AK-47s & Jet Fighters, Russia
A law change this year means gun ranges in central Moscow no longer allow live-round shooting ranges. Head just an hour into the suburbs, however, and you can still fire automatic weapons like the Kalashnikov AK-47. Just a short helicopter trip from Moscow airport, there is also an airfield where you can fly L-39 ground-attack jets. Experience a real Top Gun-style dog fight as well as air acrobatics and ground-target attacks. If you’re able to eat after all that, the airfield cooks a BBQ lunch on the tarmac, surrounded by old Russian aircraft.
The airfield is four hours’ drive from Moscow airport. Some stag organisations can organise a helicopter transfer direct to the jet base. Shooting ranges are one hour’s drive from the city centre and can be combined with the jet package or enjoyed as a standalone activity.
Highland Games, Scotland
Each year the Highland Games are held in celebration of Scottish and Celtic culture. From May to the end of September, the event attracts 3,500 kilted competitors and 23,000 spectators . More than 60 Highland Games are held across Scotland throughout the season, from the Carmunnock Highland Games in the south all the way up to the Durness Highland Gathering in the very north of the mainland. Each weekend brings a different competition: from serious displays of strength in the hammer throw, haggis hurling and stone-put to endurance-based races like the hill run. Make sure to do your homework and go to one of the bigger events. The Cowal Highland Gathering is one of the largest in the calendar. Expect to see wrestling, piping and the throwing of the historic Cowal stone, before a finale of marching bands and a dazzling firework display as the sun sets over the Firth of Clyde.
Various locations across Scotland.
White Water Rafting, Wales
Set within Snowdonia National Park, the Tryweryn river is home to the National White Water Centre. It’s here you can experience 9km of natural river rafting unrivalled in the rest of the UK. The river, which is also home to the largest number of otters in North Wales, has five sections of rapids spread along its course, with some reaching grade four on the white-water scale. The Tryweryn is open for white-water adventures on any day the Llyn Celyn reservoir is releasing water – which happens around 200 days of the year.
Travel by road is essential. The nearest train stations (Chester, Shrewsbury, Aberystwyth and Bangor) are all around 90 minutes away from the National White Water Centre.
The large swell and high-quality, clean waves of Zurriola beach have put San Sebastian on the surfing map. In the city’s Gros district, between Kursaal and Monte Ulia, ‘Zurri’ works with all tides, so plays host to tons of competitions. There is a surf club as well as four surf schools dotted along the beach, so complete beginners can have a crack at catching some waves while pros can head towards the Monpas area, where the more powerful swells come in. Surfing’s especially good anytime from June to the end of September, when the water is especially warm thanks to the flow of the Bay of Biscay.
San Sebastian airport, with connections to Madrid and Barcelona, is 20km from the city centre.