With more than 300 bars and clubs, it’s fair to say there is lots going on in Milton Keynes. Whether you prefer a few quiet drinks or you like to party the night away on the dancefloor, a Milton Keynes night out has all the ingredients of a good one.
Nightlife in Milton Keynes
Right in the heart of Milton Keynes, Be At One is one of the leading bars in town. A cosy and friendly venue with an extensive outdoor area, they also have a very generous three-hour happy hour where you can sup your way across 28 cocktails – ours is a Better Call Sol, please. Fun and lively, relax in one of their plush booths or sit up at the bar and watch the cocktail makers at work.
If you’ve ever wanted to feel as if you’re in an American Wild West-themed bar while in the middle of England, make sure you head to Missoula Montana Bar & Grill. A popular place, they open until 2am at the weekend where their impressive wine and cocktail list comes into play. You can also book their whisky cocktail making masterclass which includes six drinks and access to their buffet.
Xscape isn’t just a great place to learn to snowboard or skydive – it’s also packed full of bars and restaurants including Revolution. Open daily, you can grab a bite to eat and a cocktail downstairs in their stylish bar and then head upstairs to their club room where the music and atmosphere are ramped up until 4am on Saturday nights.
As authentic a Cuban experience as you’ll get in Milton Keynes, Revolucion de Cuba is an acclaimed bar and restaurant dedicated to one of the finer pleasures in life – namely rum. Located in the heart of the theatre district and just a short walk from our Milton Keynes Central hotel, you can nibble on nachos, shake a tail feather to some live salsa or head out into the heated garden with a freshly made mojito.
Back on mainland Britain, The Slug & Lettuce is a favourite chain bar just around the corner from Revolucion de Cuba. The menu is a mix of seasonal dishes and tried and tested classics, while the drinks range from bottled beers and wines from around the world to alcohol-heavy cocktails that will get you in the mood for dancing when the lights get turned down low later in the night.
All Bar One is another swanky cocktail bar with a decent food menu that spans brunch, vegan dishes, breakfast and good, value for money, lunch offers. The drinks are just as varied with an extensive wine list and bartenders that take requests. Plus, you can book your tables and booths online, meaning there’s no need to wait, even at peak times.
Milton Keynes might be a relatively new town, but its pub culture goes back centuries. And nowhere is that more evident than at The Cross Keys, a truly excellent gastropub that dates back to the 16th century. With a thatched roof and a great selection of real ales, it was recently awarded pub of the year by a local publication and is a 15-minute walk from our Willen Lake hotel.
Another venerable drinking institution on the edge of town is Ye Olde Swan. With original Tudor features dating back to the 16th century, the pub was once reputed to be a watering hole for noted highwayman Dick Turpin, and with a gorgeous setting backing onto the village green and a strong reputation for good food and drinks, you can understand why.
Dating back to the 1600s, Old Beams is a converted barn that’s now a busy pub full of character and charm. The food is a mix of British classics – their Sunday roasts are popular, so book ahead – and there’s a roaring log fire for winter and a large beer garden for summer. As you’d expect from a country pub, they take their beer very seriously and have a large selection of guest ales.
Even older still is The Swan Inn, a 13th century thatched country pub that’s home to an open kitchen and, when the sun is shining, a gorgeous beer garden full of apple trees, herbs and fruit. A real ale pub, they have two guest beers every week alongside a host of regular beers, lagers and ciders as well as dedicated spirits and wine menus. Based in the original village of Milton Keynes, it’s four miles from our Milton Keynes South hotel.
A more modern affair, The Kensington is based in Great Holm and comes with all the mod cons including free Wi-Fi, Sky and BT sports on five big screens and a pool room. They have regular food and drink deals including a good-value burger and pint deal, while they also have a large beer garden for sunnier weather.
One of the fastest-growing LGBT clubs in the country, Pink Punters is a three-floor riot of music, fashion and dancing that’s open until the very, very early hours of the weekend.
Open from Thursday to Sunday night (well, technically Monday morning), the 650-capacity club has two main dance floors as well as a chilled out attic space giving you plenty of room to strut your stuff or unwind with a drink. The music is fun and varied across the three rooms, while the unisex toilets are virtually a room in their own right, such is the fun and friendly atmosphere in the club.
Part recording studio, part live music space and, come the weekend, part banging nightclub, Unit Nine is a multipurpose venue that hosts a wide variety of nights, DJs and parties. Expect everything from Spice Girls tribute nights to UK Garage and drum and bass throwdowns in a dark, laser-covered rave space.