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This little town between the lough of the same name and the Slieve Foye mountain is a treasure trove of things to do, places to see, and quality food. It hosts an acclaimed oyster festival which is a four-day event that happens during the summer. If you are into your seafood, it won’t disappoint. Carlingford isn’t just known for its molluscs, it also has a nationally recognised leprechaun hunt which has been taking place in the town for 10 years. It sounds daft but there are actual prizes to be won and it would be a bit of craic. You may not have instantly thought of this Louth town for your stag party. However, over the years it has become one of the hotspots for stag dos and because of this, it has become quite the stag-friendly destination. So, if you are looking for some quality ideas, look no further.
Slieve Foye Mountain
Why not shake off the sore heads or start the day off right with a climb up Slieve Foye. If you choose Carlingford as your stag party destination it will quite literally be on your doorstep. Now, it isn’t going to be for everyone. It has been described by many as hard and requires at least an average fitness level. From bottom to top, it should take about 2.5 hours which will cover a distance of 8 kilometers. After giving each other pats on the back when reaching the top, you can gawk at the view of Carlingford below.
Carlingford has a surprising amount of walks, trails, and climbs including the Omeath Greenway and10 different loop walks which can be started in the town itself. It might just do you the world of good before your night out.
Local beers and spirits
Carlingford Brewing Company
A short distance from the town, about twenty minutes, the brewing company has been in operation since 2015. They currently have a diverse range available that includes Tholsel Blonde, Taaffe’s Red, Friary Pale Ale, King John’s Stout, Long Woman’s IPA, and a Donn Cuailnge Special Range, Brown Ale. If you and the lads fancy a tour of the brewery, keep reading to get the details.
Martin Pub and Cooley Whiskey Bar
This unique bar which is also a small distillery is a place to go if you want to find out more about the distilling process. It can cater to large groups and is well known among the locals and visitors alike. They also offer tasting classes.
We know how much of a pure pain it can be to organise accommodation for a big group. All the lads will have their own notions about where the best place is to stay. We’ve rounded up three options for you which vary from a hostel, B&B, and a few self-catering options which should give you guys a helping hand.
This place couldn’t be more conveniently located making it a perfect stag party accommodation. It’s set up in a dorm-style with bunks and a shared fitted kitchen. It’s a cheap and cheerful option if you are just looking for somewhere to put your head down.
Bed and Breakfast
With a great location, easy access to Market Square, and free parking, this Bed and Breakfast is a great stag do accommodation choice. Twin rooms are available with shared bathrooms for groups of up to 15 ( if you are willing).
If your lads are looking for something a little more private and independent, self-catering accommodation would be more suited than a hotel or B&B. The ideal place to have a few drinks before you head out which would save you a few bob.
Having a whole apartment to yourselves has a lot of advantages. You’ll be able to cook, come and go as you please, and have a place to gather for a few drinks before going out. When you do decide to leave, the town will be within walking distance from your front door.
We’ve already given you some of Carlingford’s best activities to utilise the town’s landscapes. You’ll certainly be looking for something a little more than that. There are a plethora of stag party ideas we could have chosen from. However, we have picked our top recommendations to ensure you lads have an epic stag do weekend.
These are always good fun and have become a firm favourite among stag parties. You’ll enjoy an hour of problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork. This stag party activity is best suited for small groups and also those of any fitness level.
4×4 Off Roading and Shooting
Off-road stunt driving, mud, and guns. What more could you ask for? This is something really special and could be a perfect way to kick-start your weekend. Ride a proper 4×4 through tough terrain and muddy mountains and end with a shooting session with a gun of your choice. Either a hand-gun or a sniper rifle. You’ll likely feel like you’re in a movie with this stag party activity.
If you are racking your brain trying to think of a quality stag party activity, look no further, Archery Combat is it! Think of a mash-up between archery and dodgeball. We know what you’re thinking, this sounds like it’s gonna hurt. Fret not, the arrows are specially designed for it and are relatively soft. You can choose between different challenges including the last man standing and capture the flag. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy this hour in Carlingford.
What better way to spend three hours than high in the trees overlooking the surrounding landscapes. This stag party activity requires the group to work together to complete this challenging course of high ropes and ziplines. This activity is a great stag party idea as it is perfect for large groups.
Kayaking and Water Trampolines
It doesn’t get much better than this. You won’t be forgetting this day for a long time! Get out onto the refreshing water and fly up into the air on these specially designed trampolines. Top it off with a relaxing kayaking session across the bay. All the equipment is provided including the wetsuits to keep you warm and there will be an expert on hand to help you. This is a perfect stag party idea that is going to be a hit with your whole group.
Now, you should already have some info about the Carlingford Brewing Company, so here is some information about the tour if it appeals to your crew. The tour is run by the owner himself, who will run through the brewing process. At the end of the tour, you will receive four samples from the brewery. A perfect stag do activity.
Brewery Tour with Lunch
This will be a similar experience to the above. You will get a tour of a brewery and receive four samples of their products. However, you will also receive a delicious lunch of a wood fire pizza. Why not wash down your pizza with another beer?
Full Irish Breakfast Delivered
We are just spoiling you now. We can’t think of anything better than a full Irish to either nurse the hangover or to start the day. Wait, we can think of one thing better, to have it delivered to your doorstep! As long as you’re staying in the town, you can have this spread delivered to your self-catered accommodation.
BBQ at a Castle in Taaffes
This will be a truly unique experience. How many stag parties do you know that ate in a castle? You’ll be served up a selection of delicious food including burgers, chicken goujons, wedges, and salad. We aren’t convinced that this is what the original residents of the castle were eating, but it’s going to be a winner among your stag crew. The building is a little chilly, so you might want to wrap up!
Steak and a pint
What a perfect meal to get you going for the night. Pure fuel food. Served in a centrally located and stag-friendly restaurant. No better way to start your night off than a juicy steak topped off with chips and a pint of your choice.
You’ve more than likely had an epic day so far, whatever activities you have chosen. Now, it’s time to party. Carlingford is a pub town. You could easily take yourselves on a pub crawl around the town to get a feel for what’s on offer. We’ve two additional recommendations to ramp up your night.
VIP Reserved Area and a Round of Shots
Get an area reserved in one of Carlingford’s best late bars. The bar has a great party atmosphere that’s perfect for a stag do. The bar will hold your reservation for 9 pm but won’t be able to hold it for long, so make sure you get there!
If you don’t have a stripper at your stag party, did it even happen? It’s almost a right of passage. Spice up the night and embarrass your groom. You can choose from different outfits for the sexy lady. Note that the remainder of the fee will need to be paid directly on the night.
If you are living in Dublin, Dundalk, Newry, or Drogheda then Carlingford is going to be a breeze to get to. By car, it is only about an hour and a half from Dublin. You’ll need to decide whether driving will be an option. It might not sound the most appealing to those selected. We know we wouldn’t want the responsibility the morning after the night before. To give you an idea of how to get there by train and bus from other major cities in Ireland, check out below.
Carlingford doesn’t have a train station, so there are no direct, no change trains available. However, Dundalk ( ROI) and Newry (NI) are close by and a bus can easily be taken from both.
Dublin to Newry is a direct service. However, this won’t be the case for other major cities like Cork and Galway as you will need to head to Dublin to catch the train north. The same applies to services to Dundalk. Your best option is to get to Dublin Heuston and go from there.
Once you’ve gotten off the train at Newry or Dundalk, get the 161 bus route.
There are no direct bus routes to Carlingford from Dublin. Again you will most likely need to get to Dundalk and get the 161.
Getting around by taxi
The town has many reliable taxi services which will get you and the lads around throughout your stag do. Our advice would be to take note of a couple of numbers in your phone so you have them to hand when you need them.
This is our round-up of our top recommendation for Carlingford. We hope it has at the very least put the town on the map for you. We are fond of the place as it has so much to offer. You should have a pretty good grasp of the town now which will help you make that all-important decision on where to host your stag party weekend. Whether you are the best mate, the brother, father, neighbour, or whoever, it’s a great responsibility you have been bestowed with. Hopefully, this guide has made that decision just a little bit easier. Good luck!