The Duke and Duchess stayed in the UK for their stag and hen dos. William had his in a manor house in Norfolk, Kate had a low-key event in a friend’s house.
London is a very popular choice for stags and according to research, most brides-to-be will stick to their home towns for their hen parties. However, with the rise and rise of the low-cost airline and popularity of cities in Central and Eastern Europe, going abroad has become a rite of passage – particularly for the boys.
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It used to be a night out with your mates, now it’s often a weekend in a foreign city downing the local beers (him) or enjoying some pampering (her). The downturn in fortunes of the Eurozone has meant that stags are coming back to Western European cities.
The Catalan capital is a perennial favourite with stags and hens. Away from the bars, for stags there are go-karting, paintballing, sea fishing, quadbiking and, a dream for all football fans, a tour of the Nou Camp or even watching FC Barcelona play.
Dublin’s back on the stag scene. Following a couple of years down time, the Irish capital is once again a stag destination. Tied in with the legendary pub crawls are visits to the city’s landmarks – Croke Park for a tour or game of Gaelic football or hurling or the Aviva Stadium for a rugby fixture. Clay pigeon shooting is also popular, if not very, very easy with a hangover.
The Czechs drink more beer than any one else in the world – 160 litres per person each year – a fact that makes Prague a no-brainer for beer-loving stags. To blow away the cobwebs after a night on the tiles, there’s quad biking, bobsleighing and karting.
Still very popular with stags. Most parties stick to the Red Light district, Leidseplein, Rembrandtplein and a few Irish pubs elsewhere. The anything goes vibe of Amsterdam has been like catnip to generations of blokes out for a last weekend of freedom.
Antwerp might be a bit cheaper but Brussels has beer and chips and chocolate. So does Tesco, so why go to Brussels for a stag? It has a long, long tradition of brewing, and Belgium has more than 450 different types of beer. Most stags make a beeline for Delirium Cafe, which stocks 2,000 beers, but there’s also the Museum of the Belgian Brewers and Museum van de Gueuze, where there are public brewing sessions of Lambic and Gueuze.
Brides-to-be and their friends tend to stay close to home. London, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Dublin are equally popular with hens. Other destinations catering for the pre-wedding brigade are:
Edinburgh is one of the most popular destinations in the UK for hen parties. It has a raucous, raucous reputation with lots of bars and clubs, great shopping on the Royal Mile and Princes Street and plenty of spas and “wellness centres”.
Spain has no shortage of destinations for pamper parties. In addition to Barcelona, popular spots include Marbella, Lloret De Mar and Ibiza, all popular with girls out on the razz.