If organizing a destination wedding seems like too much of a feat, there’s another way you can celebrate your impending nuptials on foreign soil — a destination bachelor or bachelorette party! After all, what could be better than living it up (or spa-ing it down) with your nearest and dearest pals? Nada.
To help you plan the ultimate guys or girls trip, no matter your travel style, we’ve rounded up Britain’s best spots to bar-hop, beach-read, and everything in-between.
Photo credit: Rosewood London
Brimming with clubs, pubs, and restaurants galore, London may seem like a no-brainer for a weekend of debauchery. But if dancing ‘til dawn isn’t quite your cup of tea, consider booking a fabulous afternoon tea for you and your girls (or boys – no judgement!) at a posh London hotel. The Rosewood London is even offering one inspired by the city’s vibrant and energetic art scene… Hello, Banksy.
Photo credit: Rachel Rudwall
Or, if you’re jonesing to check one of the more popular tourist attractions off your bucket list, sign up for the Champagne Experience at the London Eye, where you’ll enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the skyline with a glass of bubbly in your hand.
Photo credit: Kirsten Alana
If craft cocktails make your almost-married heart go pitter-patter, then you’ll definitely want to include a day trip to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery on your itinerary. Located in Laverstoke Mill — just 60 miles from London — the distillery showcases the care and artistry behind every drop of Bombay Sapphire (plus, the architecture itself is positively jaw-dropping). Uncover the secrets of Bombay Sapphire’s unique vapour-infusion distillation process, discover your personal taste profile in the Dry Room, then use the information to enjoy a complimentary cocktail in the Mill Bar that suits your unique tastes.
Photo credit: Kirsten Alana
Real talk: the fastest way to squash any buzz is getting on a packed train (you surely wouldn’t drive after an afternoon of gin tasting, right?) Instead of jetting back to London — or heading off to a different bustling city — why not spend the night at a quaint countryside hotel. Gah, can’t you almost hear Mr. Darcy calling your name? Take a stroll through the gardens, enjoy a pint at the bar, or set-up an impromptu picnic on the grassy lawn.
Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Emerging from your bachelor or bachelorette party with a “wild story” and an aversion to tequila is so early aughts. These days, it’s all about trying a new experience… and capturing it on Instagram. I mean, if you don’t share it on your newsfeed did it really happen?! And trust us, we doubt any of your friends, social media or otherwise, have ever attempted water zorbing. Here’s how it works: after a short safety briefing, you and your pals will climb inside giant inflatable spheres and gently rolled over to the Loch Ness where you can literally walk on water.
Photo credit: Matt Karsten
You know those demure “bride” sashes girls wear in the US when they’re out painting the town fuchsia with their ‘maids? You won’t find those in the UK. In buzzing British cities, like Edinburgh, prepare to see elaborate costumes, even on men — scratch that, especially on men — when they set off for their hen and stag parties. Trust us, a quick google image search of “stag night costumes” is a sure-fire way to remedy any bad day.
Whether you’re a die-hard Premier League fan, or you simply want to give the “other football” a whirl, rally your pals and head to Newcastle for a game at St. James’ Park. This 52,405-seat stadium has served as the home base for Newcastle United since 1892, and as a fixture of heated football matches since 1880. Fun fact: it’s also been used for international football matches, including the 2012 Olympics, plus rugby games, rock concerts, and several feature films.
If sports aren’t your style, but you still dig the idea of taking a trip to this urban playground, score tickets to a concert at Sage Gateshead — named one of the top five concert halls on the planet! — or head to Hoochie Coochie where the free, funky, and soulful vibe doesn’t quit until dawn.
For stunning coastline views and plenty of surfer-boy eye candy to go around (hey, you’re getting hitched, not entering a convent), head to Cornwall and spend the day getting kissed by the sun or browsing the market stalls for quirky knick-knacks at this stunning seaside town. Don’t forget to try an authentic Cornish pasty—a flaky treat filled with meat, vegetables, and a light peppery seasoning — that’s molded into a distinctive “D” shape.
Can’t fit everything in on one trip? Don’t fret — it’s just all the more reason to return to Britain for your honeymoon.