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Gather together your band of merry men and book the groom’s last weekend of freedom in one of the UK’s most popular stag do destinations! By day, Nottingham has more adventure than a dozen Robin Hood movies combined, and there's a thriving nightlife scene to match.
Going by the reviews we get here at The Stag Company, Nottingham is one of the best places in the UK for a stag weekend. We think that’s down to several reasons. Firstly, it’s central, so it's easy to get to wherever you’re coming from across the UK and no one has to trek from one end of the country to the other. Secondly, it offers a fantastic range of unique and adventurous stag activities. And thirdly, it's home to a diverse and buzzing nightlife, with a plethora of top notch pubs and bars.
If you’re still undecided about whether Nottingham is for you and your crew of merry men, keep this in mind: the city is also home to the one and only remaining branch of Hooters in the UK. Enough said?
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With its conveniently central location just 130 miles north of London and 75 miles south of Leeds, you’ll find that Nottingham is easily accessible from many parts of the UK by train, which is one reason why the city is such a popular stag do location.
Naturally, you can also get here by car without much difficulty, and there are several secure public car parks around the city including at the Victoria Centre, on Stoney Street, and on Canal Street. If you prefer to have your wheels closer to hand however, ask us about our Nottingham stag hotels with car parking. There are plenty of electric car charging points around the city as well if you need them.
Once you’ve arrived in the city, getting around Nottingham is a doddle, and you certainly won’t be short of buses to hop on. The majority of buses operate from Nottingham’s Broadmarsh and Victoria bus stations. Just check out the website, or download the NCT bus app, for routes and times. Alternatively, there are trams available too, running every seven minutes or so and with five stops in the city centre. Taxis are also readily available, and worth booking ahead for the early hours of the morning if you prefer not to join queues at the taxi ranks.
Nottingham city centre is pretty walkable, so if your group prefers to get around on foot, you should be fine so long as the weather plays ball. Until October 2022, there were cycles for hire at reasonable prices, but this Citycard scheme has now closed. But fear not! A new scheme is due to be put into place during the spring of 2023 - so by the time most of our stag groups arrive, any glitches should be ironed out, and a smooth, reliable, planet-friendly cycle hire system should await you!
Let’s start with the obvious: Nottingham’s most famous resident, Robin Hood. This legendary folk hero, if he ever really existed, is said to have hidden out of the sight of the authorities in nearby Sherwood Forest with his band of merry men. The beautiful forest, a unique habitat for local wildlife, is just 20 miles north of Nottingham. It is home to numerous walking and cycling trails, an off-road segway circuit, and an excellent Go Ape high ropes course, as well as the famous Major Oak, a huge tree under which legend says the merry men would sleep at night.
Just outside Nottingham is the Holme Pierrepont Country Park, where you’ll find the National Watersports Centre. At this epic venue, used by Team GB to practise, you and your team can tackle manmade Grade 3 White Water Rafting on an action-packed afternoon out.
Also on the outskirts of Nottingham you’ve got all your classic stag do activities. We know from many years of experience that it's hard to go wrong when you book the old faithful favourites like Paintballing and Go Karting. Alternatively, thrill seekers and adrenaline chasers will love going up a gear with Quad Biking or Rage Buggies. And close to Nottingham, we also offer some spins on traditional activities too, such as Tank Paintballing - which is exactly what it sounds like. You'll take turns driving a tank around a range, with a paintball gun mounted on the turret for target practise! The stag will have next to no chance of escape.
If you’re feeling particularly competitive, why not assemble your buddies for a session of It’s A Knockout games, or an Assault Course challenge? The loser gets the first round in...and maybe the second, too.
In the city centre itself, you’ve got Nottingham Castle, where you can learn even more about the legend of Robin Hood on tours that are combined with interactive digital experiences like archery competitions or sparring sessions with Little John.
If your group has a few history buffs among them then you might enjoy a wander through the City of Caves. Under the streets of Nottingham there is a subterranean maze comprising hundreds of sandstone caves that date back to the Dark Ages. It’s one of the most unusual places in the UK.
For something slightly less claustrophobic, head over to the Dragon on Long Row. Here there’s a permanent Scalextric track set up where you and the guys can channel your inner Lewis Hamilton and pit your skills against each other. You may not have played Scalextric since you were kids, but you’ll be amazed at how exciting and competitive it gets - and at how quickly the muscle memory kicks in!
Just a 10-minute walk from the Dragon brings you to one of Nottingham’s most scenic spots, the Arboretum. This small but really attractive park is a nice area to clear your heads after a night on the sauce. It’s said to have been the inspiration for Neverland in Peter Pan.
If you’re organising a summer stag do in Nottingham, then you might want to tie it in with Nottinghamshire's biggest music festival, Splendour. Taking place across five stages in the beautiful surroundings of Wollaton Hall and Deer Park, the event hosts acts across all musical genres, from upcoming talent to world class icons. In addition to the music, you’ll find an epic funfair, comedy performances, a silent disco and an array of delicious food and drink stalls. Bear in mind that tickets sell out fast and accommodation books up particularly quickly during these kinds of event weekends, so if this tickles your fancy, don't delay.
Lastly, all stag groups need a refuel now and again. So here’s some recommendations for the best places to get a bite to eat in Nottingham, starting with Annie’s Burger Shack on Broadway for authentic Rhode Island style burgers, and Fat Hippo on Broad Street, for seriously decadent burgers and the dirtiest of fries.
Junkyard on Bridlesmith Walk is a cool, California-style pour house and bottle shop where you can sink a few neighbourhood craft beers in the backyard with a delicious pizza, or roll up on a Sunday for a lazy but memorable roast dinner. They don't accept reservations as standard, so just turn up and hope for a table, same as everyone else.
Nottingham city centre is a conveniently walkable area for your evening entertainment. The most popular part of the city for stag groups tends to be the Lace Market, once the old industrial centre, and now a hub for trendy nightspots.
The Canal Side also has plenty of good bars, especially around Castle Wharf - keep an eye out for your mates on the waterfront in case anyone takes an accidental dip. You can find the famous Hooters here, the only outlet of this American sports bar in the UK and the place to come if you like your chicken wings served by girls in super-shortie short-shorts. Let us know if you'd like us to book your evening meal here, as we've worked with Hooters for many years.
There are several bars, including a Revolution and a Slug & Lettuce at the Cornerhouse complex, just a 10 minute walk from the Lace Market. There's not one, but two Roxy Ball Rooms to be found in Nottingham, both offering a range of fun games to accompany your drinks, including basketball, bowling, American pool, shuffleboard, bocce and ping pong. Just along the road from the Cornerhouse venue is another Nottingham institution, Rock City. Going strong since 1980, and claiming the tagline of 'the UK's best live venue and club', this is the place to catch up-and-coming live bands before they become the next big thing. They also offer some of the most happening club nights in town so check out their line-up in advance, to see what floats your boat.
Beer gardens, cocktail bars and Nottingham's best nightclubs
Something we really love about Nottingham is the way it offers a mix of classic, even historic pubs, and super-stylish venues, both of which you’ll be raving about the next day. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, built into the rock next to Nottingham Castle, claims to be the oldest pub in the UK. It’s certainly one of them, and an interesting pub to sink a quick pint. Then you’ve got the Lacehouse, set within a former factory, serving pizzas and brunch in the day and becoming one of Nottingham’s trendiest cocktail bars by night.
The Curious Tavern is one of Nottingham’s best-dept secrets, housed in the city’s oldest hotel in the Hockley area, and serving up a rotating cast of cask ales to be enjoyed on the Chesterfield sofas. Just next door is sister pub Lost Property, a cocktail speakeasy with muted lighting that is set into Nottingham’s underground caves. Both excellent spots for a drink or two early in the evening.
Looking for a good beer garden in Nottingham? The Organ Grinder has a great one, where you can sup on up to nine cask ales and tuck into some of their amazing pork pies. You’ll also find a decent beer garden at the Bierkeller, where you can catch sports on the big screen TVs, play a few rounds of pool or darts, or even catch one of their famous oompah shows.
The Crafty Crow offers a fine selection of craft beers and microbrews from around the country, and the tap house provides views of Nottingham Castle and the Robin Hood statue. This is a good option for eating well if your crew has any vegetarians or vegans. You can also get craft beers at Brewdog, in another handsome old factory on Friar Lane, with lots of choice.
For cocktails, we recommend the aforementioned Lacehouse, but also 400 Rabbits at Hurts Yard for tequila and mezcal in a lively Mexican-themed bar, or Gincident which serves, you guessed it, a lot of very good gins - dry, flavoured, spiced, citrusy - they’ve got the lot.
If you’re looking for clubs, then both PRYZM on Lower Parliament St (let us pre-book your group its own VIP booth!) and Club Ink on Queen Street - multi-room, multi-bar extravaganzas, tend to be stag-friendly. The Rescue Rooms and Stealth both feature live acts and DJs. Flirtz, on Friar Lane, is our recommendation for Nottingham’s best gentlemen's club, if you’re thinking of treating the groom to a lap dance on his last weekend of freedom.
Is Nottingham good for a stag do?
Nottingham has always been a great stag do destination, and it’s always been one of our most popular for enquiries. Going by the feedback we’ve received, there are three main reasons. It’s very central first of all, so wherever your group is coming from, it’s pretty easy to reach. You’ve also got stacks of brilliant activities available to you around the city and in the surrounding area. And lastly, the nightlife in Nottingham is just awesome, so it’s pretty difficult not to have a good time here.
What is there to do in Nottingham at night?
We think we've worked out why Robin Hood’s men were known for being so darn merry. Even back in 'those days', Nottingham must have been pretty lively after dark! These days, we recommend that you head to popular stag areas such as the Lace Market, the Cornerhouse and the Canal Front for a wide range of pubs, bars, restaurants and clubs. You can find pubs with a host of traditional games like ten-pin bowling and bocce, trendy cocktail speakeasies, refined gin bars, craft beer pubs and vibey rock pubs - whatever your group is in the mood for.
We can also spice things up for you, perhaps with a Gin Cocktail-making Masterclass, entry to stag-favourite nightclub PRYZM, or to a top Nottingham Gentlemen’s Club for some X-rated entertainment.
Best Nottingham stag do bars?
Well-behaved groups should be okay in most places, but if you want an assured stag-friendly environment then we recommend bars such as the Slug & Lettuce, Revolution, the Bierkeller or Hooters, all of which regularly welcome stag groups and also serve food, which is handy. In the daytime, check out the Organ Grinder on Alfreton Road for its wood burning fire during the colder months, and its lovely beer garden when the sun decides to shine.
What kind of activities can we do?
Nottingham stag do’s are brilliant for groups that like to get a bit active. Among the activities you can try here are White Water Rafting, Assault Courses, It’s A Knockout competitions (huge fun) and, in Sherwood Pines, one of the best Go Ape high ropes courses in the country.
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