Stag & Hen Destination
Forget the old image of Leeds as a grimy textile town – that was all a very long time ago. These days the city is the North’s financial and legal powerhouse – so there is plenty of money about hence the quality of entertainment and retail facilities. And there’s a real buzz too, partly fuelled by the stylish newer buildings and partly by the students – there is a huge student population, with more than 75,000 at university here, and they are one reason why so many clubs are cutting edge. So the foundations of a great stag or hen do are clearly there.
Some things have not changed about Leeds. The great open spaces of the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales are a short drive away, which for stags and hens means there are fantastic facilities for outdoor fun within very easy reach. And within Leeds the sporting and cultural facilities established in Victorian Times still thrive – though that could be arguable as regards Leeds United – with excellent opportunities to go highbrow – Opera, Modern Dance and Ballet anyone? – or slightly lower – Cricket (sorry Geoff, Creeeekeeet), Rugby League and Union, and yes the boys in white.
For hens (and stags if it’s you) wanting to organise their own daytime event the shopping in the city is some of the best in Britain, with well-publicised recent captures for the place including Harvey Nicks. The restaurants are booming too – the bankers, brokers and barristers ensure that’s the case – so you can punctuate your retail therapy with a fine meal. No wonder Leeds has been nicknamed the Knightsbridge of the North.
As you would expect, there is no shortage of specialist firms who can organise your do for you, if that’s what you prefer, and there are some good reasons for using them: it makes it easier on you for a start; these people tend to know the best places to head for in the evenings that you as an out-of-towner wouldn’t (and in any city there are places to avoid too); there are often queue-jumping options that will save time, tempers and tears on the night; and they can arrange the peripheral stuff that you could struggle with otherwise – limo girls? Party bus boys?
Back to the wilds of the moors – and not this time for a dreary Brontë novel, or an endless folksong about the dangers of not wearing a hat. There are rather more amusing bits and bobs going on out there these days. How about driving a mini-tank (to state the obvious, like a big tank but smaller) round a wacky course, with your mates laughing until it is their go. Or one of those mad mud machine buggies? Quad-biking seems positively classical compared to those two, but it’s still great for a group activity, and if you wish to forego the engine try mountain-boarding. Continuing the military theme there is – naturally – paintballing where you get to shoot lifelong friends in the family jewels, you know you want to – along with archery, air-rifles, and clay-pigeon shooting (not as easy as it looks, trust us).
Returning to the city there are more civilised pleasures on offer: for some a day of pampering in a spa centre is the go-to activity: mud-packs and massages a-go-go, or slo-slo more like. Enjoy life while sitting down – learn to make the perfect cocktail, or to play blackjack, or blend perfumes... Or while shaking it about – making a pop video, learning new dancing skills, showing off your vocal talent... there are loads of options, find the one you fancy.
And in the evening enjoy a meal, drink a small sherry or two – there are about 180 pubs in the centre of Leeds – or dance the night away in one of nearly 30 clubs there too. By the way, though there are several distinct areas of pub-and-clubland in Leeds – Briggate, Brewery Wharf, the financial district, the civic quarter – this is a surprisingly compact place, so if you are walking you won’t be walking all night from one to another. Still, with heels on (stiletto or Cuban) think taxi, limo or tour bus.
We hope you will have a memorable night or two celebrating the wedding to come. And we are pretty sure that you will meet nobody in a flat cap and Gannex Mac with a whippet during your stay. Dior and Jimmy Choo maybe.
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