Bars, Pubs and Clubs
Bars & Clubs
Bars & Clubs are mainly in cities and towns. Most clubs and bars are for people of over 18, and therefore you may be asked for identification before you enter. The legal drinking age in the UK is 18, and you may be asked for identification when buying alcohol (You may asked to provide your driving license or passport). If you are under 18, ask your institution about special under-18 nights in your area.
You may have to pay when you enter a bar or club. Entrance fees range from £1 (mainly student nights) to £25, at some London clubs. The price of drinks also varies. In smaller towns and villages drinks are likely to be cheaper, while in London you could pay as much as £5 for a glass of house wine.
Clubs and bars in the UK are extremely varied, and they will often play different types of music on different nights. If you live in a city, you're likely to find club nights to suit every music taste, whether that might be hip-hop, metal, alternative, drum 'n' bass or house. To find out what's going on in your area, check posters in your student union or search our events listings.
The UK is famous for its pubs. Short for "public house", a pub is similar to a bar. The furnishings are usually very traditional. The typical British pub will have brick walls, a roaring fire, pots and pans hanging from the walls and old wooden furniture (just like on the left here). Many are open all day, and serve a range of traditional British food. They may even have a special house ale. For more information on Pubs in the UK see the British Pub Guide.
Be safe! Socialising in bars and clubs is a great way to interact with the locals and 99% of the time they offer a safe and enjoyable night out. However, you should always be aware that bars and clubs can be targeted by thieves. You should always keep your belongings with you, or if you are in a club, you can pay to keep them in the cloakroom.
For female students there is one more problem you should be aware of at bars and clubs. There are occasionally incidents of women’s drinks being ‘spiked’ with drugs (put in without you knowing) on nights out. To combat this you should never leave your drink unattended and should stick with friends whilst on a night out.
Though something to be aware of, these problems are generally very rare, and certainly shouldn’t put you off going out. Chances are you will never come across any real trouble on nights out during your stay in Britain, and the best solution is almost always simply to use your common sense.