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Why Choose Manchester for

Last Updated 09/03/2017

Manchester is cool and charming. If it were a man, it would already have your digits… The city is bursting with bars and clubs – the original home of live music – friendly locals (not in parkas…), shopping districts to blow the hen party kitty, and activities that are as luxurious as they are lairy. Simply put, Manchester hen weekends are unforgettable.

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Nightlife

Manchester’s nightlife is unrivalled – one of the biggest, best and loudest in Europe. The city is split into distinct districts, and The Northern Quarter is the most famous. This quirky and eclectic collection of bars and clubs is Manchester’s answer to East London. The bars are illicit and mysterious, often tucked away behind unassuming doors – one, Dusk Til Pawn, with the exterior of a pawn shop. There’s a trend in The Northern Quarter for speakeasy-style cocktail dens, serving classic cocktails in cut glassware to a backdrop of 20s style interior, but you’ve also got the music clubs that gave Manchester its legendary reputation.

Four tiled images - including one of the exterior of Dusk Til Pawn, four different cocktails lined up on a bar top, a lit-up cocktails sign and people in a club

Deansgate is the city’s trendiest area, where the heels and LBDs come into play. It’s a cacophony of Tiki-style venues, cocktail lounges, wine bars and huge clubs, as well as the winner of Manchester’s Best Bar at the Eat, Drink, Sleep awards. Just a mile away (or a short taxi in heels), Deansgate Locks sits pretty in the city’s historic railway arches. This drinking district truly comes into its own during the summer, as the bars spill out onto the gorgeous terraces overlooking the ‘Locks’. Similarly, Spinningfields – the ‘Canary Wharf of London’ – is brimming with luxury, including those all-important cocktail bars. The masters of mixology, The Alchemist, even call this area home. Close by, you’ve got Canal Street – Manchester’s LGBT scene and host of the massive Manchester Pride. The colourful street gets louder as the hours pass, boasting jaw-dropping drag acts and classic karaoke. Last but certainly not least, there’s the Printworks and Millennium Quarter. This gigantic area covers all bases of a hen weekend – the lively Bierkeller, glamorous Tiger Tiger and Vegas-inspired The Birdcage all open their doors to thousands each weekend.

Shopping

The self-proclaimed ‘capital of the north’ has the shopping to match. Rivalling the likes of London, Manchester boasts the famous Arndale Centre – the city’s huge indoor shopping mall, and hen weekend heaven. It has over 200 high street stores, with entrances covering Market Street, Piccadilly Gardens, Cross Street and St Anne’s Square. However, you’ve also got the actual high street just outside, as well as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols (we’ve lost you already…). We’re not forgetting the Trafford Centre, set on the outskirts of the city and attracting hundreds of thousands from far and wide. You, quite literally, will shop ‘til you drop (or until the hangover kicks in). Manchester is also a mecca for vintage clothing, and none more so than The Northern Quarter. The network of streets is home to the city’s most alternative thrift stores, where it’s even possible to grab a designer bargain. We’ll see you there.

Activities

Four tiled images - including one of a woman indoor skydiving, one of a semi-naked man piping chocolate, an image from the crowd watching a man strip on stage, and three women's legs in roller skates

Not to boast, but we’ve got over 180 Manchester hen weekend activities. It’s brimming with all-sorts to choose from – such as an 80s style Roller Disco, dance classes, indoor skydiving (seriously), the Adonis Cabaret boys and even a MAC makeover and photoshoot. Of course, it all boils down to one thing… and we’ve got naked men in spades. They’re even covered in chocolate with our naked chocolatier party… We’ll say no more.

Accommodation

Manchester is overflowing with accommodation options for your hen weekend. We’ve got fancy, 4-star hotels, swish apartments with actual space to get ready in, and many cheaper alternatives as a perfect base for exploring the city. However, you probably won’t spend much time in your room - until the morning after.

Cocktails

Four tiled images - including one of the interior of The Fitzgerald, Manchester, two bartenders making cocktails, a cocktail in a white cup with a flame, surrounded by greenery and a line of cocktails on a bar with a flame in the background

Manchester is laden with chic cocktail bars in almost every nightlife district. The Northern Quarter is brimming with speakeasy venues, Deansgate Locks has cocktail dens hidden in the railway arches and Spinningfields has a stunning bar you enter through a glass pyramid. We’re not ones to brag, but we’re firmly at the heart of this trend - with trendy and boozy hen party cocktail workshops in Manchester’s best bars. Get exotic with a tropical Tiki cocktail class at The Liar’s Club, or travel back in time to the cool 50s and dazzling 20s during themed Moulin Rouge and Great Gatsby workshops at The Fitzgerald. You’ve also got hen party classes at Ark and the classic Revolution, as well as Black Dog Ballroom.

Northern Soul

Contrary to popular belief, Manchester’s streets are not overrun with parkas and Oasis tribute bands, you daft ‘apeth, but salt of the earth characters. It’s England’s answer to New York, a city of the world, and the people are proud as punch of it. You can even talk to strangers on public transport without said person avoiding eye contact and getting off at the next station (we’re looking at you, London)…

Music

Three tiled images - including one of a man and woman on stage performing to a crowd to a purple backdrop, a Reggae band performing to a crowd and the interior of Islington Mill, Manchester

Live music is the beating heart of Manchester. The city is, deservedly, the centre of the world’s music scene – and the birthplace of our favourite stars, including the likes of Oasis, The Stone Roses, Simply Red, Morrissey and even Take That. Manchester is packed with all sorts of venues for sell-out artists and intimate gigs – it’s a different kind of hen night, but a exciting new experience. Stop crying your heart out and get to Bridgewater Hall – Manchester’s biggest and premier music venue - or head to Band on the Wall, this city’s wonderwall, regularly hosting the best club nights on a weekend, surrounded by cool and quirky drinking spots. You can even celebrate your champagne supernova at Albert Hall, a former club and relatively new addition to the music scene in Manchester. You just gotta roll with it…

Festivals

Manchester’s events are as legendary as the city itself. Manchester Pride is the annual LGBT festival held each summer, and is the longest running in the country – attracting thousands from all over the world. It’s a huge 10 day festival that includes music, arts, film showings and performances – all boiling down to the 72 hour party. This party puts almost every hen weekend to shame, with a parade going through the streets. Parklife is another huge event in the city, an independent music festival that exceeds 70,000 people per day. This isn’t forgetting the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, going on for over 20 years, which has drawn the names of Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, as well as GBBO’s Nadiya Hussain. It’s hen weekend heaven, and a serious morning after cure…

Christmas Markets

A Christmas stall at a Christmas Market

Manchester is full of festive spirit every Yuletide – it’s like a Home Alone film (without the neglected children). The Manchester Christmas Markets are one of the largest in the UK, lasting for five magical weeks. The Queen of the North transforms into the North Pole, featuring Santa and his reindeers and, more importantly, international mulled wines. The spectacular stalls line the streets – from the Corn Exchange, all the way to Albert Square – and offer mouthwatering food, such as Dutch pancakes, German grub and French profiteroles, to soak up all that booze on your hen weekend – as well as gifts, clothes and jewellery.

Manchester nights are unlike anything ever experience before, and your hen do deserves only the very best... so get on our Manchester hen weekends page, choose from our huge selection of activities and accommodation and get ready for the night of your life.