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Blackpool

Stag & Hen Destination

Blackpool has been dedicated to the business of fun for a couple of hundred years. Some things there haven’t changed over that time – the seven miles of sandy beach among them – but like all good commercial operations it constantly re-invents itself. Where once its visitors stayed for a week or two, now they mostly come for a weekend of high-intensity enjoyment - which is pretty much the definition of a stag or hen do.

The nature of those visitors has changed too: until the mid-20th century they were largely mill and factory workers from Lancashire, Yorkshire and Glasgow. These days you’ll here accents from across the entirety of Britain, and beyond, as you stroll along the promenade or enjoy one of its multitude of night spots.

The trains that transformed Blackpool in Victorian times still bring vast numbers of those visitors (over the year Blackpool has around 10 million people coming to stay), with coaches another option, the M55 motorway making driving yourself equally easy. If you intend enjoying a few drinks – not beyond the bounds of possibility on a hen or stag do – it is better to let someone else do the driving (remember your blood-alcohol level the-morning-after-the-night-before). Or from Belfast, Dublin, Jersey and the Isle of Man there are regular flights to Blackpool International Airport (Britain’s oldest by the way).

One of the things that makes Blackpool a winner for stag and hen dos is the number of other dos there at the same time. Atmosphere, people enjoying the craic, partaking of a sherbet or two in the bars, clubs and pubs. But there is so much more to do on a stag or hen party these days, with loads of specialist companies able to set everything up well in advance, get great rates, help you beat the queues at clubs, and find you hotels that are party-friendly.

There is plenty of crossover, but as regards the activities enjoyed by the different sexes a rough split can be divined. Karting, golf, and shooting guns in various formats tend to be male preserves, though there is no reason why that should be so. Those guns can be in the form of paintball rifles – splat a friend, you know you want to – shotguns for tutored clay pigeon shooting, air-rifles for target-shooting tournaments, or back-to-basics archery.

Basically the male activities tend to be competitions, whereas women gravitate towards the pampering and skills side of things. At Blackpool there are plenty of spa and beauty treatments to make you look better than your best, and photographers to record the results individually or en masse. Restaurants for a friendly meal. Or how about in this Mecca of the ballroom scene having a go – with expert help – at the whole twinkle-toes Strictly experience? If that is too tame then learning how to belly dance could excite you (and later on honeymoon excite your groom), as could cheerleading lessons. Try Burlesque for that touch of the Roaring Twenties, or lap-dancing for the feel of folding twenties.

There are plenty of things to do that both stags and hens will both take to (after all, only one in the group is getting married, there are sure to be singles looking for lurv): learn how to make cocktails with style, for example. Take the terrifying rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach or one of the other theme parks here – there’s nothing like a good scream to get the adrenaline flowing. Give wakeboarding a go or quad-biking. Try your hand in a casino; take in a show or even the opera if you’re lucky; laugh yourself silly in one of the comedy clubs.

In the end though some may feel it isn’t a stag or hen do without a little something on the slightly sleazy side – but all legal and in the best possible taste as Kenny Everett would have it: those organising companies can point you towards lap-dancing clubs, arrange for a hunky fireman type to get his kit (mostly) off for the blushing (we hope) bride, or a policewoman to handcuff the grinning groom.

And when all the hectic fun stuff is over, and your head reminds you that you’ve had what Jeeves would call a convivial evening, Blackpool has an advantage that some of its rivals lack: the bracing sea air that will clear your thoughts and get you ready for the journey home. Or the next day of fun and frolics on the Fylde Coast.

Find Discounted Hotels perfect for your break in Blackpool