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London is known as one of the best cities in the world and it hasn’t gained its reputation for being bland and boring. The diversity, pace of change, and the sheer number of things to see, do, eat and drink makes London a world-beating destination for any stag night.
London is vast and doing a bit of research before you arrive can be key to a successful trip. The city’s size can make it a bit intimidating, but checking out local transport, the area you plan to stay in, and the things you plan to do can help you and your stag night accurately plan events and activities. You should also consider whether or not you might need reservations for dinner, etc. You don’t want to end up disappointed when you pitch up to find you can’t get into a spot you had your heart set on, so forward planning is key.
How to get to London
London is incredibly simple to get to – and to navigate – if you have the right information to hand. It has multiple train stations, bus terminals, a massive underground system and, of course, six airports serving its population.
From Liverpool – 221 Miles
Taking the car from the North West to the South East will take an average of 4 hours, but London traffic can be brutal, so this will depend entirely on when you arrive. A ticket to ride from Liverpool Lime Street (see what we did there?) will deposit you and the stag party at Euston Station (often via Crewe) in between 2 hours and 45 mins to 3 hours and 15 mins. Not too shabby at all. Coaches can be taken with companies like National Express, and take around 5 hours 10 minutes, depending on the route.
From Edinburgh – 397 Miles
If the stag party is up for a really long road trip, then you’ll be pleased to hear that driving from Scotland’s capital city to England’s will take you a whopping 7.5 hours – and that doesn’t take London traffic into account. Taking the direct train from Edinburgh Waverley to London can transport your stag do lads from one to the other in an impressive 4.5 – 5 hours and services are very frequent during the week, with plenty also running at weekends. There’s also the option of the overnight sleeper if the lads fancy doing most of the travel during the wee small hours. Bus and coaches will take anything from 8.5 to 12.5 hours on average, depending on the route and time of travel you choose.
From Cardiff – 150 Miles
Cardiff to London is a quick and easy route to take by any means of transport. Driving will take an average of 3 hours, while a direct train from Cardiff Central to Paddington can take as little as 1 hour 50 mins. 3.5 hours will get your stag party from Cardiff Bus Station to Victoria Coach Station and buses often stop at multiple points in London, which is useful if you’re not staying in the city centre.
The easiest way to get from Belfast is obviously by air. There are numerous flights every day from any number of airlines, so finding a decent flight is really easy. Flight times are an average of 1 hour 15 mins and competition among carriers means there are plenty of good deals to be had. Other travel avenues are via ferry and train, but times are significant and often cost more than hopping a flight.
From some of the swankiest hotel rooms and self-catering units in the country, to amazing value hostels and budget hotels, it’s really a choice of which part of London you wish to be based in that might sway your choice of accommodation. One of the main things to take into account is access to public transport, as well as potential noise levels, depending on what you opt for.
Everyone that knows anything about London has heard about The Shard. The enormous skyscraper is the highest building in the UK and it towers above everything in the city. Due to its height and location, it offers some pretty spectacular views of London – and up to around 40 miles into the distance. If you fancy taking your hen party up to the dizzy heights of the 72nd floor, you can book tickets on their website. As well as the trip to the top, there’s a choice of six bars and restaurants within the building – most with floor to ceiling windows to make the most of the views. What could be better than a beer or three to congratulate yourself for making it all the way to the top?
Everyone loves messing around on the river, right? We even know a song about it. If you and the stag party fancy a spot of kayaking along the Thames, you can get your boat on with a small group tour from Kayaking London. It’s not every day you’ll have the chance to paddle past the Houses of Parliament and other famous London landmarks, so why not make the most of it while you can? Plus, you can really get a chance to work out your drinking arm and get it ready for the night ahead.
If boating ‘aint your thing but you still want to get some exercise on the water, take a trip for some refreshing exercise with the stag party at Hampstead Heath ponds. Wild swimming has taken an upturn in popularity across the UK over the past few years, with people donning costumes and diving into bodies of water wherever they find them. Hampstead Heath’s ponds are open for swimming all year round and are a gorgeous spot for a dip to brush the cobwebs away and make you feel virtuous before you hit the bars.
A bar crawl around Soho is never a bad idea, so it’s practically a must when you plan a stag do in town. While you’re there, though, why not see if you can also spot the Seven Noses of Soho? These are, well…seven noses, which are stuck on the neighbourhood buildings. First to spot them all gets a free pint and a chaser.
If you and the stag party lads fancy delving into London’s murky past, you can’t go far wrong with a Jack the Ripper Ghost Walk through the creepy East End. Visit the locations where the UK”s most elusive serial killer carried out his reign of terror in the darkened streets and alleys before disappearing into the night.
Ministry of Sound is one of London’s top nightlife spots and has been deafening the locals for more than 25 years now. With four dancefloors and the same number of bars, you can dance the night away to your favourite tunes and maybe even get the chance to hear legendary DJs doing their thing.
The O2 Brixton Academy is renowned for its ability to draw an eclectic mix of musicians. In 2021, it’s already selling tickets for Beck, Roisin Murphy, Black Crowes, and the legend that is Mr Paul Weller. There’s always something going on at the disco-turned-music hall and it’s usually something fantastic.
Take the night with your stag do and head over to Camden to soak up the atmosphere…and the beer. From the many live-music pubs, to the food available at the famous Camden Market, there’s no end of things to do at night. Once you’ve had a few drinks around town, you can always dance the night away at Camden Assembly before heading home and getting some kip before you start again.
London is full of quirky and usual places to eat and none more so than the aptly named Cereal Killer Cafe. This popular spot allows you to indulge in your favourite breakfast cereal all day long and the store has some pretty ingenious offerings on its all-day menu. If you thought eating cereal for lunch or dinner was something you left behind in your student days, you were very wrong. No one can really beat pop tarts wedged together with ice cream, sprinkled with chocolate. It’s what you’ve always wanted to eat for lunch but were worried you’d be judged for it.
For a quick lunch or a late-night scooby snack, Beigel Bake on Brick Lane serves up a range of amazing freshly baked beigels with fantastic fillings. Now, in case you didn’t know, there’s a marked difference between the beigel and the bagel in that the beigel is old-school and always made by boiling the dough. More modern bagels aren’t always made this way. The boiling of the dough is where the chewy texture comes from. The best selling beigel in the store is the salt beef. And you’d be wise to try it out. Also, the store is open 24 hours to cater for all your late-night stag party munchie requirements.
Dishoom has several locations across London and is well-loved for its Bombay and Irani street food offering. The stag party can choose from Shoreditch, Carnaby or Islington locations and indulge in bacon naan rolls for brunch, spicy masala prawns or lamb samosas for dinner. If you like spicy food and chilled Indian IPA, you’ve come to the right place.
Everyone loves a bit of quick-to-make-and-eat-street food, and London has some of the best markets in the country. BBQDreamz brings the amazing flavours of Filipino BBQ to eager British mouths and it’s the food you didn’t know you needed. For a pit stop on your stag night, grab some pulled pork buns or satay chicken curry and dive right in.
Let’s be honest, you could spend weeks – months even – in London and still not have the time to see everything the city has to offer. However, that does mean that there’s so much to see and do, it’s practically impossible not to have a unique stag night or weekend with your mates. And you can always go back on your honeymoon, if you’re keen to see even more. Boom!