Where are the best places in Britain to go for a wild night out on the town? We take a look at five alternative options to the usual haunts and hangouts. Did someone say road trip?
Who doesn't love a weekend away? It usually starts with non-stop singing in the car on the motorway, peaks with drunken antics in the town and almost always ends with checking out of the hotel late with the world's worst headache.
Although capital cities like London, Edinburgh and Cardiff are great for nights out, they can all put a dent in your wallet and are often overflowing with tourists, thanks to their global reputations. We've put together five different options, all renowned for their vibrant nightlife and buzzing highstreets packed with pubs, clubs and bars, to help you avoid the crowd and save some cash. You might not have the sun, sea and sand of a holiday abroad, but you can still guarantee a good time with your mates. No singing on the way home though please.
Broad Street: Arguably Birmingham's most lively area, Broad Street is lined with popular bars from Aussie favourite Walkabout to the city's biggest nightclub Gatecrasher, which boasts four club rooms. Although that's nothing compared to Bar Risa's six, which are jam-packed with the party crowd on a Saturday night. After a marathon of Broad Street hotspots, heavyweights tend to rock up to Grosvenor Casino which is open 24 hours a day.
Southside: Why not book a booth and enjoy cocktails in Bambu's Moroccan themed garden? Alternatively, cross the road to Arcadian which is home to many cool venues such as Indi Bar which is open until 4 a.m. on Saturdays and the very chic Arca, which sees talented DJs getting visitors up on the floor to dance the night away.
The Mailbox: For a slightly more sophisticated evening, The Mailbox presents a chilled, lively vibe next to the water's edge. Here you'll find Malmaison - nicknamed 'the champagne bar of Birmingham' - and Pennyblacks, home to great cocktails, live sports and a fantastic selection of nibbles.
Other Spots: There are many other areas in Birmingham with some excellently lively venues. Whether you want to party in up-and-coming Digbeth, tour the stylish bars of Brindleyplace or get a feel for exclusive Summerow, there's something for everyone in this diverse city.
Clubs: Bristol is no stranger to the clubbing scene with a student party crowd flocking to the city. One of the biggest super clubs is Pryzm (formely Oceania) which has had a £1m restructure resulting in five themed bars and two small clubs. Another popular venue is Syndicate, hosting regular events such as Hed Kandi and Godskitchen. You'll also find an incredibly diverse range of live music in the many clubs, including award winning Thekla which features performances most nights of the week.
City Centre: Bars are plentiful in the centre of this bustling city. From nationwide favourites such as O'Neill's and Vodka Revolution, to Lounge @ 30 strip club for those on a cheeky stag-do - Bristol's city centre is the perfect place to enjoy a boozy bar crawl.
Harbourside: Along the waterfront you'll discover an idyllic setting to enjoy a few cocktails during the summer months. It has a relaxed vibe but can still get lively at weekends, with buzzing Lloyd's Bar occupying the last spot at the end of the waterfront.
Other Spots: Bristol is a quirky, dynamic city and there are many more alternative options to explore than the endless supply of bars and clubs. Experience theatrical entertainment at The Bristol Hippodrome (the city's west end theatre), or add some laughter to your night at Jongleurs inside The Cuban on Millennium Square - one of the best comedy venues in the country.
Concert Square: Regarded as the nightlife heartbeat of Liverpool, Concert Square is often packed with an 18-25 party crowd. The outdoor courtyard is buzzing with life on a Saturday night and bordered by some excellent venues, including the three-floor club Krazyhouse, which plays the latest in R&B, hip-hop and chart hits.
Mathew Street: Heading to Liverpool for a stag or hen weekend? You need to check out Mathew Street. Saturday nights are crawling with groups of men and women dressed in suitably outrageous attire as they hop between bars. This narrow stretch is best known for the Cavern Club where The Beatles made numerous appearances early on in their career; you won't find a club that says authentic Liverpool more than this one.
Eberle Street: An area popular with hardcore ravers who keep going into the early hours, this is one of the city's late night hotspots with DJs at nightclubs like G Bar and Passion playing house and electro until around 8am. If you're heading here, you'd better ask your hotel for a late check out.
Other Spots: There's an area for every age group and party in Liverpool. Stanley Street boasts a strong gay crowd where as river views can be enjoyed at Albert Dock which is home to a few trendy venues like Gusto Restaurant and Bar. For those searching for live music, Seel Street is known for hangouts hosting up-and-coming talent.
The Northern Quarter: Home to some of the best quirky and trendy hotspots in the city, you won't need to look further than Manchester's Northern Quarter. An incredible variety of drinking holes can be found here, from basement cocktail bars to traditional boozers like Port Street Beer House. The High Street tends to be the main place to be but nearby Tib and Oldham Streets have some excellent, laid-back venues too.
Gay Village: Manchester's gay community is one of the most established in Europe and the buzzing atmosphere that surrounds the bars, clubs and restaurants along Canal Street in particular, makes this area one of the liveliest in the city. This picturesque, waterside stretch is especially lively during the summer months with people of all ages and sexualities spilling out into the outdoor seating areas.
Cloud 23: If you're one to gawp over skyline views while sipping a glass of bubbly, don't miss Cloud 23. Located on the 23rd floor of The Hilton, this pricey hotspot is characterised by its stylish décor and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the city. Not ideal if you're on a budget but perfect for a special occasion.
Other Spots: This city is famed for its music scene and there are no shortage of venues hosting live bands and talented artists. If there isn't anything going on at Manchester Arena, look out for events at other spots such as The Ruby Lounge, Band On The Wall or Gorilla. Planning on dancing until the early hours? Popular nightclubs to consider are the likes of Sakura, Suede and Revolucion De Cuba.
Quayside: Easily one of the city's most vibrant spots, Quayside boasts some fascinating views of the Tyne by day but is a picture of young party-goers by night. Although there are a good selection of restaurants here, the main draw is the nightlife, which includes lively bar Victoria 22 and Newcastle's legendary music venue Riverside.
Bigg Market: If you're on a stag or hen-do, your best port of call is Bigg Market which has been delighting locals and incoming tourists with its selection of pubs and bars for years. This is arguably the best place in the city to enjoy a good old traditional pub crawl, with more than 20 drinking holes giving meaning to the phrase 'cheap and cheerful'. City Vaults is one of the most popular places for groups of lads, particularly on a match day when football fans stop to enjoy the game rather than the various music rooms and skimpily dressed staff.
The Diamond Strip: One of Newcastle's 'classy' spots, the Diamond Strip is mainly based along Collingwood Street and is the city's equivalent of W1 in London. Celebs and VIPs flock here in their numbers to get a taste for the trendy vibes in suave venues like Florita's and Madame Koo. Expect strict dress codes and a more mature crowd; in other words, don't wear your trainers and be on your best behaviour.
Other Spots: Other hotspots to consider are The Gate, home to classic British favourites like Lloyds, and Pilgrim Street where you'll find some pubs selling some tasty locally produced ales.