The Bristol stag weekend is changing. In the past, stag groups were restricted to a choice of bars on the Waterfront, but now Bristol offers so much more. Jamie Weber of West Country Games looks at what’s on offer…
If you have the responsibility of organizing your best mate’s stag, do your immediate thoughts probably turn to location? You’ve read a few articles on the internet and recalled countless hazy nights in various places you can barely remember. But which destination will really tick all the boxes?
Bristol has long been synonymous with stag weekends and is probably featured in your collection of hazy nights. But the vast landscape of the Bristol stag scene is changing. Can it really be that the Bristol stag weekend has grown up?
Ten years ago, a Bristol stag weekend was simple. Bag a cheap hotel somewhere near the center and ‘head to the Waterfront. A vast array of no-frills drinking establishments strewn along one side of the river, this area was a firm stag and hen territory. Your only barrier, as you jumped from one bar to the next, was a gaggle of scantily clad girls with printed pink t-shirts and a small army of Where’s Wallys?
The Waterfront remains a destination for many, but Bristol now packs a punch elsewhere in the city. A thriving new uprising of hipster bars are sure to tick any thirst-quenching box amongst your stag group.
Centered on King Street, one of the oldest streets in Bristol, salty sea-dogs have been drinking here ever since the first boats pulled in from the colonies. But now, the self-acclaimed ‘Beermuda Triangle’ has seen an explosion of independent craft beer houses and small breweries burst onto the scene.
Throngs occupy outside tables and chairs on the cobblestone, pedestrian streets to create a buzzing atmosphere. Jazz music from The Old Juke drifts through the air as you decide your weapon of choice amongst an array of horrendously named ciders on a boat named The Apple.
Moving on, you soon realize there are just too many great-looking artisan beer establishments to visit on one night. So it’s time to be selective. Small Bar is one of the best. This craft beer pub focuses on unconventional and varied IPAs, stouts, blonde beers, and saisons. Moreover, when you look up on the board and spot a heading named ‘Crazy Shit’, you know you’re in for an interesting night.
Elsewhere on the Beermuda Triangle, The Beer Emporium is a deceptively large basement pub offering a huge selection of real ales set amongst German-style tables and benches. Otherwise, you could try The Volunteer, a proper treasure of a pub serving anything from IPA to craft cider.
Bristol Stag Activities
But what else is there to attract the prospective stag group to Bristol? Well, not only is Publand changing, but Bristol now offers an ever-increasing selection of group activities.
A whole host of companies are opening in Bristol to engage groups in a range of new, innovative activities.
West Country Games is a crazy activity that is sure to have you in stitches. Bring your wellies down to the farm and compete against the boys in a series of nine hilarious games. Follow that with a proper West Country Picnic Lunch, and you’ve nailed the Saturday.
A similar outfit are It’s a Knockout, a spin on the famous 1970’s TV show where groups compete in a selection of fun-filled games that will have everyone entertained.
Airhop is another new activity on Bristol’s bustling activity scene. Boasting the largest trampoline park in the country, there’s also dodgeball and Wipeout games to keep you entertained.
A lot of buzzes came about when The Wave joined the mix. An inland surfing destination, thrill seekers will enter three zones designed from beginners through to advanced surfers.
There are a whole host of paintball companies offering fun filled experiences, so if your stag group wants a shoot ‘em up weekend, then this is a great option.
There’s also an indoor go-karting track on the outskirts of Bristol if you want to do some driving for the day.
All in all Bristol remains a fantastic destination to host your stag weekend. But scratch the surface and do your homework to find a lot more on offer than first meets the eye. And though there are plenty of Cardiff activities, Bristol’s rival city, we still feel that Bristol is best for the ultimate stag weekend!