Starting with the most important part of your weekend, Nottingham has a whole load of areas overflowing with beers and bars. The Lace Market is the biggest, rowdiest and loudest name on Nottingham’s nightlife scene. This city was once famous for its lace (would you believe…) and this area is full of cobbled streets, interspersed with old warehouses that have been transformed into cool and urban-style bars. The Lacehouse is one example, set in an old factory that hosts live gigs and epic DJs – it’s like the raves of yore. Coco Tang is another bar that is continuing its reign as one of the biggest attractions in Notts.
Part of The Creative Quarter, and one of the quirkiest areas in the city, is the Lace Market’s favourite neighbour and all-round party, Hockley. This is the underworld of Nottingham’s nightlife and is heaving with bars tucked down alleyways and underground. The Boilermaker is one that moonlights as a ‘boiler shop’, but as soon as you’ve got the ‘shop assistant’ on side – you’ll be in Hockley’s biggest hideaway. The Canal Front district is similar to The Lace Market; old factories and warehouses on the waterside now host the biggest club nights you’ve ever seen. The Old Market Square, the biggest of its kind in the UK, is, basically, one giant public house. It is lined with good value boozers that you’d even take your Father-in-Law to.
Castles and Caves
The scene of Robin Hood’s final showdown against the evil Sheriff is the biggest attraction in the city. Standing tall over the city on Castle Rock – the castle, a former major royal fortress, is packed with history – and it’s surrounded by Nottingham’s most famous pubs. But, it’s not just castles and iconic historical figures that love a good pair of tights… the city is built upon an underground labyrinth of caves. These mysterious and dark walls have been home to a medieval tannery, slums and even an air-raid shelter. Beer and a history lesson – this is the sort of stuff stag do dreams were made of.
On the subject of pubs, Nottingham is brimming with them. There’s even one in the Castle Rock of Nottingham Castle… The Mecca of the East Midlands has enough historic pubs and craft beer houses to knock out Robin Hood’s army, as well as venues that date back hundreds of years – including two that claim to be the oldest inns in the country, Ye Olde Salutation Inn and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. Nottingham is that dedicated to the pub trade, we’ve put together a collection of the finest places with our Nottingham Castle Pub Crawl.
Everyone’s mad for a bit of Robin Hood, and you can’t come all this way without visiting Sherwood Forest. Major Oak, the world-famous tree where Robin Hood and his band of merry men would sleep off the ale for the night (standard stag do…), is slap-bang in the forest and worth a venture. And, you can go one better with us. A huge number of our Nottingham activities are held here – including the likes of archery, assault course and air rifle shooting. Grab your bow and arrow (tights optional).
This is the big one… where you gonna sleep. Nottingham has a vast range of accommodation options, spread all over the length of the city. We’ve got 4-star hotels and apartments for that bit of luxury when you are struggling the next morning, and 3-star hotels that are spectacular value. We’re not ones to brag, but we’ve got everything covered.
Live music venues are the foundation to all good stag weekends. Nottingham is built on talent and there’s no shortage of places to enjoy the music before going mental. Rock City is the big lad when it comes to live music. This mega club has a capacity of 2450, has four bars across two rooms – the Main Hall and the Basement – and has been Kerrang! magazine’s Venue of The Year for 10 consecutive years. The Maze is a strong supporter of local bands and has become a legend on the streets. The entrance is through a Bavarian-style bar and the club is alternative and underground – mixed with comedy nights to keep you laughing into your stein of ale.
Nottingham is home to more comedy nights than anywhere else in the UK. The city is bursting with professional funny people, and there are more comedy venues than you can shake a stick at. The Glee Club (stick with us) has introduced more comedians to the stage than you can image – including Jon Richardson, Kevin Bridges and Russell Kane. Jongleurs, a UK-wide chain, are also firmly on the scene and host all-manner of new and well-known comedians. It’s even located in the biggest club this side of the Midlands, Pryzm – need we say more?
Festivals are big business in Nottingham, and none more so than the Robin Hood Beer Festival (they’re obsessed…). Taking place in Nottingham Castle, this event is the most popular in the city and carries the world’s largest selection of draught cask conditioned beers and over 200 ciders. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander… especially with the Nottingham Goose Fair. This is one of the biggest travelling fairs in Europe, held over three intense days in the first week of October. You’ve also got the city’s biggest street party – the Caribbean Carnival – and the Splendour Festival, Nottingham’s world-famous music festival, to take your pick from.
Sheriffs aside, the people of Nottingham are the salt of the Earth. You’ll speak to more Midlanders this weekend than you would your own family, and it’s one of the friendliest cities in the region. It’s currently number five spot on our top stag do locations for a reason.
Nottingham is one of the three big cities in the East Midlands, and is one of the easiest places to get to outside of London by train. There’s an extensive tram network around the city, alongside the bus system – one of the best in the country. East Midlands is also the 11th busiest airport in the UK and is a hub for low-fare airlines. Onto the important stuff, Nottingham – once voted the second cheapest place in the UK for a pint of bitter – is cheap when it comes to alcohol in the Midlands. Your average pint of lager is around £2.80, enough to stretch the stag do fund throughout the weekend.
After all of this, it's a given your stag do is going to Nottingham, but we've got even more info over on our Nottingham Stag Weekends page, as well as out detailed nightlife guide.