A couple of weekends ago I joined 15 or so others for a stag weekend in Leeds.
Between us we took over a floor of a Soulless Inn (Express), located on the dreary outskirts of the city but clean and comfortable and only £64 per room per night (including breakfast).
As I returned back to the hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning, in full Goth gear (we had been to Leeds University Student Union Wendy House)
With kebab in hand, I sheepishly walked past reception and into the lift to go back to my room. I imagined that I was going to be one of the last ones still standing at that time.
How wrong I was. The hotel was full of people stumbling in and out of the lift, in fancy dress and various states of undress. It was all good-humoured and, around the bedrooms, remarkably quiet.
Nevertheless, from the rather worse-for-wear faces of the hotel’s clientele at Sunday breakfast it is clear that the Souless Inn (Express) is the place of choice for many stags and hens in need of bed and breakfast.
So what attracts the pre-nuptial reveller to Leeds? In our case, our groom-to-be had studied for 3 years at Leeds University. So, it was an opportunity to be reunited with some ex-house and course mates and re-visit some old haunts (pubs, kebab shops and taxi ranks mostly).
In addition, one by-product of working life is often the need to move where work takes you. During your university years and throughout your working career many of us move about, accumulating friends from all over the place, who in turn, also move all over the place.
So, from a practical point of view, Leeds was a fairly central point for all the stags to congregate, from various points around the country. It is not one of the most popular choices for stag weekends though, according to the tour organisers “Last Night of Freedom” Riga comes out top, followed by Bournemouth, Nottingham and Newcastle. Leeds doesn’t make it into the Top 10.
But, I am glad David chose Leeds as it was really nice for me to experience Leeds through the eyes of a student (albeit an over-grown one) and get a sense of being part of someone else’s student life. There is something special about visiting a place with people that know it so well.