12 Apr 2022
Stag do’s for guys that are 40-plus tend to be more relaxed, more refined. Older guys are usually less bothered about a weekend of unbridled hedonism, and more interested in spending time with their friends over a well-organised weekend with a few classy activities, staying in good-quality accommodation. And of course, plenty of opportunities to sink a few beers as well.
Our guide to organising an over 40s stag weekend has all the advice you need to make it one to remember, from how to choose a destination, to the best stag do activities for guys wanting to live it up in style.
We’re leaving it longer to tie the knot. In 2018 the average age for men getting married was 35, whereas in 2020 it was 38. With that comes a shift in the traditional stag do. Here at The Stag Company we’re seeing a lot more guys aged 40-plus interested in grown-up stag do ideas, those that offer something a bit more than the usual shots, steaks and strippers (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).
One of the most interesting trends we’re seeing is that there’s less focus on the lash-up side of things, and more on activities that feel luxurious or exclusive. As a nation, we’re becoming more health-conscious, and there’s a growing awareness that the lairy ‘Brits Abroad’ stag weekend feels a bit tired.
None of this is to say we can’t organise one hell of a lash-up for you, if that’s what you’re looking for. But in our experience, over 40s stag groups are looking for a weekend to remember that’s not all about whose round it is next. Here are the three most important considerations to keep in mind, we think:
Key to any good stag do, we think, is making sure you leave yourselves enough time to plan everything right. At this age, many of your group are going to have busy professional and family lives, so if they’re going to get away for a weekend they don’t want to be deciding what to do on arrival, or have no idea where to go in the evenings.
Also: As we get older, it gets harder to make plans on the fly. If you’re trying to marshal eight old friends together for a stag weekend then you need to give them plenty of notice. If your mate has asked you to arrange his stag do, we recommend you choose a date as soon as possible, and ideally at least a few months in the future. More, if you’re thinking mid-summer.
If you leave it ‘til a few weeks before, a lot of the guys won’t be able to get away, and you’ll have less choice when it comes to accommodation and activities.
Good communication is essential to organising a stag do. But at this age, not many guys are happy to be scrolling through endless email chains for important information, and unless they’re all good friends, they probably don’t want WhatsApp notifications pinging constantly either. So pick a channel to communicate the details and try to keep it focused on the planning.
At The Stag Company, our bespoke stag booking platform ensures that all attendees can instantly see the details of the trip, as well as what monies they owe and when. It makes life a lot easier and means that, as the stag organiser, you’ll spend a lot less time fielding questions.
Another important aspect to consider when planning a stag do for an over 40s group, wherever you go, is your accommodation. Some of the lads will be looking to go out guns blazing, others might be more enjoying the thought of a long lie-in without the kids waking them up for a kickabout at half-six.
So your choice of stag do hotels is vital - it needs to be central, so that anyone wanting an early night can easily get there, and those after a late one don’t have too far to stagger back either. Apartments are a good bet for this reason, as you can cook for yourselves, and relax in privacy.
We work with a wide range of stag do accommodations across the UK and abroad so that you can be confident we’ll find somewhere that suits your budget, and your requirements whether that’s ‘cheap ‘n’ cheerful’ chain hotels, stag apartments or more luxurious properties. And, unless you request otherwise, they’ll always be within a 10-20 minute walk, or a short taxi ride, from the nightlife.
Let us know when booking what your approximate budget is, and if you have any specific requirements like car parking, a bar or restaurant on-site, or accessible rooms - and we’ll provide you with a few options from our collection of 3* and 4* properties.
(In)famous destinations for Brits like a Magaluf stag do and a stag weekend in Benidorm don’t have as much appeal for older groups, who have less affection for the idea of waking up every morning with a belting hangover and a half-eaten lamb shawarma stuck to their cheek.
Choosing the right destination for the stag do is essential. Do you stay local, head somewhere further afield in the UK, or look abroad? Budget and timescales come into play here of course, but also what you’re looking to get from the weekend. Our guess is that you’re not going to be too fussed about all-night clubbing, scoping out the best drinks deals, or coming up with a theme for your fancy dress.
More likely you want somewhere with good pubs and restaurants for the evenings, and a decent choice of activities in the day, as well as the opportunity to wander around and do your own thing in your free time.
Some of our most popular stag do destinations for over 40s include Snowdonia, with a fantastic range of outdoorsy experiences available including hiking up Wales’ highest mountain, white water rafting and canyoning. It’s perfect for adventurous and sporty groups. Newquay in Cornwall is another favourite, with a host of ace watersports available.
York and a Bristol stag do are also solid bets for relaxing weekends. The pub scene in these cities is brilliant, whether you’re after stylish bars, classic old school boozers, beer gardens or sports pubs. Both cities also have a lot going on culturally and in York you can of course tie the stag in with a race weekend.
If you’re thinking of going abroad for the stag do, then two of our favourite under-the-radar destinations are Budapest and Riga. Both are attractive cities that offer a generous helping of culture, loads of exciting eastern Europe-style activities (think gun ranges, nights in an old prison and bobsledding), and, crucially, very cheap beer.
When it comes to activities, we find that our gents’ stag do’s are less concerned about sticking to a tight budget, or in packing out the weekend with lots of things to do. Instead they’re looking for experiences that feel a bit upmarket and exclusive, as well as offering opportunities to sit around and share a laugh.
Classy stag do ideas include clay pigeon shooting, whiskey or gin tasting sessions, cocktail-making masterclasses or wine-tasting, even cigar tasting. Brewery tours are always popular of course, and with the rise of craft brewing, they’re available in many cities.
Sports fans can enjoy a stadium tour (we can also organise tickets for fixtures), a round of golf, or a day at the races in cities such as York and Chester. Naturally, wherever you’re going, if your team is in action our helpful stag planners always have recommendations for the best sports bars in town too.
One of the advantages to starting to organise early is that you can arrange the stag weekend to coincide with a particular event, such as a beer festival, a race weekend, or a sports fixture like a cup final.
Adventurous stag do’s can splash out on a whole host of adrenaline activities, from white water rafting and canyoning in Snowdonia to coasteering, jet skiing and surf lessons in Cornwall, while coastal stag do destinations abroad are fantastic for watersports, Spain and Portugal especially.
There are three main considerations for structuring a stag do: your accommodation, your daytime activities, and what to do at night. You lads might not be wet behind the ears anymore, but we doubt any of you fancy being in bed with a cocoa by half-nine on your mate’s last weekend of freedom.
Lucky you found your way here then. We’ve got you covered.
If you’re not familiar with the city you’re partying in, then a guided bar crawl is a reliable and fun way to get your bearings. Not only can it be personalised according to the type of venues you’re looking for, but it’s also guided by one or two attractive young ladies who will be happy to pose for photos you probably don’t want the wife to see.
We’d suggest canvassing the rest of the group in the weeks leading up to the stag do to find out what everyone is interested in, as you’ve got stacks of options. Late-night cocktail bars, stand-up comedy nights, casinos, strip clubs. If you do fancy hitting up one of the local nightclubs, we can sort you out with VIP guestlist entry, as well as drinks on arrival and personal table service, so that you can do it in style.
A good rule of thumb for your nightlife is: have an idea of what area you’ll be basing yourselves in (our stag do destination guides are a good place to start), and make a note of a few decent venues you want to check out. Perhaps know where you want to start and where you want to finish the night, and keep the rest fairly flexible. It’s entirely possible you’ll find a pub that suits you perfectly and want to stick around for a session.
We know this guide gives you a lot of options. But ultimately, what makes a great stag do isn’t so much where you go, what you do, and it’s definitely not how many shots you bang down. It’s who you’re with. So build in lots of time just to do your own thing, relax with the guys, and give the stag an enjoyable send-off into married life, with or without his eyebrows.
Tom is our SEO expert and Senior Digital Marketer at The Stag Company. He has a huge passion for travelling, playing the saxophone, the gym and completing as many life experiences as possible.View all posts by Tom Bourlet
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