Stag do activities in London
One of the more cerebral stag pursuits, companies like Hidden City operate London-wide treasure hunts, in which you meet at the starting point (a pub), split into teams, and follow a series of text message-provided cryptic clues around the city. Once you solve a puzzle and reach its intended location, you text the answer, at which point you’re sent the next clue. The first team to reach the endpoint (a pub) via several breath-gathering stop-offs (pubs) wins. The victorious team’s drinks are paid for by the losers. Warning: may involve running.
Attire: Theme it to renowned treasure hunters (everyone argues bitterly over who gets to be Indiana Jones).
Tickets to the Ascot or Epsom races are around £20, meaning a day at the nags can be a fairly cost-effective option. Trains to Ascot take an hour and a half from Waterloo; getting to Epsom is around an hour from Victoria. So you’ve got time for a few train slurps on your way there, and you can be back in London in time for an evening of sophisticated merriment. The greyhound races at Wimbledon or Epsom Downs are much the same, only the horses are smaller and far thinner. You could blow all your money betting, of course. But you could also win it all back. Here's to optimism!
Attire: Boring option – suits. Less boring option – jockeys. Stupid option – horses or dogs. Take your pick.
You’ve seen them inching around London’s streets – essentially a big table with stools around it atop a pedal-operated tuk-tuk – and swore you’d never end up as one of the rowdy 'Oi oi!' ladiots riding one. Then you climb on board, start pedalling, have a beer or two, and before you know it you’re singing 'Parklife' at the top of your lungs while waving at disgusted pedestrians, who all dismiss you as the terrible #banterlads you’ve so clearly become. It's fun, you might actually get to see some sights, and you can also stop off at a pub on your way round.
Attire: Lycra cycling gear of appalling vibrancy.
If your idea of a good stag do is inflicting pain and unsightly purple welts upon your peers, London is perfect for indoor paintballing centres (such as Nationwide Paintballing in North Greenwich). Companies such as Stag.com will organise an entire weekend around ’balling if you’re willing to fork out and too idle to organise things yourself, with two nights’ accomodation and guaranteed nightclub entry as part of the package.
Attire: Army fatigues, obvs. Stag must dress as the Predator. Or Bambi.
If gaming both digital and boardical (not a word) is more your thing, then bars such as Meltdown on Caledonian Road offer evenings of both for free, provided you’re buying drinks. For a quieter evening of classic board games (though the booze there is excellent) Draughts board game café in Hackney offers more varieties than you could possibly play in a day, with knowledgeable staff on hand to recommend and advise on each. Or you could simply let loose at Namco Funscape on the South Bank, with bowling, pool and bumpercars accompanying more arcade games than you can shake a joystick-cramped hand-claw at.
Attire: Wizards, Master Chief from 'Halo', 'Street Fighter' characters. Stag will be Princess Peach, natch.
London has an abundance of open public spaces, and with Rio 2016 in full swing what better way to celebrate than with a DIY Olympics? Each member competes in an array of events designed to test the very limits of human ability, from the explosive 100m dash to the trees and back, to the more skill-based Park Golf (plastic clubs and balls). Booze for the winners, slightly less palatable booze for the losers, and forfeits for those countries finishing in the bottom three. The Stag must obviously have a preparatory shot before each event. Because, stag rules.
Attire: The proud sporting colours of your chosen country.
Renting tuxedos isn’t exactly cheap (you can get one for £50-£100), nor is hiring a limo (£30 per person if you shop around). And casinos, by their very nature, are designed to distract you with pretty colours and lots of exciting flashing lights from the fact you’re being fleeced out of your money. But can you put a price on living, for one night only, like the sort of dapper, sophisticated gent who confidently plays blackjack? Who has even the faintest inkling why a martini should be shaken and not stirred? Well, yes you can actually. It’s quite expensive. Particularly if you’re crap at gambling. But it’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it.
Attire: Penguin tuxes and bow-ties all the way. Like dons. Stag is a gangster’s moll.
You can book tours around any of the capital's main arenas, from Wembley and the Emirates to Lord’s and Twickenham, with prices starting around £15. Getting tickets to actual games is trickier (and pricier), though you can catch a Harlequins home game from around £28 and a Fulham FC one from as little as a tenner. For a good boozy day out, though, you can’t beat a day at the cricket, with tickets available for Lord’s or the Oval from around £20. If one of your party doesn’t drink, they can enjoy the cricket. If someone hates cricket, they can booze themselves silly. Everybody wins.
Attire: Sport dependant, though cricket does encourage fancy dress, so it would be rude not to, really.
You might have lived in London all your life, but when’s the last time you actually saw it? Exactly. So for a reasonable £20-£30 apiece you buy a day-long hop-on hop-off rooftop sightseeing bus ticket, plan your route around all the cheesiest tourist-trap sights of the capital, and try not to get so drunk that they ban you from the bus. Extra points are awarded for a celebrity spot.
Attire: London tourist garb of the worst kind: 'I LOVE LDN' t-shirts and hats, selfie sticks and bumbags. Never forget the bumbags.
Party boats whizz up and down the Thames every day of the week, full of annoying, loud, belligerently drunk people. You too can be one of these people for a couple of hundred quid an hour – not too bad if you’ve got a lot of people in your party, around which you can spread the cost. For smaller groups, you can chug merrily up and down the canals in a party barge with a fully-stocked bar for as little as £100 per hour. Or, if you’re feeling independent, you can hire smaller, self-drive boats from companies including Kriscruisers.co.uk from £145 per day and pootle about to your heart’s content. Just, you know, be careful.
Attire: Sailors, of course. Stag is an alluring mermaid.
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