Every groom knows there's going to be a stag party thrown in his honour, which can either make your head bounce in excitement or fill your every fibre with dread. Why? C'mon. You've been on (at least) one before, and if you haven't, well, you've seen movies. They're elaborate send offs that rarely veer away from the cliche of pints on the Norfolk Broads, tequila shots, awkward-to-watch lap dances and reliving the mischief you lapped up as a sixteen-and-a-half year old.
But it doesn't have to look, sound or feel like this. Au contraire. Instead of driving off into the sunset with your head rattling more than the "Just Married" cans on your car, you should pull your best man to one side and give him your stag-party two pennies by muttering the words, "let's have an adventure," and, trust us, nowhere is better at this than South Wales.
It's the perfect place for your send off. It's got it all. The hustling-bustling streets of Cardiff where you can do shots of your least favourite tipple before cutting some some shapes on different dance floors, and then all the wow-factor adventure experiences to help you clear the cobwebs the next day and, having seen the magic first hand not so long ago, here's our subjective guide to the adventures that will make your stag stand out from the crowd, and for all the right reasons.
Cling To The Cliffs And Go "Wow"
There's no better way to get up close and personal with the epic Welsh coast then pop on a bright red safety helmet and cling to it with your hands and feet. Yeah, we're talking about coasteering, which was pioneered by a bunch of adrenaline junkies in Wales. Basically, it's a cocktail of rock-hopping, shore-scrambling, swell-riding, cave-exploring and cliff-jumping, making it the ultimate aquatic adventure. But it's not just about getting your heart thudding through your wetsuit because the sights here are a tonic for tired eyes like you wouldn't believe. The wildlife, the waters, the waves and vistas - it's impossibly amazing. And it's so hard to pigeonhole, the locals simply refer to it as "proper Welsh".
Take The Plunge And Surf
We're not going to tell you to forget about Cornwall, but you can forget about Cornwall because when the conditions send waves towards the south coast of Wales, pro surfers will drop it all to get their camper vans to Porthcawl. Why? Because of the variety, duuude. Not only is there enough space for a thousand boards to ride the perfect waves, but Rest Bay offers the thrill factor to those of all skill-slash-bravado levels. Those who can surf get a kick and newbies can get a lesson thanks to this little slice of paradise being able handle the wind no matter where it blows from. All that and it's barely a half-hour road trip from the hazy-memories you left in Cardiff.
Wye, Wye, Wye, Delilah.
There's no better way to see the most beautiful parts of Wales than exploring the Wye valley in a flotilla of canoes. It's the ultimate tour de friends. Yeah, that's what it is. A tour de friends. It's taking to the river to connect with the great outdoors and the guys that have been by your side through it all. It's exploring as much of the 100-miles of water for as long as you please. It could be a half-day, or it could be five of them, your nights spent snug under canvas and starry nights. Either way, drifting downstream, past beech woods, abbey ruins and kingfishers isn't like a normal bachelor party. It's way more meaningful than that.
"If You're A Bird, I'm A Bird"
Firstly, if you're confused by that little sub-heading, ask your soulmate-to-be (clue: when Ryan Gosling said it, the world swooned). Secondly, it doesn't matter whether you're a nature lover, part-time ornithologist, or just a Game of Thrones fan, this bird of prey experience is guaranteed to make your minds fizz, your eyes widen and your hairs standing to attention. And there's a hundred and one to choose from. There's watching a wake of red kites swooping, feeding and engaging in mid-air fights for food, as you stand on a Gigrin farm hide with your jaws on the floor, or you can head a few miles south, to Ross-On-Wye, and get hands on with some seriously impressive birds of prey. We're talking about pulling on the big leather glove, standing in plain sight with your arm stretched out and watching in (terrified) awe as falcons and owls swoop and dive towards you. It's unreal.
Pick Up Your Paddles And Go
Lands is great, but water is better. At least, that's the case for most adventurous stag squads, which is a where a long stop at ye olde Cardiff International White Water centre swoops in with enough rough and tumble to get your adrenaline pumping like a pneumatic drill. Canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, or all of the above. It's totally your call. Oh, and just because your throwing your stag party in South Wales doesn't mean you get to leave your fancy dress outfits at home because they'll look great over your wetsuits. So book a day here, get your fun on, and embarrass your stag in all the cliche ways you were hoping to. Just be sure to take some comfy clothes you can change into when you've drip-slash-towel dried. Oh, and if you're not up for the white water side of paddling, there's at least 13 epic places you can go paddleboarding in Wales.
Take A Deep Breath And Jump... Out Of A Plane.
C'mon. What's a stag do these days without pulling on a parachute-packed backpack and letting the whole of South Wales know just how high-pitched you can scream by stepping out of mid-flight airplane? Well, given you're on your way over the Severn Bridge, and to the land where it's possible to go skydiving over some of the most breath-snatching landscapes in the UK, you may as well suck it up, get strapped to a stranger with a certificate, and live a little. Trust us: you'll be so full of life, love, adrenaline and "I'm still alive" gratitude, you'll all be buzzing as you take your party back into the town, ready to see Cardiff at dawn.
Race Toward Your Happily Ever After
There's three guarantees in life: death, taxes and you loving the feeling of racing a supercar. You don't even have to be a petrolhead to have the time of your life behind the wheel of a richandfamousmobile. So, whether you've been allowed to organise your own stag do or just drop your two cents in, make sure you head to the Llandow Circuit, just outside Cardiff, to try your gloved-hands at driving a bunch of wheel-spinning supercars because it's the adventure you've always wanted. You can even race lorries. Just make sure you demonstrate a bit of sense by booking this one before you head out for a night on the town, not the day after. That said, we all secretly want to start a story with, "This one time I barfed in the front of a Ferrari."