Given that I am now technically into my fifth year at Lancs (though this is now only through visiting people I know here) I thought I could provide a rough outline of the bars available on campus. For those unaware of the nature of the University: it is a college based uni on the extreme outskirts of the town of Lancaster- thereby you end up either drinking in town or campus (reviews of town pubs and the clubs may follow). This is to describe campus. In full there are 11 available drinking spots but two are only for completists and pedants- these two are the coffee bar called 'The Venue' which does also sell bottled beers and the hotel attached to the Uni which does offer a bar (though they are not always welcoming to students). For those of a less pedantic/sturdy disposition there are nine bars available. Of these one is often also considered a technicality due to its location away from the campus proper. This is graduate bar and it is a shame to miss this or to end here as the beer is some of the best on campus and it offers a nice variety of drinks. However we now come to the eight bars proper (though for a decent 'round of gold' you do have to do Graduate) which constitute a gallon challenge (traditionally eight pints in eight bars in two hours- which is no way as near as hard as it seems). Taking it from the top there is: Northern Half of Campus COUNTY:- Decent beer, decent prices, middle of no-where, slightly southern-USA vibe/Royston valley vibe "You're not from around here are you?". Good games machines, two pool tables, table football, wide screen TV. More of a loungey than bar atmosphere. CARTMEL:- Metal chic (ie metallic chairs. kind of minimalist), Beer of widely (and wildly) varying qualities (personally would recommend having bottles or cider at a pinch), three pool tables set away from the bar area, not bad arcade machines, good range of drinks. LONSDALE:- Ope
n-plan type thing, smaller range of drinks, not bad at times, tiny pool tables, crappy arcades. Good place to sit and chat- less good to sit and drink. BOWLAND:- Two part area, linked bar and JCR. Small selection of drinks, sadly varying in quality (though when they're good they are good). Friendly atmosphere, one of the most 'local' types of bars on campus. Reflects Bowlands status as smallest college on campus. Two pool tables in entirely separate room- one of the better places to play pool on campus. Middling arcade stuff. Good place for chatting and drinking, not normally too crowded. Southern Half of Campus: FURNESS:- One of the bigger bars with conjoining games room, two pool tables and range of arcades. Bar traditionally stocks a wider range of drinks than most, with a good variety of guest ales. Often very busy as are all bars south of this one. Though may only be personal experience but this is one of the less friendly bars on campus. FYLDE:- The sports college, reflected in the bar which is situated as a unit inside the JCR. JCR contains two pool tables, few arcade machines and wide screen TV. Bar has decent range of drinks that are drinkable, though not always much more. One of the busiest bars on campus, often with a lot of socials. GRIZEDALE:- Bit of strange one this as it seems to follow the old tradition of two bars back to back, one for the yokels (students) and one for the class (presumably everyone else). Pool table in bar area, others situated away in separate room along with wide range of arcades. Wide screen in another linked room which is used for a disco on Friday nights (which tends to be a tad cramped but a good laugh). One of the better set out bars and one of the best. Busy but still possible to be served and decent selection of drinks. Worth sneaking into smaller bar area if busy in main bar as you may get served sooner. PENDLE:- Airport lounge. Have purposefully
avoided this place since my first year so have no idea if it has got better. Some people swear by it, rather more swear at it. Often the end of the bar crawl, by which point you're pissed enough not to care. Has potential to be a decent bar but I just don't like it. Above all others at Uni this is one you have to visit and make your own mind up. IN GENERAL:- Due to the lack of a central bar the prices are a little higher than some in the area (since each bar must be competitive in its own right), however this does offer a good range of bars which are of different styles. Speaking personally I do prefer this to the single large bar that many uni's have and I wouldn't change things. It also allows you to have both a local and a selection of drinking bars when you fancy going out for more than a few. Town is also very good but that is a different story.
Lancaster - a quiet, normal town in Lancashire. Peaceful, serene, set in beautiful countryside, and full of bars, pubs, and clubs. For a full 30 weeks of the year, Lancaster opens up for business, and the student market is there to ensure that the local economy ticks over. Drinks are generally cheap, ranging from £1 per shot at the SugarHouse to £2.50 per pint in some of the more 'upmarket' bars. Student life rules the roost in Lancaster, and I can only hope it stays that way for a long time. Vive les Students!
If God looked down he would smite the those who defied his will and brought the curse of ThemePubs(TM) into his Sacred Place. When students made their bi-weekly pilgramage to the Sugarhouse they often stopped off at the Friary and Firkin, a holy place where monks and nuns could spend half and hour drinking until the Sugarhouse opened at 10pm. All religions were welcome; there was a large, if busy bar for those who were thristy of throat. There were also slot machines for those who were heavy of pocket. And of course there was a false idol, devoted to those who were big of forehead, the largest religion in the world, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? And God looked down and he was happy, for his worshippers had kept pews for thirsty monks to talk and drink, and what could have been a place of sin was kept holy by the way in which this pub looked like a church. But it was a popular place of worship and things were soon to change. The devil himself, known as keystones did close the Friary and Firkin and with the stench of brimstone burned the pews which so easily accomodated many students. The Oak tables were evilly drawn into hades and burned with the smell of a thousand student cocktails. And a New Way, like the politics of the country, changed the Friary and Firkin into a stale and derivitive unholy place- forever! Now pilgrims flocking to the new "Firkin" are fooled by the outside appearance of a church, and enter the public house to be confronted by a most vile sight. The church interior has gone and replaced by the most evil of themed pubs, the new interior resembles a school canteen. With the holy attraction of the sugarhouse, people still come to the friary for the pre-dance drinks, but now hunch over Ikea-esque pine tables and chairs, 4 persons per table, unlike the mass of students that could crowd onto the large wooden tables of yore. The ancient holy game of pool now costs £1 and drives innocent students
to the new terrible slot machines, which are the devils own. "Full Moon Fever" and "The Addams Family" are false idols, merely holes which have condemned many a worthy quid to the underworld. Of course, the mighty religious strength of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire has survived this evil untouched. And what are we to do about this brothers? I shall continue to frequent the place. But grudgingly, for I have the curse that is the Yellow Card.
With 9 bars on campus its inevitable that bar crawls will go ahead, I recommend the 18 holers, 35 minutes to do 9 bars is the limit we set, then you do them all again....actually I don't know if its a good night or not..... I can never remember, but it seems good when I'm on it. Apart from campus, Lancaster itself only has a few clubs like Liquid (go there on the weekend at your own peril) Elemental (wicked on a Tuesday night for students) The Alex (amazingly cheesy rock club, but a quality laugh on a Friday/Saturday night and also the bar downstairs is open till 2 which is quite handy if you want to carry on drinking) and of course the Sugarhouse, which is the university's own club. Thursday night is "Popscene", which is an "alternative" night, it is a really good laugh and before this they either have an unsigned band which is cool or a comedian which is really cool as you get to see loads of, well, comedians. Fosters is usually a quid on Thursdays aswell so its worth it. Friday night is either "The Big Cheese" or "Relax" or some dance thing, which is a good laugh and on Saturday its "Sunday's for sleeping" which is basically a mixture. The Sugarhouse is a good laugh where the drinks are cheap, it is a bit like a school disco, but as long as your pissed and with your mates who cares?? The Carleton in morecambe is the WORST place EVER, but after a few stiff'uns (quadruple vodka drinks) you love it and everyone in it. The Carleton is a good laugh and renowned for being the reason why people collapse in Alex square on Thursday mornings and fall of their seat on the bus etc. All in all Lancaster doesn't have a massive variety of things to do, but it is all a really good laugh an the atmosphere of the uni is so good that you just can't fail to have a good time.
If there is an absolute must-experience within Lancaster University nightlife, it is the sparkling Wednesday night at Morcambe's beachfront night club, The Carleton. As a second year student at Lancaster Uni, I have been to The Carleton almost every Wednesday since Fresher weeks in my very first term - and it never gets dull. An evening of drinking, dancing and debauchery on ever level, the Carleton experience usually begins with a few rounds in one of the college bars on campus. Then, it's down to the bus, easily one of the hightlights of the night, with many a dirty drinking song being bellowed out along the way to Morcombe. The Carleton itself resembles an old bingo hall, but don't let that put you off. It's old fashioned niceness peels away to reveal a genuine student knees up - the alcohol flows until 2am, and the drink of the evening has to be the legendary 'Stiffun', a mix of four shots of vodka with Red Bull. The music ranges from S Club 7 to Eminem to Limp Bizkit, and there is an attraction for every social group. A definate must for all true fun loving students.
Lancaster Uni's theatre is called the Nuffield and is situated on campus itself. Predominantly because there is an entire Theatre Studies department the theatre is constantly running and has outside acts coming in throughout the year. Be aware though that this is not a typical theatre...you will not find many 'average' performances of texts except by the University Theatre group. The style is usually unscripted items that involve dance...such as Nigel Charnock's dance company. But there is always the opportunity to see what Theatre Studies students themselves are doing and this is what I have found most interesting. Tickets tend to be £4 for students and £7 for adults and some of the productions have been well worth seeing
Although the uni. can seem damp and depressing and the 60s architecture is not the most impressive in the world, I found Lancaster to be a very fun university to study at. One of its main benefits being the college system which allows you to meet a wide varity of people and not get lumbered with the same people from your course for 3 years, and of course there is the college bars. There is also a lively societies scene at the uni. with regular bar crawls between all 9 college bars, and then off to the Sugar House the students union owned nightclub in town. The city itself can seem a bit small after three years but there are plenty of pubs, and one or two decent nightclubs that do student nights like the Sugar House and the Carlton. Anyway if you get sick of the city it's only half an hour away from Preston, and very close to Liverpool, Manchester and Blackpool so there's no real reason to get bored.