Published on Sep 12, 2017
You don’t have to dig out your passport and board a plane to ensure the perfect girls weekend away – there are plenty of places to visit and explore right here in the UK.
Whether you are planning a hen party to celebrate your best friend’s upcoming nuptials or you just fancy some girl time and a chance to gossip – a weekend away is the perfect way to do it.
The first thing you need to do is decide where you are going to go. If you don’t already have somewhere in mind then ask yourself the following.
Firstly, what do you want out of the weekend? Would you like to be in the heart of a city with bars and clubs right on your doorstep? Perhaps you would rather breathe in the fresh air of the countryside? Or maybe you would like to watch the waves crash against the shore from your hotel window?
Ultimately you want it to be somewhere that is within easy reach of everyone going, has suitable accommodation, and plenty to keep you all entertained.
Here are just six places you might want to consider – each with girls weekend away ideas, so you know how you might spend your time in the destination. Every location has something different and unique to offer you, but all of them guarantee you will make memories that last long after the weekend comes to an end.
This beautiful city, set in the rolling Somerset countryside, with 18th-century Georgian architecture lining the streets, is perfect for those looking for a more civilised weekend away. It is the only destination in the UK in which the whole city is designated as a world heritage site and came out as the UK’s most relaxed city in one survey.
There is plenty of accommodation to choose from in the heart of the city – just a short distance from the main attractions and suitable for a large groups. If you are looking for luxury then how about this gorgeous seven-bedroom Georgian town house? It sleeps up to 18 guests and is located centrally.
There are a variety of cosy cafes to stop at during the day – including Sally Lunn’s which, as it says above the door, is ‘The oldest house in Bath and home to the world famous Sally Lunn bun’. For dinner, book yourself a table at Aqua. It is located in a fine former Arts & Crafts church and stained-glass windows light up the large dining hall while you enjoy authentic Italian cuisine.
Why not start your weekend exploring the city? We recommend the historic Roman Baths, 13th Century Bath Abbey and Thermae Bath Spa – where you can bathe in the hot, bubbly waters. Once you are feeling completely relaxed, pay a visit to the Jane Austen centre and visit the lanes of independent shops.
Then, once the sun goes down head out to the pubs, clubs and bars – with a good mix of independent options as well as well-known chains. If you would like to sip cocktails and dance the night away, The Cork is the place to be – here you can hire a party pod for karaoke or watch a live band, comedy acts, DJs and magicians.
Nicknamed the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ and famous, of course, for its prestigious university – historic Oxford is the perfect setting for your girly weekend.
Located right in the heart of the city, next to Oxford castle, Malmaison is a converted prison that makes for a unique stay. You might be sleeping in a cell on A-Wing, but this quirky hotel is far from basic. Prices start from £159 a night.
You will be spoilt for choice when looking for places to eat and drink in Oxford. If you are looking for cocktails then Freud’s is a great setting – a converted Greek revival church with high ceilings and a long, bronze bar.
If you fancy a cultured weekend then this is the perfect city, full of stunning architecture to discover as well as fascinating museums and galleries. If you don’t fancy exploring by foot then jump on the hop-on and off bus tour or take a trip on a punt. A visit to Oxford wouldn’t be complete without climbing the Saxon St George’s Tower at Oxford Castle – the city’s oldest building.
By night, sip your pint in the same spot as CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein with a trip to the Eagle and Child, one of the city’s oldest pubs. However, if you are looking for something a little livelier then there is something for every taste, including independent music venue The Cellar and Raoul’s Cocktail Bar – which has won awards for its drinks.
This city, known as the ‘capital of the north’, is famous for its club scene and has a rich musical history – being the birthplace of bands including Oasis, The Smiths and The Stone Roses. Both diverse and energetic, you are guaranteed to have fun here.
Self-catering apartments are ideal for a girly weekend and this Grade II listed building offers both style and comfort, making it an ideal choice. Plus, being located close to both Chinatown and Manchester Piccadilly station makes it super-convenient.
If you are looking for something a bit different, the Dog Bowl offers bowling alongside a cocktail bar and a menu of Tex-Mex dishes, burgers and grills. If you aren’t sure what you fancy, head down to the Corn Exchange where you will find mix of restaurants and cuisines – from Wahaca, Pho and Cosy Club to Banyan Bar and Grill, Pizza Express and Tampopo.
Once you have filled your bellies and lined your stomachs, it is time to experience the incredible nightlife that this city has to offer. Visit the northern quarter for cool, independent bars such as Hula, The Mint Lounge and Soup Kitchen. Deansgate Locks is a row of swanky chain bars in converted railway arches or, of course, there is always Canal Street – the cobbled street at the heart of Manchester’s famous Gay Village.
Bournemouth, a seaside resort known for having seven miles of golden sandy beaches as well as 2,000 acres of gardens and parks. These are split into three areas – starting with the lower garden adjacent to the sea, up to Central Gardens in the town centre followed by the Upper Gardens. A weekend here is the perfect way to unwind and relax with your favourite girls.
You will find many hotels located on the magnificent coastline, with something to suit every budget. Two, three and four star options offer sea views and are within walking distance of the town centre, seafront and main attractions. For those that love the outdoors, why not try glamping and stay in a yurt, shepherd’s hut or beach lodge.
Being located on the coast, Bournemouth provides some of the best seafood in the country. Tasty prawns, lobster and fish are caught locally and then served up beside the sea. Urban Reef, located right next to the beach on Boscombe Promenade offers panoramic views of the bay and provides locally sourced, seasonal food and drink.
Nestled beneath an impressive cliff line, you will find some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK and views of the award-winning beach. Sunbathe on the golden sand and splash around in the turquoise sea and you will quickly forget that you aren’t in the Mediterranean. In the middle of the seemingly never-ending beach you will find the pier, where you can ride the ‘pier to shore zip wire’ – a new way to take in the stunning scenery.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy here, both in and out of the sea, from hiking and cycling to climbing and paddle boarding.
If you are looking for a rural retreat where you can curl up with a glass of wine next to a log fire after a long day of walking through the countryside – and enjoy leisurely lunches in country pubs – then this is the location for you and the girls.
A cosy cottage is the perfect place for you to stay during a trip to the countryside. Situated at the end of a quiet lane within the oldest part of a village, this secluded self-catered holiday cottage is set within a large garden surrounded by high hedges and tall trees. Perfect for those who are looking for a little privacy but would still like to be within walking distance of the local pub.
From quaint tearooms to cosy pubs, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining in the New Forest. These pubs are located in ancient buildings, some of which are more than 500 years old. In the winter you will be welcomed by a roaring fire and in summer you can enjoy the view from the gardens. Much of the food is sourced locally and sustainably. Visit The Pig in Brockenhurst, for example, for dishes straight from the garden, inspired by the forest and coast.
This area is known for its forest trails and native wild horses, so spend your day exploring them by bike, on horseback or simply by walking. There are plenty of activities on offer from archery, rock climbing, and clay pigeon shooting to paintball, abseiling and watersports.
After a day in the great outdoors unwind at the spa and treat yourself to a massage before you relax in the sauna – you are guaranteed to leave feeling rejuvenated.
Bristol, a city that has been named the best place to live in the UK, is a diverse and colourful place famed for its graffiti walls and pastel houses. It is a quirky and unique city with a focus on individuality – here you will find independent shops and unique eateries as well as a vibrant nightlife. It provides the perfect mixture of both city and countryside, with some breathtaking views. If you are looking for something a little different, then this is the place for your weekend.
There are plenty of hotels situated right in the heart of the city, just walking distance from the main attractions. If you are on a budget then why not stay in the The Lanes – a quirky backpackers hostel with a 10-pin bowling alley. Price start from just £10 per night. If you are looking for something a little more luxurious, a short distance across town you will find The Marriott located at the bottom of Park Street – perfectly placed no matter how you plan to spend the weekend. Prices start from £97 a night.
You can’t visit Bristol without having a cider and The Apple is the best place to do it. Located in the heart of the Old City, The Apple offers a range of the world’s finest ciders on a converted Dutch barge. Then, if you enjoy your dinner with a view, it is time to head up Park Street to Clifton, where a meal on The Avon Gorge terrace comes with the suspension bridge as a backdrop.
From Love Saves the Day and Brisfest to the Harbour Festival and Balloon Fiesta, there is always something going on in Bristol – so there will be no time to get bored, no matter when you visit.
Swing with the monkeys in ZooRopia – an aerial rope course at Bristol Zoo – learn about Bristol’s past through interactive exhibits at the M Shed, shop till you drop at Cabot Circus, see a show at the Hippodrome or the Old Vic – the UK’s oldest working theatre – and join a walking tour to see more of the city. Once the sun goes down head top Thekla, a world famous live music venue on board a German cargo ship.
With these six locations, you’re spoiled for choice. Pick your favourite and enjoy!