Stag & Hen Ideas Bournemouth
Published date: 1st January 2018
The late Colonel and Mrs ffrench-Smythe-Wippelton who resided in Bournemouth in the 1950s would have found it hard to believe, but their adopted hometown, once famed for its staid gentility, has become one of this country’s top venues for stag and hen parties.
We can suggest a few reasons for that popularity. For starters, located on the Dorset Coast it enjoys rather better weather than many other such spots in the UK. Then there are the seven miles of sandy beaches lapped by waves that make this a surfer destination. With a long tradition of catering for holidaymakers it has the hotels and other facilities that your parties need – should you perhaps fancy a glass of something reviving in the evening the pubs and clubs are numerous and of many different styles. And then there are the intangibles, like the atmosphere – not so long ago it was voted the happiest place to live in the UK, and as we take it you don’t expect to spend your break here dead that applies to you too.
With stag and hen party business big in Bournemouth the entrepreneurial locals have come up with plenty of different ways to amuse you and your mates day and night.
To deal with the days first. Naturally there are all the classic activities you’d expect to find, with stuff like paintballing, golf (the Colonel would have approved of that one, but there are plenty of ways to make it a tad different), archery, quad-bikes, karting, and the full panoply of pampering. Add greyhound racing, clay-pigeon shooting and off-road buggies to that list along with cocktail-making classes (you get to drink the exam), perfume-blending (you get to wear the exam) and Zorbing too (think bouncing downhill in a clear plastic ball). But Bournemouth has some pretty unusual ones to throw into the mix: the weird powerturns machines for motorised amusement; likewise blindfold 4×4 driving guided by your friends (it’s their skin too, and you have an instructor); and It’s a Knockout with some of the original props and games (if you don’t know that one, ask your mum or dad, check the web, or think Gladiators crossed with Wipeout and a sense of humour). The good Colonel would have had a fit had he seen the chocolate making class where the girls get to eat their creations off a male model, and decorate him with choc at the end – Mr f-S-W might have been tempted though.
Of course the sea beckons – in good weather. Surfing classes suit both sexes, so does wakeboarding and water-skiing (sounds serious but laughing at friends falling in the water generally isn’t). And if it is speed that attracts you try bouncing over the waves in a powerboat, or the added pleasure of the RIB thing (that’s Rigid Inflatable Boats, sorry ladies), or the funky little Zapcats.
Options in the evening, to nobody’s surprise, include male strippers and a drag comedian for the hens, lap-dancing and the euphemistically-named gentlemen’s clubs for the stags. A touch less stressful for the easily embarrassed – and with a few more laughs – is a trip to a comedy club or a cabaret. The Colonel would have covered his wife’s ears but we guess you may be a bit more broad-minded.
Before you begin serious supping, though, we suggest that one of Bournemouth’s renowned restaurants should be your port of call: apart from anything else, good food is always good for the mood. And a lining for the stomach if you must over-indulge.
Organisation doesn’t just take in the events, but how to get around and into them: limos, party buses, and organised packages to save queuing make life easier for all.
And if after all this you are wrecked, there is always the prospect of one of the remaining residences for ageing gentlefolk to look after you. Or a bloody good breakfast at your hotel to bring you back from the brink.
Hollie is a consumer magazine journalist with over seven years of experience working in the wedding industry as Lifestyle Editor for You & Your Wedding magazine. Also a Regional Editor for Muddy Stilettos, Holly has written for Square Meal magazine, Family History Monthly, BBC History magazine and Homes & Antiques.