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Bath is the largest city in the English county of Somerset and is located in England’s southwest. The city is named after the Roman baths houses which dominate its centre. Despite its reputation for rest and relaxation, don’t be crossing it off your list and dismissing it as some type of ‘old couple’ destination because it ain’t.
For one thing, Bath is home to a large university and old people they are not. The city is full of trendy bars and hip hostelries that practically scream ‘PUB CRAWL’. If, the morning after, you need to sweat out all the beer your stag do consumed the night before, well, it just so happens that you’re already in the perfect spa spot.
Bath has some pretty quirky history to share with the world. From being the location of the discovery of Uranus (insert your own jokes here…), to having one of only four bridges in the world with shops along either side (think Florence’s Rialto for comparison), and having Britain’s one and only naturally heated hot spring bath. It seamlessly straddles the divide of history and modernity in a way that few other cities do. Also, did we mention it’s stag party friendly?
How to get to Bath
Bath is a pretty easy destination to reach by bus, train or car. There’s city centre parking, which is often included with your accommodation. If not, you can park for a fee for the duration of your stag party. Buses and trains run frequently and Bath’s transport system is well oiled and used to dealing with hordes of students arriving and leaving from most areas of the UK.
From London – 115 Miles
Car journeys along the motorway between London and Bath take around 2.5 hours at a distance of approximately 115, traffic dependent. Buses run from Victoria Street Station to the central station and take anywhere from 2.5 to 4.5 hours, depending on the route advertised. Trains are a short 1 hour 20 minutes and depart frequently from Paddington to Bath Spa.
From Edinburgh -385 Miles
Aye, as it turns out Edinburgh is reeeeeally far from Bath. However, being the capital of Scotland, it has its stuff together when it comes to transport links. If you fancy driving your stag party between the two destinations, the journey can be made in around 6.5 hours. Trains run between Waverley Station via London Paddington towards Bath. Travel time? You’re looking at around 12 hours to get down the east coast and make your connection to Bath. Coaches run from Elder Street to Bath and the journey takes almost 16 whole hours. However, there is a night bus, so your stag party could sleep all the way there and alight, fresh as a daisy, right into the open arms of the first cafe you see serving fried food.
From Cardiff – 56 Miles
Cardiff lies just across the Bristol Channel from Bath and transport links are fast and frequent. A stag party in a car will get you there in a little over an hour and a quarter, whereas a direct bus link will do it in a very reasonable 2 hours 40. The Portsmouth Harbour bound train from Cardiff will kick your stags out in Bath within 60 minutes.
If your stag party wants to hop a quick flight from Belfast International, the travel time is 1 hour 20 minutes. This is the fastest route and by far the easiest. Bus and train wise, things get a *wee* bit convoluted. Buses do run between the cities, leaving Belfast’s Donegal Square and travelling to the ferry. After crossing, the bus will travel up to Glasgow, terminating at Buchanan Street Station. From here, coaches depart for London and then from London to Bath. Train journeys tell a similar story of multiple changes. Times for either bus or train is estimated at approximately 16 hours.
Bath has an excellent range of accommodation, including everything from budget-friendly basic rooms to budget-busting 5 star luxury hotel suites. Bath is famed for its spas, as you would expect but has plentiful accommodation in every category.
Stag party friendly self-catering is available between June and September in Campus Accommodation. It’s a great mix of basic but modern accommodation and is managed by the University of Bath. Basic rooms are available, as are those with en-suite. En-suites are highly recommended for any stag party member who perennially stumbles to the toilet in the middle of the night completely starkers. Being arrested for exposure is NOT a good look. Anyway… Communal cooking facilities are included but the campus does have its own pizzeria. It also has a bar (obviously).
The Central Hotel caters for stag dos in groups of six or more. The hotel has sleek, modern bedrooms and is slap bang in the middle of the city centre. Yep, that means it’s within easy staggering distance of all the best bars.
The Inn Hotel is another stag party friendly space in the heart of Bath. The rooms are modern and compact and the hotel has bars and restaurants on-site. Prices are slightly cheaper here than at neighbouring Central.
Kick-off your stag party in style with a clay pigeon shooting competition at Coombs. Challenge the lads to see who comes out on top and who couldn’t hit the side of a barn from the inside. Shooting is the perfect way to get the adrenaline pumping and see who claims victory. Make it a little more interesting by putting a few bets on beforehand on who you think will come out on top…and who will be left at the bottom of the pile.
It’s highly likely that, at some point, you and your stag party have been found screaming at the TV, telling football players they’re dreadful. Are we right? Well, it’s time to put up or shut up and show your skills to the lads with a game of bubble football. Pick your team, get your…big inflatable bubble on, and let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to win. It might look easy, but it ain’t’ You might consider yourself the Harry Kane of your group, but could he even score in such bizarre get up? Jury’s out.
Ever had road rage? Ever made sexist comments about women drivers? Well, it’s time to show everyone why you consider yourself a cut above the rest when it comes to your skills behind the wheel. Take your stag do a few miles out of Bath and sign them up for Rage Buggies. Yep, you read that right. It’s time to do the things you can only dream of doing on the M6 without getting your name in the paper and bringing eternal shame on your Mum.
When the sun sets, it’s time to take the stag party up a level with a guided pub crawl of the city. At one time, Bath had more bars per square mile than any other UK city, so you know the city is serious when it comes to drinking. A 2-hour guided tour comes with a fun pub quiz, and prizes, so get your team name sorted and start swotting up on your knowledge before you go.
If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, hit up Komedia Comedy Club in central Bath for an evening of entertainment. LIve stand-up is on the billing every Saturday night and music, cabaret and burlesque shows feature throughout the year. Grab your stag party and catch a live performance.
When the clock hits late o’clock, it’s time to head to Club Zero Zero in the city centre for more drinks, house music and R&B classics. The Club has a VIP Bar where you and the guys can chill out and get your drink on in style. It’s the perfect way to celebrate your last night(s) of freedom before the big day.
Head over to Bath Cricket Club with your stag party and have a few drinks and some food in The Boundary. The venue can be hired for groups, including stag dos, and has a range of menu options to suit everyone’s tastes. You’ve seen cricket teas on telly, now’s the time to get one of your own. These are the reason Ian Botham’s nickname is Beefy.
The Hare and Hounds is a well-loved gastropub, serving up hearty pub grub, just a mile outside the city centre. It’s a popular breakfast spot and, if we know anything, it’s that all stag do participants are legally required to have a fully cooked brekkie to line their stomachs for the day ahead.
It’s very much frowned upon to break with stag do tradition and not pitch up at a curry house at some point during the proceedings. And your day/night/weekend should be no different. Panahar curry house offers a wide range of your favourites, and also has a BYOB offering to allow you to stock up and take along your favourite cans and bottles. And if you don’t fancy dining in, there’s always the takeaway menu.
Bath is a pretty unique and largely overlooked location for stag weekends. It’s got a great mix of chic bars and traditional pubs, in addition to its own gin company, tons of full-on adventure activities, and the chance to chill out in rooftop pools at the end of a long day. It’s an easy choice for a stag do, so why not take full advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer?