Stag and hen parties have become much classier affairs in recent years writes Paula Burns.
It can be tempting to pack up your old kit bag and head off to sunnier climates for your hen and stag weekend. Why bother with the hassle of to priority board or not when everything you could want is just a stone throw from home?
Here are our just some of our favourites from West Cork.
If being crafty is your thing, why not incorporate it into your hen party celebrations? You not only get to have a bit of craic but you also make a personalised memento from the day. At Cré Pottery Studio in Skibbereen you can channel your inner Kirstie Allsop by painting and glazing a piece of pottery to mark your day. Throw in some bubbles and nibbles and it’s the perfect start to the weekend fun.
Check out: www.crepotterystudio.com
In the midst of the crazy wedding planning sometimes it’s nice to sit back and indulge in some self-love. A pampering weekend is the perfect way to relax and spend quality time with your friends and family before you embark on the journey into marriage. The Eccles Hotel in Glengarriff is a stunning setting to unwind. Enjoy a choice of spa treatments and even a dip in their outdoor hot tub.
Check out www.eccleshotel.com
Just as a trip to Martha’s Vineyard wouldn’t be complete without wine tasting visiting Clonakilty Distillery is a must for any visit to West Cork. A drink that was once famous for being Queen Elizabeth’s favourite tipple, Gin is having a resurgence that shows no sign of fading. If you love gin then a gin making class is a must to kick start your hen party weekend. Here you get the chance to craft your own personalised Gin that you can take home. As part of the package you also get a tour and the chance to enjoy your freshly made gin overlooking the beautiful views of Clonakilty.
Check out www.clonakiltydistillery.ie
For the adventurous type channelling your inner G.I. Jane could be what your hen party dreams are made of. Hidden in a magical hideaway the West Cork Secret has more to offer then just muddy assault courses. Here you can enjoy a number of activities from orienteering to go-karting to embracing your inner child while sliding down a giant waterslide. Once you’ve gotten down and dirty you can enjoy a stone baked pizza, drinks and some compulsory hen party games.
Check out www.westcorksecret.ie
A putting great stag
A golf weekend away with the lads is almost like a right of passage. Even if you’re less Padraig Harrington and more Happy Gilmore. Having the banter while attempting to putt without digging a WW2 trench is guaranteed to generate some stories. With Inish Beg Estate you have a choice of accommodation styles from their Courtyard Cottages to the Gypsy retreat, complete with Roma caravans and a barbeque. There’s even an outdoor roll top Victorian bath to soak your tired limbs. The package includes discounted Golfing with Skibbereen and West Carbery Golf Club.
Check out www.inishbeg.com
Setting new heights
Have you ever watched those people who tightrope between buildings and think, yeah that’s a bit of me? If an adrenaline rush is something you want from your stag weekend then Clonakilty Park Adventure Centre will have you swinging from the nosebleed sections with an array of activities. You can ariel trek across ropes or jump from great heights or enjoy some zip lining through the air. After this red bull will barely give you a step up.
Check out www.clonakiltyparkhotel.ie
A day at Eclipse Kenmare will put your survival skills to the test. If your having trouble choosing a best man, this maybe the perfect opportunity to wean out the weak, leaving dare we say it, the best man standing. This is the chance to star in your own version of SAS: Who Dares Wins. A gruelling day of learning how to survive in the wild is just the prep you need to win husband of the year. With a not so gentle nudge from military experienced instructors this will separate the men from the boys, leaving you with plenty of stories to laugh about. Those pints will be well deserved.
Check out www.eclipseireland.com
With the Atlantic Ocean on our doorstep, it would be a shame not to venture out to sea. If you have ever envisioned yourself decked out in white and navy, donning a Captains hat then the yacht charter from West Cork Sailing could bring your marine dreams to life. You and your crew can set sail on the Jessy of Adrigole, enjoying the luxury of yachting life and the stunning surroundings. Or if being more hands on is your thing you can kayak with seals. The ocean is your oyster.
Check out www.wildatlanticwildlife.ie
This article was taken from our popular Spring/Summer Weddings magazine which is available to read in full here.