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York Stag Do's

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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! And for another, it’s fairly easy to reach, and to get around once you're there. What's more, there are many fantastic activity options in the city centre and slightly 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 independent 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 catch 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 any stragglers 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 reliable rank right outside the train station.

If you’re driving to York, there are a handful of 24-hour public car parks in the city centre, such as Monk Bar and Castle Car Park. Alternatively, ask our Event Planners to book you a hotel with car parking (which is likely to be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and carry a supplementary fee). 

Most stag groups choose to get around York on foot, as you can walk from one end of the city centre to the other in around 20 minutes. You may opt to explore by way of a pub crawl - there are so many to choose from, there’s little chance of sobering up between stops!

If you’d rather not walk (because 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 home to TIER e-bikes and e-scooters which allow you to zip around the city with ease. With a good supply of each in circulation, and a chance to protect the planet in the process, they’re a fun way to get around. Just download the app to take advantage of the vehicles - it'll cost you an initial £1 fee to unlock them and 15p per minute thereafter.

Tips and ideas

York was once conquered by the Vikings, and while they may be 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.

If you need to clear your heads after a heavy night on the tiles, then we’ve got lots of options for you. The Museum Gardens, right in the city centre, provide a lovely spot to sunbathe, set up camp with a blanket and some beers, 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. 

Alternatively, you could also opt for a boat ride along the River Ouse, with an option to hire your own motor boat for an hour at a time. Or, head over to Harrogate, just 20 miles West, for a session at the historic Turkish Baths. You’ll need to book well in advance, but we guarantee that 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 an 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 afterwards for a few rounds of drinks, too.

Spark, on Picadilly, is a super-cool outdoor community space, that is home to some of York's most exciting start-ups working in food, retail, the arts, and social enterprise. With lots of tasty pop-up restaurants to sample, and a vibrant, buzzing atmosphere, it's a great place to visit during your weekend. The same goes for local favourite Brew York, where you can explore a superb range of craft beers across two sites, accompanied by delicious Asian grub in the Tap Room, or tasty eats in the Bavarian-style Beer Hall.

Lastly, for a roast-dinner-inspired 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 trimmings stuffed inside too. Yummmm!


If there’s one thing we can be absolutely certain about with a York stag do, it's this: You will never, ever run out of decent 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 can't claim to know all of them, we certainly do know all of the best pubs and bars there 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, with great food, a laidback atmosphere and good music playing until late in the evening. Moments away is the King’s Arms, which is perfect for daytime drinking in the sunshine, whilst gazing out at the scenic backdrop. Both pubs suffer from their location unfortunately, notoriously getting flooded when the river breaks its banks. The Slug & Lettuce on Low Ousegate, is a more stylish joint, serving cocktails and beers alongside a decent food menu. Nearby, you’ve also got the Britpop-themed Stone Roses pub, which can be trusted to play many a throwback tune for the Indie lovers in your group, and O’Neills, where you'll find a good craic and a warm welcome. 

The Micklegate Run is York’s famous pub crawl route, a downhill race finishing close to colourful nightspot Popworld, which is always a good bet if you’re hoping to bump into a few lively hen groups. Flares, on Tanner Row, offers up a similar menu of 80s, 90s and 00s classics that are guaranteed to get you throwing shapes on the dancefloor after a few rounds of shots. For somewhere slightly less cheesy, you could opt for cocktails at Jalou on Micklegate, located minutes away from the train station, and with local DJs spinning the decks. 

Brew York, which we’ve already mentioned as a good option for a light dinner, is home to a fantastic beer garden, as is The Red Lion on Merchantgate. In fact there are many lovely pub gardens around York, which are perfect for sinking a few pints of real ale on a sunny afternoon.

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


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, and from sprawling beer gardens to intimate 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 so he's an easy target!), an Assault Course, or something more chilled like hiring a motor boat for a cruise along the River Ouse.

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 rarely need a taxi to get from place to place. If you’re up for the races, The Knavesmire is a big pub with decent food, a beer garden, plasma screens, and pool & snooker tables, where everyone congregates before and after the event. 

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, and when it comes to hitting the dancefloor in the evenings, you’ve got cheese-tastic options such as Flares and Popworld, or the cooler option of Kuda for late night / early morning shenanigans. 

Stag do ideas in Yorkshire

Race weekends are a great and memorable stag do idea in York - especially when your horse wins! There are meetings on weekends between May and October, but tickets sell out fast so you'll need to request tickets via your Event Planner as soon as you know numbers - and bear in mind that restaurants, pubs and hotels book up quickly on these prime dates. More active stag groups will be in their element in York, with activities ranging from Paintballing to Quad Biking, and from 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. If in doubt, sweat it out! 

Where is your York stag accommodation located?

We always aim to house 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 tap into the network of trusted partners who have worked with us over the past 20 years, helping us to organise memorable stag do’s in York, week in, week out. Together, we'll do our best to ensure that you're never more than a 10-20 minute walk from the nightlife - and in many cases, much less. 

York is a small city, bursting at the seams with pubs, and offering a great selection of stag-friendly accommodation. Let us know your requirements, from car parking to breakfast preference, and we’ll make sure you’re booked into 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 most popular stag do destinations in the UK. As long as you’re not wearing anything too extreme, bulky, or inappropriate, many pubs and bars will allow you in, but you may get the odd funny look in the street from the more traditional locals. Some venues do impose restrictions on fancy dress though, especially on race weekends, so check with your Event Planner and they'll be happy to advise you of the most stag-friendly bars in York, based on their own first-hand knowledge. 

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