If you or a loved one will soon reach the ‘big 40’, you’ll surely want to mark this incredibly special, significant occasion with a spectacular 40th birthday celebration.
That’s why we’ve put together a series of 40th birthday ideas for when only the best will do. What’s more, each activity mentioned below is close to one or more of our large holiday homes, giving you and your chosen companions the chance to combine birthday fun with an inspiring break.
1. Hovercrafting in Edinburgh
Test your skills in piloting your own single seater Edinburgh Hovercraft around a grass course. The hovercrafts are really different from anything you will have experienced as they have no brakes, rather requiring you to lean over when turning. It’s all good fun and can become very competitive when it comes to the timed sessions. Experience the thrill of actually hovering above the ground on a cushion of air, and test your skills as you manoeuvre the hovercraft around a circuit. Once you’ve experienced the adrenalin rush, head over to Kyloe, a sophisticated restaurant that specialises in all things beef. Enjoy a good wine list and excellent service with a view that looks out to Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.
2. Explore the Scottish Highlands on a personalised safari
Transform a 40th birthday party into an awe-inspiring adventure in Perthshire. A Land Rover Highland Safari, tailored according to your interests, is a unique opportunity to observe stunning Scottish wildlife while travelling through dramatic, glorious landscapes. Your journey begins on the outskirts of the market town of Aberfeldy, about which Robert Burns, Scotland’s best-loved poet, wrote in 1787 after a Highlands tour of his own. Explore rugged mountains, pine forests and beautiful rivers as you look for creatures as diverse as golden eagles and roe deer. Round off your trip with a birthday lunch in a rustic hilltop bothy. Near Aberfeldy, you’ll find a grand Loch Tay holiday home called Stucktaymore. With four-poster beds, a media room and hot tub, this Victorian hunting lodge is ideal for a birthday getaway.
3. Pick a winner at York’s prestigious racecourse
There can be few more thrilling ways to celebrate a 40th birthday than by cheering on the jockeys and horses at one of England’s finest racecourses. The formal dress code, first-class facilities and majestic surroundings will give your visit a real sense of occasion. Head to the County Stand, York Racecourse’s most prestigious enclosure, and enjoy fantastic views of the racetrack. Don’t miss the champagne lawn – it’s a great setting for a birthday toast. Alternatively, hold a party in the exclusive Gimcrack Suite for the ultimate in luxury. Select your favourite horses at the Parade Ring, place your bets, and then try one of the racecourse’s award-winning ‘dine and view’ experiences. Inspired by the opulence of ocean liners, Ebor Restaurant is ideal for a birthday meal. Clifton, a roomy holiday home in York, is similarly elegant. This Georgian property combines period charm with modern comforts.
4. Tour the finest country house in East Yorkshire
Enjoy a taste of life as an aristocrat during a private tour of Sledmere House, regarded as East Yorkshire’s finest country retreat. Encompassing some of the most beautiful interiors in England, the guided tour is bound to make a 40th birthday extra special. Grade I-listed Sledmere is a unique blend of Georgian and Edwardian elegance, with an imposing staircase, painted ceilings and Chippendale furniture. The Turkish Room, inspired by Istanbul’s Yeni Mosque, is particularly eye-catching. The house is surrounded by almost 1,000 acres of parkland. Why not hire the marquee lawn for a magnificent birthday bash? The Old Granary in Burton Agnes is conveniently close to Sledmere and a luxurious property in its own right. This rustic holiday home has period features, a light and airy dining hall, plus a hot tub.
5. Take to the skies over Scotland’s Loch Lomond
For a spectacular start to your or a loved one’s 40s, how about flying over Scotland in a luxurious seaplane? The Fly to Lunch service from Loch Lomond Seaplanes makes a birthday truly magical. You’ll set off from Loch Lomond, the UK’s most expansive inland body of water, and travel in style.
Enjoy panoramic views of historic castles, gorgeous glens and breath-taking mountains before a celebratory lunch at the picturesque Venachar Lochside restaurant, where the locally sourced dishes include baked Venachar trout. After the return leg of your journey, you can sip champagne by Loch Lomond and reflect on this one-of-a-kind experience. It’s no wonder that the seaplane flights have attracted numerous famous passengers including Hollywood star Ben Stiller.
Stuckgowan House, a lavish Loch Lomond holiday home, has an idyllic terrace that’s perfect for further birthday celebrations.
6. Watch wonderful Welsh wildlife on a Caldey Island cruise
A fantastic 40th birthday surprise for a nature lover is a Caldey Island cruise. Relax and unwind while experiencing wonderful wildlife and stunning scenery just off the beautiful Tenby coast. You’ll travel to historic Caldey, one of the UK’s Holy Islands, on a specially designed catamaran. Nearby, St Margaret’s Island is a haven for a whole host of wild birds, including the largest population of cormorants in Wales. Puffins nest in the cliffs, while gannets, kittiwakes and razorbills are also fond of the area. If you’re particularly lucky, you might even see dolphins and seals – so don’t forget your camera! Back on dry land, you can continue the birthday party at a palatial Tenby holiday home, Waterwynch House. Amazing sea views, lavish facilities and access to a secluded beach make this property stand out.
7. Tempt your taste buds in Scotland’s seafood capital
A luxury 40th birthday party calls for the finest food and drink to share with those closest to your heart. For high-quality, delicious dishes, the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’ (otherwise known as Oban) is unmissable. This picturesque resort town boasts a fabulous selection of seafood eateries, and the Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant is at the top of its game. Situated on Oban’s Railway Pier, the Waterfront offers diners outstanding views of mountains and islands, as well as a relaxed atmosphere. Feast on Loch Creran oysters, Isle of Mull scallops or some of the finest mussels in Oban. The inspiring menu and scenery will make anyone turning 40 feel reinvigorated. The Drury, a spacious Oban holiday home with commanding harbour views, offers wonderfully luxurious group accommodation for birthday trips.
8. See a dazzling open-air show at Auckland Castle
With a stage the size of five football pitches, 1,500 cast and crew members, seating for an audience of 8,000 and a story spanning 2,000 years, Kynren – An Epic Tale of England is spectacular in every respect. This dazzling open-air show is held in the grounds of the magnificent medieval castle in County Durham’s Bishop Auckland. It runs from July to September, which makes it an ideal ‘big four-o’ birthday treat for anyone who was born during the summer or wants to celebrate when the weather is fine. Kynren (the title comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘family’) takes you on a magical journey through the Gatehouse of Time, lighting up the night sky with extraordinary pyrotechnics and other special effects. It’s hard to think of a more inspiring backdrop for a special birthday party. Within easy reach of the castle is Fairfield House in Weardale, a sprawling North East holiday home with luxurious interiors, private tennis courts and lush green surroundings.
9. Relax with beach yoga in Bournemouth
Turning 40 marks the beginning of a new decade and therefore a new chapter in life. As a result, it’s the perfect time to focus on the health and well-being of you and your loved ones. With that in mind, why not celebrate with a beach yoga session from Holistic Body Training on Bournemouth’s golden sands? This novel birthday activity, which takes place near historic Boscombe Pier, can’t fail to fill you with positivity. Yoga on the beach is a wonderful way to relax, especially if you’ve been taking advantage of Bournemouth’s vibrant nightlife! Even in bad weather, you can enjoy marvellous views, thanks to the beachfront fitness studio. After your workout, treat yourself to some of the finest cuisine in Dorset at Urban Reef, offering a breath-taking panorama of both Bournemouth Bay and Boscombe Promenade.
The Bournemouth Townhouse is an amazing holiday home just a short walk from the beach. With superb facilities and chic interiors, it’s the ideal setting in which to continue the birthday celebrations.
10. Make creative cuisine in the Yorkshire Wolds
A bespoke ‘cook and dine’ event at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School has all of the ingredients for a fabulous 40th birthday celebration for anyone who loves creative cuisine. Nestling in rolling countryside and not far from Beverley, the well-equipped cookery school provides expert tuition in a friendly atmosphere. Perhaps you and your loved ones want to learn how to create traditional Yorkshire dishes, discover the magic of French patisserie or hone your skills with Michelin star recipes. There’s a huge range of options – and whatever you choose, rest assured that the staff will take care of the washing up! Nothing compares to the sense of achievement you and your companions will feel as you feast on the fine food you’ve prepared. Foldyard House, a large holiday home near Beverley, offers excellent group accommodation. Its hot tub, sauna, courtyard garden and beautifully restored rooms will undoubtedly enhance your birthday celebrations.
11. Hear world-class music at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
When you want a 40th birthday party that’s filled with world-class culture, head to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Located at the top of the city’s ‘style mile’, this impressive music venue is one of Scotland’s leading arts centres. Whether you enjoy listening to Tchaikovsky or Tony Bennett, The Cranberries or Caledonian pipe music, you’ll find performances to help you celebrate in style. Here’s a top tip: before you book your tickets, take a virtual tour of the main auditorium to find the perfect seats for you and your loved ones.
After the concert, treat your party to a meal at Alchemilla, one of Glasgow’s top restaurants. For peaceful group accommodation that’s less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow’s hustle and bustle, try Balvonie House in Skelmorlie. This Scottish holiday home combines architectural splendour with sea views and a sense of fun, making it a wonderful choice for a birthday break.
12. Enjoy a private winery tour in Henley-on-Thames
Grapes grown in the glorious Chiltern Hills lead to fantastic fine wines. That’s why a bespoke tour and tasting session at the Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery makes a wonderful 40th birthday present for anyone who enjoys a good tipple. The wines are made in historic buildings in Henley-on-Thames. During your private tour of the premises, you and your chosen companions will learn about every aspect of the wine production process, from pressing grapes to creating labels. Afterwards, there’s an opportunity to sample a selection of wines, in addition to other alcoholic beverages, under the guidance of an expert. Cheers! At Reddish Manor, a spacious holiday home just a stone’s throw from Henley, you can continue the birthday celebrations with the aid of a sauna, large garden and BBQ.
13. Relish a cocktail masterclass in Aberdeenshire
Get your 40th birthday celebrations well and truly started with a cocktail making masterclass. Social and Cocktail will either come to your holiday home or, if you’re thinking of celebrating at home, they have a mobile cocktail bar that can be set up and ready to serve the best cocktails in Scotland right there in your living room. The expert bartenders love getting people involved in making their own favourite cocktails and even hand out prizes for the best (and worst!) cocktail efforts. The Gatsby is located just 30 minutes from Aberdeen and is perfect for a large group of friends and family celebrating your 40th. The house sleeps 24 and comes complete with hot tub!
Spacious, stylish holiday homes for 40th birthday celebrations
We’re proud to offer a handpicked, stunning selection of large holiday homes for birthday parties in excellent locations across England, Wales and Scotland. Our stylish, spacious properties are designed to make special occasions not just enjoyable but unforgettable.
To book a luxurious UK holiday home for an amazing 40th birthday getaway, please call House Parties today on 01242 285755 or contact us online.