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When you think Nottingham, you probably think of the glory days of Forest and the legend that is Brian Clough. You might also think of Robin Hood and that whole Sherwood Forest thing. What you probably don’t think of, however, is that it was named the Home of English Sport, holds the title of City of Literature, and it’s home to 3 universities, which means it has cheap eats and drinks, and is continually changing.
As we mentioned, because Nottingham has 3 Unis, it’s got a great bar and club scene and is usually at the cutting edge of new trends. The city is home to around 330,000 people and is the largest urban area in the East Midlands. It’s also in a great location, meaning it’s well connected by all forms of transport, with the exception, maybe, of air. BUT, it’s only 45 miles from Birmingham, so flying is still an option.
How to get to Nottingham
Nottingham has a primary train station, which is also a tram station, a large bus station, and easy access to major cities around the UK via its motorway and roads system.
From London – 128 Miles
In around 2.5 hours, you and the stag night lads could journey from the southeast and deposit yourself in the Midlands. It’s even faster to hop on the train as that will allow everyone to relax, enjoy a few beers and still get there in less than 2 hours. A coach will get you there in 3.5 hours so, basically, any means you choose is a good ‘un.
From Edinburgh – 280 Miles
Driving from the Scottish capital with the stag do lads in the car will take around 5 hours, whereas the train from Edinburgh, changing at Birmingham New Street will also take an average of 5 hours. You can hop a bus from Edinburgh to Leeds and onwards to Nottingham, but it’s far quicker to grab the train if you’re not planning to drive.
From Cardiff – 193 Miles
Driving the stag night lads from the Welsh capital will take around 3 hours 20 mins and you can make the journey by train in around 5 hours 20 minutes, depending on your route.
Unless your stag party is a week-long affair, the only way to get to Nottingham from Belfast is to fly. And even that’s not straightforward. You’d have to catch a flight from Belfast to either Manchester or London before hopping a connection from there.
Nottingham is used to dealing with a constant influx of students and their families, so needless to say it has a wide range of varied accommodation options to suit every budget. It’s got everything from beautiful Airbnb apartments to budget hotels, to good old camping.
The Inn Hotel offers great value for money accommodation, while being centrally located and having on-site bars and restaurants. This is a well-appointed and well-decorated property with good-sized rooms and a friendly atmosphere.
For a bit of live-action adventure for the whole gang, book up some time at The Adrenalin Jungle and test your skills against your stag do mates. You can choose from a range of games, such as archery, quad biking, 4×4 racing and, yes indeed, you can even do a spot of blindfolded driving. Let’s face it, we all wanna try that on normal roads but also don’t want to go to jail. Adrenalin Jungle is the ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition that we all wished we’d watched back in the day.
If you like regular, normal people’s golf and fancy yourself as the next Bubba Watson with your 9 iron, The Lost City Adventure Golf is most certainly going to be your thing. It’s not Augusta but we think it might actually be better. Plus, it got that whole Indiana Jones vibe thing going on that is perfect for a bit of stag night competition with the lads. Green jackets are optional.
It’s wrong to visit Nottingham, a city filled with footballing history, and not see a game. As we’re sure you’re aware, you can choose from Nottingham Forest or Notts County, and the stadiums face each other across the River Trent. Although neither team lives up to their full potential these days, did you know that Nottingham has more European Cups to its name than London? Anyway, with two teams, you’ll generally find one of them at home every week during the regular season, with additional cup games, etc, taking up the occasional midweek slot. Get yourselves some tickets and make some noise on your stag do.
Trent Navigation Bar and Brewery is one of the hottest spots in the city for food, drink, and entertainment. Live music is a staple at the bar, as it offers the choice of 13 cask ales in addition to the brewery’s own beers. The British menu is filled with classic dishes and also serves the Pork Pies and Brie cheeses that Nottingham is famous for. Spend an evening getting to know the locals and indulge in all things Nottingham on your stag night.
Stealth nightclub has the reputation as not only the best nightclub in Nottingham, but the best nightclub in the Midlands. The club is in its 17th year, which makes it kinda legendary among any nightclub these days, and it has form for attracting the biggest DJs in the business. If you like your dance music and like dancing, this is the stag night final destination of your dreams. Get out, get loud, and don’t come home until your ears are ringing and your feet burn like fire.
If you’re up for hearing funky new indie bands, Metronome regularly hosts a line-up of new and established independent bands and musicians to their stage and the venue gets great feedback on the quality of its sound. For a night of discovering new and exciting acts, Metronome is a great stag do night out.
Le Mistral Sherwood is a highly rated cafe and restaurant which prides itself on sourcing local ingredients. There’s plenty of fresh fish and seafood on the menu, as well as a great selection for plant-based eaters and vegetarians. The meatless burger and the duck casserole are pretty popular. Oh, and they’ve got a shed load of cask ales and beers. Sold.
Although traditionally, it’s a rather British thing to pick up fish and chips on the way home from a night out, the Oakdale Chippy isn’t your average fish shop fare. This fish and chip shop rates up there with the most popular fine dining restaurants in the whole of Nottingham, so you know it’s got to be excellent. Not only are the fish portions enormous, but everything is cooked right in front of you, so you know it’s not been sitting out getting all soggy and stuff. And, even if regular fish and chips isn’t your idea of hen weekend munching, they also do fried chicken, burgers, and even healthy tortilla wraps.
Pistachio is a Persian restaurant that gives ancient recipes a modern twist. As well as traditional middle eastern flavour combinations, it also offers a fully gluten-free menu, vegetarian and halal options. For meat-eaters, there’s a plethora of grilled kebabs, and hearty stews. Traditional Persian flavours are sprinkled throughout with touches of walnut, pistachio, and pomegranate. It’s a great destination for ordering up a whole bunch of stuff, laying it all out on the table, and everyone diving right in. It’s a classy restaurant with classy food and it’s perfect for a civilised stag night dinner. You know, before it all goes crazy later on.
When the morning after the night before rolls around and you need a full English fry up, head over to The Loxley for a calorie-busting brekkie. The Loxley is a traditional English pub and, as you’d expect, serves up a traditional English breakfast. Once you’ve got a plate full of bacon, eggs, and sausage in your belly, you’ll be ready for round two.
Weirdly, Nottingham rarely features on lists of ‘must-go’ places or ‘best city breaks’ but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be up there with the others. Think of it as the hidden gem of English cities; one that gently pulls you in and then slaps you right in the chops with its charm, value for money, and crazy amounts of cool things to see and do. Once you’ve gone once, you’ll definitely go back.