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York Stag Do's

A historic city with no end of quality pubs

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York stag do guide


York has long been a favourite destination for stag weekends. It has one of the highest pub per square mile ratios in the country for one thing. For another, it’s easy to get to and get around. And there are any number of fantastic stag activities in the city and further afield.

If all that still hasn’t convinced you, then there’s the unique setting. Taking a walk along the city walls is an enjoyable way to clear a hangover, while the Shambles area is full of curious little shops and bars. And on selected weekends between May and October, there’s also the horse racing - an opportunity to get suited and booted and have a flutter while celebrating the groom’s last weekend of freedom.

City image

Great if you are looking for

  • A compact, historic city which is a doddle to navigate
  • Fantastic range of drinking spots from old school boozers to modern bars
  • Loads of great stag activities, plus the races throughout the summer

Getting around

Getting to York is a breeze, as it’s just off the A1, only two-and-a-bit hours north of London if you’re coming from the south of England. You can also get the train up easily - the station is in the centre of town, and it’s a stunner, with a good pub right next door in case you’re waiting around for people to arrive. You shouldn’t need a taxi to get to your stag hotel in York as it’s not a large city, but if you do want one, there is a rank right outside the train station.

If you’re driving up, there is a handful of 24-hour public car parks in the city centre, such as Monk Bar and Castle Car Park. Alternatively, ask us to book you a hotel with car parking

Most stag groups choose to get around York on foot, as you can actually walk from one end of the city centre to the other in around 20 minutes, so there’s little chance of sobering up between pubs. Especially as there’s so many to choose from! 

If you’d rather not walk, and to be fair it does rain a fair bit in Yorkshire, then you’ll find that buses are frequent, though not overly cheap. So, if you’re travelling in a group then it might be an idea to share a taxi as it could work out about the same price. Having said that, a one-day bus pass may be a cost-effective option if you’re planning on making several trips in one day. 

Lastly, York is now home to e-scooters which allow you to zip around the city with ease. Obviously there’s not many of them, and you shouldn’t ride with a passenger, but if you’re a small group they’re a fun way to get around. Just download the app, then it’s £1 to unlock them and 15p per minute thereafter.

Tips and ideas

York was once conquered by the Vikings, and while they’re long gone their spirit lives on in the form of the many madcap activities your group can get up to on a York stag weekend. All your favourite stag experiences are here of course: Paintballing, 4x4 Off Road Driving, Quad Biking and Clay Pigeon Shooting. There’s also some awesome Assault Courses to put your fitness to the test, and for something a little more refined in the evening, why not try some Bourbon Tasting?

Then you’ve got some unique York activities for stag groups that we love recommending to people. Between May and October the York Racecourse on Knavesmire Road hosts a number of weekend meetings. Study the form with your morning coffee before heading up to the turf, but let us book your group Grandstand and Paddock entry to save you the hassle.

After a heavy night on the tiles, if you need to clear your heads then we’ve got lots of options for you. The Museum Gardens, right in the city centre, is a lovely spot to sunbathe or chuck a frisbee around. You can have a walk around the 13th century walls, which take a few hours to get around in their entirety - the most scenic stretch is that between Bootham Bar and Monk Bar, taking you past the impressive York Minster. 

You could also take a boat ride along the River Ouse - hire your own motor boat for an hour at a time. Or, head over to Harrogate, 20 miles west, for a session at the historic Turkish Baths. You’ll need to book well in advance, but you’ll emerge pink-cheeked and refreshed for another night of hedonism. 

We get a lot of questions about stag-friendly restaurants in York, and we’re happy to tell you that there’s abundant choice. Why not let us book you a table at a lively bar such as Revolution, the Pitcher & Piano, or the riverside Slug & Lettuce? Good food, great ambience, and you can stick around after for a few drinks too.

Spark, on Picadilly, is a new venue that only opened up fairly recently. There are lots of tasty pop-up restaurants, and the atmosphere is buzzing on a weekend. The same goes for local favourite Brew York, where you can explore their superb range of craft beers alongside Asian grub in the Tap Room or the Bavarian-style Beer Hall.

And for a snack on the go, check out the Yorkshire Roast Co., where you can get your beef, pork or turkey meat bound up in a wrap with all the trimming inside too. Yum!

Nightlife

If there’s one thing we can be absolutely certain about with York stag do’s, it is this: you will never, ever run out of good places to have a drink. York, or Jorvik as the Vikings called it between throwing flagons of ale down their necks, has one of the highest pub per square mile ratios in the UK. And while we don’t know all of them, we know all the best pubs and bars in York for stag groups. Which, of course, we’re happy to share with you now.

By the river you’ve got a number of good options. The Lowther is a student favourite, laidback and with good music playing until late in the evening. Moments away is the King’s Arms, which is perfect for daytime drinking in the sunshine. Both pubs also suffer from their location unfortunately, and notoriously get flooded when the river breaks its banks. The Slug & Lettuce, on Low Ousegate, is a more stylish joint, serving cocktails and food alongside a selection of beers. Nearby you’ve also got the Britpop-themed Stone Roses pub, and O’Neills.

The Micklegate Run is York’s famous pub crawl route, a downhill race finishing close to colourful nightspot Popworld, always a good bet if you’re seeking hen groups. Flares, on Tanner Row, offers up a similar menu of 80s, 90s and 00s classics that are guaranteed to get you on the dancefloor after a few shots. For somewhere slightly less, er cheesy, there’s cocktails at Jalou, on Micklegate close to the train station, with local DJs at the decks. 

Brew York, which we’ve already mentioned as a good option for a light dinner, has along with the Red Lion on Merchantgate got an ace beer garden. In fact there are many around York, which has so many quiet little pubs that are perfect for sinking a few real ales in the early afternoons.

Finish your evening off at Kuda on Clifford Street, York’s best nightclub, where we can sort you and your entourage out with VIP entry and table service.  

FAQ

Is York good for a stag do?

York stag do’s are amazing, especially for groups looking for some good pub sessions. There’s everything here from stylish cocktail bars to classic pubs, beer gardens and craft breweries with their own tap rooms.

On top of that, York has a brilliant range of stag activities with something to suit all groups. Try an afternoon of Paintballing (make sure the stag has something bright to wear!), an Assault Course, or something more chilled like hiring a motor boat for a cruise along the river.

Best bars in York for stag do’s

There’s no shortage of quality pubs and bars across York, and because the city centre is so walkable, you’ll never need a taxi to get from place to place. If you’re up for the races, the Knavesmire is a big pub where everyone congregates before and after. 

By the river, the King’s Arms and the Slug & Lettuce are solid stag favourites. Brew York and the Red Lion both have lovely beer gardens, while when it comes to hitting the dancefloor in the evenings you’ve got cheese-tastic Flares and Popworld, or Kuda for late night / early morning shenanigans. 

Stag do ideas in Yorkshire

We always think that race weekends are a great stag do idea in York. There are meetings on weekends between May and October. More active stag groups will be in their element, with activities ranging from Paintballing to Quad Biking, Assault Courses to Archery.

And if you’ve overdone it the night before, you can zip over to Harrogate, about 20 miles away, for a revitalising session in the historic Turkish Baths there. 

Where is your York stag accommodation located?

We always aim to put our groups as close to the action as possible, because we know that no-one likes a long journey into town for a night out. That’s why we use the connections we’ve made in over 20 years of organising stag do’s in York to ensure you’re never more than a 10-20 minute walk from the nightlife. In many cases, much less. 

York is a small city, bursting at the seams with pubs, and with a great selection of stag-friendly accommodation. Let us know your requirements, from car parking to breakfasts in the mornings, and we’ll make sure you’re in the right place.

Do York pubs allow fancy dress?

Stag groups in fancy dress are a common sight in this city - York is after all one of the best stag do destinations in the UK. So long as you’re not wearing anything too extreme or bulky, many pubs and bars will allow you in, and you may only get the odd funny look in the street. Our York stag do planners will be happy to advise you of the most stag-friendly bars in York, based on their own first-hand knowledge. 

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