So, a friend or relative of yours is getting married soon and you are responsible for sorting the stag out. This burden of responsibility typically falls on the shoulders of the best man but there can be others that are handed the task instead. No matter what your link is to the groom though, the job remains the same, organising an extended group celebration centred around the husband-to-be.
Hosting a stag do abroad is not unusual but logistical, time and cost considerations often make one within this country more appealing. Luckily for any groups based in the UK, the nation is full of some truly excellent stag destinations that have plenty of options for both the day and night. The competition was fierce but our hand-picked list features what we believe to be the very best and most elite stag locations within the UK. All those featured below (listed north to south) guarantee electrifying nightlife, epic adventures and a truly unforgettable experience.
As the vibrant capital of Scotland, Edinburgh offers the perfect blend of rich history, lively atmosphere, and a welcoming spirit. During the day, groups have a wide range of activities at their disposal either inside the city centre or in the nearby water or countryside, for example rafting or paintballing. Whisky tasting tours are also widely available should most of the group be partial to their scotch.
While there are many ways to keep active, you can also have a much more relaxed daytime itinerary. History buffs can explore the iconic Edinburgh Castle or if the weather is nice, the relatively short stroll up to Arthur’s Seat provides some stunning views. The Scottish capital is particularly versatile in this sense as it has something to cater to every type of stag group. This also extends to the nightlife scene as you have the epic clubs on George Street and the Cowgate, open very late, as well as cosy, traditional pub options. Whether you want shots, beers, or some fine whisky, finding your desired drink in an ideal setting will not be a problem.
- Pros: Ideal place for lovers of history and/or whisky. Has a wider range of outdoor activity options than most.
- Cons: One of the more expensive additions on our list, especially when looking at accommodation costs. The unpredictable Scottish weather also means there’s a decent chance of it being a wet stag do.
Newcastle has developed quite the reputation for being a top stag destination in recent years. It is now extremely good at catering for large groups, although the demand is such that pre-booking events is something of a must. The range of day-time activities includes the kind of variety you would expect from a popular stag destination but why people tend to pick Newcastle is the nightlife. When heading into the evening hours Newcastle truly comes to life, especially around the famous Diamond Strip, which keeps the party going until the early hours.
With many of the most popular clubs and bars located in close proximity, and many hotels in the area as well, Newcastle is a place that offers simple logistics. Stag organisers do not have to worry about taxi and/or bus rides because all main attractions are within walking distance, even if it is a stumbling walk!
- Pros: Friendly locals, lovely riverside settings and exceptional nightlife.
- Cons: The often-cold northern weather and it may be quite the trek for some groups with it being so northernly.
Moving to the west coast now and we have another top stag destination in the form of Manchester. Although known for being a rainy place, so vibrant is the city that not even the heaviest downpours could dampen your group’s mood. Often referred to as the capital of the north, this is a bustling and energetic city full of life and no shortage of things to do. One of its stand-out features is its sheer range of activities, most located close to or within the city centre. Some of these group-friendly activities, such as the Crystal Maze and the Cube, are not ones you will find in many other locations either.
Although most top activities are within walking distance, excellent public transport is available if not. As good as Manchester is in the daytime, allowing you to pack the schedule full if you want to, the nightlife is just as good, if not better. Pre-booking for groups is essential as clubs and bars do get incredibly busy, such is the sheer appetite for drinks and dancing in the city. We particularly recommend looking around the Northern Quarter, Deansgate Locks or LGBTQ-friendly Gay Village.
- Pros: Truly something for everyone and without breaking the bank. Another good spot for football lovers too, especially as it’s home of the National Football Museum.
- Cons: Known for being a rainy place and due to demand, you need to confirm your plans early.
The two things Liverpool is best known for are football and music. If your stag group has a passion for either one, then this city may well be an excellent contender for your trip. Famously the home of the Beatles, you can learn and experience much about the band within just a few hours. While it is easy to find musical tributes in Liverpool though, this is not a city stuck in the past. Live music from up-and-coming artists is easy to find and there is a long schedule of gigs taking place throughout the year, all over the city.
For football fans, there are two big English clubs (Liverpool and Everton) situated close by, both offering live matches and stadium tours. Although these are the two sporting highlights of the city, Liverpool also has two top racecourses nearby (Aintree and Haydock Park) both of which offer packages specifically for stags. Moving onto the nighttime and as a city steeped in culture, you have a wide mix of options, ranging from Latin American bars to traditional Irish pubs.
- Pros: Relatively inexpensive and a great choice for any football/music buffs.
- Cons: Slightly less diverse array of daytime activities compared to other cities.
Bristol has not traditionally been one of the UK’s main stag destinations but its popularity has exploded in recent years. Its young population has seen a rapid rise in the number of places to eat and drink, as well as exciting activity opportunities. It is not as ‘wild’ as some other names on our list but it is ideal for any group looking for fun mixed with some charm and diversity.
Bristol itself is a wonderful place to explore during the day, especially for any art or maritime enthusiasts. It also boasts an excellent array of more active experiences whether it be outdoor obstacle courses, escape rooms, raft building or go-karting. For the evening, there is no lack of trendy bars and traditional pubs in addition to a range of music-pumping nightclubs.
- Pros: Lots of excellent locally-produced cider and very charming city.
- Cons: Nightlife not quite as bustling as in other cities.
This may be the most surprising addition to our list but Bournemouth is well deserving of its place. It may only be a town, rather than a city, but do not be fooled into thinking its smaller size means it offers an inferior experience, at least not during the summer. During the warmer months, Bournemouth really comes to life with many people flocking to its seven miles of award-winning sands. Across its coastline, you can do all sorts of exciting activities whether it be party boat cruises, paddleboarding, kayaking or jet-skiing.
While many tourists visit Bournemouth just for the day, there is plenty to do in the evening, as well. The coastal town features a genuinely solid range of drinking establishments, all located within close proximity to one another. In the evening, there is a real buzz to the town and there is more than enough choice of bars and clubs to keep you fully entertained for a boozy weekend.
- Pros: A particularly strong option in the summer due to the range of water sports not available in other places and the warm, south-coast location.
- Cons: Not a convenient location for most so travel may be time-consuming/costly.