There are few better cities to visit with your best friends for a weekend of fun and excitement than Edinburgh. Aside from the avalanche of pubs and bars that cover the city in a blanket of booze, there’s an A-Z of different activities you can indulge in that make an Edinburgh stag do one of the best options for your last weekend of single life.
Every type of almost-groom can be catered for, from the active, competitive types, to those who’d prefer a quiet challenge like escape rooms or long hikes. Stag activities in Edinburgh are a dime-a-dozen, so all you have to do is choose what you want to do.
For the Outdoorsy types
If your groom is the sort to get his kicks from adrenaline rather than a few pints, then there are few better cities in the UK for a stag do than Edinburgh. The Scottish capital is surrounded by opportunities for watersports, adventure sports, and general outdoor pursuits. Intrepidus Outdoors is an Edinburgh based company that offers all sorts of activities, from the pleasure of hill walking to something more intense, like canyoning.
Their “stag do” package includes group discounts, a full day adventure tour, transport to and from your accommodation, and a slew of Go-Pro photos to make sure your memories last a lifetime. Breakfast and lunch can be included for a nominal fee, and you only need a GBP 100 deposit.
There are a tonne of different opportunities available under the package deal. Canyoning in Dollar Canyon is a popular choice, and for £85/pp if you have over six in your group, it’s great value for money. Here, you’ll get to fly through the air into rushing water, slip down natural slides, and abseil down rocky outcrops. If you prefer the sea, you can also go Coasteering just off the gorgeous Shell Bay; here, you’ll be allowed to indulge in cliff jumps, sea swimming, and some caving.
If your Edinburgh stag do group prefer staying dry, then Interpidus can take you to Glentress forest for a day of mountain biking. This is sure to get the heart pumping, but also show off the stunning nature around Edinburgh. If you’re keen on some exercise, but not as intense as a day of mountain biking, you can go hillwalking at one of three famous Scottish mountains, including the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis.
For the adrenaline seekers
If you want your stag activities in Edinburgh to come with a little oomph, then Battlezone is your best bet. Based in South Queensferry – a thirty-minute taxi ride or a forty-five-minute journey on public transport from Edinburgh Waverly –you can indulge in everything from paintball to quad biking. If you want something a little less dangerous, there’s also archery, human table football, and “It’s a Knockout” style games, which are as enjoyable as they are hilarious.
If you’re interested in a bunch of different activities, they offer package deals too. Petrolheads can get the ‘Petrolhead package’ for GBP 80/head, which includes quad biking and off–road buggies. If you want a bit of variety, then they offer a mixture of paintball and quad biking in their ‘Battalion Package’ (GBP 65/head) or even the slightly less dear ‘Warrior Package’, which includes half a day of paintball and axe/knife throwing (GBP 45/head). For all the activities, you must be at the venue for 9.30-10am.
For the cerebral Stag
If your stag isn’t big on too much physical activity, or you’re lucky enough to be in town for longer than one day so want to mix it up, there are plenty of stag activities in Edinburgh that make more use of the mind than the body. Escape Reality have some of the most challenging escape room puzzles in the entire city and can bamboozle even the most logical of Edinburgh stag do groups. The rooms are all themed, with the hardest and most impressive one being based off infamous American prison Alcatraz. There’s also a Nosferatu themed room, which is perfect for the ancient and occasionally creepy city.
Even with all that’s available in Edinburgh, sometimes the most obvious things to do are the best. This is true with a tour of Edinburgh Castle, which will never disappoint. If you want to venture out a bit further and, frankly, have more of the site to yourself, then you could also take the short journey out to Craigmillar Castle, where you can spend the day wandering around this ancient structure and taking in all the history.
In the evening
No matter how restrained your day may have been, it’s hard not to let loose in the city at night. Of course, there are hundreds of excellent bars, pubs, and restaurants in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, but there are a few that are worth a visit because they offer something a little extra.
The Stand is probably the most legendary comedy club in Edinburgh, which is saying something considering this is the home of the fringe. However, because of the reputation it can often be busy, but there are still a fair few other excellent venues where you’ll be sure to end up laughing, including the infamous Monkey Barrel. Located right in the heart of the city, a show here is an excellent way to start off any evening.
Of course, you’ll want to have a few drinks and be merry, especially as a stag is a celebration. There are various areas you can head to for fun, but Cowgate and Grassmarket are firm favourites for big groups because of the sheer number of pubs and bars in the area, most of which can accommodate larger groups. However, if you’re feeling a fancier affair, the pubs and bars of New Town and around Princes Street are a great shout; the aesthetic and options are a bit more modern, without losing that Edinburgh charm. There’s also plenty of amazing bars in Leith, although this means moving slightly out of the centre of the city. When you’re into the wee hours then Hive is the spot: sweaty, loud, and cheap, why would you want to end your stag anywhere else?
Whisky tour of Edinburgh sound up your stag’s street? Take a look at our guide to Edinburgh’s best whiskey tours.