Sip your way through some of our favourite pubs and bars before making the inevitable move to one of the Regency town’s top-class clubs with the help of our guide to Cheltenham nightlife. We take you on a bar crawl of the Montpellier Quarter, pop into one of the best pubs in the country, and reveal some of the town’s subterranean dancing dens.
Nightlife in Cheltenham
You’ll find many of Cheltenham’s best bars in and around the Montpellier Quarter. A handy way for you to visit a handful of our favourites, we’ve put together a quick makeshift bar crawl starting from the Cheltenham Town Hall. Ready?
Strut your way down the Promenade to Circus Bar, our first stop. From the outside, it looks like a wine bar, but don’t be fooled – it’s a Sam Smith’s pub with a sublime selection of handcrafted fruit beers and top-shelf spirits. It’s an easygoing place to get things started, with friendly staff and a good atmosphere, but it’s not too rambunctious so you can still enjoy a conversation before the night gets rowdy.
When you’re finished, head four doors down the Promenade to John Gordons. It boasts the best drinks selection in the whole of Cheltenham, including more than 200 whiskies, 150 gins and over 80 wines, along with champagne, cognacs, beers and all the other popular poisons. It’s a good job the staff are friendly and more than happy to offer a recommendation.
Next, we’re going to make a beeline across the Montpellier Gardens to a sublimely stylish family-run wine bar, The Retreat. Since it first opened its doors in 1982, The Retreat has become a veritable Cheltenham institution, thanks to its unique charm, lively atmosphere and open kitchen, which changes its menu every day. Time to talk wine; The Retreat’s cellar is stocked with some truly exquisite wines from around the world. From one particularly decadent Barolo to a playful Chilean Pinot Noir, there’s something for every palette and price range.
The last stop on our mini bar crawl of the Montpellier Quarter is Bar 50 on Suffolk Road. It’s got something for everyone, including good beer on tap, top-shelf spirits, popular cocktails and Prosecco galore. It’s not the biggest, but it means it’s often brimming.
If you are looking for somewhere lively, Lily Gins takes things to a new level. Not ones to mince their words; it describes itself as ‘loud, extroverted and unashamedly awesome’. If that sounds like your cup of tea, make your way down to this popular drinking den on Regent Street and revel in their unique cocktail-fuelled atmosphere.
Last stop of the night – in part because it’s open until 3am seven days a week – is Lounge 72, on the corner of Bath Road and the High Street. It’d be foolish not to make the most of their incredible offers; which include 2-4-1 cocktails and super cheap rounds of shots. However, the best of the bunch is ‘Beat The Barman’ – where if you can correctly call heads or tails on a coin toss, you can get the same round of drinks again for just £1.
There are all manner of great pubs in Cheltenham for a pint-in-hand pitstop. The problem is picking the right one for you from High Street hotspots like The Strand and hidden gems such as The Kemble Brewery Inn.
Here to help, we’ve gathered some of our favourite Cheltenham pubs and given them their own dedicated page for you to take a look at.
Maybe you went for a pint in one of Cheltenham’s pubs. Maybe that escalated into trying a bar or two. And maybe it’s now past midnight and you’re looking for somewhere to guzzle down cheap drinks and dance until the lights come on.
We’ve all been there. Here to show you the way is our guide to some of the most popular clubs in Cheltenham.
On Regent Street is MooMoo Clubrooms. It’s one of Cheltenham’s most-popular clubs. Aura is the main room, although it’s more like an arena – it’s got CO2 cannons, lasers and a serious sound system that pumps out floor-filling club classics long into the early hours. Pop is the smallest of MooMoo’s clubrooms – there’s no prizes for guessing what kind of music you’ll find there. It’s cheesy, it’s fun and great for guilty pleasures. Zinc is the most stylish of the three rooms, combining lasers with leather furniture, and resident DJs providing a non-stop R&B soundtrack for your night out.
If you’re wanting indie music, 2 Pigs is Cheltenham’s only alternative nightclub, which you can find down an alleyway off the High Street. It’s got a great atmosphere, entry is cheap, and so too are the drinks.
For something more subterranean, 21 Club is spread over two basements on Regent Street. The nightclub has five bars, a roof terrace, and shares its space with sister-venue Aquavitae. Or, if you’re in the Montpellier Quarter, make your way to Under The Promfor good music, cocktails and company, all housed beneath Cheltenham’s famous Promenade.