Heading to York for a hen do? Here’s everything you need to know before you go

York is the ultimate UK city for the best hen night. Recently listed as a key player in the ‘Premier League’ for hen parties, this charming ancient city promises an unforgettable night for every bride-to-be.

If you’ve booked a hen night in York or you’re thinking about doing so, we know all the reasons why you should absolutely go ahead. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about making the most of this incredible city, including where to go, what to eat, and where to drink in York on a hen party.

What’s special about York?

With a skyline dominated by imposing views of one of the world’s most impressive gothic cathedrals, York seamlessly blends lively culture with ancient history. An eclectic mix of bars and independent venues has nurtured a youthful, enigmatic culture that simply can’t be replicated by any other city in the UK.

On the narrow, cobbled streets of York you’ll find cocktail bars, quirky gift shops, family-run restaurants and ancient pubs serving the best beers for miles, like The House of the Trembling Madness. Or, if wine’s more your thing, it’s just as easy to taste of some of the finest continental and international varieties with tapas on the side, too.

To help you plot out a crawl for your hen night and make the most of the whole weekend, we’ve listed a few of our favourites below.

The best bars in York for a hen night

1. Tank and Paddle

Whether you’re just getting started for the night or looking for the next stop on your bar crawl, Tank and Paddle is always worth a visit. With a drinks menu featuring local craft beers, cask ales and an array of gin blends, this trendy, vintage-style bar is housed in a former merchants’ building. Plus, you’ll find special drinks offers here, too.

2. The Botanist

If you love drinking fancy cocktails, you won’t be disappointed by The Botanist. You can find this characterful bar and restaurant on Stonegate, one of York’s most popular historic streets. Nestled amongst ancient pubs, independent clothing stores and other local favourites, The Botanist is a hotspot for hen party cocktails and brunch stops alike.

3. Dusk

In the heart of York’s busiest area for nightlife, Dusk is an enigmatic venue. Serving fresh sandwiches and barista coffee by day, this independent café-bar transforms into a lively venue by night. Pop in to experience an exciting party atmosphere with live music, friendly staff, and specially selected wines at the bar.

4. Evil Eye

No visit to York is complete without calling into Evil Eye. If you love seriously fresh cocktails made with quality ingredients, you’ll feel at home in this weird and wonderful independent bar. A truly unique atmosphere paired with an extensive, unconventional cocktail menu makes Evil Eye one of the most vibrant venues in York.

5. Bobo Lobo

Whether you’re looking to drink, dance, or somewhere in between, the funky vibe at Bobo Lobo is guaranteed to impress. With a separate dancefloor, a bar on each floor and a laid-back shisha roof terrace, you’ll be able to let your hair down at Bobo Lobo.

Activities for a York hen party

1. Cruise along the River Ouse

Sit back and relax on the city’s favourite sightseeing tour: an entertaining and informative cruise along the River Ouse with City Cruises York. Suitable as an activity for any time of the day, you and the girls could even nurse your hangovers on the open-air top deck. With a route that takes you out of the city and towards the striking Millennium Bridge, it’s not one to be missed.

2. Book a cocktail masterclass

Drinking before you hit the town is one of the best ways to get the party started, so why not make pre-drinks memorable too? If you book private cocktail lessons from a butler in the buff, you’ll be guaranteed to impress the bride-to-be. You can enjoy fresh, professional-quality drinks for a fraction of the prices you’d find in fancy bars – poured straight into your hand by a handsome host.

3. Revel at York Races

The glitz and glamour of York Races attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. If you’re looking for a decadent hen weekend in York, the thrill of the races is one way to find it. Check out the Fixture List for 2023 at York Racecourse to see if you could make your hen party coincide with a formidable day at the races.

4. Walk the City Walls

York’s City Walls were built in the 13th century and they’re mostly still standing today. Whether you need some fresh air – or you’d just like to take in your surroundings before the party starts – the walls are open from dawn until dusk and boast breath-taking views. Plus, at just over two and a half miles long, the route is very flat and offers plenty of opportunities to stop for coffee or prosecco.

5. Head out for brunch

The best hen parties in York come hand-in-hand with a hearty brunch. Every girl knows that brunch is best with a cocktail in hand too, so why not head out for bottomless brunch in York? From Bill’s to Pitcher & Piano, you won’t be short of options for a Full English breakfast with a Bloody Mary on the side.

Where to stay on a hen party in York

If you’ve got your mind set on a York hen do, you’ll have plenty of options for accommodation. For larger groups, we recommend opting for self-catered accommodation. York is brimming with excellent hen party accommodation on Airbnb, with some holiday lets even specifically designed for celebrations.

However, if you prefer the experience of simply checking in and checking out of a room, there are plenty of great hotels to choose from in York. If you’re looking for budget hen party accommodation, it’s easy to find a room at one of the multiple Premier Inn or Travelodge hotels in the city centre.

Getting to York

One of the best things about organising a hen party in York is the city’s excellent transport links. If you’re not booking a private minibus to get the party started, you can still rest assured that no hen will be left behind.

York is just over 200 miles away from London. By rail, you’ll find regular high-speed services travelling directly along the East Coast Main Line from the capital. Stops include Peterborough, Grantham, and Doncaster, so York can be easily reached from plenty of major southern towns. To the west and further into Yorkshire, it’s just as easy to find connecting services via Leeds.

Book your perfect hen party with Butler Direct

Whether you’re firmly set on a hen weekend in York, or you’d prefer to stay closer to home, we can help. Regardless of the size of your group or the type of activities you’re interested in, we’re experts in private entertainment with a difference.

From life modelling to raunchy party games, you can rely on us to get your hen weekend off to a steamy start – and you can even choose your butler when you book. If you’d like to make an enquiry or learn more about what we can offer for your upcoming hen party in York, don’t hesitate to get in touch.