Whether you’re an excited and slightly nervous groom-to-be, close friend of the groom, or fulfilling your sacred duty as best man, the question of what kind of stag party will be taking place is an important and often universally stressful one. Aside from deciding which debauched activities are the most suitable way to send somebody off into a lifetime of marital bliss, a major factor which is often overlooked is the matter of where this crucial ritual is to take place. While destination stag weekends to the great party cities of continental Europe and the United States are becoming increasingly popular, the majority of stags tend to take place a little closer to home.
The ideal stag should take place over the weekend and never stretch beyond a couple of days, meaning you can pack a lot more action into this once-in-a-lifetime party if you keep things based in the UK since no-one wants to spend the better half of a stag do trapped inside an airport. Things are also much less likely to go wrong if you keep the festivities in-house; you and your wolf pack are less likely to get ripped-off by the locals, you’ll be able to get back home easily if need be, and any unforeseen catastrophes can be more easily managed. Luckily, the UK is home to some of the world’s great party cities, with well-developed local stag industries which can easily cater to any group. Here’s a guide to the best destinations in the country for an unforgettable stag weekend, whatever your preferences.
Arguably the greatest city in the world with a nightlife to match, you can rarely go wrong with a jaunt to the country’s capital and largest city. Luckily for you, we’ve already put together a comprehensive guide on the dizzying array of top-notch stag parties London has to offer, from helicopter tours to boat parties on the Thames. London comes out on top for the sheer variety of wild times to be had, as well as a vibrant buzz and worldly energy which is hard to replicate anywhere else. However, where London does fall short is price, given the pretty astronomical costs of hotel rooms in the city, as well as some of the highest drinks prices in Europe. The sheer size of the place also means a bar or club crawl can sometimes be time-consuming and frustrating to navigate.
Home of The Beatles and beautiful Scouse women, this popular stag spot on the Mersey has an unbeatable live music scene and a well-deserved reputation for raucous nightlife. There’s plenty to be said for this affordable and easy-to-reach destination, with more bars and nightclubs than you can shake a stick at, and plenty of diverse options for daytime activities. Start your weekend off right with a beer-fuelled round of Ghetto Golf, or soak up the city’s legendary sporting heritage at the electric atmosphere of an Everton match. Better yet, you and your dapper-dressed crew can spend the day at one of the UK’s biggest sporting events, the Grand National, which takes place in the city every year. If you’re planning to do some horse racing betting, you can prepare by researching the latest odds and learn about the horses from tips at Timeform. Definitely the city to pick if you’re after some all-day-long activities.
You can never go wrong with a jaunt to the home of whisky, golf and kilts, and bustling Glasgow is packs a distinctly Scottish punch. Those in the mood for a more refined and quintessentially Glaswegian start to their stag weekend should opt for a world-renowned whisky tasting tour around the city, which will you take you on a whirlwind tour of Glasgow’s suavest bars, dingiest watering holes and most prestigious distilleries. Head to the achingly hip Finnieston district for a photo-friendly bar crawl, then make your way over to the east end of the city for some serious partying. The city is home to some of Europe’s most famous nightclubs, with the legendary techno hub SubClub and nearby La Cheetah both being stellar options for breaking a sweat to their bone-shattering Funktion One sound systems. Glasgow also benefits from cheap low prices and some of the friendliest locals around.
Keeping it up north for this next entry, it’s hard to argue with the waves of stag doers which spill out from the Newcastle’s Central Station every Saturday morning before embarking on a Geordie debauchery. Make sure you and your mates are sufficiently suited and booted before setting out to the famous Diamond Strip, lined with booming nightclubs, bustling champagne bars, laid-back gentlemen’s clubs and of course, beautiful people. While enjoyed a longstanding and well-deserved reputation for hedonistic nightlife which has attracted stags for decades, Newcastle also makes a great base for those seeking a slightly more mellow stag weekend. The city’s location near some of the country’s most rugged and unspoiled natural terrain means you’re spoiled for choice for world-class camping destinations, while you can always ramp things up with an off-roading safari or a wilderness survival course. What better way to ring in the ultimate male rite-of-passage?
Having a stag-do guide without mentioning Cardiff would be a disservice to stags and a disservice to the Welsh, given their propensity for partying and the city’s reputation as a bachelor party mecca. Whether it’s a riotous bar crawl you’re after, some next-level clubbing or even going for a testosterone-inducing day of shooting high-powered rifles, Cardiff has all you need and more. While the nightlife is certainly not to be sniffed at, Cardiff comes out on top here as the destination for the more physically active stag group, with a mind-boggling variety of extreme sports activities available within easy reach of the city centre that are well-geared towards large groups. If you want to try your hand at extreme archery, gorge walking, white water rafting, quad biking or paintballing, Cardiff has it all. Just don’t forget to do your warm-ups on the way over.
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