From self-serving wine bars where restraint is the name of the game, to a self-described ‘kingdom of night time pleasure’, Plymouth has a nightlife that comes with all kinds of reputations. Our guide to a good Plymouth night out helps get your evening started; where it ends – who knows?
Nightlife in Plymouth
Two of the top bars in Plymouth can be found in Royal William Yard. Le Vignoble is French for ‘the vineyard’, so no prizes for guessing what kind of bar this is. In the Wine Lounge, you can take your pick from an exquisite list of vinos that strike a reassuring balance between quality and price. Plus, its state of the art enomatic wine systems allow for 32 different vinos to be available, self-service and by the glass. It’s a nice place without being pretentious; no wonder it’s become so popular.
This famous Grade I listed building is also the stunning setting for Seco Lounge, with its colourful decor and harbourside terrace. If you’re heading to the Yard or looking to wind down after a busy day, then pop in for a pint or a cocktail and see what you think.
If you’re staying at our Sutton Harbour hotel, you’ll find The Dairy just a two-minute taxi ride away. It gets its name from its origin as a Co-op dairy and milks that bit of history by serving cocktails in milk bottles. The Dairy is quirky, reasonably priced, and you can enjoy your cocktails in the company of decent music. Then, when you’ve had your fill, and you’re looking for your next pit stop location, you can always stumble down the road towards The Parade to enjoy a drink and – potentially – some live music in The Blues Bar & Grill.
Annabel's Cabaret & Discotheque
The Cider Press
Here in Plymouth, Union Street has something of a reputation. Years ago it was nicknamed the ‘servicemen’s playground’ as it connects the city centre with Devonport naval base (the largest in Europe). Royal Navy sailors would come here to let their hair down on a night out, working their way along this former red light district’s array of over 30 pubs. The majority have shut down now, but you can still visit one of the first and most popular clubs in Plymouth, Club Jesters. Its club nights have been running most days of the week since 1991. Over the years, people have come up with some ‘interesting’ rumours about Jesters. All that can be said with any certainty is it’s a unique night out, and worth a try if you want to give Union Street a go.
If you want to delve into Plymouth’s underground scene, head to Factory on Lockyer Street. It’s a Grade II listed building that’s been converted into the home of house, techno, DNB and bassline. The parties in the larger upstairs room can get seriously lively, driven on by quality tunes and good, friendly people. The programme’s a decent mix of local DJs and well-known names from across the country.
For a fabulous night out, look no further than LGBT club OMG and its drag events, karaoke Thursdays and Sunday cabarets. Saturday’s the main club night, but on a Friday, selected drinks are under a fiver until 1am. Better still, if you want to get down with the kids for some midweek madness then revel in the ‘Poundemonium’ of Wednesday’s student night – it’s free entry, and there are cheap drinks all night!
Sticking around on the Barbican, Annabel’s Cabaret & Discotheque describes itself as a ‘kingdom of night time pleasures’. On Friday and Saturday these generous guys and gals offer 2-for-1 cocktails between 9pm and 11pm, which is as good a reason as any to head down, slurp on a G&T and enjoy the music until late. Annabel’s hosts a good array of live bands, and on the third Thursday of each month, the Club Fandango Comedy Night is so side splittingly funny it’s often sold out.
Last but not least, let’s give a shout out to PRYZM. Not that it needs it, being the biggest and arguably best nightclub in Plymouth. Depending on what kind of bangers you want to boogie to, there are four different music rooms all with a bar, as well as VIP booths and a multi-coloured, lit up dance floor if that’s your thing.
As well as nightclubs where you can dance into the early hours, Plymouth also has a quality array of pubs to choose from for a more restrained evening.
If you’re looking for a traditional country pub in the city, The Fisherman’s Arms might be more your thing. Hidden in the back streets near the Barbican, just up from the Mayflower Steps, search it out for a lovely laid-back drink. The Sunday roast here is superb, but it gets busy. And you’ll struggle to find a more dog friendly pub – it even launched its own beer named after Mr Jones, the resident schnauzer.
The Navy Inn is another option right on Sutton Harbour. The location is absolutely ideal; you can walk in off the waterfront and have a refreshing drink in your hand in a jiffy. When the sun's out, head up to the terrace and enjoy views of the boats in the harbour. If you’re looking for a livelier, fun atmosphere, try The Cider Press round the corner – it’s a popular place, with proper scrumpy, but don’t bother if it’s a quiet pint your after.
For views of the Hoe instead of the harbour, The Pub on the Hoe is a great, traditional, dog friendly pub that’s recently been refurbished. It’s got a good selection of cask ales, which you can enjoy while playing a board game.