There’s no better excuse to spend time with your closest girl friends than a hen do. Many brides and their hens are choosing to bypass the traditional one night out and instead head off for an entire weekend away. Here, we explore hen weekends in the New Forest with New Forest local, Gemma Dalton.
The New Forest is an outstanding area of natural beauty. Easily accessed by train or car, but a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s the ideal spot for a weekend away with the girls – and what better excuse than your hen weekend?
Hen weekend accommodation
One of the biggest draws to the New Forest, aside from the beautiful landscapes and plentiful activities for everyone, is the range of holiday accommodation available, from two person cabins on stilts over the water through to eco friendly cottages, converted chapels and even an old telephone exchange.
Finding a property large enough for the bridal party can be more challenging, but there are gems to be found. One of the most popular large group cottages in the New Forest is Rightman’s Place – and it’s easy to see why!
Set in its own 20 acre grounds, this stunning eleven person holiday home has oodles of charm and enough space for everyone to spend time together or relax with a good book after a active day out.
Hens staying at Rightman’s Place have the opportunity to enjoy a hen weekend full of outdoor activities, healthy options and plenty of quality time with the girls. Picnic in the garden, go running or play rounders in the grounds and enjoy all of the nearby activities and sights too.
Hen party activities
There’s so much to do in the New Forest and something to suit all ages and tastes. Hens can find lots of group activities, organised for them or available to participate in at leisure.
Just 10 minutes drive from Rightman’s Place is the New Forest Water Park, a popular location for a girls’ weekend. Get your wetsuit on and prepare to be exhilarated as you learn to wakeboard, water ski or try out the inflatable aqua park too. It’s a lot of fun and sure to get the adrenaline going!
New Forest Activities also offers a wide range of activities which you can book in advance, including kayaking, climbing, cycling and lots more. One of their latest offers is for walking tours where you learn how to forage in the forest – what you can eat, what you can’t – which is a fun way to get out and explore the local area.
There are also lots of unplanned activities if you’d prefer to take things at your own pace and choose what you want to do day by day. For example, the New Forest is full of gorgeous cycle routes and walks across the countryside. If you’re a fan of the beach, there are lots of beaches to try too, or head down to Keyhaven and Lymington where you can walk the sea wall – on a clear day, you can see the Isle of Wight across the Solent.
Places to eat and drink
If you fancy getting out of the house for a meal or drinks of an evening, the New Forest has plenty to offer, from local cafes to Michelin star restaurants and everything in between.
To enjoy some locally sourced dishes in the warmth of traditional pub settings, The Royal Oak at Fritham comes highly recommended, as does The Oak Inn at Bank.
The Haven restaurant, set in the heart of Lymington Marina, is another excellent choice – more modern in style than the rustic pubs and with views over the waterfront.
Organising a hen do
There are plenty of reasons to organise a hen party in the New Forest. There are lots of lovely places to stay, things to do and restaurants and bars to suit all tastes – plus the gorgeous scenery makes the most stunning backdrop to your special occasion.
Rightman’s Place is currently offering £100 off the list price throughout 2016. Offer expires on the 29th February 2016. Visit New Forest Living for more information.