Stag & Hen Ideas Tenby
Published date: 1st January 2018
Tenby for stag and hen parties is a bit different, dare we say a tiny bit more civilised than some rival venues when it comes to enjoying that last weekend of bachelor or bachelorette freedom. It welcomes those out for a good time who don’t want to go over the top – or not too far anyway.
Scenically situated on Carmarthen Bay, with fine sandy beaches, a beautiful old harbour, and loads of character, Tenby has been a holiday resort since Victoria was on the throne – and the young vibrant Victoria, not the old dowdy one. Its market has tended to be families out for a bit of digging up in the sands, a quiet drink, with maybe a spot of mackerel fishing for the more adventurous. People come back year after year, expecting that things will have changed little from their last visit, or even their first.
Those same facilities – plenty of pubs, a bit of character, warm sandy beaches in the summer – began to attract stag and hen parties in the 1990s, then in 1999 the magazine Maxim named the town in its top three places in the world for stag parties. Suddenly the small town was inundated, there were some serious incidents, a change of atmosphere, and the traditional visitors began to take umbrage – and flight. So the authorities and landlords took action to calm things down, barring rowdier elements from the pubs, enforcing dress codes (stuff like no hats in clubs, no fancy-dress parties allowed in pubs), and establishing a warning system to help identify troublemakers and alert the police.
All this had the desired effect. Things quietened down with the different groups able to coexist. So if your idea of a good stag or hen do is strippers, cross-dressing, liver-rattling quantities of cheap alcohol and the consequences thereof, Tenby is probably not the place for you.
The other side of that coin is that if your ideal stag or hen party involves a great evening out, a nice friendly restaurant – Tenby is one of those places with more eateries than (if the word exists) drinkeries – and a few drinks with friends (in Tenby there are quite a few pubs clustered around The Square in The High Street), then this is going to be good for you. Or head out to one of the clubs on the outskirts for something a bit livelier – dancing, late licences and so on, though they too frown on outright bonkers behaviour.
These days of course there’s much more to a stag or hen do than just a night out. Many parties want to partake of activities that will break the ice, stick in the memory, lead to laughter, or just be really really good fun. Tenby and its environs can definitely oblige. There are great facilities in the area for doing stuff like paintballing, karting, quad-biking, clay-pigeon shooting and golf. Families aren’t the only ones who enjoy fishing, with charter boats taking parties out to the best marks and providing gear, bait and tuition for those who are new to the sport. Thanks to its sheltered position plenty of mackerel are to be found nearby, and they almost catch themselves so rod-bending-action for all in summer may be on the cards.
There are specialist service providers who offer packages of rather odder activities (Sumo anyone?), or help you build your own. If you’re after pampering there is a renowned spa centre close by. The natural advantages of this part of the world – hills, coast, beaches, sea – lend themselves to all sorts of adventure thrills of the kayak and coasteering, abseiling and rock-climbing type, or why not take it easy (relatively speaking) with a hike? Good for the dress- or suit-body, and you can take in a country pub or two en route.
As a holiday resort Tenby has loads of accommodation options, from caravan parks to luxury hotels, via B&Bs and self-catering cottages – you will be spoiled for choice if planning to spread your stay over several nights.
So if your ambition on your hen or stag do is to get so drunk you won’t know who or where you are, Tenby is not going to be keen on your company. But if you want to have a few laughs, a few drinks, and remember the great times you have had in the past along with a new great time on your freedom break, this could be the place for you.
Hollie is a consumer magazine journalist with over seven years of experience working in the wedding industry as Lifestyle Editor for You & Your Wedding magazine. Also a Regional Editor for Muddy Stilettos, Holly has written for Square Meal magazine, Family History Monthly, BBC History magazine and Homes & Antiques.