As exciting as planning stag and hen dos can be, it can also be stressful. There’s a lot of pressure to choose the best location and activities to suit everyone and all at a budget that everybody is comfortable with!
We wanted to help cut some of the stress out, so we created a list of the most popular UK and Ireish cities for stag and hen dos according to search data. We also included some key statistics for each of these cities, and even recommended activities for each location, ensuring there is something for everyone.
Liverpool definitely gauges the most interest for stag and hen locations, with around 1000 average monthly searches for ‘Liverpool Hen Dos’ and 880 monthly searches for stag dos.
It’s no surprise that Liverpool is so high up on our list as the city is known for being one of the most popular stag and hen locations due to its many attractions, culture, and of course, great nightlife with around 212 bars and clubs around the city.
Tom Bourlett, head of marketing at Fizzbox.com, said: “With the city hosting Eurovision in May, the accommodation has become almost non-existent for that weekend, so we would recommend avoiding this month if your heart is set on Liverpool.”
For the partyers: BYOB to Alcotraz Prison cocktail bar for an immersive experience.
For the activity lovers: Attend a cheeky nude life drawing class.
For the foodies: Eat at former Masterchef winner’s restaurant Röski.
For the culturists: Visit the birthplace of The Beatles and enjoy some live music.
The capital was previously the most popular location for one last hoorah before the big day but has since been knocked down to the second spot.
London is filled with many different activities with its wide range of museums and landmarks, various shows and events, and many great bars and restaurants. However, London is a huge city, and it is extremely important to bear this in mind when planning the weekend.
Tom added: “The key to having a good hen party in London is to ensure each activity you book (and the accommodation ideally) are located in close proximity to each other. You don’t want to be travelling from one side to the other, or spending half the day on the tube.”
For the partyers: Party the night away and see the sights on a Thames Boat Party.
For the activity lovers: Make it a spooktacular time and explore the London Dungeons.
For the foodies: Enjoy a tasting menu in the cloud at The Shard.
For the culturists: Take a private tour of the Tate Modern.
In the past few years, Manchester has been growing hugely in popularity, with many opting to move up north from the capital to this vibrant city.
Manchester is known for its incredible shopping district, football fans, music and vivid culture. There is a wide range of activities in the city, whether it’s a boozy trip down Canal Street or a football-filled day.
Alex Prossers, stag do planner for The Stag Company, said: “Manchester is a top Stag location. It has a great choice of classic Stag events, as well as some fantastic unique options that are really worth trying out. As an event planner, it is one of the easiest locations to plan as it has endless options waiting to be taken advantage of!”
For the partyers: Go to see the Adonis Cabaret for a night of sexy male strippers, drag queens, and comedy (with free club entry available after!)
For the activity lovers: Visit an escape room and test your group’s problem-solving skills.
For the foodies: Enjoy a four-course meal on the East Lancashire Railways traditional, Pullman style carriages.
For the culturists: Visit the National Football Museum, the world’s biggest and best football museum.
This popular seaside destination, also known as the unofficial gay capital of the UK, is renowned for its quirky bars and clubs and vibrant culture – it’s a great option for a fun-filled stag or hen do.
As well as its lively nightlife, Brighton is home to a range of activities that all can enjoy. From its widely recognised pier, and pebbled seafront, to its eccentric shopping scene. There are around 581 attractions in the seaside resort, with 124 bars and clubs if you’re looking for a boozy weekend.
If you’re a foodie, Brighton is also filled with gastro pubs that are great for evening meals and Sunday roasts. There’s also a wide range of seafood restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood, or plenty of good old fish n’ chip shops for a traditional seaside snack!
For the partyers: We all love a boogie, but what about a boogie in the street of Brighton?! The Boogie Shoes Silent Disco tour takes you around local landmarks whilst dancing to your favourite pop music!
For the activity lovers: Take a high-speed powerboat ride from the Brighton Marina and see Brighton from a different angle.
For the foodies: Brighton is home to an award-winning vegetarian and vegan restaurant that dates back to 1981. Food For Friends is a much-loved Brighton eatery which supplies local and organic food.
For the culturists: Visit the Royal Pavilion – the former royal residence Grade I listed building. Explore its beautiful gardens and see a part of history.
Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is a hugely popular tourist destination for people around the world, with 52% of the seven million people who visited Ireland in 2022 opting to stay in Dublin. Worldwide, people know just how good the Irish are at celebrating, so it’s not a surprise many opt to travel to Dublin for their pre-wedding celebrations!
Not only is Dublin and Ireland known for its nightlife, but it’s also known for its natural beauty. Despite Dublin being a capital city, there is still plenty of green space and stunning sites close by. Dublin is the host of Europe’s largest urban public park, Phoenix Park, covering 1700 acres and home to free-roaming Wild Deer.
Dublin is known to be an expensive city, but it’s worth the money to experience its one-of-a-kind atmosphere, culture and beauty.
For the partyers: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard about the famous Temple Bar! This iconic Irish pub is renowned for its folk music and DJ sets.
For the activity lovers: Fully embrace the culture and get your group to dress up in wigs and costumes and learn an Irish jig, taught by a professional choreographer.
For the foodies: Why not try some traditional Irish cuisine? ‘Coddle’ is a traditional Irish dish made up of chunks of pork sausage, thick-cut bacon, sliced potatoes and onions. Plenty of places around Dublin will sell this stunning dish.
For the culturists: What’s more Irish than drinking a Guinness in Dublin? Drinking a Guinness fresh from the Guinness Storehouse! The famous brewery is a must-visit.
Of course, the unofficial capital of North East England features in our list! Newcastle is famed for its drinking culture, wild nightlife and its cold weather, which many Geordies brave!
Although Newcastle is widely known for being a great night out, there are a range of iconic landmarks, such as Angel of the North, the Millenium Bridge, and St James’ Park. It’s also known for its industrial heritage – the River Tyne was once used for shipbuilding.
An unknown fact about Newcastle is that it is home to the first street in the world to be lit by electricity (Mosley Street.)
For the partyers: A night out on the Toon will provide plenty of fun options to dance the night away – a good old-fashioned bar crawl makes for a great evening!
For the activity lovers: Star in your own game show with the Game Show Bananza!
For the foodies: Why not treat yourself to a two-star Michelin meal at Raby Hunt in County Durham? It is the only two-star Michelin restaurant in the North East and just a 45-minute drive from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
For the culturists: Take a tour of Newcastle’s Castle and see where Newcastle got its name from.
In the past, the Scottish capital has been underrated as a stag and hen location, but today it is a popular option for many.
Edinburgh is a beautiful city, filled with history, culture, and beautiful architecture. There’s also a ton to do in Edinburgh, with around 1,700 attractions throughout the city.
Alex added: “It’s a big city, but it’s very easily accessible. It offers some fantastic outdoor events, which despite being in a big city are easy to get to. It also has one of the best nightlife scenes in the UK, not to mention it’s the home of Scotch Whisky!”
For the partyers: Show off your performing skills in an epic lip-sync battle.
For the activity lovers: Take part in a classic clash of the clans and play some classic highland games.
For the foodies: Travel the city and see the sights via bus whilst enjoying a traditional afternoon tea.
For the culturists: Explore Edinburgh castle via the Royal Route and take in the history.
Ten years ago, Bristol wasn’t considered a hen or stag destination, but Fizzbox reported that by 2021 it was the second biggest-selling hen party destination, and search data shows it’s just as popular today for both stag and hens.
The reason for this city’s rise in popularity is thanks to its many eating and drinking options, bustling nightlife and variety of activities. In 2019, Bristol was actually voted as the best place to live outside of London for those aged under 26.
Alex commented: “Bristol is fast becoming one of our most popular locations. We’ve sent more people to Bristol this year than any other city. Bristol is also great value for money with the accommodation being the cheapest in the whole of the South and South West!”
For the partyers: Take part in a cocktail-making experience at the beautiful The Florist.
For the activity lovers: Participate in the West Country Games for an active, fun-filled, competitive day.
For the foodies: Become a pro at sushi making with a sushi masterclass at Yakinori.
For the culturists: Take a Banksy walking tour and spot some of his early work around the city.
The beautiful city of York isn’t as known as some others on this list for stag and hen dos, but search data shows that it is still a widely popular destination for a pre-wedding party.
Despite being a smaller city, York still has many options for activities and a range of bars and restaurants. The city is popular for tamer stag and hen parties, with many historical sites and stunning architecture.
Tom advised: “While York is a great place to visit for your hen weekend, many venues aren’t fans of hen parties, so you should avoid wearing hen t-shirts with nicknames on them, as this is a quick way to get rejected from bars and restaurants.”
For the partyers: Spend a day at the races, filled with bubbly and bets.
For the activity lovers: REALLY test your football skills with a game of Electric Shock Football.
For the foodies: Experience a Michelin-starred tasting menu at Roots restaurant.
For the culturists: Wander down the Shambles, explore the Minster and take part in a ghost hunt.
The Welsh capital is a popular location for hen and stag dos, it’s particularly popular as it’s a great way to get out of England while keeping it affordable.
Cardiff is particularly popular for those looking for a wild night out, with an array of eclectic clubs and bars, and one of the best nightlife scenes in the UK according to many. The city is not only made for those who like to party, there are many other unique experiences available in this vibrant city.
Tom commented: “Cardiff is great for those looking for a wild night out, with some of the best clubs in Britain and some great drink-based activities. Bottomless brunch is the most popular hen do activity in the area, with many great themes and live music, and works as a great ice breaker activity to help the group all get to know each other better.”
For the partyers: Enjoy a Drag Bottomless Brunch hosted by Fabulous Beyond Production.
For the activity lovers: Go whitewater rafting at Cardiff International White Water.
For the culturists: Visit the Wales Millenium Centre to enjoy some top-class live music and theatre shows from around the world.
Although Bath is not known for its nightlife, this city has become popular for its beautiful historic buildings and scenic city views, great for a hen-do getaway.
Bath is a great alternative to the usual wild stag and hen dos, with lots of options for activities, whether it’s exploring the rich historic city and the Roman Baths, or an afternoon tea or a bottomless brunch. The city also has plenty of great bars and fun alcohol-induced activities for those that seek a slightly wilder night.
Tom commented: “Unlike the rest of the UK, the majority of people who book a hen do in Bath book a hen house or cottage rather than a hotel. There are a number of great cottages providing bedding for 10-16 people. The knock-on effect is that mobile hen activities are very popular in Bath, such as cheeky butlers and murder mysteries.”
For the partyers: Take part in a Paint by Wine workshop at Studio LX.
For the activity lovers: Quad Bike & Clay Pigeon Shooting Experience.
For the foodies: Afternoon Tea at The Ivy Bath Brasserie – try the Champagne Afternoon Tea!
For the culturists: Explore the city’s historic Roman Baths and Spas, or visit Bath Abbey.
Situated in the heart of the country, Nottingham is a great city to meet up and reunite with friends, and therefore has become a popular choice for stag and hen parties.
For a smaller city, Nottingham has a great range of popular clubs and bars for those looking for some nightlife. With plenty of activities to choose from and shops located in the city centre, Nottingham has a lot to offer for a celebration.
Alex commented: “Nottingham has a fairly small city centre which makes it easy to navigate and taxis if needed, are exceptionally cheap compared to most other locations. It then has some fantastic event options with outdoor activity sites as well as being one of the few cities across the whole of Europe to have a Hooters. It’s no surprise that Stags flock to Nottingham!”
For the partyers: Cocktail-making classes at Revolution Cornerhouse, Paris Bar or Revolucion De Cuba
For the activity lovers: Take on fun games inside a zorb with Bubble Mayhem.
For the foodies: Be sure all the party’s tastes are catered for in the Nottingham Street Food Club.
For the culturists: Explore Nottingham’s City of Caves!
The unofficial capital of Yorkshire is another great destination for stag and hen dos, thanks to its creative and cultural energy, independent food scene and it’s vibrant calendar.
Leeds is bursting with life, there are a ton of activities to do there – the city has award-winning national theatre and dance companies, and an incredible arena. It’s also great for shopping, whether you’re looking for independent stores, high street retailers, or luxury brands.
Alex commented: “Leeds is a great location with so many benefits which make it a top Stag location. Transport links into the city make it easy to get to, low accommodation prices, cheap beer and a variety of activity options – what’s not to like?! It’s also a great city for larger group sizes.”
For the partyers: Decide on a fancy dress theme and take part in the Otley Run.
For the activity lovers: Take a 90’s, Spice Girls, or Beyonce dance class!
For the foodies: Book a food tour to visit some of Leeds’ best independent pubs, restaurants, and street food.
For the culturists: The city of Leeds is currently hosting a year-long celebration of their culture which includes a ton of cultural events across the year.
This port city in Scotland is also known as the friendliest city in the UK, making it a great location for stags and hens.
Glasgow is famous for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture – the buildings within the city are stunning to look at whilst exploring! This Scottish city is a cultural hub with many acclaimed museums and galleries and is home to institutions such as the Scottish Ballet and the National Theatre of Scotland.
This diverse city truly does have something for everyone, from music and art lovers to sports enthusiasts, to people who just want to have a good time!
For the partyers: If you enjoy whisky then pay a visit to Glasgow’s first dedicated Single Malt Scotch Whisky distillery in over 100 years, the Clydeside Distillery, before hitting the town.
For the activity lovers: Get all your anger out and smash multiple items in a Rage Room!
For the foodies: Enjoy traditional Scottish food like Haggis, roasted grouse, and shortbread. The Butterfly and the Pig is one of the top recommended places for Haggis in Glasgow.
For the culturists: If you’re an art lover, you should definitely visit ‘House for an Art Lover’ – an art gallery set in the stunning setting of Bellahouston Park.
Being the capital of Northern Ireland, it’s not a surprise that Belfast is a popular destination for stag and hens. Belfast is famous for a range of things, the main one being that it was the birthplace of the RMS Titanic.
Of course, being an Irish city, Belfast is very much known for its pubs and nightlife. However, there’s a wide range of different landmarks and sights to see, such as the Belfast castles, botanic gardens, and stunning Belfast City Hall, and plenty of activities to do.
Similarly to Dublin, Belfast is also just a stone’s throw away from some of the beautiful natural landscapes that Ireland has to offer and is famous for, so you can explore the scenery during the day, and experience the city at night!
For the partyers: Pedal around the city whilst enjoying a few beers or prosecco on Belfast’s ‘Wee Toast Tour.’
For the activity lovers: See the Irish countryside in a much more exciting way and go off-road driving! Make your way through muddy trails, steep inclines, and water hazards for an ultimate adrenaline rush.
For the foodies: Experience how to forage for ingredients in the countryside, and learn how to bake or cook them into traditional recipes at Bakehouse.
For the culturists: Go to the spot where the famous Titanic was made and visit Titanic Belfast to learn about the history of the iconic ship.
When looking at search data, Cambridge is particularly popular for hen dos rather than stags.
Cambridge is a beautiful city on the River Cam. It is a historic and culture-filled city – host to the University of Cambridge which dates back to 1209 and is among the best universities in the world and home to more Nobel Prize winners than any other city. It is also an affordable city, despite it being around 60 miles from the capital.
Tom commented: “Cambridge is the perfect destination for history buffs and those who love to explore. From punting along the river to indulgent spa day treatments, Cambridge offers a picturesque landscape for you to celebrate your send-off.”
For the partyers: Book a gin-tasting session at The Cambridge Gin Laboratory.
For the activity lovers: Enjoy the stunning views that aren’t accessible on foot with a guided Cambridge punting tour on the River Cam.
For the foodies: Visit one of the eight Michelin Restaurants for a luxury meal.
For the culturists: Take a tour of the Cambridge university campuses and embrace the history and architecture.
Despite being a small city, Chester is an excellent destination for a final hoorah before tying the knot. Chester is a walled Cathedral city in northwest England near Wales, and was first founded by the Romans, so the architecture, culture and history in this small city is stunning!
Famous for its black and white buildings, Chester has a lively nightlife due to it being a university city, with around 33 bars and clubs in the small city. There are also some historical landmarks in Chester, such as the City Walls and the Cathedral, as well as fun activities for all like Chester Zoo.
If shopping is your thing, this city is home to some of the best-loved shops on the high street. It’s also filled with small unique boutiques and shopping centres, including the nearby Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet – the largest outlet centre in the UK.
For the partyers: For some of the best cocktails in Chester, pay a visit to Kahiki where you will find tiki and Polynesian-inspired drinks, complete with theatrical presentations. They also have live music and DJs taking you from day to night.
For the activity lovers: Why not spend the day at Chester Zoo and see some of the world’s most majestic animals? If that’s not your thing, the UK’s biggest designer outlet Cheshire Oaks is just a short drive away.
For the foodies: Upstairs At The Grill is a favourite in Chester – this restaurant was inspired by the steakhouses of New York and is definitely worth a trip.
For the culturists: See the true history of this city with a Roman walking tour – complete with an authentic Roman soldier guide.
According to search data, Oxford is a more popular location for stag dos. Similarly to Cambridge, this city is most famous for being the home of the prestigious University of Oxford.
Oxford, aka The City of Dreaming Spires, has been a home to royalty and scholars for over 800 years. It is also famous for being a filming location in the widely popular Harry Potter film series. Today, the city is a lively community with a mix of ancient and modern architecture and activities, there’s plenty for visitors to do and enjoy.
Alex said: “Although Oxford isn’t one of the mainstream Stag Cities, it has a lot going for it! It has a fantastic local events site that offers some of the best adrenaline and outdoor events on offer. It’s another centrally located city which makes it easy to get to from different parts of the UK.”
For the partyers: Have a few drinks and laughs at the Glee Comedy Club.
For the activity lovers: Go Quad Bike Trekking across the beautiful landscape of the city.
For the foodies: Visit one of Oxford’s oldest pubs ‘The Perch’ for some classic British pub grub
For the culturists: Explore the university and Harry Potter filming locations on a tour.
Although Sheffield is often seen as a smaller city, it has a rich history and culture with great nightlife so will always be a good location for stag and hen dos! The city also has a great selection of free art galleries and museums to visit and is only a half an hour’s drive away from the Peak District.
With around 136 bars and clubs, and known for amazing theatre, street art, gigs, and festivals, Sheffield has a never-ending range of activities and days out to choose from.
A third of Sheffield is actually inside the Peak District National Park, so the countryside is only on its doorstep. Have the best of both worlds and explore the Peaks during the day and party at night!
For the partyers: Enjoy a Cocktail Workshop & Tapas Feast with your friends, and then head to West Street to dance the night away.
For the foodies: Head to All Bar One with plenty of food and drink package options to choose from. Alternatively, Riverside Kelham has four areas available for either a Hen or Stag party and will cater to your party needs, whether that’s a buffet or a three-course meal.
For the culturists: For art lovers, visit the Millenium Gallery or Weston Park Museum. If you want a bit more adventure, head to the Peak District for a picturesque walk or explore – only a half an hour’s drive or train journey away!
When looking at search data, Birmingham seems to be more popular for stag dos. Birmingham is a vibrant city full of fun places to party the night away and interesting activities to choose from, so is a great location for your last night of freedom. It’s also conveniently located in the middle of the country, so easy for everyone to get to!
Rich in culture and history, Birmingham is home to iconic architecture and majestic waterways. The city was built around its vast network of canals, so you can enjoy the sights whilst enjoying a quiet stroll near the city.
Situated on the edge of Birmingham’s bustling city centre sits the Jewellery Quarter that’s thriving with energy and steeped in history. Explore independent cafes and shops, or explore the local museums!
For the partyers: Head to The Jekyll and Hyde where you can enjoy a gin-themed meal before taking advantage of an amazing cocktail list.
For the activity lovers: Go to Laser Combat with your team, which includes tunnels, secret rooms and high-level walkways.
For the foodies: Book bottomless afternoon tea at Cafe Rouge! For £30 per person, you can enjoy three delectable tiers of French-inspired sweets and savouries, alongside 90 minutes of bottomless prosecco.
For the culturists: Walk the canals on a sunny day or pop to Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter to experience local museums and attractions.
There are many great locations around the UK and Ireland for Stag and Hen do’s! Whether you want a city break in any of the above popular choices or a relaxing countryside getaway – the possibilities are endless in this beautiful country.
Posted on September 12th, 2023, by the Traditional Punting Company Editor