Traditionally, great UK stag weekends have revolved around booze, strippers and pranks. It’s a tried and tested staple for a groom’s last night of freedom, but it lacks imagination, to be honest.

The groom is probably expecting a weekend of fun, perhaps a bar crawl with pulsating nightlife, a night on the town with at least one stripper to lust over, and while he won’t welcome it, he most likely expects a few pranks at his expense as well.

It’s all been done before. That’s not to say a traditional stag party weekend won’t be great fun, but why not move beyond all that? Do something different and memorable, a stag do weekend that will be remembered for years to come.

Sure, you can throw in a stripper and maybe a prank or two as well, and of course there will be booze, but instead of making that the main focus, think outside the box and come up with something different, an activity weekend that will go down in local history.

Activity adventure weekends are not new either, but if you combine several activities with an evening drunken stumble or two, perhaps in another country, or at least in another part of your own country, then it starts to get a lot more interesting.

One of the secrets of making activity ideas work is to make them hard work. Gently riding a pony through the woods might be fun, but it’s hardly challenging. Go for something grittier, something more macho and rough.

Karting is fine, but mud wrestling with scantily clad girls is more fun, and yes, it has a certain challenge too (especially if the bride-to-be finds out). Target shooting is great, but paintball adds a level of greater realism – and pain.

If you’ve never tried canyoning, then you don’t know how grueling it can be, but also how satisfying it is to complete the course. You’ll get very wet and sweat a lot, but it’s different and fun. You’ll climb cliffs, leap off waterfalls, wade through foaming rivers, clamber over rocks, often at the bottom of a gorge, and more. After all that, you’ll really enjoy that first pint of the evening.

Plan the Weekend Thoroughly…

It’s down to the best man to ensure the success of a stag party weekend. He may have the help of the groom’s other friends who will be taking part in the activity weekend, but it’s his responsibility at the end of the day.

There are plenty of destinations for stag weekends that are popular. Some are in the UK while others are abroad. It stands to reason that the further away from home you travel, the more expensive the weekend is likely to be. Going abroad doesn’t guarantee fantastic weather either, though it depends on where you go.

There are many excellent companies in the UK that cater for adventure weekends. They can organise the whole thing, in many cases. That includes daytime activities, evening bars and nightclubs, accommodation, and whatever else you might need. It’s certainly worthwhile checking out what they can offer before heading for the south of Spain, or wherever. While many of the popular destinations include sea, sand and sangria, they don’t have to. The UK has many destinations that are perfect for stag weekends.

Keep the Emphasis on Fun…

While shaving off the groom’s eyebrows, tying him naked to a lamppost, clandestinely feeding him laxative or Viagra may all seem hilarious ideas for a stag night do, they are not, really.

As a general rule of thumb, avoid doing anything to the groom that causes pain or extreme discomfort, anything that will mess up the wedding photos, or anything that could cause serious damage to his health.

Wedding photos are forever, and a groom minus his eyebrows looks ridiculous and both families regret the stupidity of it. Imagine yourself tied naked to a lamppost and abandoned. Apart from the embarrassment, you would be vulnerable to all kinds of abuse from the people passing by.

Bear in mind also it will be a weekend evening when some of the people passing by may have been drinking as well. Finally, slipping laxatives or Viagra into anyone’s drink is just plain dangerous. This kind of irresponsible action could result in death. Hardly one of the stag do ideas you had in mind, hopefully, so don’t do it.

One fun prank idea that hasn’t been too overdone is a ball and chain. The ball should be large and sturdy, but not too heavy, and the chain should be made of real steel. Timing is everything in this prank, and the closer to the actual wedding hour the ball and chain is somehow attached to the ankle of the groom, the better.

If it is made so that he cannot get it off and needs a key to unfasten it, leave him sweating it out until about 15 minutes before the wedding ceremony. Don’t, whatever you do, let him walk down the aisle carrying a ball and chain. That would not go down well at all. Remember, keep the emphasis on fun for everyone, including the groom, and be sure to get lots of video and photos.