Seven Ideas for Hen Parties to make your weekend in Yorkshire one to remember!
You’re the maid of honour, congratulations! What an exciting opportunity to plan the perfect hen weekend.
The UK has so many great destinations for Hen Parties but one that stood out to us is York. A historic city with a variety of architectural features from different eras, going as far back as the Roman Empire. York also has an amazing creative scene and you’ll find fantastic Art Galleries and small artisan maker shops which makes for the perfect destination to spend an unforgettable hen weekend.
Another great advantage of choosing York for a hen weekend is its fantastic location surrounded by greenery. You can go out and dance the night away but you’re also just around the corner from the breath-taking beauty of mother nature so you can get your outdoor fix throughout the weekend.
We’ve chosen 5 unique activities in and around York that will not only make you the Maid of Honour of dreams but would win you a ticket to the organising Olympics (if there was such a thing. Wait… I’ll get our CEO Amy, the ultimate organiser on this and I am sure we’ll have it brought into existence in no time)!
Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours
A great way to kick off the weekend is the Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours, a local business with just three guides Kay, Louise and Jill. An afternoon of food is the perfect opportunity for the group to ease the stress from the week, get to know each other and set the tone for an unforgettable weekend.
What they do
A food tour that takes you around either York or Harrogate to experience amazing food and drinks in five independent establishments. The bustling food scene in Harrogate and York makes for a unique experience. You’ll also learn about the key historical and cultural sites of the respective cities when moving from one destination to the next. The experience is a lunchtime activity and you’ll frequent 5 different venues which make for the equivalent of a high-quality 3-course meal.
Brides who love food and enjoy new experiences. A must for all foodies!
£55 per person - no minimum number of people with a maximum of 10. You can book directly through the website.
Knowledgeable local guides – Kay in Harrogate and Louise in York will share their knowledge of the area, so you’ll get lots of fun anecdotes and insights you won’t find in any guidebook!
Good to know
All venues can cater for all dietary requirements and Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours provide a specialist Vegan tour too! Gluten-free? Lactose intolerant? No problem at all - just let the team know in advance. Alcohol isn’t included in the experience but you can buy your drinks directly at each venue. The tours are held in Harrogate on Thursdays and Saturdays and York on Fridays and Sundays.
Kay started Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours four years ago. She lives in Harrogate and wanted to combine her love of food with her love for Yorkshire. All places on the tour are handpicked and tested by Kay, to ensure it meets quality standards for food, service and atmosphere. The venues are carefully picked based on the wonderful dishes they can offer but also on their passion and commitment, their stories and on their reputation. Kay partners with each of the establishments to ensure the bridal party has an outstanding experience.
After having seen a little bit of the city you can step up your “Dora the Explorer” game with a treasure hunt by Yorkshire Trails.
What they do
Yorkshire trails offer the York Hen Trail. Your 'whodunnit' mystery will be personalised for your hen, with photos, anecdotes and facts about the hen woven into your investigation to crack the case! You'll be following a route around York taking in all the top sights whilst solving clues and collecting evidence to solve the crime and save the wedding! Clues are set on plaques, buildings and other permanent features around York City Centre. The directions will lead you from start to finish, passing York Minster, Stonegate, King's Square, The Shambles, Clifford's Tower and other sights.
Competitive Brides who enjoy exploring and solving mysteries. Ideal for larger groups.
£90 for a group pack or £190 for a bespoke and personalised challenge pack.
You’ll get 5 booklets for you to separate into teams of 4-5 which makes this a great activity for larger groups. Got a competitive bride? This is the perfect activity to give the weekend a competitive edge. Want to explore somewhere other than York? Trails are available in major locations across Yorkshire.
The bespoke pack for £190 you get:
- 5 x Treasure Trail booklets with
- personalised cover photo and title
- personalised whodunnit case to solve based around your hen
- a selection of your photos and anecdotes throughout the Trail
- 4 pages of extra personalised tasks based on the information you supply, to include photo tasks, collection, creative, word skills or other tasks
- Organiser's pack with full instructions and sealed answers
- **Free Delivery
Additional Challenge Pack booklets can be purchased at £6 per booklet.
Good to know
As an organiser, you will need to gather some photographs, anecdotes and other details which will be used to personalise your activity. Yorkshire Trails provide a questionnaire for you to complete to make this super easy. It features well-known places in York such as the Shambles but also lesser-known areas giving you and your bridal party a unique view of York that you wouldn’t find easily as a non-local.
The trail can be followed flexibly throughout the day depending on what else you are planning to do. Whether you want to take a more collaborative approach with pub breaks or you’re a bunch of super competitive ladies, you can tailor the experience to your liking.
The answers are provided in a sealed envelope so even if you’re the organiser reviewing the booklet beforehand, the treasure hunt itself will still be as exciting for you as for everyone else.
It’s a great way to find out more information about the bride that might have previously only been known to the maid of honour or her closest friends!
One stop not to miss on a tour de Yorkshire is Love Cheese! This is lifting a Hen Weekend from great to exceptional for every lover of wine and cheese (I mean, it’s in the title!). It makes for a perfect destination to round up an unforgettable weekend.
What they do
Love Cheese is a Cheese and Wine bar also called Speakcheesey. They also have a fantastic outdoor space aka the Secret Garden. When booking a Hen Party the whole Garden can be reserved for you or the very photogenic Speakcheesey can be exclusively yours - whichever you’d prefer! If that alone doesn’t convince you to book (I would!) then the amazing offering of different wines or beers paired with lovely local cheeses will do the trick.
Your wine/beer tasting involves up to 6 different wines and you’ll have an amazing host who will talk to you about the different beverages and cheeses, which makes for a fun yet educational experience. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a wine and cheese connoisseur to get enjoyment from this. Love Cheese cares about you feeling comfortable and offers the tasting in a relaxed atmosphere.
Any Cheese and Wine lovers who enjoy a relaxed atmosphere
£ 35 pp for a wine and cheese or beer and cheese tasting, £50 pp for all you can eat/drink in 2 hours - £ 55 tasting with Prosecco. Call to book,
You can swap the wine for beer if you prefer with up to 15 craft ales to choose your tastings from. There is also a shop to buy wine and cheese and you can order on the regular through their online store
Good to know
Love Cheese offers a wine tasting in a very informal and fun way. You don’t need to know a lot about the world's favourite combo and you can just bring your best self without feeling out of place.
Harry and Phoebe took over Love Cheese in September 2015. They saw a lovely little shop that served the locals and both loved it. With a passion for good food and drink, it was an easy decision to make. They wanted to take it and reach a wider audience that was unaware of what a little gem they had on their doorstep and now they want to share this experience with you.
Chocolates and Truffles
Another perfect idea for a hen party is a Chocolate-making session. A chocolate interlude is an essential part of experiencing Yorkshire. York has a chocolate-making history that dates back almost 300 years. The city’s famous chocolate factories employed over 14,000 people at their peak. We know there are many Chocolate places in York but the one that stood out to us is Chocolates and Truffles in Skipton.
At Chocolates and Truffles, you can immerse yourself into the century-old tradition of Chocolate making and learn more about everyone’s favourite sweet.
What they do
Based in Skipton, Chocolates and Truffles is predominantly a handmade chocolate shop. They offer an amazing chocolate tasting and truffle making session that allows you to taste and learn about the 6 different beans the chocolate in the shop is made of. You’ll learn what sets high-end chocolate apart from others. They also have an online shop, which is perfect when wanting to support a small business while satisfying your sweet tooth.
For the chocolate lovers who enjoy learning more about all the good things that go into quality chocolate.
£30 per person - a 20% deposit to be paid on booking and the balance is to be paid before the event. You can book through an enquiry form online - max 12 people per session
You get Prosecco on arrival and everyone gets to pick something, like their favourite chocolate bar from the shop. Yay! You also get to take home the truffles you are making during the session.
Good to know
All the Chocolate by Chocolates and Truffles is Rainforest Alliance certified. They care about sustainability and have moved to using clear compostable bags to display their chocolates. The best days to do the session tend to be Friday afternoons or Saturdays.
Michelle is the owner of Chocolates and Truffles and is a chocolate aficionado. All the chocolates and truffles are made from start to finish by hand using their own recipes to deliver chocolate with an aroma and taste to wow the senses. An experience not to be missed.
Skipton itself is a bit off the beaten track but you can spend one night of your hen weekend in this quaint city and head straight to the Yorkshire Dales the next morning. Alternatively, Chocolates and Truffles makes for a great first or last destination of your trip to sweeten your journey.
Make ‘n’ Take Ceramics
Don’t want to travel over to Skipton, no worries! Another amazing activity for your weekend is to visit Make ‘n’ Take Ceramics.
What they do
Make ‘n’ Take Ceramics has been in business since 1985 and was founded by Melissa’s mother. A few years ago Melissa took over the business. They offer painting parties with pre-made ceramics. Their parties also include a session on the wheels where you’ve got the opportunity to make your own bowl. This is your chance to get your “Great Pottery Throw Down” game on.
Anyone who loves the film Ghost and has dreamed of having a go at pottery ever since. Sadly we can’t promise the appearance of Patrick Swayze, although I am sure you can channel his ghost with enough imagination!
It’s £20 per person for a 2 hour session. A deposit of £20 needs to be paid when booking.
The bowls made during the sessions can’t be taken on the day due to the need of them being fired. However, Melissa will send them out to you as part of the service once they’ve been baked.
You have the whole studio to yourself during the session and you’re welcome to decorate the studio in advance.
A fingerprint plate with the fingerprints of everyone on the day will be made. It’ll also have the bride’s name on it and she’ll get to have it as a keepsake.
Good to know
Melissa loves hosting Hen Parties so you’re guaranteed to have a great time with lots of giggles. You don’t need to have any creative skills to enjoy the session.
The perfect day for pottery painting tends to be a Saturday afternoon but you can also book a morning session and cure your hangover with painting and making ceramics.
There are lots of opportunities for you to take photos on the wheel and you can bring your own drinks and snacks. The pottery wheel makes for a great challenge for any tipsy bride-to-be.
For the evening we recommend a visit to York Gin. Started by 5 friends in a York pub just down the road from their shop, it’s a hyperlocal experience that gives you a great taste for the city. The grains which build the basis of the Gin are from Yorkshire and the distilling process is undertaken with Yorkshire water. York Gin is committed to buying local. Hannah and Evie who run the events are from York and all other employees are local as well and know all about the area. A great opportunity to ask for recommendations.
What they do
York Gin is a High-End Gin shop set in a beautiful Tudor building. Their Gins are made with labour-intensive and exacting techniques which mean a higher price but superior quality and consistency. They’ve earned the title of Distillery of the Year 2021. Once the doors of the shop shut for the day the Gin Tasting starts. With the full experience, you get to try their six different Gins throughout the tasting, as well as, learning why Gin is served in Copa de Balon glasses, with ice, what garnishes work best and what botanicals to use with each Gin.
Any Gin lovers
£50 per person for a 2-hour session - 6 Gin & Tonics. Payment is either taken in full at the time of booking or split into Half and Half. There is also a 1-hour session for £30.
Hannah and Evie are great at reading the room. They have knowledge for days about Gin but they will assess what you want to learn and will share the relevant knowledge with you or just make it all about fun if the group prefers. They both drink the Gins with you too, which always helps to create evermore atmosphere!
One of their business principles is to have as much fun as possible so they will ensure you’ll have a great time.
Good to know
There is also the option to come to your venue of choice to do the tasting there. This could be a restaurant if in agreement with the venue or your accommodation. Hannah and Evie are very flexible and happy to cater to your needs. They can also offer extras such as food in the shop and Prosecco on arrival, so it’s best to call them and they will build the experience you want.
York Gin is a massively ethos driven company with a huge focus on sustainability. They do a lot of great stuff and are 100% powered by Green Energy, operate plastic-free and are a living wage employer. What’s not to like!
Lost Earth Adventures
Finally, we want to share with you an amazing outdoor experience. When you decide on a place like York, it would be a shame to miss out on the amazing nature surrounding this idyllic city. For more inspiration on outdoor experiences check out our blog post on Top Stag Do Ideas in and around York. We know this is titled as a Stag do blog (Hello SEO), but we believe that your gender shouldn’t determine your interests or the activities you choose.
Lost Earth Adventures for example is an amazing outdoor company that offers experiences in different locations all within easy reach of York.
What they do
The purpose of Lost Earth Adventures is to create a sense and appreciation for the outdoors from abseiling to canoeing or caving; whatever your outdoor activity desires are, Lost Earth has got you covered. They are very passionate about nature and wildlife and want to share this with you by providing an experience that you will always remember.
A bride who enjoys the outdoors and loves to immerse herself in new experiences.
Prices range from £49 pp for half-day and £ 79 - 89 for a full day - Bring your own lunch - £100 deposit paid on booking with the balance paid 30 days in advance.
The price includes all the gear that you will need for the day. All you need to bring is a change of clothes!
From a spare afternoon in the North York Moors to a full weekend or week in the Yorkshire Dales, from small groups to large school groups, from novices to experienced adventurers, you’ll have the experience of a lifetime in God’s Own Country.
- Guided Walks or Navigation Courses
- Mountain Biking
- Climbing, Abseiling and Bouldering
- Urban Abseiling
- Gorge Walking and Canyoning
- Canoeing, Raft Building and Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Good to know
All levels of skills are welcome, don’t worry if you’ve never done any of the activities before. You’ll have an experienced guide with you who will make sure everything is safe and fun. Lost Adventures strive to get an itinerary designed that is bespoke to what you want to do. They pride themselves on their professionalism, leadership and attention to detail.
Lost Earth Adventures was founded by Sarah and Richard Goodey. An adventurous husband and wife duo who have travelled the world together and have been on adventures in over 35 countries. Their focus however is on providing you with amazing outdoor experiences in the UK.
What a weekend! If you manage to pack all of these activities in one weekend in York, then hats off to you. We know it’s hard to get the perfect balance between unstructured time and organised activities during a hen weekend so make sure to consider energy levels when planning your weekend.
We’re super excited for you to try the amazing activities we’ve selected for you in this blog. Let us know your favourite and make sure to tag us in your adventures on Instagram.
If you’re looking for additional inspiration, check out our blog on Ideas for Hen Parties in Liverpool, Brighton, Bournemouth Newcastle, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Almost all the activities in the Liverpool Blog are available nationwide, so don’t let the title confuse you. For more nationwide ideas, visit this blog.
Don't fancy organising everything yourself? The amazing Hen and Stag do event planners featured in this blog will take good care of you.
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