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Girls on tour: the best places for a Manchester hen do

3 weeks ago

It’s a sad day when you lose one of your besties to married life but at least it’s an excuse for a girls-only night out. We’ve rounded up our suggestions of the best places in Manchester for a hen do, whether you’re looking for daytime activities, drinking and dining, or an aparthotel where you can all crash. (The entries are organised in that order to make life easy for you).

There’s a mix of classic party places and classy alternatives for more sedate affairs as well as plenty that contain a bit of both. You can also book your own private room at many restaurants if that works better for what you’re planning. A word of warning – get in touch with the venue beforehand if you’re going in fancy dress (not everywhere can handle a troupe of neon cowgirls, inflatable ponies and all).

  • Concert night at the Manchester Arena, or AO Arena as it is currently known.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    1. AO Arena

    Music Venues

    If you’re in Manchester to see a big name music act, chances are you’re seeing it at the AO Arena.

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  • Masood Boomgaard who is appearing at the Frog and Bucket comedy club in October 2023
    Northern Quarter

    2. Frog and Bucket

    Comedy Venues

    The Frog and Bucket is one of Manchester’s longest running comedy clubs and one of the first venues to open in the (now booming) Northern Quarter.

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  • One of the crazy golf courses at Junkyard Golf in Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    3. Junkyard Golf Manchester

    Activities

    Junkyard Golf is Manchester’s original crazy crazy golf. There are imitators and imposters but this was the city’s first day-glo, booze-fuelled, loud, throbbing take on the traditional seaside game for kids.

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  • The bar at Lane 7, Deansgate
    Manchester City Centre

    4. Lane 7 Deansgate

    Activities

    Lane 7 Deansgate has bowling lanes as well as more than seven other things to do while you’re there and that doesn’t even include drinking a gin cocktail in a stein. Obviously, that’s just a given.

    As well as bowling, there is fancy-pants bowling with neon zig zags. A bit of a cross between a new restaurant opening and Blade Runner. All the bowling is pretty sleek and shiny though with the standard graffiti décor.

    Non-bowling entertainment includes just about everything that could possibly be construed as competitive with the exception of tiddlywinks.

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  • Manchester River Cruises Pirates and Mermaids - a recommended half-term day out in Manchester.
    Salford Quays

    5. Manchester River Cruises

    Activities

    Want to fall in love with your city all over again? Take a boat tour from Manchester River Cruises, and you’ll see its iconic views from a new and surprising perspective.

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  • The swimming pool at Pace Health Club and Nu Spa in the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Manchester city centre.
    Green Quarter

    6. Pace Health Club & Nu Spa

    Spas

    The Pace Health Club & Nu Spa sits inside the Park Inn by Radisson hotel, on the edge of the city centre, close to Manchester Arena and Victoria Station.

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  • Puppy having cuddles at Paws Yoga
    Castlefield

    7. Paws Yoga

    Activities

    Two things that are guaranteed to release endorphins: puppies and yoga. Paws Yoga combines the two, and was the first yoga class of this kind to touch down in Manchester.

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  • Beer pong at Pong & Puck
    Manchester City Centre

    8. Pong & Puck | Great Northern

    Activities

    Get your game face on with an afternoon of pool, shuffleboard and table tennis at Pong & Puck in The Great Northern.

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  • Stand-up paddleboarding at Salford Watersports Centre
    Salford Quays

    9. Salford Watersports Centre

    Activities

    Situated at Dock 8, Salford Quays, Salford Watersports Centre aims to make its activities accessible to everyone who wants to dip their toes in the world of watersports. It offers open water swimming (winter and summer), paddleboarding, sailing, kayaking and powerboating.

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  • Christmas party at Whistle Punks Axe Throwing in Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    10. Whistle Punks

    Activities

    Hearing the thud of axes can be a little unnerving as you leave the cinema in the Great Northern – especially after a slasher film – but the axe throwing at Whistle Punks is about letting off steam not cutting off limbs.

    It’s competitive and a bit like darts really, only you’re throwing whacking great axes at the target instead. A bullseye with an axe is very satisfying indeed.

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  • party time at Banyan Spinningfields Manchester
    Spinningfields

    11. Banyan Spinningfields

    Bars

    Banyan in Manchester’s Spinningfields is a sleek and chic take on all day drinking and dining.

    From bottomless brunches every day to late-night fizz, there’s always something happening. These hybrid anytime venues can be a difficult act to pull off but Banyan gets the balance right. It’s the sort of place where you can just as easily call in for a coffee as have big celebration meal.

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  • Food at BLVD in Manchester city centre
    Book Now Spinningfields

    12. BLVD

    Bars

    BLVD is the place to go if you want cool cocktails and a party atmosphere with your meal. It’s a place to get glammed up, to see and be seen with a soundtrack of House, R&B and Hip Hop to go with your Mediterranean small plates.

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  • Crazy Pedro's Bridge Street Manchester Outdoor Seating
    Manchester City Centre

    13. Crazy Pedro’s Manchester Bridge St

    Bars

    Describing itself as a full-time party bar and part-time pizza parlour, Crazy Pedro’s is hot on super-chilled drinks, from frozen margaritas to ice cold beers. It’s also the place to head if you haven’t settled the Hawaiian-pizza-isn’t-a-real-pizza argument.

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  • Sunday lunch at Diecast. Manchester City Centre.
    Piccadilly

    14. Diecast

    Music Venues

    Diecast is a party venue and ‘creative neighbourhood’ five-minutes’ walk from Manchester Piccadilly station.

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  • Dimitri's Manchester Tapas
    Manchester City Centre

    15. Dimitri’s

    Bars

    Dimitri’s has been serving up mezze for over 30 years now. It’s a stalwart of the city’s food and drink scene and with its vibrant atmosphere and happy holiday food, it will probably keep going for 30 more.

    It’s sharing food that will bring back memories of trips to Crete or Kefalonia with hummus and generous baskets of pitta breads, juicy olives, stuffed vine leaves, moussaka, herby lamb chops and kebabs all featuring on a typical menu.

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  • Freight Island in spring / summer
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    16. Freight Island

    Music Venues

    Food hall meets music festival is how we’d describe Freight Island to anyone confused about what they’ll find at this regenerated rail depot beyond Piccadilly Station. 

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  • Cocktails served at San Carlo Fumo in Manchester city centre
    Book Now Oxford Road

    17. Fumo

    Bars

    With its terrace overlooking Oxford Road and its much-photographed spiral staircase, Fumo is a favourite spot in Manchester for dinner and drinks with friends.

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  • Steak at Gaucho
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    18. Gaucho Manchester

    Restaurant - South American

    For many people, Argentinian restaurant Gaucho Manchester is the destination in the city for very good steak paired with very good wine. Housed in a converted Methodist church on Deansgate, with an open kitchen, and the original church organ still in-situ, it’s also known as one of Manchester’s best-looking spaces for dining.

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  • Grand Pacific - one of the most romantic restaurants in Manchester for Valentine's Day.
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    19. Grand Pacific

    Bars

    Grand Pacific is the work of Living Ventures and it easily outshines its sibling venues in terms of pure glamour. Not in a big chandeliers, glass and chrome Spinningfields way, but with a decadent blend of colonial Raffles-style grandeur and some of the best of the city’s Victorian architecture.

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  • Bar at Gusto Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    20. Gusto Italian Manchester

    Bars

    Gusto Italian Manchester may be the jewel in ever-expanding chain’s crown, even if the menu is the same everywhere from Heswall to Edinburgh. It’s a very polished affair with a definite Art Deco feel. This is a place that seems designed for good times and the service is slick.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    21. Impossible

    Bars

    First and foremost a bar and nightclub, Impossible’s Instagram account is filled with a bevvy of posing beauties enjoying cocktails and wine in the velvet-clad club and out on the sun-trap of a terrace that overlooks Deansgate’s Great Northern Warehouse.

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  • One of the private dining rooms at The Ivy
    Spinningfields

    22. The Ivy Manchester

    Bars

    The Ivy Manchester is an exuberant over-the-top place that’s perfect for glamming up and going out. The décor is wild yet smart and service is smooth and professional. The roof garden is a must.

    There’s an abundance about The Ivy with the costumed doorman, and the levels and levels of fun: The Ivy Asia; The Brasserie; The Ivy Roof Garden; the lurid floors; the lacquered screens; the mirrored central bar. It all adds up to a sense of occasion, a place where dining out is something special, something to dress up for.

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  • Menagerie Manchester Brunch
    Salford

    23. Ménagerie

    Bars

    Let’s get this party started… but not without lining your stomach first, fun fans. With tapas-style dishes for sharing as well as more substantial sit-down dinners, along with signature cocktails “designed to inspire”, Ménagerie is an immersive dining and drinking experience.

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  • A bartender at MOJO, a bar in Manchester
    Manchester City Centre

    24. MOJO Manchester

    Bars

    MOJO Manchester is a red-blooded rock and roll bar with an atmosphere that comes from a guitar-led playlist. The music policy covers the best rock and alternative anthems from the 1960s to now, a welcome change from the generic bar music played almost everywhere else.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    25. Piccolino Caffe Grande Manchester

    Bars

    With its terrace overlooking Albert Square and Manchester Town Hall, and a beautiful interior featuring a 40-seater private dining room, an open kitchen, and an oyster bar, Piccolino Caffé Grande Manchester is a real destination restaurant. (And, notably, it’s one that doesn’t price people out of the experience.)

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    26. Riva Blu Manchester | Corn Exchange

    Restaurant - Italian

    From the same team behind Piccolino, Riva Blu Manchester aims to bring a little bit of La Dolce Vita to The Corn Exchange. With a sleek cocktail bar, open kitchen, and alfresco terrace, it’s styled on the high-society glamour of the 1960s, and “modern Italian” cuisine is the name of the game.

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  • A cocktail from speakeasy bar, Science & Industry, above Cane & Grain in the Northern Quarter, Manchester.
    Northern Quarter

    27. Science & Industry

    Bars

    If antique glassware and taxidermy squirrels are your thing, this is your kind of drinking den. Hidden above New York-style rum bar Cain & Grain, and behind a door disguised as a stack of crates, you’ll find Science & Industry – an eccentric speakeasy bar.

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  • Beef tataki at Sora Manchester, a rooftop bar and restaurant in Malmaison Deansgate
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    28. Sora Manchester

    Restaurant

    Sora Manchester is a rooftop bar and restaurant serving up sushi, Pan Asian small plates and views across the city’s impressive Victorian neo-Gothic architecture.

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  • One of the dishes served at upmarket Cantonese restaurant Wing's in Manchester city centre
    Manchester City Centre

    29. Wing’s

    Restaurant - Chinese

    Located in a brutalist city centre square, this elegant Chinese restaurant is owned by Wing Shing Chu – but it’s found fame through the patronage of famous names like Wayne Rooney and Chris Evans.

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  • Lamb Laziz at Zouk, Manchester
    Book Now Oxford Road

    30. Zouk

    Restaurant - Indian subcontinent

    Zouk specialises in ‘apna’ – home-style cooking shot through with colour and heat from the spices and herbs. In recent years it has incorporated elements of global street food to its menu (Lahori wagyu sliders for example) but the main focus is still the authentic Indian and Pakistani cooking that made Zouk a success.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    31. The Alan Hotel

    Hotel

    The Alan is surely one of the most creative and design-led venues in Manchester city centre. A stylish six-storey hotel on Princess Street in the centre of the city with an open-plan kitchen, bar and restaurant. As well as meeting and event spaces.

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  • Book Now Northern Quarter

    32. Church Street by Supercity Aparthotels

    Premier Club

    In Manchester’s cool and vibrant Northern Quarter, it doesn’t get more central than Church Street by Supercity. These one and two-bedroom apartments are ideal for couples and groups wanting a stylish and modern base in Manchester city centre.

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  • Downstairs lobby at Clayton Hotel Manchester
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    33. Clayton Hotel Manchester

    Hotel

    Clayton Hotel Manchester is a large modern hotel with 329 air-conditioned rooms, a gym, meeting and event spaces, and a restaurant.

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  • A bedroom at Dakota Manchester, a hotel in the Northern Quarter, Manchester.
    Book Now Piccadilly

    34. Dakota Manchester

    Bars

    The Dakota Manchester describes itself as Manchester’s best hotel. We’re not getting into that debate but we will say it’s the city’s most glam.

    Designed by Amanda Rosa and owned by Ken McCullough, it’s low-lit and brooding, in a stylish, noirish way.

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  • Stunning views from the living room at Hyatt House aparthotel in Manchester
    Book Now Oxford Road

    35. Hyatt House

    Hotel

    Hyatt House is a modern aparthotel in Manchester’s university area with a range of studios and one-bedroom suites. It has a relatively peaceful setting, considering it’s moments away from the bustle of Oxford Road and only ten minutes from the city centre by car or public transport.

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  • The Townhaus serviced apartment from Jackson Boutique in Manchester
    Book Now Ancoats

    36. The Jacksonheim Boutique

    Premier Club

    The Jacksonheim Boutique is the group name for a portfolio of luxury aparthotels and serviced apartments in some of the most popular locations in Manchester. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay with style, character, and all the comforts of a home-from-home, their range is your place to start.

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  • The infinity pool at King Street Townhouse - one of the coolest hotels near Manchester Arena
    Book Now Manchester City Centre

    37. King Street Townhouse

    Hotel

    King Street Townhouse is a 4-star luxury hotel in the heart of Manchester City Centre. It’s well known for its spa facilities – including a very special infinity pool with views of the city from the top floor of the building.

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  • Ground floor lounge and bar area at Leonardo Hotel Manchester Central
    Manchester City Centre

    38. Leonardo Hotel Manchester Central

    Hotel

    Leonardo Hotel Manchester Central is a bright modern hotel with a fantastic location near to the Bridgewater Hall and HOME for cultural activities and handy for Manchester Central Convention Complex if you’re travelling for business.

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  • One of the rooms at Leven Hotel in Manchester city centre
    Book Now Gay Village

    39. Leven Hotel Manchester

    Hotel

    Based conveniently near Manchester’s gay village in an early 20th-century warehouse, Leven opened in October 2021 as one of its newest, and coolest design hotels.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    40. Malmaison Manchester Deansgate

    Hotel

    Malmaison Manchester Deansgate is a cool new boutique hotel in the heart of the city. It has amazing views, two restaurants and a quirky 60s style.

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