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Bath

Stag & Hen Destination

“Oh! Who can ever be tired of Bath?” as Catherine says in Northanger Abbey. Not it seems stags and hens, as the destination is a popular one. And no wonder, given this is perhaps the most beautiful city in England, and with plenty more going for it than just looks.

Though the stags and hens heading to Bath will want to let their hair down, rather than engage in a study of its cultural history, the city is perhaps more for those who would like to leave the strippers, lap-dancing, pink cowboy hats and pavement pizzas for other people and other locations. The Georgians set the tone, as Jane Austen reflected in several of her novels, restrained yet racy, with much going on beneath the surface.

Culture is of course not to be ruled out entirely: the city is known for its calendar of events, so take in a night at the theatre (there are five), or a concert so you can feel virtuous before hitting the bars and clubs! Variety is after all the spice of life (and comedy its chilli we might add – so a comedy club could balance things nicely too).

If you are looking to make a pampering, well-being, getting massaged sort of trip, then Bath is hard to beat. After all, the Romans settled the place to make the most of its fabled waters, and to this day it remains one of the great spas. Get your organiser to do a little legwork for you finding the best places so the beauty therapists can do a little leg work on you.
Should you want to turn things up several notches on the adrenaline front then Bath can deliver there too. There is the inevitable paintball - fun, but if it’s the third stag or hen do of the season for you and the third paintball campaign, maybe think of alternatives. Driving is always a goodie – 4x4, karting, quads, mud buggies, the rather more rapid rage buggies (to quote the philosopher Dizzee: ‘Bonkers’), hovercraft...

Or maybe something a bit more sedate but taking you out of your comfort zone – hot air ballooning anybody? Closer to the earth but still separated from it if only by H2O you could try narrow-boats, a great and happily lazy way to have fun on your party, combining transport, accommodation, bar and club in one spot so you don’t have to bother with all that rushing about.
But if you must rush about, do it in style – hire a limo (here you can with luck still find a Sedan chair in season, but few of them are fitted with a bar), get your organiser to arrange transfers, and while you are at it have them sort you out some VIP entries to the clubs of your choice – nothing kills the buzz better than queuing for an hour. Bath is of course not difficult to get to from most of the UK – with Bath Spa train station saving anyone in the party driving – easy getting to a do, not as pleasant getting back (and if you have really partied hard the residual blood alcohol level could get you in a load of trouble), likewise National Express buses.

Thanks to its status as one of the must-do tourist destinations Bath has lots of accommodation (but again it’s best to go through an organiser to make sure they are happy with parties that Ms Austen might have frowned upon), and terrific shops and cafes. A day with the girls (or lads, let’s be honest they spend plenty too) checking out the finest independent clothes shops, stopping off for a latte with biscotti, or more traditionally a cup of tea and a Sally Lunn (a bun that’s traditional here), enjoying a salad and a gossip... feel good, come back with new stuff, and save the alcohol and adrenaline for latter.

Bath is a very lovely place just to stroll around. With a sizeable student population (and sporty students too, famous for it) you’d not be surprised to find a good night-time vibe on top of that – especially as it has been a party city since the 1st century AD. Enjoy.