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The ultimate guide to milestone birthdays holiday cottages

Party Ideas

The ultimate guide to milestone birthdays

Clare 22 July 2020

Milestone birthdays are those special landmark ages which are deserving of a little more attention than a simple card and cake. They’re a time to celebrate your life so far and look ahead to the future; they're a time to reflect on what you’ve achieved, overcome and enjoyed since the last milestone, and certainly not a time to lament growing older.

So how will you make the approaching milestone birthday one to remember? Keep scrolling to find the best party ideas for every big birthday, from where to go to themes, decoration, activities and food! 

What are the milestone birthdays?

1st birthday

1st birthday party ideas

“Let them eat cake!” Marie Antoinette

The time when all parents reflect on how quickly the year has gone, a child’s first birthday is one of the most special anniversaries in life. Having already achieved so much in their first short year, they’ve developed their own little personality and will love the thrill of a party just for them. Friends, grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins will be excited to help you celebrate your little one, and it is a great way to bring everyone together. Our 1st birthday party ideas offer plenty of inspiration for a planning a special celebration. 

Top 1st birthday party ideas: 

  • Stay right next door to Camel Creek Adventure Park where guests get free entry to
  • Live like a Disney princess in a real-life castle with magical gardens and views out to se
  • Plan a fairy-tale teddy bears picnic in the woods or by the river in the grounds of an ancient manor house

16th birthday

“Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” Fred Astaire

Still a bit young to go on holiday alone, 16 is the age when you need to make the most of what may be the last holiday you have as a family. The teenager in question is likely to want to spend time with friends on their big day, so booking a large house is the ideal solution. Their friends’ parents could contribute a little to the cost, in exchange for a peaceful week at home and you can relax in the knowledge that everyone will have a good time. Whether you're thinking of a small sophisticated soiree or a grand showstopper event, our 16th birthday party ideas will certainly please the guest of the honour. 

Top 16th birthday party ideas

  • Throw a tropical pool party at a lavish house with a private outdoor pool 
  • Plan a chilled film night beneath the stars on an outdoor movie screen
  • Go all out with a glamorous ‘sweet 16’ ball in an extravagant party house

18th birthday

18th birthday party ideas

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” Plautus

Your 18th birthday is the gateway to adulthood, and it’s only right it should be celebrated in style, preferably surrounded by all your friends and a plentiful supply of food and drink If several of you are about to turn 18 in the same year, a group getaway is an ultimate way to mark your transformation into responsible adults. How does a large house with a private pool, a venue with its own cinema or games room or a place near a top surfing spot sound? We've handpicked some of the very best party houses for an 18th birthday party that are so much more than a holiday let. 

Top 18 birthday party ideas 

  • A games weekend at a manor house with a games room, tennis court, swimming pool and sauna! 
  • A surfing break in one of the best-known surfing destinations in the UK, Croyde Bay
  • A movie marathon in an epic cinema room with an adjoining bar area

21st birthday

"You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred." Woody Allen 

At 21, the world is your oyster, and you will want to spread your wings and explore. You're likely to be starting to discover the things you enjoy most in life. With youth on your side, you can afford to be adventurous and challenge yourself to new and exhilarating activities surrounded by friends. Whether you’re looking for a respite from studying during university holidays or taking a break from work, a short getaway or a week-long holiday is perfect for your 21st birthday. Full of fun, games and luxury in one of our five-star big party houses across the UK, it will be a big 21st birthday bash you won't forget in a hurry. 

Top 21st birthday party ideas

  • Stay in Cotswold Water Park and go kayaking, windsurfing, swimming, or wakeboarding
  • Turn up the tunes and plan a proper party in a venue with a dance floor and sound system
  • Plan a pamper party at a cottage with a hot tub and sauna

30th birthday


“Everything I know I learned after I was 30.” Georges Clemenceau

Bidding goodbye to your twenties can be difficult for some, but there’s nothing like a big 30th birthday getaway to take the edge off entering your fourth decade. You’re independent, young, and there’s still a world out there to explore.  Life is settling down into a comfortable rhythm, weddings pepper your social calendar and families start to grow, so this time is all about inclusive holidays and widening your circles to include partners and children! That doesn't mean to say you can't have a little fun with the 30th birthday party ideas though - that's the beauty of your thirties. 

Top 3 30th birthday ideas 

  • A big family get together at a venue with a games room, bar area, hot tub, and a plethora of outdoor activities
  • Low-key wine tasting with a group of your closest friends in the wine-growing region of Kent 
  • Outdoor pursuits at a charming lodge in rural Scotland 

40th birthday


“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” Larry Lorenzoni

By the age of 40, your family is likely to have grown. You have rich life experience and have seen a bit of the world. You know what you enjoy and who you like to spend time with, so your 40th birthday is the ideal time to embrace everyone and everything you love in your life. For some, 40 may seem like the brink of middle age, but instead of seeing it as a downhill slope, consider it the start of a new chapter, with new challenges and intentional forays outside of your comfort zone. Kick-start the planning with our 40th birthday party ideas for a memorable celebration. 

Top 3 40th birthday party ideas

  • Hire a private chef or organise a cookery class at a holiday house with a fabulous kitchen – indoor or out
  • Enjoy all the glitz and glam of a casino night when you stay in a huge manor house with its own casino
  • Get all the family together and plan a summer BBQ party at a large house with a big garden

 40th birthday party ideas 


50th birthday


“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” Walt Disney

Half a century on the planet! Your social circles are flourishing, with friends, colleagues and family, some of whom have flown the proverbial nest, leaving you with a rich network of friendly faces across the country and maybe even the world. It’s time to do something for you, take a break from work, stop the years speeding past in a blur and make this one memorable. Bring everyone back together for a few days or a week away and relish the warmth of a reunion with your loved ones. Why not theme your celebrations and throw them back to another era or embrace a different culture? Our 50th birthday party ideas provide plenty of inspiration! 

Top 3 50th birthday party ideas 

  • Throw a sophisticated Gatsby-style soiree in an elegant county house and invite your closest friends and family 
  • ‘Stay ‘forever young’ and bring out the childish side in your guests with party games, a pinata and plenty of dancing
  • Pick a country you’ve visited and loved and imaginatively whisk your guests away – complete with cuisine, décor and attire

60th birthday

60th birthday party ideas

“You don’t get older, you get better.” Shirley Bassey

At 60, your life is full, a rich tapestry of love, experiences, and memories. Your children, if you have them, are independent and have their own families, and your time is your own. You have so much to celebrate and so many people to celebrate with. You might be planning for your retirement, or at least stepping back a little to make time for hobbies, travelling or grandparent duties. Whatever your sixties will look like, reaching this landmark birthday is worth a celebration to remember so peruse our 60th birthday party ideas

Top 3 60th birthday ideas

  • Hire a mysterious country house in the heart of Scotland and throw a hidden speakeasy soiree for friends and family 
  • Escape to the Cornish coast and spend evenings dining alfresco as you gaze out to sea
  • Arrange a Hollywood film night in a secluded manor house that will suit every member of the family

70th birthday

"We are always the same age inside." Gertrude Stein

At the age of 70 you know what you like, but that doesn’t mean you’re set in your ways. For many a milestone birthday is a chance to try something new, or tick something off a bucket list – whatever your age. Bring your family, life-long friends and new friends together to help you celebrate the start of the next decade in the way you want to continue! If you're not sure where to start, we've put together a list of fantastic 70th birthday party ideas that combine a big celebration with a big holiday. 

Top 3 70th birthday party ideas

  • Escape to a luxury house in the country for a week of celebrations with your family 
  • Explore the Cornish coast from the comfort of an opulent holiday home with a hot tub 
  • Hire a venue with its own pub and a throw a party full of friends and family 

80th birthday

milestone birthday ideas

"Getting old is like climbing a mountain; you get a little out of breath, but the view is much better!" Ingrid Bergman

An 80th birthday is a momentous occasion and deserves a celebration as grand as the life lived by you or the person close to you who will soon be turning 80. You'll likely be surrounded by family who want to help you celebrate, either with a big party or by enjoying the things you love alongside you. To inspire the big celebration we have compiled a list of 80th birthday party ideas that can be enjoyed in one of our big party houses so that you have plenty of space to gather the whole family. 

Top 3 80th birthday ideas:

  • A summer garden party in the grounds of a magnificent Manor House 
  • A fabulous Scottish ceilidh in an opulent country house on the shores of Loch Tummel
  • ‘Say cheers to 80 years’ – raise a glass in a lavish holiday home with its own bar

90th birthday

90th birthday ideas

“With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come.” William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

90 is a real milestone - 90 whole years of living. In 90 years, you’ve witnessed so much change; technology and science have made huge leaps, the world has become smaller, our ambitions bigger. In 90 years, you’ve witnessed so much change; technology and science have made huge leaps, the world has become smaller, our ambitions bigger. Families have spread further afield, yet we’re more connected than ever. A 90th birthday is an opportunity for those intangible online connections to become real, heart-warming hugs, face-to-face smiles and belly laughs which can only come from person-to-person interaction. See our list of 90th birthday party ideas to help you start planning. 

90th birthday party ideas

  • Friends and family will jump at the chance to celebrate with a summer garden party at a spectacular manor house 
  • Take the guest of honour back in time for a night at the ‘pictures’ at a large property with its own cinema room 
  • Hire an external caterer to cook up a formal dinner party for the honouree and their closest loved ones 

100th birthday


“Today is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be again.” Eleanor Roosevelt

A whole century of life. A letter from Her Majesty the Queen. An elite group in which only 0.02% of the population find themselves (ONS 2016). A reason to celebrate. 100th birthdays don’t happen too often, so when a member of your family hits three figures and heads into their second century on earth, that’s something to write home about. Or maybe get away from home for! Throw a party like your family have never experienced before and invite everyone from far and wide. Get together to share stories and memories and celebrate the impact that your loved one has had on you all over their 100 years of life. Our guide to 100th birthday party ideas is packed with inspiration for an unforgettable celebration. 

Top 3 100th birthday party ideas

  • A grand dinner party with your nearest and dearest in an Elizabethan Manor House
  • A classic British afternoon tea in the delightful grounds of a Cotswold country house
  • Transport them to their youth with an elegant music night filled with their favourite sounds  

Book a party house for your milestone birthday celebration

We hope that’s given you lots of birthday celebration ideas for adults and inspiration for ways to mark those special milestone birthdays. To find the perfect location for your celebration, browse our collection of party houses across the UK.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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