November 14, 2016

lille_hero A cultural escape to Lille is a beautiful spot for a hen party. Credit: Maëlick

Post by VickyFlipFlop Travels

If the stag or hen party you’re organising is just for a few people, then it’s the perfect opportunity to make it really memorable by driving to mainland Europe to mark the special occasion.

With around half of Britons celebrating their stag and hen do’s abroad due to a need “to have a more memorable experience” according to the Daily Mail, it’s easy to see why travelling to the culturally-rich destination of Europe is a great option.

Just think of it… you, your friends and the bride or groom going for the ride of your lives through the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. With snacks at the helm and carefully prepared Spotify playlists on the sound system, it’ll definitely be one to remember.

Between you, you can rent a big car or a van and either share the driving or even hire a driver, allowing you to sit back and relax while enjoying all that Europe has to offer.

There are six places within easy driving distance of Calais that we’d recommend you to consider for your bride or groom’s metaphorical ‘last weekend of freedom’.

 

Lille

lille1 Take in the colourful 17th and 18th century architecture of Lille. credit: dronepicr

Lille is the fourth-biggest city in France and therefore home to a hub of restaurants, bistros, bars, cafés, shops and parks. The great thing about Lille though, is the fact that all the temptations are set among the cobbled streets of the Old Town, which give the city its unique character.

Parks such as the Bois de Boulogne and the Jardin Vauban provide the perfect spot for a group picnic. Just get your goodies from Lille’s local deli shops and the city food market. A bottle of wine shared here will be the perfect respite from a morning of shopping, museums and drinking coffee in the beautiful squares.

 

Calais to Lille – 1 hour, 12 minutes’ drive

Or you could carry on the drive to Brussels; it’s just over two hours from Calais and is the capital of Belgium. Expect endless beers, a whole range of food to try and markets to look round too. 

 

Ghent

Ghent_hero Party with your friends in the student town of Ghent. Credit: Mislav Marohnić

Ghent is a student town – which means all the amenities you could possibly need for a good time are there in abundance. Cool cafés and bars line the narrow streets of the historical part of the city, ready to welcome you.

For anyone in need of some exercise to burn off the inevitable waffles, a climb up the ‘three towers of Ghent’ is a great idea. It’s here that you can learn all about the Nazi occupation of Ghent, and the town’s rich military history, including a visit to the awesome Count’s Castle.

If that sounds like a bit much for your stag or hen party, then once you’ve settled your car in for the night, make your way to the local microbrewery, Gentse Gruut. Serving beer made from Gruut herbs with 5% to 9% alcohol, it’s the perfect place for the stereotypical stag party.

Make sure to grab some fries with ‘stoverij’ on top – a Flemish beef stew cooked in beer. The delicious stodge will line your stomach perfectly for a good night out!

Beer-themed walking tours, beer biking and the pedestrianised main strip are all popular with stag and hen parties here. To be honest, the beer is so good in Ghent, you’ll be entertained whatever happens!  

 

Calais to Ghent – 1 hour, 34 minutes’ drive

Or you could try nearby Bruges with all its ornate architecture, art, shopping and huge range of things you need to eat. It’s only a 1 hour, 17 minutes’ drive from Calais. 

 

Dieppe

Dieppe Become a culture vulture in the bohemian destination of Dieppe. Credit: Frédéric BISSON

If your stag or hen party are more beach people than city folk, then we’d suggest checking out Dieppe. The long pebble beach with the backdrop of the looming cliffs provides the perfect spot for a picnic, with all the French goodies you can get together from the shops in town.

Dieppe is a super-chilled marine town, perfect for the bride or groom who’d rather relax with their friends than party with them. You can also find delicious French-style fish dishes in the restaurants behind the quays for that special meal.

At one time, Dieppe was very popular with bohemian artists who settled in to the relaxed atmosphere – it’s easy to see the reflections of this today. It’s a picturesque spot and apparently the local bars were once a favourite of the likes of Wilde, Renoir and Monet.

Dieppe was once part of England and has been home to many bloody battles. There are plenty of museums in the town if you’d like to learn more about the history.

Golfing, boat trips, bowling, sailing, cycling, casinos, mini golf and skating are all available here, too.

 

Calais to Dieppe – 2 hours, 6 minutes’ drive

Or you could try nearby Deauville-Trouville, a 3-hour drive from Calais. Here you can enjoy a sandier 1200m beach, lined with super posh villas. There’s also an interesting port, an art gallery, and nature walks to take too.

 

Travel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle and get from Folkestone to Calais in just 35-minutes – from there, the stag/hen party awaits!

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