We all know that Devon is a wonderful place to get married, full of perfect backdrops for those photos and stunning venues for the ceremony but did you know it is also the perfect place for pre wedding celebrations. With everything from surfing to rock climbing and anything else in between, Devon is also a great place for an adventure before you settle down, which is why it has become one of the top destinations for hen and stag weekends.
Going on a hen or stag weekend doesn’t have to mean endless drinking (though you’ll find plenty of chances to do that too if you like), it can just be about spending time with your friends before starting the next chapter of your life. So why not make some memories together before the big day by heading to Devon? Here are a couple of options to help you plan the perfect weekend away for the bride or groom to be.
If you’re a sporty group, you’ll already know that North Devon forms part of the UK’s first surf reserve and is recognised for being the best surfing spot in the South West, so of course, you’ll want to head there for a surfing weekend. You’ll find plenty of watersports on offer around Devon, particularly in North Devon and you can even make the whole thing a surprise by hiring all the equipment you need. Or if you want to enjoy some watersports but aren’t sure about getting straight out on the sea, book a session at the North Devon Wake Park.
Located just 10 minutes from the coast, you can enjoy a host of water based activities including wakeboarding and paddleboarding as well as Ringo rides and taking on the aquapark. It doesn’t matter whether you have any experience on the water either, their instructors will make sure you feel confident and are always on hand to help if you need it.
Image: Canoe Tamar
Or for a more gentle water-based activity, head to the Tamar Valley at the other end of the county where you can enjoy a tour of the river with a Canoe Tamar safari. On the trip, you will paddle past woodlands, stately homes, viaducts and more – it’s a lovely way to learn a new skill, make memories and enjoy the scenery.
If you’re in East Devon, the Devon Activity Centre is a must visit for all kinds of fun and games. There are a host of outdoor activities including paintball, laser tag, footgolf or assault courses, perfect for groups looking for stag and hen ideas. Another option is Celtic Tossers near Exeter, where you can have a go at axe throwing and really get out all that frustration before the big day.
Image: Celtic Tossers
One way to create ever-lasting memories is to have something to take home with you and treasure forever, so why not get your craft on and visit Dartington Hall where you can find a host of craft and art courses. From drawing sessions to floristry, there is something to suit all kinds of crafters here.
Hen and Stag weekends are known for drinking and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a tipple or two, but why not do so while sampling some amazing local drinks and learning more about how your favourite beverages are made. Plymouth Gin tours are a great idea for hen and stag weekends and as the oldest working distillery in England, these guys really know what they’re talking about! There are several tours to choose from, with some even allowing you to create your own hand crafted gin which you can take home with you! For the wine connoisseurs among you, Alder Vineyard in Okehampton also offer tours and you can enjoy some tasty treats in their award winning kitchen.
Image: Plymouth Gin
Or why not help your friend prepare for the big day with some pampering at a spa? There are a host of spas across Devon, many of which are located within hotels, making it even easier! You can book a stay and some treatments all at the same time! In the English Riviera, you can enjoy stays at TLH Leisure or The Palace Hotel and Spa or further south, Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa. These hotels give you plenty of facilities to enjoy, including treatments like massages and sessions in thermae pools to enjoy. These are great bonding exercises, plus it gives you a chance to get your hair and nails done before the big day. Find more spa hotels in the area you want to stay here.
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