Staggering! Blackpool Is the Place for Pre-Wedding Bash

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN PRYNN

DUBLIN and Amsterdam have already barred them, and Prague may soon follow suit.

Now London's notorious stag night revellers are set to make Blackpool - the brashest, wildest and most vulgar destination of them all - the unlikely choice for that last blast of freedom.

Until now, for Londoners at least, it has been regarded as just too tacky, too rain-lashed and absurdly difficult to get to. The u180 standard rail journey takes four hours on the West Coast Main Line, with an obligatory change at Preston. By car the 248-mile journey can take just as long, even if the M6 is clear of traffic jams. Which is hardly ever.

But, from May, a new twice-daily flight - with a one-way fare of u29.99 - will bring the legendary Lancashire resort within 40 minutes of Stansted airport.

With its thriving lap-dancing industry, its near limitless accommodation and future role as the "Las Vegas of Britain", Blackpool is being seen as the perfect stag weekend territory.

Jane Seddon, head of Blackpool's tourism department, said: "It's fun, it's unpretentious and it was built for having a good time."

Matt Mavir, managing director of the specialist stag and hen night organiser lastnightoffreedom.co.uk, said the resort will have to work on its cheap and cheerful image in order to attract large numbers of London revellers.

"If you just want to get lagered in a major drink-athon, then it's great," he said. "But it also has the potential to be fashionable in a sort of retro-chic way. However, I don't think you could explain to the locals that you are just being ironic."

At the moment Blackpool ranks 19th among the 39 destinations offered by the firm, languishing between Southampton and the Brecon Beacons. …