Real ales, West Country cider, old-world wine, new-world wine, gin palaces, whisky hideouts, world-famous cocktail bars and Yorkshire puddings; our guide to Bath nightlife ticks all the right boxes when it comes to beverages. So whether you’re looking for a posh drinking den or a casual watering hole, we’ve got some bars, pubs and clubs to suggest for you.
Bath’s bar scene is brimming with specialists, whether you want wine, whisky or one of the world’s best cocktail bars. But that’s all coming up; first, we’ll get the ball rolling with a gin palace. The Canary Gin Bar on Queen Street stocks more than 230 different gins, including their own from the Bath Gin Company. Sometimes with these sort of bars, it can be a risk going for something unknown, as there’s always that chance it’ll cost you an arm and a leg. However, at The Canary, they’ve kindly arranged their gins according to price, so even after you’ve knocked back a few negronis, it’s easy to understand what you’re getting into.
When it comes to cocktails, The Dark Horse picks itself. It’s conveniently located just a minute’s walk from our Bath City Centre hotel and it’s twice made the top ten for best cocktail bar in the world at the Spirited Awards. It goes without saying that their cocktails are superb, and the team of friends and family that run the place are also very friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable. Plus, it provides table service, so instead of wasting your time at the bar trying to catch someone’s attention, you can just sit back, sip your drink and enjoy the cosy, yet stylish bar’s unique vibe.
Opium isn’t for everyone. It’s a cocktail bar housed in the vaults beneath Grove Street on the east side of Pulteney Bridge. Inside, it’s a mishmash of different periods with its boutique decor and painted ceilings. Some people love it, while some prefer places with a cleaner, more contemporary aesthetic. Nevertheless, one thing everyone agrees on is the quality and value of their cocktails, particularly if you go between Tuesday and Thursday when they’re all discounted to just a few pounds. Alternatively, if you’re looking to cut costs on your cocktails, Sub 13 runs a 2-for-1 offer every single day from midday to 10pm. It’s a stylish bar and slap bang in the middle of town, at the foot of Milsom Street.
Bath may be well over 300 miles from Scotland, but it does have one watering hole, The Hideout, where even the pickiest of whisky enthusiasts can enjoy a wee dram. Word has it that this tiny little bar was once a hiding place for thieves and highwaymen; a hangout for lawless reprobates. We’ll let you decide how much it’s changed. Inside, it’s full of character and while they claim to be ‘purveyors of fine whisky’, their extensive selection still comes as a surprise, with more than 80 to choose from, including rarities from the revered Kavalan distillery that’s almost single-handedly put Taiwanese whisky on the map.
Last but not least, if you’re going to the Theatre Royal and you’re looking for somewhere for a pre- or post-show drink, then bars don’t get much more convenient than Vino Vino. It’s literally next door. In fact, it’s so close, you could probably dash out for a swift one and be back in time for the next scene. It’s got a fantastic wine selection and does some great cocktails too. Plus, its central location makes it perfect for people watching, particularly with their al fresco terrace and heated parasols.
Partial to a pint or two of real ale? Got a soft spot for a Sunday roast? Wild for a wood-fired pizza? You’d better take a look at our selection of the top five pubs in Bath.
From town-centre hotspots which heave with locals, to fringe pubs with a tendency for doing things their own way, plus the very best gastropub in Bath, it’s a diverse mix ready for you to explore.
When it comes to going out, Bath is home to a handful of good nightclubs where you can dance to the early hours fuelled by cheap drinks and good music, on ‘floors filled with friendly locals’.
The Nest at the foot of The Paragon (a famous street of Georgian townhouses) is a genre-spanning alternative venue that’s particularly popular with students. A Nest night out can be eclectic, jumping between punk classics, drum and bass and hip-hop, but it’s usually a lot of fun.
Second Bridge has long been one of Bath’s most popular places when it comes to nightlife. You can get to the cellar nightclub through The Earl Cocktail Bar on Manvers Street, less than 150 metres from the Bath Spa railway station. Second Bridge is split between the main room, where you can enjoy a medley of chart hits, classics and house music, and the vaults, which have a more urban vibe. It’s not open on weekdays but come Saturday and Sunday, you’ll find a queue of boozy Bathonians eager to enter.
Underground cellar clubs are popular in Bath, and the students’ favourite is Po Na Na, opposite the Parade Gardens and next door to the exquisite Sotto Sotto we waxed lyrical about while drooling over Bath’s restaurants. The best thing about Po Na Na is it’s open six nights a week. On the weekends, it offers a quality night out that caters to everyone. Meanwhile, during the week, the music moves away from the mainstream and the prices plunge to pay respect to the budget of Bath’s lively student population.
It’s not every day you find exquisite neo-classical Palladian architecture surrounding some of the world’s most important Roman remains. Book one of our Bath hotels today and admire the period elegance and Bath’s array of unique sights and attractions.
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