While a wedding is among the biggest parties someone might experience in their lifetime, it’s nothing compared to a raucous hen do the night before!
An exciting way to blow off some steam, brush off pre-wedding nerves and celebrate (as Beyonce would say!) her last day, night or weekend as single lady, a hen do is a must-have for many brides.
Also known as a hen weekend, hen party (or bachelorette party by our American cousins), a hen do is a term used mainly in the UK and Ireland to refer to the memorable ladies-only celebration before the actual wedding.
Both stag dos and hen parties are a tradition that’s been popular for centuries – since the mid-19th century actually! However, at this time they simply referred to gatherings that were attended solely by either men or women.
Once the terms became associated with weddings, hen dos would typically include activities like singing and dancing as well as drinking tea – how British! Nowadays, while many hen dos will still feature plenty of singing and dancing, they’ve developed a party-loving life of their own.
Instead of hosting a hen do that lasts just one night, many bridal parties will extend this partying period to a whole weekend to pack in as many activities as possible before tying the knot.
From hiring butlers in the buff to sipping cocktails through straws shaped like the male anatomy… finding the right venue or location for your activities can make or break a hen do.
How to choose the perfect location for your hen do
An incredible amount of time and effort goes into planning a wedding, so why should the hen do be any different? Whether you’re the bride herself or the dedicated Maid of Honour (MoH) planning a night to remember, choosing the perfect location is key to pulling off a truly unforgettable hen do.
As the bride’s last night of freedom, you’ll want to get the location and activities right.
Luckily, we’ve done the time-consuming research for you, so can focus on bulk-buying booze, creating matching t-shirts and snapping up the most affordable train tickets.
Most popular hen do destinations in the UK
With a helping hand from Metro, we’ve assembled some of the best hen do locations in the UK where questionable fancy dress outfits and L-plate ensembles won’t look out of place.
Included in their list of the top 10 hen do destinations in the UK is Manchester and Liverpool – the locations of two Bierkeller venues. Coincidence? We think not.
Described as “vibrant and glam”, Manchester offers sprawling shopping centres and relaxing spa facilities to impress any hen party.
Ideal if your intention is to make the most of your hen weekend, you can spend Friday night dancing at a Bierkeller bar, the whole of Saturday recovering from the subsequent hangover at a spa, and then top off your trip with a spot of relaxed, Sunday shopping.
Boasting a bustling nightlife and a wide range of culture-packed hotspots, Liverpool also offers something special for every kind of hen do.
Once you’ve had your fill of culture (Liverpool is home to the Tate Liverpool, The Beatles Story and the Merseyside Maritime Museum), head on over to our resident Bierkeller venue for a stein-full of your favourite tipple!
Metro’s selection of the top 10 hen do locations in England also features coastal locations like Brighton and Bournemouth, but sadly, neither of these locations are home to a Bierkeller venue, and do you really want to risk a Bierkeller-free hen do? We didn’t think so.
Our favourite hen do locations in the UK
While Metro has created a fab list of cities for you to explore during your hen do weekend away in the UK, we have our own opinions on which locations you should visit and have helpfully listed them below.
Best of all, we decided to add a lively Bierkeller venue to each one to ensure your hen party goes without a hitch. The unmissable food and libation-packed hub your hen party has been searching for, it’s the perfect place to plan your activities around.
Our epic Bavarian-themed party venues are specially designed for dancing, drinking, eating and watching sports, and are also home to our famous Oompah shows, ensuring there’s something for every hen party to experience, day or night.
Alongside keeping a knees-up at the Bierkeller at the heart of your plans, there are plenty of exciting activities to explore in each city. Ready to discover which of our entertaining venues is right for your hen do?
Located in the north west of England, Manchester is a big and bright beacon for football fans and culture-lovers alike.
Featuring everything from art galleries and museums to iconic sporting grounds like the Etihad and Old Trafford, there’s no shortage of entertainment available in this city.
Plus, the sprawling Trafford Centre is the perfect place to pick up a sensational outfit for your night out, while the gorgeous Fletcher Moss Park & Botanic Gardens provide a beautiful backdrop for a group selfie.
For any TV fanatics out there, you could even check out Coronation Street and stand on those iconic cobbles – just remember to pack more than just your stilettos if you want to pay the set a visit.
One place you won’t have any trouble remembering to visit is the Manchester Bierkeller.
With four bars providing a range of food and beverages, you can enjoy global treats at our Around The World bar, tasty tipples at the Shooters Sports Bar, and of course, plenty of Bavarian fare at our Bierkeller bar.
Spread out across the two floors, your hen party will also be able to enjoy multiple HD TVs, as well three substantial projector screens and a large LED super screen for the hardcore sports fans.
Finished with no less than five American Pool tables and two full-sized shuffleboards, why not challenge a friend to a game? Loser buys the next round!
Next up is Liverpool! Birthplace of The Beatles, who are commonly considered to be one of England’s greatest rock bands, there’s no better hen do location for those who are serious about their tunes than here.
For some musical nostalgia that’ll fill up a whole day out, a Beatles Bus Tour is the only way to go. A fun and easy way to explore the key spots where The Beatles were born and raised, it’s a magical way to spend the day.
For a more relaxed hen do day trip, you may want to visit the famous River Mersey for a chilled-out sunny stroll. So, head on over to the Royal Albert Dock where you can absorb the rich heritage of the city as well as the lively culture.
Keen to find our Liverpool Bierkeller? Located on the Royal Albert Docks, it boasts a huge biergarten that provides the perfect place to sample one of our steins whilst you take in the incredible view.
Featuring a brand new Bierkeller Lodge, a Shooters Rack & Roll bar that serves an assortment of cocktails and a Bavarian-style Bierkeller room, you can spend hours sampling the delectable dishes and drinks here.
What about entertainment? You won’t be disappointed with the considerable range of HD TVs and projector screens at this venue. Topped off with a large LED super screen, watching the game on the big screen just became so much better.
What’s more, there’s even brand new virtual darts lanes handily located in the Shooters bar for anyone that wants to put their skills to the test.
Known across the UK for being the home of the legendary Sherwood Forest and Robin Hood, this East Midlands city can be easily reached from locations across the country.
Ideal for budding authors and avid readers alike, Nottingham has been named the ‘City of Literature’ by UNESCO, making it a popular destination for thousands of tourists each and every year.
Alongside cultural perks, Nottingham also offers plenty of entertainment in the form of two large capacity theatres as well as many more attractions and even live performances in intimate venues.
After you’ve visited some of Nottingham’s most incredible music venues, it’s always a good idea to wet your whistle, and what better place to do this than our Nottingham venue?
Complete with the ever-popular Bierkeller bar, Shooters Sports Bar, and the Rack & Roll area, you can explore three different floors of unmissable food and drink. Finished with a significant bier garden fitted with two outdoor screens, we effortlessly combine relaxed, al fresco dining with a great view of your favourite sport.
For indoor viewing when the weather’s not on your side, our variety of 60-inch TVs, projector screens and large super screens will do the trick just fine.
Featuring six English Pool tables and four darts lanes (without forgetting the additional two used for practice), you could spend hours honing your skills here.
The second biggest city in the UK (nipping at the heels of London), this next hen do location is an incredibly popular option for both hen parties and stag dos.
Conveniently located in the centre of England, if your group of girlies love a spot of shopping, you’ll be excited to discover that Birmingham is home to the huge Bullring Shopping Centre. Boasting a wide range of designer stores, why not treat yourself while you’re there?
For those with a slightly sweeter tooth, Birmingham also brings the delicious delights of Cadbury World to the table. Featuring 14 separate zones to dig your teeth into, you can discover the magnificent history of chocolate and load up on as much confectionary as you can handle at the end of the tour.
Alternatively, for a splash of fun, why not encourage your hen party to dive into The Natural Sea Life Centre? Filled with all kinds of aquatic wildlife and oceanic exhibits, you can marvel at the adorable sea otters or even ‘shell’ out on a VIP group tour experience.
So, what can you expect from our Birmingham Bierkeller venue?
Similar to the previous three Bierkeller locations, you’ll be able to enjoy the fantastic viewing features installed throughout the venue. We’re talking LED super screens and massive projector screens to ensure no one’s view is obscured.
Set out over two floors, the classic German Bierkeller bar is accompanied by the Shooters Sports Bar that serves all your favourite tipples and our Around The World bar that features dishes and drinks from across the globe.
For a break from all the drinking, you can also make the most of three American Pool tables, one English Pool table and two full-sized shuffleboards – score!
Pulling off the ultimate hen do
Now you’ve settled on the perfect destination for your hen do and you’re eager to book the activities, it’s time to plan out your eventful evening or weekend.
With hen dos often being hailed as wilder than stags, it’s time to banish the thought of civilised afternoon tea and accept your booze-filled fate.
Keep your credit card on hand for margarita emergencies and don’t forget the makeup wipes, let’s see what’s in store.
The Maid of Honour’s most important task
According to tradition, the hen do is organised by the Maid of Honour and is arguably one of the most vital job roles when it comes to supporting the bride. With no groom in sight, it’s time for the MoH to help the bride let her hair down before the big day.
The trick now is communication. Once you’ve gotten hold of all the girls in the WhatsApp chat and given the order to pin their partner down as they hand over the kids, it’s time to fly.
Depending on your location, the most popular choice of travel for your hen do weekend will either be via plane or train. While travelling, glasses of prosecco and cans of ready-made cocktails are essential to setting the party atmosphere.
Upon stumbling off the train, the next task is to locate your accommodation and prepare for an incredible night on the town with yet more drinks at the hotel.
Slip on that sexy LBD, perfect your blow dry and swipe on some mascara, you’re ready to check out the local nightlife.
No stranger to losing your mates on booze-fuelled girls’ night outs, you decide on a meeting spot and start scouting out the nearest venue that’ll accept all ten of you singing ABBA and donning pink ‘Team Bride’ sashes.
This is where Bierkeller steps in to welcome you with open arms.
Saying ‘I do’ to The Bierkeller
Specialising in catering for large groups that are looking for a good time, we’re not in the business of turning away rowdy hen dos. In fact, we encourage them with our Oompah show package deals and table reservations.
Boasting four different venues located across the UK, each bar is well-equipped to dish out nonstop rounds of ‘das pornstars’ and is centrally-located to ensure tipsy groups can safely make their way back to the hotel.
Easily accessible, you can save the money that you’d usually spend on taxis getting to and from your accommodation and invest it in a few more rounds of drinks instead. Plus, you needn’t worry about packing those skyscraper heels as lots of city-based hotels, restaurants and activities are right on our doorstep!
You might be nervous about your upcoming nuptials, but you’ll have no problem committing to a Bierkeller.