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Brighton

Stag & Hen Destination

When you are told that activities like paintballing and karting are regarded as on the traditional side in Brighton, you start to realise that what separates this uber-fashionable South Coast spot from its stag and hen do rivals is innovation. It is a different city that does different stuff.

Brighton attracts visitors from all over the UK and beyond of course, but for those in the South East of England it is pretty much home turf. As it has been for several centuries – famed once as the place for well-to-do Londoners to have a dirty weekend (on a stag or hen do? Surely not. Thinks...).

Let’s consider the more usual – traditional then – activities that are on offer in Brighton. Along with paintballing – who doesn’t like to splat a friend? – and karting there’s quad-biking, clay-pigeon shooting, and archery. But if you are looking for something a bit different how about a treasure hunt? Around pubs, naturally. Or Zorbing in the Downs (for those who don’t know what that is, think bouncing downhill in a giant transparent beach-ball), where you can do Mountain Boarding too. Wake-boarding is just one of the water-sports you can give a try. You’ll be too busy decorating after you’re married, trust me, so give it a go now.

It’s by the seaside so do you fancy some deep sea fishing, or for something a bit more adrenaline-stoked a bash at power-boating? For competition with a difference you could try It’s a Knockout – the peripheral royals gave it a go and looked daft now it’s your turn! In the best of all possible worlds raft-building would be a logical exercise undertaken with focus and energy, but in the real one it is a way for mates to have a laugh together, with the added fun of getting wet – what’s not to enjoy?

There are the usual calmer things going on too, though usual is a slightly strange adjective to apply to burlesque dancing, pole-dancing, cheerleading courses, learning-to-lap-dance, and cocktail-making classes. Again, this being Brighton there are some spins on the established stuff and outright novelties. As regards dancing, learning to do the Bollywood steps seems like you may not have tried it before. Make your own chocolates sounds like a great idea, provided you have plenty of time to burn off the calories and stay the same dress size (though come to think of it a night dancing in what many say are the best clubs in the land would go some of the way). If that one is for the ladies (and there is no reason why it should be exclusively theirs) then a tutored session of beer appreciation (I kid you not) is probably for the guys, though again it need not be so.

In the city’s clubs there’s the same range: split your sides in a comedy club, strut your stuff on the dance floor, enjoy a throat charmer or two along the way. Or become a musical cast member, do Karaoke to the max, learn how to do a unique wedding dance with your mates to put on a bit of a show at the reception – what will granny think? Probably the same as she’d think if she found out about the creative cabarets you can attend here – artistic dancing presentations and so forth.

Along with all these hectic activities there are some that don’t need such effort. A spa-style pampering is the epitome of relaxation, but then so (for some) is shopping. Head to the Lanes for the trendiest and quirkiest shops in the land! And don’t pretend that’s just for the hens, gentlemen. Finding the perfect accessories, a new outfit, a present for the Bridesmaids or Best Man, who knows how many excuses you can come up with? For the Bride there’s always the ‘something old, something new’ argument for parting with money. But for a stroll on the famous beach you don’t need to part with a penny, likewise after a night of partying a sunrise is free.

Even in the area of accommodation Brighton – which after all has been a resort for several centuries, so should know what it is doing – offers the traditional, from B&B to upscale luxury hotels – and the new-fangled: designer-hotels, boutique-hotels, theme-hotels and others besides. Same with the restaurants – steak and bigger steak, or chi-chi beyond molecular cuisine.
So trad or trendy? In Brighton the choice is yours.

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