Kiss goodbye to ‘been there, done that’ itineraries. This year, we’re craving something new
Treat the bride or groom-to-be to an adrenaline-filled frenzy of a weekend at Craggan Outdoors in Grantown-on-Spey. You could keep things calm with golf, pony trekking and a long hike, but if you want to throw caution to the wind, there’s a whole host of crazy options to get the blood pumping. How about abseiling and white-water rafting topped off with a scream-inducing zip wire? Once you’ve all calmed down and celebrated with a well-earned beer or two, you can rest your heads in a bunkhouse, cottage or bothy.
Since bursting on to the scene with their ‘Bling my Boaby’ hen party experience, the people behind Bonnie Affair have another racy painting activity up their sleeves that’ll have you in stitches – ‘Bling my Boobies!’ For this 90-minute class, you and your chums will be assigned your own art teacher and equipped with materials, paints, accessories, a quiz and games to keep you giggling into the night. Not only is it a fun activity to get you back in touch with your artistic side, but you’ll also have a fetching mantelpiece accessory when you’re finished. Which design will you go for? Sweet and innocent? Or all bold and brazen? The choice is yours.
Edinburgh Group Escapes
It happens every time: you and your mates are having the time of your lives in a club and there are still heaps of laughs to have and selfies to take before the soberness kicks in. Then all of a sudden, the lights are up, the music stops, and the doorman is ushering you towards the exit. If only you could keep the party going all night long… Your wish is our command – well, Edinburgh Group Escapes’ command, actually. When the club closes, head back to your very own party apartment in central Edinburgh and keep the fun going. From £35pp for up to 34 mates, you can’t argue with that.
Doodles Ceramics Workshop
We all know how stressful wedding planning can be. Wouldn’t it be swell to be able to just kick back and do some relaxing painting to zone out for a bit? The geniuses behind Doodles Ceramics Workshop provide just that and more with their hen party events. The Edinburgh-based workshop will stay open late for your colourful evening and guide you all to unleash your inner Monet. There are plenty of pottery options available to paint – everything from mugs and plates to cute jugs and serving platters. It’s worth bringing along a bottle or two of fizz for added sparkle.
If the thought of wild camping gives you the jitters (soggy socks and midge bites, to say nothing of the lack of facilities), there’s only one thing for it: glamping. Head to Kennacoil, near Dunkeld, and you’ll get some fabulous countryside views thrown in for free. These brand-new glamping pods are heated, fully insulated (with super-cosy wool, no less) and are spacious enough to accommodate a couple of you. There’s no need to venture out in the woods when nature calls, either: each pod is served by its own regularly tested water supply. There are three pods on site so for a gang of about half a dozen, this could be just right.
Getting all your pals together for a night out can feel like a military operation sometimes, so assembling the squad for a hen or stag do really can feel special – especially if the destination is as smart as Saint Judes in Glasgow. There’s lots to do there – cocktail masterclasses, intoxicating tea parties, a strip tease and karaoke nights to name but a few. And with activities starting at £20 a head, it’s a more affordable option than many places.
Lochter Activity Centre
It can be a pain in the neck trying to find an activity that everyone wants to get involved in for a hen or stag. Some of your mates might not drink and some can’t get away for a whole weekend, so why not offer a selection of activities so no one feels left out? At Lochter Activity Centre in Aberdeenshire, there are 15 options to choose from, including go-karting, trout fishing, archery, clay pigeon shooting, segway tours and even digger driving. The team at Lochter has some handy hen and stag party packages priced from £95pp that give you breakfast on arrival, four activities and a BBQ to finish.
If you’ve rallied round 20 pals to celebrate the end of your time as a singleton, you’ll love Lotus Lodge. Despite being just an hour’s drive from Glasgow in Dumfries and Galloway, the Lodge has a real ‘get away from it all’ feel that you may just be craving. Speaking of cravings, you won’t get far without some scran. Happily, at Lotus Lodge it’s possible to request your own private chef! Leave them to get dinner on the go as you organise a cocktail-making party. Stay for a couple of nights and take advantage of the surroundings – the Lodge is not far from Biggar Adventure, where you can have a go at canoeing or archery.
The Craft Pottery
If the thought of an alcohol-fuelled hen party sounds like a total nightmare to you, get your girls together for an evening of crafts and painting at The Craft Pottery in Glasgow. There are two rooms available for your crafty party and you’ll get to hang out and get arty for around three and half hours. As well as painting ready-made items, you and your gals can get down and dirty and take up some Ghost–style pottery lessons. You’ll all learn how to build pots and cups out of clay and have these fired and glazed, ready to take home. Each room has its own speaker system so you can listen to your own playlist and get the tunes going. The Craft Pottery team can even organise a selection of cupcakes to accompany the evening.
Village Hotel Tribute Tour
Get your girl gang together for some great tunes. The Village Hotel Group, which has venues in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, stages an unbeatable gig every Friday and Saturday night as part of its Tribute Tour. On stage are some of the best tribute acts around. Headliners include brilliant versions of Robbie Williams, ABBA, Olly Murs, Dirty Dancing, Michael Bublé, and many more. And you don’t just get an amazing performance – from £25 each, you score a three-course meal, disco and bar until 1am.