Bath is a picture-perfect city in the Southwest of England. Famous for its neat rows of golden-stone buildings, it’s the only entire city in the UK to achieve UNESCO World Heritage Status. And there’s more to Bath than just architectural splendor. The quaint city also has a small yet buzzy nightlife scene.
Bath is home to one of the UK’s leading universities and, as in any university city in Britain, you can expect plenty of places to party. From clubs playing cheesy classics to underground techno halls, Bath’s selection of nightclubs suits a good range of different tastes. And if you’re less about clubbing and more a fan of settling into a good bar, there’s even more good news, because Bath is packed with cozy pubs and country inns to boot.
This guide to the nightlife in Bath lists nine of the most happening spots in the whole city. It’s a must-read for anyone heading here in search of pumping all nighters with the student crowds of Bath spa, or just chilled ales and West Country ciders in charming English beer gardens. Cheers!
Moles is one of Bath’s best loved music venues. Since opening in 1978, the venue has played a key role in establishing Bath’s live scene. Its stage has been graced by acts as diverse as Ed Sheeran, Radiohead, and Andrew Weatherall, while the venue also regularly hosts club nights for students and locals alike.
From alt-rock to dance music, Moles has a considerable roster of events catering to a broad range of tastes. If you’re a metalhead, check out the venue’s rock night, Discord, held every Wednesday. Or perhaps you’d prefer Wannabe? A night full of 90s throwback hits that takes place every third Saturday. And that’s really just scratching the surface…A true veteran of Bath’s nightlife scene, a great night out is guaranteed at Moles.
Fidel Rum Bar
If you’re a fan of a rum cocktail, you simply have to head to Fidel Rum Bar while in Bath. This cozy establishment is tucked away down one of the city’s central cobblestone streets. With an extensive selection of rums from across the world, you can come here to sip on sugarcane tipples that originate from Barbados, Guatemala, and even England!
The bar has a buzzy atmosphere with friendly, charismatic staff who are all trained – and uber-passionate – in the art of rum cocktail making. The vibe is a touch noir, which you’ll notice at the outset thanks to the dark-painted exterior and the Victorian window panes. Inside, you’ve got velveteen seats and dimly lit alcoves with shades of the Moulin Rouge about them.
Comedy venue, theatre, and nightclub rolled into one, Komedia is a jack of many trades. Housed in a Grade II-listed building with glorious Art Deco features, it’s a stylish setting for a night out in this historic English city. The venue was formerly Beau Nash Cinema, the West of England’s first-ever cinema. Nowadays, world-leading comedy acts, cabaret performers, and DJs tread its stage instead.
If you’re into your soul, Komedia is likely the perfect venue for you. Each Saturday, Komedia hosts Motorcity, one of Bath’s busiest soul club nights. Expect to hear all the funk and Motown classics you can imagine, going on until the early hours of the morning. There are also cracking drinks deals worth getting down early for!
The Dark Horse
For a stiff drink towards the end of the night, there’s only one place to go: The Dark Horse. This subterranean cocktail bar with sophisticated interiors and a late-night vibe sports dark leather sofas, dim lighting, and expertly mixed drinks.
Situated in Kingsmead Square, this hidden gem has won awards for its lively atmosphere and great quality drinks. It was voted among top 4 best new cocktail bars in the world by Tales Of The Cocktail in 2016, and among the top 3 in the UK by Imbibe Magazine in 2017. Suffice to say, you’re in for something pretty good!
The staff are expert mixologists, who are deeply knowledgeable about their craft – you won’t get any bog-standard mojitos or piña coladas here! While certainly on the expensive side of the spectrum, it’s definitely worth heading dow to The Dark Horse for one or two tipples during your visit to Bath.
Opium is a late-night hangout that describes itself as Bath’s “best-known secret.” The bar has decadently-adorned interiors featuring a hodgepodge of antique furniture and gold-framed artworks. There’’ a decent array of different beers and an extensive cocktail list to choose from at Opium. Our tip? Try the Malina – a dessert cocktail with a dreamy blend of hazelnut, raspberry, and vanilla. Opium has a private room to hire for functions, with the promise of a karaoke machine for late-night sing-alongs.
The location also makes it a top spot for starting a night out. The joint hides down on Spring Garden Road on the eastern banks of the River Avon. From there, it’s just a stone’s throw into the ancient and medieval heart of Bath where you’ll find stacks and stacks of other places to carry on the night.
Circo Cellar Bar & Lounge
Circo Cellar Bar & Lounge is one of the best nightlife spots in Bath. In 2019, it was voted Bath’s best bar – that’s the best bar in the WHOLE city! You’ll find it housed in a Georgian-era basement, channelling edgy yet surprisingly regal vibes with its Chesterfield sofas, rich upholstery, and exposed-brick walls.
From behind the bar, the name of the game is top-quality cocktails and upscale drinks. We’re talking a menu of classics backed up by curated champagne lists and bespoke spirit labels like Don Julio tequila and Angostura rums straight out of the Caribbean.
Every Friday and Saturday night, the arrival of DJs transforms the bar into a mini club. It’s a sort of mashup of techno night and chill-hop with a more intimate feel than many of Bath’s bigger dance halls.
It might be small, but boy does it pack a punch, the Hideout is a pint-sized (no pun intended) watering hole tucked somewhere into the web of little alleys and squares that swirl around Bath Abbey. We have to stress, this one is SMALL. Like, bijou small. Like, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it small! Just a little black door is all that’s there to mark it out from the Bath stone.
Anyway, once you’re inside, you can look forward to arguably the finest whiskey selection in the whole city. Yep, bottles of Scotch and single malt tower up from the floor to the ceiling, while the staff are experts in the warming tipple.
In the winter, look for one of the nooks under the vaulted Gothic ceilings. In the summer, head straight for the hidden outdoor space, which is wedged in between some of the town’s oldest buildings and gets pretty vibrant with in-the-know locals on balmy August weekend evenings.
The Bell Inn
No list of nightlife in Bath would be complete without a mention of The Bell Inn. This much-loved, community-owned pub just on the outskirts of Bath city center inspires a loyal following of students and local residents. It might be a little less swanky in its interiors than some of the city’s slicker cocktail bars, but there’s charm in the down-to-earth feel of it all.
The bar offers a great selection of real ales and West Country ciders, as well as live jazz, folk, and blues music three times a week – what more could you ask for? For those up for a boogie, the pub hosts live DJs most Fridays and Saturdays. And if you head here on Sundays, you can sample freshly-made, woodfired pizza from a local pizza van. Nice.
With the unusual distinction of being Bath’s only magic bar, Sleight Bar has something different up its sleeve. Come here to glug local ales and beers while enjoying evening shows that involve everything from card tricks to disappearing acts. The entertainment happens every Thursday and Friday, and is run by the in-house magician, Paul Brookes.
Of course, there’s the usual array of beers, wines, and sprits to keep you going throughout the magic displays. They’re topped off by some meticulously mixed cocktails, all made by trained mixologists and aficionados of the art. Look for Sleight Bar just down the road from Bath Abbey, in the beating heart of the city center.
Does Bath have good nightlife?
While Bath’s nightlife is no match for Bristol – its larger, much rowdier neighbor – the city is home to a small yet thriving nightlife scene. What the city lacks in terms of nightclubs, it certainly makes up for in quirky cocktail bars and cozy pubs. Every Friday and Saturday night, Bath comes alive with people heading to its many different hotspots for their evening antics. A small and quaint city, Bath is certainly not famous for its nightlife, but there’s still lots of fun to be had!
Where is the best club in Bath for students?
Moles is the best club in Bath for students. The venue attracts some of the best DJs and live music acts, and hosts club nights throughout the week. Cheesy Tuesday is student night at Moles, with cheap deals on drinks, discounted entry, and non-stop cheesy pop.
Is Bath good for pubs?
Bath has plenty of pubs to choose from. For regular live music and a brilliant selection of ales, head to The Bell Inn. For a delicious pub lunch, Hare & Hounds is one of the city’s best gastropubs. And, if you’re after something really traditional, The Star Inn, one of the oldest pubs in Bath, is definitely worth a visit.
Heading to the Southwest with your dog? Check out our guide to dog-friendly hotels!