Vote: Where’s the best place in the UK for a girls’ night out?
Bring on the group chat in the morning
British girls are world class for a lot of things, but the biggest is probably the sesh. But which of our tribes is truly best at it? It’s a conundrum.
Get the alcohol in early. We’ve all been caught out by the 10pm licensing laws and a good night out starts with some £3.99 Blossom Hill or a cheeky bottle of Buckie, so we’ll often get it right after lectures. Hey, when in Glasgow right? It’s a varied place, so you can go for a jeans and Adidas subby night out, or a classy LBD mad one in Kushion or Bamboo. And of course, in Viper, anything goes.
When we do get to the club though, we really feel ourselves. I’m talking outrageous dancing, shots (Sambuca is usually £1 most places in Glasgow), fighting your way into club photos and generally embarrassing yourselves and having the best time. Surely this is what girls’ night is all about. And obviously it all ends with a box of cheese and chips from Barbeque Kings. Or a deep fried Mars Bar. Yes please.
Obviously in Manchester we know how to turn up properly, we’ve got one of the best nightlife scenes in the country. Get down to New Zealand wines for your pre’s (the veterans know to avoid Sainsbury’s at all costs), and then onto the prime location for cheap cocktails, Fallowfield Spoons. Outfit wise, the wavier the better. Our girls nights out are all about basements and warehouse – if in doubt, just go all black e’erything.
Dancing depends on your location. You can get your twerk on at Juicy, fist pump at the Warehouse Project Salsa on down at Revs de Cuba, or project some ‘feeling the music’ vibes at the Soup Kitchen. Archie’s is top dog for your end of the night takeaway, but really we’ve got some of the best greasy food the country has to offer. Kebab King is really an unrivalled experience.
I know, Norwich is rural, but we still know how to party. You can try and be classy, start in Mr Apostle’s Apothecary, or the Gin Palace or Be at One, if cocktails are your thing – or head straight to Spoons if you’re just there to get smashed (The Glasshouse is your best bet, it’s got a crackin’ full length mirror). Whichever you choose, a pitcher of Sex on the Beach is the pinnacle of any Norwich girl’s night out. No glasses though obvs, just three straws please.
The final pre-drinking stop off, the last one because it guaranteed to get you drunk – The Mischief. The Mischief is hard to explain to anyone who’s never been – how did we ever find out it was good? why is it so good? what the hell is a skittles drink? why is it a triple not a treble? There are no answers, but it is the holy grail of any night out in Norwich.
Then once you get to the club, the options are (kind of) endless, from Mantra (where you’ll lose your friends every time) to Mercy or Klute and Chicago’s. If you’re feeling brave you can even hit up Brooklyn’s on your way down Prince of Wales for £1 sours shots.
And for end of the night food we’re sorted, whether it’s a 24 hour McDonald’s or if you’re a veteran who’s already decided that Prince of Wales’ finest is your ride or die cheesy chip stop off.
Oxford isn’t known as a girls night out destination. It isn’t filled with girls tottering around in stilettos, it doesn’t have many swanky bars, and it isn’t one for a “ladies night”. But that’s what makes it better.
Oxford drink prices are nearly as expensive as London, so drink enough to not have to spend too much once you’re out, and don’t go too dressy (the great thing is nowhere’s particularly fancy so you can get away with comfy trainers and a coat). Jericho and Cowley Road are the best places to go for cocktails in the world, it’s never overcrowded, the options are endless, and on Varsity Rooftop you can get views of the whole of Oxford at night – perfect for group shots.
If you want to be able to dance and talk, go to Bridge (the smoking area is incredible), but Plush Lounge is for you if you want to stay out as late as possible. Afterwards you can end your night properly with food from Gloucester Green or cheesy chips from Kebab Kid.
Oh and brunch at Jacob’s inn the next morning means you can play with the puppy – his name is Floyd. Where else would that happen?
Far from being renowned for its nightlife with a frankly dismal grand total of only four (yes FOUR) clubs, a girls’ night out in Cambridge still has its moments. From the grimy, suffocatingly low ceilings of Fez, to the achingly long queues to Cindies, to Friday nights endured rather than enjoyed at the affectionately named “Life” to the rooftop escapades of Lola’s, those attempting to have a girls’ night out in Cambridge have faced it all.
Everything starts early, but it’s safe, it’s cheap(ish) and there’s never an expectation to get dressed up. Leave the wavy garms and edgy beats to the Londoners, we know how to have a proper good time.
One thing’s certain. You will embark on the fabulous adventure that is BOX Tuesday’s. Apparently the “craic’s ninety” and drinks are 99p. Sounds good to me. So, how can I ensure the craic is ninety and maximise enjoyment not just tonight, but every night?
Pre’s are essential. Head to the big Tesco’s on Lisburn or hit up DR:INK on your way home to nail this bit – do not not leave it too late and end up being the leech, stealing Blossom Hill in someone’s mouldy Holylands living room, drinking from a cup that says mum (inexplicably). Skip never have I ever, Ring of Fire is your best bet here. Stick to a Beyonce-esque playlist and ignore any of your annoying male housemates trying desperately to put Wagon Wheel on repeat.
Then it’s out. Hate Box? No problem, soon you’ll be tottering in platform heels through Katy Daly’s, then Spring and Airbrake, then Limelight, then back again. You’ll finally reach the dancefloor – already sticky with Kool Aid shots – and it’ll be so worth it. And yes, it will be heels, no jacket. Nobody here gets cold. Filthy’s has plenty of dark corners to either hide with potential suitors or hide from potential fuckboys. They don’t call it the secret garden for nothing.
And there’s no better hangover cure than a next day Boojum (sorry about the queue).
The ideal girls’ night out in York is a true art form. We might be small, sure, but boy do we know how to turn up when we want to. It wouldn’t be a girls’ night without cocktails but luckily we’re sorted with the delicious bevs at the Slug and Lettuce on Swinegate and Bora Bora. The bar might be tiny but the atmosphere is amazing, and it’s right next to Evil Eye Lounge, with bartenders who really care about their craft and a chilled, bohemian vibe.
But Salvation and Kuda mean we can do more than sophisticated cocktails – we can throw shapes on the dancefloor and be as sticky, drunk and messy as everyone else. Back in the good old days, at the end of the night you would have headed to Willow (why did it have to close? why?!) but now you might as well head to Pop World and all squeeze onto the revolving dance floor. Your mates will complain it’s too small to be classed as a dancefloor, but you’re drunk so it will feel like most exciting thing in the world. Trust me, you and your gal pals will be having a wild time.
The best part? When you leave at 4am you can enjoy the 24 hour McDonald’s that York is graced with. Perfect.
Reading isn’t known as a party town, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a sick night out with your girls. Keep it classy by heading to Caffeine and Cocktails first (after copious amounts of Disco Juice at pre’s, obviously), then move to slightly less classy cocktails with a pitcher each at Revs.
Admittedly we don’t have a huge array of clubs, but Sakura always guarantees a great night out, and their luxurious VIP section will actually make you feel like a proper celebrity. And we have staples which define our nights out as much as every big city (making friends with the toilet attendant, dancing with Ian Hills, that kind of thing)
Sometimes the best girls night outs don’t involve a club, and that’s what makes Reading an amazing place. There’s a such a wide array of late night bars, pubs, and cocktail clubs for you to explore, like Smash or Purple Turtle (which has literally been going strong since before any of us were born). If you can remember being there the next morning you’re doing it wrong. And yeah, the end of the night McDonald’s might be too packed to navigate, but that means you can end your night sitting on your kitchen floor all together, smashed and eating Domino’s. And besides, you can always head to Cafe Yolk for a great hangover cure brunch the next day.
OK, so we only have five clubs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t nail a good GNO. It does mean that you have to start getting ready and go out pretty early (everywhere closes before 3am). There’s more to a girls’ night out in Durham than just Klute – Studio and Loft are great for cheapskates, Jaegerbombs are a steal and it costs barely anything to get in. And Wednesday LoveShack is the perfect platform for throwing shapes.
Nobody gets very dressed up, which means you can save on taxis, wear your best comfy trainers and stay warm in a coat (that’s where those Newcastle girls are going wrong). You don’t need to bring make-up (nobody does top ups) and everyone is incredibly chilled. And of course, the end of the night food options are delicious. Paddy’s pizzas will never ever let you down.
Sheffield isn’t short of options when it comes to a gals’ night out, be it as classy or as trashy as you want. After your pre’s you can head to West Street Live (for more pre’s, we’re very efficient and we can drink a lot). You need to get drunk enough to keep yourself warm – nobody takes a jacket on a night out.
For gals who can brave a night out in heels, Viper and Crystal are perfect for your fancy ass. The Leadmill’s worth the journey for girls who love indie tunes, and the rest of us always have a good time in Corp. Is it a girls night out without rainbow pints? Probably not. Regardless of where you go you’ll drink too much tequila, pull your hair back into a ponytail because it’s too hot and make your way through every club in a conga line so you don’t lose anyone.
There’s only one thing to do to make sure your night finishes on a high – make the right greasy food choice. Here’s the DL: it’s Aslan’s or nowhere. No questions, no arguing, it might not be the best takeout but that doesn’t mean it’s not home. And there’s always the chance of getting onto their photowall. Nuff said.
You shouldn’t be fooled by TOWIE, as a girls night out in Essex isn’t really as glamorous as it seems. Be it as swanky or as sleazy as you want; you’ll probably still end up on the SOS bus. Down a couple of bottles of Echo Falls and obviously dress to impress, Essex is the most glam night out in the country. LBDs, the highest heels, the shortest skirts and tan, lots of tan. Skip the jacket and take some fake lashes instead.
Every good night out starts with a pitcher (after pre’s obviously) of Sex on the Beach at Spoons, before heading to the big clubs that you only really attend for the name. The Sugar Hut – well it is featured on TOWIE isn’t it? CTZN – is Chelmsford’s hottest night out! Faces– pretty sure Megan McKenna was there yesterday. Missoula – is home to the ‘sickest’ DJs and finally Atik – it’s the brand new late night clubbing experience, why wouldn’t you go?
Get a round up princess bombs in, take 1000+ selfies and when the DJ starts playing the end of the night 80s classics, take it as your cute to leave and stumble into McDonald’s for 20 nuggets, a Big Mac meal and a Mayo Chicken for one. It’ll warm you up while you wait, jacketless, for your taxi.
Liverpool is home to one of the best nights that you will ever have. The jäger bombs are cheap and you are never too far away from a 90’s night. Pre’s last hours and the dress code is fabulous – nobody ever brings a jacket. If you’re a veteran you’ll know to avoid Concert Square and head to Heebies. Or (inevitably) to the Black Rabbit, because nobody can resist those delicious banana shots.
For post night out scran nowhere in the country is better than Nazby’s. It’s the kind of place where you can order everything on the menu and pronounce your undying love for the guy behind the counter, without fearing judgement because everybody else is just as drunk as you. Then when you’re finally at the point in the night where you are ready to go home, the bombed out church is the place to go. There are black cabs every few minutes, and the area is well lit so you are never worried for your personal safety.
The bombed out church is the kind of place where you meet people who make you save them in your phone as “bombed out church Dave” and subsequently never contact them again.
Brum is Britain’s second biggest city, and first for a good GNO. From pre’s with Glenns to your start in Jekyll and Hyde, we know how to do it right (there’s even a bloody Gin Parlour).
For a truly brilliant night of boogying, you can’t get much better than The Jam House. Not your usual average club (if you want that, just go to Snobs), this Jools Holland-created venue is a place of sassy, brassy music guaranteed to lift your mood. Nobody cares what you look like or how you dance – it’s just about having an epic night. But Rainbow and HMV Institute are still there if you want to get down and dirty.
And whether it’s Big Bite or a debrief over brunch at the Selly Sausage, we know how to do post-night out food.
My fellow Cardiffians all know that there’s only one way to truly nail that girls night and it’s in our magical city. You’re going out out so obviously the Eyelure lashes are going to be dusted off from where they’ve been hiding for the past few weeks. Get your plunge lace bodies, black chokers and leather skirts out, and don’t forget the lace up heels. Ofc you will have spray tanned, done a proper shave, had the brows done and painted the toenails for this. Matching bra and thong on if you feel like you’re getting lucky.
Steinbeck and Shaw is your first stop. With 50 per cent off all drinks before 10, you’d be stupid to miss it. Then head on to Turtle Bay (2-4-1 cocktails, duh). Once you’re pissed enough it’s up Mill Line to Peppermint, Mocka Lounge and Soda. Our options are endless and top quality.
Since Chippy Lane is right behind Mill Lane, it would be rude not to pop into Dorothy’s to get some chips and curry sauce, the perfect way to end the night.