Newcastle upon Tyne
Stag & Hen Destination
A city once voted Britain’s best tourist attraction for its nightlife alone should be worth a look for those planning a stag or hen party. That city is Newcastle upon Tyne. Another reputable survey placed the Toon as third best nightspot in Europe and seventh in the world. You are starting to get the idea. This is a place that can enjoy itself, and where you can enjoy yourselves.
Like Newquay at the diametrically opposite end of England Newcastle can seem a bit out of the way to those who get a nosebleed north of Watford. But like Newquay (and then some) it is easy to reach by air – with flights from Aberdeen, Heathrow, Belfast, Gatwick, Southampton, Cardiff, Birmingham and a host of other population centres in the UK. Failing that it is on the East Coast mainline which makes for easy rail access, and sits right by the A1 if someone has to drive (on a stag or hen do? there are coach companies and limos for that sort of thing of course).
For those who intend having a convivial glass or two on the outing there is no shortage of pubs and clubs in this city of nearing 300,000 residents, demand boosted by large student numbers keen to drink away their loans. There are several clusters, the most famous (or in the case of the Bigg Market possibly infamous) being the Quayside, generally known as a slightly classier spot; the Bigg Market, where there is always a buzz but that can become a bit intimidating; the Diamond Strip around Collingwood Street which has a reputation as being high-end; and the affluent Jesmond area of the city north of the centre. You pays yer money and takes yer choice.
Beyond the boozing you will have no problem in finding – or getting dedicated companies to find for you – all the usual daytime activities to give you and your mates a good time, a surge of adrenaline, or maybe the polar opposite, a mega dose of relaxation.
If you feel the need, the need for speed there is karting, quad-biking, zip-wires and those mad mud buggies. Get wet at the same time with white water rafting. Should a weekend away not feel right without firing (legal) weaponry then the clay pigeons of Northumberland are at your mercy, or go all Rambo on their arse with some archery. And for the perverse pleasure of inflicting pain on your pals paintballing (even the name suggests the kingshot) is hard to beat.
As for the relaxing side of things, learning to make cocktails seems to kill two birds with one alcohol-dipped stone; or the classic pamper – does a massage sound good? spa treatments? – with perhaps a professional photographer to capture you and your party at your best afterwards.
For the civilised there is always golf to wile away the hours, for the fit 5-a-side, or the fun-loving human table football and inflatable jousting. If you think someone won’t laugh at that one, they shouldn’t be out with you.
The evening need not be (should not be) just about necking a few. This is a special celebration, so take in a comedy club or a cabaret (there are some specifically designed for ladies that hen parties will doubtless feel drawn to – to our horror we have learned that male flesh may be exposed), or a gentlemen’s or lap-dancing club (to our horror we have learned that female flesh may be exposed).
Newcastle these days is known for its range of restaurants too, with all the classic night-out options – Italian, Chinese, Indian, steak – and a lot that are a bit more adventurous, including what promotes itself as the world’s hottest curry – take care lads and lasses! – and if you go for that one remember that hot milk helps cool the chilli-fire (drinking milk on a stag or hen do?).
And there are a few activities to make it a bit more North Eastern, if you fancy going native: a visit to Newcastle Races is one if your timing is right; or the Greyhounds, an equally good way to donate your dosh to hard-working bookies – or (rarely) take some off them.
Which brings us back to where we started, Newcastle as a party paradise. Enjoy it – make life easy with a limo or a bus, and easier with advance tickets to the clubs you want to try out – and make sure you have memories to last a lifetime (which does logically mean not losing your memory).
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