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Top Rated Nightlife in Bristol

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Central Chambers

Modern youthfulness and traditional elegance come together at this venue, right in the city center. The only nightclub in the city with a license to host lap dancing nights till early in the morning. This club has a strict 18 and over policy in place so make sure to get your ids on you. For more information, call or visit their website.


The infamous Thekla is one of Bristol's oldest clubs located inside an iron ship moored in the harbor. Do not expect super-club glam, do not bother dressing up and definitely do not look for any frills. However, what you can expect is top music; downstairs the live acts and DJs get the dance floor moving and upstairs is often more lively. Hosting various nights, from jungle to break beats to garage and funk, the crowd attracted is a good mix. This is the only club in the city where you can gaze out of portholes at swans asleep on the water below!

The Coronation Tap

The Coronation Tap is Clifton's only cider pub with many varieties of the fermented apple on offer, including many local brews. The drink of choice is the exhibition cider, which is so potent that it can only be served in half pints (but there's no limit to how many you can buy!) The decor is rustic, complete with large wooden barrels holding the aforementioned brews and also acting as stools etc. Sport gets its fair TV screening and it seems popular with rugby followers for some reason. On a Friday night in term-time, it gets packed with trust-funded Bristol University students and can get loud and rather boisterous.

Highbury Vaults

Its very dark, slightly musty interior, gives it a distinctly Victorian feel. Outside in the leafy garden bar, however, the rows of benches and the very welcome gas burning heaters create a slightly Mediterranean and more contemporary atmosphere. The overall effect is one of a classic ale house, and it is very popular with older locals, students and real ale aficionados alike. The pub menu includes stews, chili, salads and curries.

The Hatchet Inn

The Hatchet Inn is one of the city's oldest pubs. Licensed in 1606, it still retains some historical character, although it is unfortunately surrounded by concrete modern structures, and office workers and students alike enjoy the traditional village atmosphere, with the ancient pictures lining the walls. Don't expect the behavior of its patrons to be equally refined and old-world; weekend nights see the place dragged into the 21st Century with DJs and live music, and the crowd gets younger and much more boisterous. Those after a quiet pint should only venture in during the day.


The magnificent Venetian facade of the Browns building matches its high-quality food and drink and the somewhat lavish ambiance inside. The outside tables serve as a hip student/professional hang-out, making it very much a place to be seen. Everything is rather grand and impressive: the food ranges from Mediterranean-inspired dishes to old favorites such as steak and Guinness pie. As for drinks, you could stick to wine or beers, but when you can get cocktails mixed and shaken before your very eyes, why would you have anything else? It really comes alive in the summer, with barbecues held on the terrace and there's live jazz on Friday and Sunday evenings throughout the year.

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