Hen parties in Edinburgh

The round-robin emails no one ever replies to. The fancy dress no one can agree on. The horror of trying to find activities that everyone enjoys. It’s no wonder that ‘organising a hen weekend’ are the words most likely to strike fear into a woman’s heart.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, tell people you’re going to Edinburgh for the bride’s last night of freedom and you may find your inbox full of replies from ladies desperate to pack their little wheelie suitcases to join you.

Organising a trip north of the border is actually a great way to avoid some of the pitfalls hen parties are famous for. Yes, there are plenty of places where hen parties in Edinburgh can party until they fall asleep face down on their L plates. But look more closely and you’ll find plenty of options to really give the bride a memorable send off.

Edinburgh for a Scottish-themed hen weekend

Ceilidh Edinburgh

Yes your Bollywood dance class might have seemed like a funny idea, but it’s going to seem out of place in this beautiful city with its dramatic castle backdrop, trust us. So if you can’t beat them, join them by going all out with a Scottish-themed hen instead.

First, get kitted up in some tartan. If you don’t have any, the Tartan Weaving Mill on the Royal Mile is the place to go. You can watch it being made, have a go yourself and dress the bride up in some traditional costumes – make sure you take lots of photos to show the groom.

If that all sounds a bit too much like a Geography field trip, it’s time to liven things up by going for some whisky tasting at the Whiski Rooms. Even if you hate its slightly medicinal taste, the Whiski  Rooms specialists are so passionate about the brown stuff that they swear they’ll find you one that you like. Chances are you’ll start enjoying it by the third glass, though.

Once refueled, head off for a bagpipe lesson organised by professional tutors Castle Bagpipes and see if anyone in your party can get a tune out of the damn thing. Then it’s time for some traditional Scottish dancing at a ceilidh. At Edinburgh Ceilidhs you can find lessons or details of ceilidhs going on in the city,  than grab a random stranger and start flinging them around. If the night is still young, you could always go for a traditional sing song at an equally traditional Scottish pub, the Royal Oak which has live folk music every evening.

Round the evening off with another thing Scotland is famous for – the deep fried Mars bars. Be warned though: in these health conscious days, deep-fried confectionary is surprisingly hard to come by. Luckily, the chippie called the Clamshell on the High Street will deep fry pretty much anything that you want – Twix, haggis, pizza – the artery clogging list goes on.

Edinburgh for culture-loving hens

 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

If there’s not enough Prosecco in the world to make pole dancing in front of your friends at 11am an appealing option for you, you may be after more cultural pursuits. Luckily, Edinburgh has them in abundance.

Time it right, and your hen do can tag along to one of the festivals the city is famous for. There’s a film festival, a Jazz and Blues festival or, if you can face fighting the crowds, there’s also the big one – the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This is on every August for three weeks and alongside all the theatre and comedy events, there’s a fantastic New Year’s Eve-style atmosphere. Even the most sedate of hen parties would find it impossible not to be swept along by it.

Edinburgh also lets you indulge your love for books and booze, too. On the award-winning Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour taken by actors around some great literary and booze-soaked haunts. Cheers!

Edinburgh for foodies

Haggis for Sale in Edinburgh

Once known just for haggis, Edinburgh is now firmly on the foodie map, with farmer’s markets and great places for local seafood. One way to experience a good sample of Edinburgh’s more unusual restaurants is on an Eat Walk Edinburgh Footie tour. Stroll through the historical heart of the city, while stopping to sample some foodie (and drinkie) delights on the way.

This post is sponsored.

photos by Edinburgh International Film Festival Visit Britain on flickr


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