The Brits have had a storming year of sport; the tense tests with Australia on the Lions rugby tour, Scottish hero Andy Murray winning on home-ground at Wimbledon, beating the Aussies again (cricket this time) at the Ashes and golfer Justin Rose being the first English man to win the US Open in 43 years. And that’s not even mentioning the Olympic success last year, winning gold in cycling, rowing and clay shooting.
For mustachios looking to embrace Britain’s eclectic and historic sport culture on a bachelor holiday in the UK, stag specialist Eclipse Leisure give their top six location and activity recommendations for a bachelor party in the UK that celebrates the best of British sports.
This quintessentially British sport is a favourite activity for bachelor & stag parties in the UK. Before he married Kate Middleton, Prince William hired a country manor, donning his cap for a jolly afternoon of shooting clays. There’s not much which better suits a moustache than a rifle and shooting jacket and groups can choose a number of destinations in the UK that will cater for beginners to the sport. Bachelor groups will find that clay pigeon shooting exceeds expectations and it’s growing in popularity amongst British stag dos. Combining precision, strategy, skill and a competitive edge, shooting clays is the manly way to make the most of the picturesque English countryside. Amongst others, clay pigeon shooting is available in Brighton, Liverpool, Dublin, London and Cambridge.
Scotland is your best bet for a golf-inspired trip to the UK. The country has over 600 renowned courses including the famous St. Andrews course, found in Dundee. Home to one of the oldest golf courses in the world and host to the St. Andrews Link Trophy tournament and The Open Championship in 2015, St. Andrews is a mecca for golf lovers. Visitors are welcome to play the seven courses at St. Andrews – the Old Course is hugely popular so bookings are made via a ballot but the other six can be booked in advance, although it’s possible to turn up and play the Balgove Course without any prior booking.
Another Scottish golf favourite is Carnoustie, a course that features on the Open Championship rotation and nicknamed ‘Carnasty’ due to its difficulty. The course sticks out in golfers’ minds chiefly due to Jean van de Velde’s epic failing at the ’99 Open Championship where he only needed a double bogey six to secure the win but failed miserably with triple-bogey seven.
The centre of tennis in the UK is the one and only Wimbledon. This grand slam venue is a top attraction during the tournament, which takes place in June or July each year. However, out of season, the tennis club offers behind-the-scene tours which will get any tennis mad groom hopping with excitement. The tours last about an hour and a half and include a look around Centre Court, No. 1 Court, the picnic terraces and water gardens, the Millennium Building and the press interview room which is usually classed as out of bounds during championship dates. The tour also includes admission to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum featuring a respectable collection of trophies and medals, original tennis costumes dating back to the Victorian age and plenty of famous player memorabilia. Group bookings for 15+ can be made in advance, find out price and availability information on the Wimbledon website.
Another of Prince William’s top activities is surfing. Taking part in a friend’s bachelor party, Wills was snapped in his wet suit trying to catch a wave off the Cornwall coast. The county of Cornwall is a top choice for grooms who like their fun outdoors, boasting incredible surfing beaches, deep sea fishing and fantastic coasteering locations. Cornwall’s beaches have a swell to suit all levels of surfer as well as amazing extreme sports such as the hair-raising heights of the zip wire or breath-taking cliff jumps. Coasteering involves working your way around challenging parts of the rugged coastline, climbing across large rocks, swimming through deep pools and jumping off scary cliffs. This is the definitive adventure activity and a fantastic experience for all stag and bachelor groups.
The UKs top destination for a last night of freedom in Cornwall is Newquay, a beach side surfing town that’s famed for having a great coastline and a notorious nightlife.
For handle barred Americans, cricket is a mysterious and bizarre sport, five days playing and it can still result in a draw, what the hell! A traditional English sport for over 500 years, a famous British-ism for summing up cricket is this:
“You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in, and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in, and the side that’s been in goes out, and tries to get out those coming in. Sometimes you get men still in and not out. When both sides have been in and out, including the not outs, the winner is declared…..if there is one! Howzat!”
Get to grips with cricket with a tour of the sport’s most treasured venue, the Oval. This famous international cricket stadium is located in Kennington in South London and is one of the most popular grounds for the Ashes series when they’re played in the UK. Visitors can go behind the scenes at the Oval with a 90 minute tour of the ground and facilities. The tour includes the Member’s Pavilion, player’s dressing room, press box and broadcasting centre, Galadari Museum, Committee Room and the Corinthian roof terrace. Find out more on tours of the Kia Oval ground here.
The best place for a rugby-inspired bachelor party is Wales. With Welsh men making up two thirds of the winning Lions team on their 2013 tour in Australia, grooms who love rugby will appreciate a visit to the Welsh capital city Cardiff. Cardiff is home to the Millennium Stadium, the home ground for Wales’ national rugby team and a future venue for a number of games in the next Rugby World Cup in 2015. As well as rugby, the Millennium Stadium is also host to plenty of other events, from football matches to boxing, motor sports to music concerts. Just outside of Cardiff lies the Brecon Beacons, a low mountain range that offers adventurous stag groups the opportunity to try white-water rafting, abseiling and quad biking. After a sport filled day, Cardiff is famous for its wild nightlife, with plenty of sports bars and nightclubs along the waterfront to choose from for the groom’s last night of freedom.
Steph Sheehan watches Brighton rugby every weekend, permanently has the cricket on the TV and sets the alarm clock to get up at silly hours to watch Novak Djokovic play in Grand Slams. Working with Eclipse Leisure to create exciting British stag and bachelor breaks in the UK, find out more at www.eclipseleisure.co.uk/stag-