From beach-side bars to all-night clubs and historic pubs to cool cocktail joints, we’ve rounded up the best bars, pubs and clubs in Kent.
Nightlife in Kent
The historic market town of Canterbury is home to some of the best bars in Kent. Houdini’s Magic Bar, as the name implies, mixes the dark arts of magic with high-end cocktails and a seriously stylish interior, while The Loft is the place to come and cut loose with excellent resident DJs, award-winning cocktails and an alfresco garden bar and dancefloor.
Margate is another nightlife hotspot, home to Fez and Buoy and Oyster. High Street bar Fez is stacked with real ales, craft beer and well-travelled spirits and has a cool, alternative fanbase to match, while next door is Buoy and Oyster, a seriously classy seafood and cocktail joint with views over Margate harbour and the beach below. Our Margate nightlife roundup has even more bars and pubs for you to check out.
More great sea views can be found at Pier 5 in Chatham, a cool craft ale and gourmet burger joint overlooking the marina, and Rocksalt in Folkestone, a stunning seafood restaurant and bar with a sun-soaked terrace perfect for sundowners.
Bars in Kent
Pubs in Kent
With its historic, cobbled streets, Canterbury is a pub lover’s paradise. The Dolphin and The Kings Head are both exceptional town centre public houses dating back centuries, with dozens of cask ales and craft beers to choose from, while Duke William (next to Wingham Wildlife Park) is a classic country pub with excellent food and a cosy bar garden.
Some of our favourite Kent pubs are in Whitstable. The Old Neptune is a seriously cool Victorian boozer right on the beach with excellent pub grub and regular live music. A little further down the coast, you’ll find The Sportsman, an upmarket gastropub with an epic seafood selection that also boasts a Michelin star.
The Kentish Hare near Royal Tunbridge is another pub that takes its food very seriously indeed. With a wide range of menus to choose from, including vegan options, dedicated bar snacks and a children’s menu, it’s perfect for any occasion – with a well-stocked bar to match. Alternatively, head a few miles west to Matfield and take a seat at The Poet, a 16th-century pub boasting over 70 gins, a varied cocktail menu and some of the best pub grub you’ve ever eaten (albeit with the prices to match).
A few other pubs to look out for are The Three Chimneys near Ashford, a 15th-century pub with a large terrace, The Woolpack Inn, a classic English pub with a great range of beer and cider and The Dirty Habit towards Leeds Castle and Maidstone, a restored pub that originally dates back to the 11th century and is the perfect resting point if you’re tackling the nearby Pilgrims Way walk.
There are plenty of excellent clubs and late-night dancing spots in Kent. Gallery in Maidstone is perhaps one of the most well-known, with three dancefloors playing everything from hip-hop to house and big-name guest stars like Timbaland and Tinie Tempah. The glitzy, two-storey club also looks the part, with huge chandeliers and sweeping staircases all contained in a 300-year-old Grade II-listed building.
Club Chemistry in Canterbury, meanwhile, is another large, three-room super club covering student parties, international guest DJs and VIP tables. The converted warehouse is one of the coolest spots in town, with regular drink deals and events every weekend. For a full run-down, head to our Canterbury nightlife guide.
Maidstone is another hotspot for clubbers, with The Source one of their leading venues. Open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night covering house, techno, bass music and R&B, it’s a high-quality club with high-quality guests, with recent names including Idris Elba, Annie Mac and Carl Cox.