Nottingham - A city with great nightlife

Great news – this rocking city has won a Purple Flag nightlife award for the last seven years. Which means that Nottingham’s officially one of the safest and best places to go for a night out in Britain. Not only this, but students voted us among the top universities for nightlife in the 2016 Which? university student survey.

5 stars. Best years of my life here.

Bradley Rowley – Facebook

Epic nights

We certainly know how to throw an epic night out here in Nottingham, even if we do say so ourselves!

So what’s so great about the nightlife here? Well, for one thing, it’s famously eclectic.

From traditional cosy pubs serving local ales to sophisticated bars, and nightclubs to alternative music havens, there’s a huge variety of nightspots to tempt you with. So what’s your scene – dance, indie, rock, R&B, punk, metal, or dubstep? Whatever you’re into, you’ll have no problem finding it once darkness falls.

This all means just one thing – count on some legendary nights out while you’re here!

Close to home

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) Students’ Union

First things first… our very own NTU Students’ Union was voted one of the top ten students’ unions for student satisfaction in the UK in 2015. With two bars and a 2,400-capacity live music venue, it can be a fantastic place to start when planning a good night out.

NTSU transforms itself into a rocking venue at night, hosting comedy performances, and gigs from both major groups and the very best local talent. Not to mention some of the biggest club nights in the Midlands.

Don’t miss Climax, NTU’s longest-running epic club night with three floors of tunes from R&B, house and electro, to rock and indie.

There’s a nightclub at our Clifton Campus too, along with The Point – club, bar, diner and café rolled into one – while students at our Brackenhurst Campus have the refurbished Brack Bar to enjoy.

Local pubs

Every student city needs some great local drinking spots, and Nottingham’s certainly not short of those. With literally hundreds to choose from, try dipping your toes at:

  • laid-back student hang-out Spanky Van Dyke’s, with its many special events and offers, including Movie Mondays and two-for-one burger Tuesdays
  • popular spot The Orange Tree, with its pub quizzes, happy hours, and cheap bar-snack-and-a-pint student deals
  • the lively but down-to-earth The Horn In Hand, where you can pop in for a quick pint and bite, and watch live sport on the big screens.

Clubs and bars

Whether it’s city style or shabby chic you’re looking for, there’s a Nottingham nightspot for you.

We can’t possibly mention all of them, but here are some of our favourites:

  • NG1: With a capacity of nearly 1,000, this is one of Nottingham’s biggest nightclubs, boasting four bars on two floors, and some award-winning sounds. Plus, entry’s free for students on Fridays.
  • Ocean: Student-only venue Ocean’s Wednesday nights belong to NTU – just show your student card to get in. There’s music for all tastes here, including pop, R&B, dance, house, indie, and a massive dose of top quality cheese.
  • Pryzm: You're also sure to have a memorable night out at this recently re-branded six-room super club. Don't miss the Bavarian bier hall!
  • Tilt Bar: A cocktail bar with nightly live blues music.
  • Jamcafe: A chilled-out European-style café-bar hosting live acts and open mic nights. They serve a pretty good brunch, too.
  • The Market Bar: This underground Hockley night spot has been described as one of Nottingham’s true gems, and for good reason. The Market Bar is still a popular midweek student venue, after well over 20 years’ business.
  • Pit and Pendulum: For a touch of novelty, wander down to this eerie gothic-themed pub for a ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ cocktail. Need the toilet? You’ll have to find the secret bookcase door first!
There's a small bar called Tilt that sells really nice cocktails and always has some nice blues or jazz music on.

Scott, BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

Some of the best live music venues

  • Rock City: With its deserved reputation as one of the best venues in the country, no list of student nightspots in Nottingham would be complete without Rock City. As well as being home to some legendary alternative club nights, Rock City’s hosted some of the biggest names in the industry. This is one nightclub that’ll rock your socks off – don’t miss two-for-one Thursdays.
  • Rescue Rooms: Right across the road from our City Campus’s Newton and Arkwright building, the lively Rescue Rooms is a popular and edgy big gig venue. It hosts an eclectic collection of club nights, as well as a laid-back pub quiz and karaoke night.
  • Stealth: The sister venue to the Rescue Rooms, Stealth describes itself as a music mecca for dance fans. Don’t miss one of Nottingham’s best club nights, Stealth vs Rescued, when the two clubs join forces to bring you five rooms of music and bars, world-class DJs and bands, and a finger-lickin’ Caribbean BBQ.
  • The Bodega: An award-winning live music venue, club and bar, with themed music nights, and a reputation for launching new talent into the big-time.
  • Motorpoint arena: An indoor entertainment venue hosting big name artists such as Ellie Goulding, Little Mix and the X Factor Live Tour, as well as sporting events.

Hidden Treasures

You’ll find bars all over the city, but some might take some time to spot. Is that a church? No, it’s the Lace Market’s Pitcher and Piano. Why are people hanging around that old boiler shop in Hockley? It’s a hidden cocktail bar called Boilermaker… of course.

Other secret spots include:

  • Bunk: For cocktails, music, and chicken wings, in a laid-back Lace Market basement.
  • Coco Tang: Feel posh on a budget at this boutique cocktail bar and nightclub which doesn’t break the bank. Wednesday student night 'Laundry' is the one not to miss.
  • Junkyard: An award-winning café-bar with a laid-back feel… and great bar snacks.
  • The Hockley Arts Club: Blink and you may well miss the narrow doorway to the Hockley Arts Club, but this is one of Nottingham’s coolest bars. Take your pick of the casual bar and dining spaces spanning four floors.
  • Pepper Rocks: A secret hideaway of a bar and crêperie with a retro industrial-style theme.
  • Rocket at Saltwater: Come summertime, there are few better hidden spots for a drink than this sun terrace on the top of the Cornerhouse complex.

A bit of tradition

We can’t end without mentioning the oldest (reputedly!) pub in England, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. A favourite watering hole since 1189, it’s nestled in the rock that Nottingham Castle’s built on, and is popular with punters of every age. An unbeatable pub for ales and ghost stories!

Something for every mood

And what about those evenings when you fancy something a bit quieter (believe us, they’ll happen)? How about:

  • an alternative night out with a spot of live stand-up comedy at the Glee Club, Jongleurs, or Just the Tonic.
  • a play at the Theatre Royal or Nottingham Playhouse – the latter host regular student nights, offering a ticket and a drink for £10.
  • a blockbuster at the Cornerhouse or Showcase cinemas, or an independent, art-house film at Broadway.
  • a relaxed meal with friends at one of the many fabulous eateries in the city.

Nottingham - A city with great nightlife

Published on 2 October 2017

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