When it comes to stag and hen parties, one of the trickiest things for best men and maids of honour to come up with is the location that they’re going to take place. One of the things that a lot of people consider doing is heading to the races, which offer a great chance for fun to be enjoyed by all concerned. It isn’t just that all concerned can have a drink or two, but also that racecourses tend to offer great atmospheres during races. Not only that, but the likes of fancy dress isn’t frowned upon in the same way that it might be in other locations.
This is more the case for jump racing, given that flat racing tends to be a little bit more snooty about such things. You would be well-placed to look for a race meeting at the likes of Cheltenham or Aintree rather than Royal Ascot. Whilst you’re likely to have a really fun time, the one thing that can’t be guaranteed is your success with your bets. On that front, the fact that you’re on a stag or hen do is more likely to inhibit you rather than help you, which is worth bearing in mind when you’re coming up with your selections and placing your bets.
What To Expect
If you’re heading to Cheltenham Racecourse on a stag or hen do, you’d be well-placed to ask yourself what you should expect. The truth is that Cheltenham isn’t one of the most raucous of locations. Even so, don’t be surprised if you see a few people dressed up as jockeys who definitely don’t look like they would be able to ride a horse safely, or even some that have been made to dress up as the horses themselves. Apart from a few select areas of the racecourse, fancy dress is allowed at Cheltenham, which is why that happens.
You will also have plenty of places that you’ll be able to get a bite to eat or a drink. In the majority of cases, that will be a key part of a stag or hen do, with the ones where no alcohol is involved being the exception that proves the rule. Of course, if you’re going to be drinking then you’ll want to ensure that you get some food in your system too, which is why it is good news that Cheltenham Racecourse has plenty of locations to do just that. The focus is obviously on the racing, but that doesn’t mean that your other needs are completely ignored.
Is Cheltenham The Best Place For Stag & Hen Parties?
One question it would be entirely reasonable to ask yourself at this stage is about whether ore not Cheltenham Racecourse is actually the best place to head to if you’re part of a stag or hen party. The answer is a complex one, not least of all because it isn’t the most raucous of locations around the country. There will be a good chunk of people there that are keen on concentrating on the racing, so the high-jinx of a stag do won’t be well-received. Hen dos might be the exception, depending on the type of party you’re organising.
Race courses are notoriously ones that give women a chance to dress up to the nines, so if you’re plan is to go for glamour and big hats then you’ll absolutely be in the best place for it. That isn’t to say that more excitable groups won’t be welcomed, of course. Whether you’re heading during the Festival or at another time of year, Cheltenham, Racecourse promises a good atmosphere and plenty of fun. In reality, though, both the racecourse and the town itself are hardly the sort of places that you’d want to go if you’re looking for a big night.
Alcohol Impairs Judgement
If we’re honest, alcohol is an important part of a stag or hen do for many of the participants. That means that most will be imbibing for at least some of the day, but this can quickly lead to disaster. Race days are long ones, starting early and going on until late in the afternoon. Unless you’ve paid for something like hospitality or specific seating areas, you’re likely to be on your feet for most of the day too. This means that drinking non-stop is likely to lead to people getting drunker than they might ordinarily be used to.
Mixing drinking and betting is never a good idea. It is unlikely that you’ll make sensible choices when looking at your options after a few drinks. That not only includes the horses that you bet on, but also whether you might end up spending more money than you intended to. Many people will chase losses when they’re worse for wear because of drink, meaning that they end up placing bets that didn’t intend on placing when the day started out. This is the sort of thing that you need to bear in mind if you’re having a stag or hen party at a racecourse.
The Festival Is A Different Beast
The truth of the Cheltenham Festival is that it tends to attract serious racegoers. A lot of the people there will be in attendance because they want to watch what’s happening on the course with interest. The result of this is that they won’t look all that kindly on people in fancy dress, getting drunk and being raucous.
For that reason, it is fair to say that such events at the Festival are best for people who are getting married when they’re a bit older, therefore looking for a more sensible time with friends who aren’t all about getting drunk and being loud and ignorant. If anything the event is more suited to hen do’s, especially Ladies Day given everyone dresses up nicely anyway.
The other thing that you should bear in mind when it comes to the Festival is that it is an expensive day out. Tickets aren’t cheap, but that’s as nothing when compared to the cost of drinks. How many drinks do you think you’ll have during a stag do? If you’re paying £7 for a pint, that might end up being significantly fewer than if you were out in a town centre.
That was the cost of a Guinness during the Festival in 2022, which is why not many people think of it as being one of the best places to go for those looking to celebrate getting engaged.
The spotlight often falls on the Cheltenham Festival too and there have been many issues in the past with locals complaining about drunken and anti-social behaviour. This has led to a bigger police presence around the Festival and in the town later on. Organisers have also reduced the capacity of the Festival lately to reduce crowding. A fifth day on the Saturday was also rejected, partly because that would end up being a party day attracting the likes of Stag and Hen do’s.