Sisters are indeed doing it for themselves and some hens are opting to exercise extreme ‘girl power’ and raising money for great causes while they’re at it.
Sadly it is all too often a special member of the hen party is missing, having lost their personal battle with illness or injury. While they might not be at the hen party they certainly needn’t be forgotten and many nearly-weds choose the occasion to celebrate not just their forthcoming big day but also the life of that one hen that can certainly be with them in spirit during the hen party.
If you’re looking to celebrate your hen party by raising money for charity then here are 24 superb events across the UK for adventurous hens to get stuck in to.
Race for Life – Nationwide – Various Dates
Cancer Research UK are now well established on the charity event calendar across the nation, with runs in most major cities. A riot of vibrant pink T-shirts and running gear, women of all ages, shapes and sizes take on 5km or 10km runs. There’s no time limit, no experience needed, just thousands of women coming together to raise money for a fantastic cause. Of course if you wish to add a little fancy dress along with the pink colour scheme then it’s also hugely encouraged.
The Mighty Deerstalker – Peebleshire – March
This is one of the toughest and muddiest races you will find in the UK. The Deerstalker route crosses 5km (or 10km if you’re feeling brave enough) of rugged Scottish countryside. Runners often choose to wear fancy dress, with tartan and tweed regularly top of the list. At the end of the race runners enjoy a well-earned beer at the Beerstalker beer tent, where live bands play until late.
Fire Walk – Bath – March
This might not be the longest charity walk but it’s certainly the hottest! Based in Bath’s Alexandra Park, participants walk bare foot over fiery hot coals with toe curling temperatures reaching up to over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit… ouch! Your bravery will not go unnoticed however; as this event is aimed to raise funds to improve patient care at the Royal United Hospital in Bath through the Forever Friends Appeal. So every toastie penny you raise goes towards enhancing the lives of patients and their families.
Hadrian’s Wall Challenge – Northumberland – July
This huge two day challenge stretches over twenty five miles of Hadrian’s Wall. The route will follow the most preserved sections of this world heritage site, passing Roman houses and forts along the way. As well as seeing the best of Britain’s most well known Roman monument, the route overlooks stunning views of the local countryside. This is a unique event to take part in as well as raising money for charity at the same time.
Nightrider – London – Date tba
The ‘Nightrider’ is a 100km moonlit charity cycle ride around London where 4,000 cyclists will help raise £2million in a single night. The route passes 50 of London’s most famous landmarks including; London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The event is not a race and full back-up and regular break stops are provided throughout the night as well as a celebratory breakfast and medal at the finish. There are professional photographers at a number of points around the route to capture the event so the bride-to-be and her hens could get a really great photo of their night ride.
Shelter River Rat Race – London – July
If you are searching for a ‘survival of the fittest’ style event, then look no further. The Shelter River Rat Race is a 10km obstacle course, with sections both in and out of the water. Obstacles include; Monkey Bars, Trampolines and a Zorb Pool. Once competitors have swam, jumped and climbed their way to the finish line everyone will receive a medal and well earned chocolate.
Spinnaker Tower Abseil – Portsmouth – Various Dates
If you’re a group of dare devil hens then take the plunge and abseil down Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. This fabulous opportunity which is “All for charity mate” will allow you to conquer your fears, as you step over the edge of this stunning building (fitting in the shape of a ship’s sail or ‘spinnaker’) and abseil down the bottom of the tower, with stunning views over the city and the Solent.
AS Memory Walk – Nationwide – Various Dates
The Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk is a fun series of events that take place across some of the UK’s most beautiful venues. Groups are encouraged to take part in either a 2k or more challenging 10k walk and by doing so raise money to provide vital support for those living with Dementia. Along the way enjoy live music, DJ’s, face painters, plus take part in fun games and competitions. Every step taken is a step towards fighting dementia, as well as being a wonderful opportunity to share and celebrate with the bride-to-be.
Run or Dye – Nationwide – Various Dates
Run or Dye is a 5K untimed run, which is held in various locations around the UK. The main object is to run, skip or jump through the course, raising money for the local charities and getting multi-coloured whilst doing so! Known as the ‘Most Colourful 5K on the Planet!’ the runners all wear white at the start line for maximum artistic effect. Canons of powdered paint are blasted every 1k on to the participants in a carnival of colour to celebrate and promote happiness whilst giving back to the community.
Night Ride – Edinburgh – June
This is a 50 mile cycle through the stunning city of Edinburgh all in one night. As the sun sets and the city sleeps the participating cyclists take to the road and passing the iconic sights of Edinburgh such as Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament Buildings, The Castle, The Forth Road & Rail Bridges. Only 500 places are available so you need to register early in order to take in the city in a unique new light!
The Maldon Mud Race – Maldon – April
Raising money for J’s Hospice in Essex, the Maldon Mud Race is an annual event attracting over 15,000 spectators and 300 very muddy competitors. The race course is set over 400m of thick, sticky mud from bed of the River Blackwater. The event attracts competitors from all over the world with wacky fancy dress becoming a popular trend each year. Once you have completed this gruelling challenge its time to relax and enjoy the various stalls, face painting, fun fair, stalls and even a duck race.
The MoonWalk – London – May
The MoonWalk London brings women and men together to walk a marathon (26.2 miles) or half marathon (13.1 miles) around the capital city, in a bid to raise as much money as possible for breast cancer research and to help improve the lives of people with cancer. This unique night event has proved very popular, it is now in its 18th year and has incredibly raised almost £100 million to date. However this is a show of sisterly support so entrants must wear a bra (yes even the men!) and decorate it to fit in with the year’s chosen theme. If you’re looking to participate in 2015, then choose your favourite film stars and go as glam as possible because this year’s theme is ‘Saturday Night at the Movies!’.
Isle of Wight Challenge – Isle of Wight – May
If 5km or 10km just aren’t enough for you then how about 106km?!? That’s how far it is to walk around the simply stunning coast of the Isle of Wight. This is a perfect hen challenge as adventurers/fundraisers can walk, jog or run at your own pace whilst taking in the incredible coastland (and stopping off for a cheeky drink or two at watering holes along the way). You can also nominate your own charity to raise funds for.
The Zombie Walk – Birmingham – Date tba
Located in the centre of Birmingham in Centenary Square, the Zombie walk has been held annually since 2009, bringing together people of all ages to raise money for Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital. This isn’t any ordinary walk however, as for one day only the streets of Birmingham are full of the walking dead! You’ll need suitably ‘undead’ dress (“painted faces and shabby clothes are simply a must darling”) for this seriously weird but fabulous day in Birmingham!
Tough Mudder – Various Locations & Dates
With events held in locations all over the UK, the Tough Mudder is one on the most renowned charity events on the calendar and since 2010 has raised over 5 million pounds for a number of chosen charities. The Tough Mudder is not a race, but a specially designed obstacle course over 10-12 miles aimed to test strength, stamina and team work. You must pledge to put your fellow mudders before your lap time, so hold back that competitive streak and work as a team to overcome some of the toughest challenges, whilst getting oh so very muddy!
Red Shoe Walk – Various Locations – May & June
Walking with zombies might not be everyone’s cup of tea but walking in red shoes? “How utterly fabulous darling”. Taking place in a number of fantastic locations you can opt to stroll along the banks of the River Thames, cross from England to Wales over the Severn Bridge, through the historic street of Oxford or the quite stunning parks and views of Windsor all to raise money for the Red Cross.
World Bog Snorkelling Championships – Llanwrtyd Wells – August
This really is a chance to get down and dirty. Forget holiday memories of seeing brightly covered fish as you paddle through the waters in your favourite resort, this is dark murky bog water, the aim is to swim from one end of a channel of bog to the other in the shortest time possible. And this is certainly one for girl power as the 2014 Senior and Junior World Champions are both females, Kirsty Johnson (Surrey) and Emma Pitchforth.
Cotswold Olimpick Games – Chipping Camden (Gloucs) – May
Ever fancied yourself as an Olympick Athlete? Well now’s your chance. The modern Olympics actually started over 400 years ago in a sleepy village in the Cotswolds. Those original games are still going strong with some fantastic events including wheelbarrow races (in actual wheel barrows), static jump, tug of war and a team event ‘Championship of the Hill”. There’s also shin kicking which perhaps isn’t for everyone. A real spectator event, the ‘Olimpicks’ start with a spectacular torchlit descent of Dovers Hill which visitors are welcome to participate in.
The Great Christmas Pudding Race – Covent Garden – December
A race that raises money for charity and involves pudding??? Now that is what we call a great cause! Putting our love of cake aside for one minute this is a brilliant festive event raising money for Cancer Research UK. All the runners are warmed up before the race with a zumba class lead by dancers from Pineapple Dance Studios. Then it’s time to get into ‘the zone’ as you prepare to race like you’ve never raced before. And you can give those Christmas jumpers an airing as fancy dress, or at the very least Christmas dress is very much encouraged.
Cheltenham Challenge – Cheltenham – June
A beautifully scenic off road event set in stunning countryside in the Cotswolds. The challenge is broken up into various categories so you can enter the event that suits you, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Ultimate. What’s more entrants may run or walk meaning more hens can participate with you. While organised by CCP, a local Cheltenham based charity runners are invited to raise money for any charity of their choice. The main aim is to raise money for fantastic choices while enjoying a day in superb surroundings.
The Big Walk – Bucks & Herts – May
Raising money for PACE this is another chance to enjoy the great outdoors while raising funds for a fantastic cause. The 2015 Big Walk is set to take place in on a 20 mile route across stunning scenery through Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. Last year’s event raised a fantastic £20,000 which the organisers are hoping to repeat this year. What’s more, as the whole event is run at a more genteel event there’s even time for a picnic!
Super Hero Run – London – May
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it a group of slightly unconditioned hens running in costumes? The DIFC Super Hero Run will take place in the rather lovely surroundings of Regent’s Park. Over 1000 superheroes will be expected, all running in full costume and raising money for their chosen charities.
London to Paris Bike Ride – London/Paris – May, June & July
“Mais oui, it is a ride from London to Paris, c’est formidable!” This incredible ride is a spectacular event which sets off from Crystal Paris through the Kent countryside, across the channel and arriving in Paris at the glorious Eiffel Tower. Entrants are invited to nominate their own charity during the multi-day event (yes, you won’t be expected to do the whole thing in a single day, phew!).
Knaresborough Bed Race – Knaresborough – June
Now before the less active start thinking this is the race for them, this brilliant charity event organised by the Lions Club does require a great deal of effort. Specially built ‘beds’ are pushed through the streets over a designated course. However even the rider won’t manage a slice of toast and cuppa while still tucked under the duvet as the course and runners/pushers are unrelenting for those competing for the title. However if you are purely aiming to raise money for a good cause then this is a fantastic event with results recorded for Fastest Female Teams, Fastest Non Club Female Team, Best Dressed Bed, Most Entertaining Team, Most Money Raised for Charity.