As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. Nonetheless, there are some activities that even the hardiest of stags might not thank you for arranging in the bleak midwinter months. North Sea fishing, for example. Or canyoning. Coasteering might not get many takers either…
Of course, the tried-and-tested stag do combo of pub crawl, stripper and a curry is a very effective way of beating the chill: imbibe enough booze and you simply won’t notice the cold; follow it up with a vindaloo and you might even break out in a sweat.
When it comes to keeping your cockles warm, the sizzling moves of a stripper are sure to light a fire in the loins of most hot-blooded males… but you might be feeling the heat in a different way when your fiancée finds out! If you ask your bride-to-be, she might well suggest that steamy shenanigans are best shared with her.
It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes…
It may be winter, but there’s no need to hibernate; read on for some inspiration for amazing stag weekend activities that won’t be rained-off at the last minute, are unlikely to result in hypothermia, and will be the envy of your work mates:
Channel your inner Bear Grylls or Ray Mears with this fantastic two-night course learning survival skills including fire-setting, using knives and saws, shelter building and foraging. This action-packed, hands-on wild woodland weekend is designed to be fun and informative rather than an endurance test. Still, just think how good that beer is going to taste when you return to civilisation again!
And if, while on honeymoon on a remote paradise island, your stag’s new wife decides she’s had enough already, at least you know you’ve equipped him with the basics of survival!
This incredible island fort is a fabulous wedding venue, but did you know that it’s spot on for stag and hen dos too? Climb aboard a helicopter or boat and escape to your own island in the sea for a weekend of round the clock indulgence. With billiards, pool, outdoor hot tub, rooftop sauna and fire pit, there’s plenty of opportunity to kick back and relax.
For something a bit more active challenge your mates to an adrenaline-fueled lazer battle through the fort’s maze of cellars. When you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s a wine-tasting area, cabaret bar and private dining rooms – enjoy! And what happens on the fort, stays on the fort, right?!
Katniss: she’s on fire!
A few years ago you might have been forgiven for thinking archery was a lost skill, consigned to history and fiction with the likes of Robin Hood and William Tell. Cupid has already done his work with you, so put that image from your mind and think instead of formidable skills of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, the eagle-eyed focus of Anguy (amongst others) in Game of Thrones, and the sharp tipped weapon of DC Comic’s Green Arrow.
Battle Zone Archery takes archery to a whole new level, with specially made rubber tipped arrows allowing an action-packed (and pain-free) battle – dodgeball with bows and arrows!
If you suspect your stag secretly fancies himself as a Jon Snow or Robb Stark then whisk him off to Northern Ireland for an archery movie set experience in Winterfell Castle Courtyard and archery range, location of the original filming of Game of Thrones. I’m sure you might even be able to hunt down a pint of Guinness or shot of Irish whiskey for afterwards too!
Indoor skiing or snowboarding
If you’re going to have a winter stag do, don’t go for half measures – embrace the season and go for something full-on wintery! There are several indoor snow centres around the country, allowing you to spend the day skiing or snow-boarding without the expense of a flight or the uncertainty of mountain weather.
From beginners to black-run experts, the fun is as guaranteed as the snow, so by the end of the day you’ll feel like you’ve earned your apres-ski indulgences!
Stags, fresh air and fine dining
The noble stag, with magnificent antlers silhouetted against the sky; catching sight of this shy yet magnificent creature is sure to make you hold your breath a moment and simply watch. Put on your walking boots and strike out for an invigorating hike, appreciating the hard-frost ground and strikingly bare winter trees as you and your friends contemplate the upcoming wedding day, reminisce about years of shared times together.
Several of the venues featured on this site are close to deer parks; if you want to combine stunning countryside scenery with excellent opportunities for fine-dining, then consider the New Forest. With an abundance of traditional pubs featuring roaring open fires, and more than its fair share of Michelin starred restaurants, it’s a gastronome’s dream!