. Bristol has two mainline rail stations. Bristol Temple Meads for the City Centre will be the most useful one. London is 1hr 40 away by rail. Bristol International Airport flies to a number of destinations around the UK as well as many European destinations if any of your party are coming from overseas.
West Country Games
If you are looking for something a little different but with buckets full of fun, then consider taking part in some mad activities down in The West. This local outfit will take you through a number of activities such as The Cider Run, Mangold Dangling and Pitchfork Duel as you whack, wobble, chuck and wrestle your way around the hilarious games. West Country Games are based just outside of Bristol, can cater to groups of all sizes and specialise in hosting hen and stag weekends. There is also a lovely restaurant and a paddock containing many cute farm animals!
Clifton and Lido
Have a stroll around the Georgian splendour of Clifton, amble across the World famous Clifton Suspension Bridge and brush away any cob webs with a breezy walk on the Clifton Downs. After a bit of browsing in the many boutique shops unpack your swimsuits for an afternoon of luxury at the Clifton Lido.
Bristol really is a great destination for your hen party and we guarantee you a gurt lush time.
Written By Anthony Page