Old Market Square
The largest pedestrianised city square in the country, Nottingham’s Old Market Square is a commanding presence in the very heart of the city centre. Nottingham Council House, guarded by a pair of large stone lions, stands imposingly in the eastern end of the square and serves as the city hall. We are including venues found on streets directly off the square as they weave together to form a nightlife area that has a big enough selection for any discerning hen group.
Nestled in the brilliantly named Beastmarket Hill, which forms the square’s curving western edge, The Bank is a large pub offering great value drinks deals and plenty of space for large groups. With four bars, the award-winning Bell Inn is a traditional inn that’s perfect for getting a night off to a great start in unpretentious, welcoming surroundings. Keep heading down Angel Row and duck right down the easy-to-miss Hurts Yard passage and you’ll be lead to Cucamara, a cocktail and tequila bar that is, unsurprisingly, a favourite of local students thanks to its £1 tequila slammers. Fans of cheese will be right at home in Retro Rooms on St James’ Street, a cult venue that specialises in throwing back to the 90’s. If you and the girls want to put your hips to work, then sashay up Market Street to Revolucion de Cuba, a Havana-themed cocktail bar where rum and salsa are the orders of the day.
Named after Nottingham’s historical position as the dominant force in the – you guessed it – lace-making industry during the British Empire, this area of repurposed and restored industrial buildings is now an extremely trendy part of the city. The narrow, high-sided streets give this area an enclosed and intimate feel and many of the cool bars are slipped discreetly into respectfully restored facades.
The Pitcher and Piano is housed inside a Grade II-listed church and pairs tasty cocktails with amazing stained glass windows and exposed brick archways. With live music seven nights a week, the characterful Filthy’s has mix and match furniture and an attitude towards partying that’s bordering on reckless - the search for somewhere to properly let your hair down on your last night of freedom need go no further than this Lace Market legend. Set in an old lace factory, the aptly named Lacehouse is all exposed brickwork and sexy lighting and trades in bespoke cocktails in a super stylish environment. Envisioned as an authentic venue that points to the space’s past in textile manufacturing, it’s geared towards the early-evening professional crowd just as much as the late night revellers. The expansive cocktail menu features classics and bespoke originals, and there’s also the small matter of the city’s largest inventory of rum. All Bar One is another high-end city bar that offers a large wine menu in sophisticated surroundings.
The area of Hockley lies north of and, adjacent to, the Lace Market, and is sometimes amalgamated with it into one large up-and-coming region thanks to a Nottingham City Council project named ‘Creative Quarter’, that was focused on creating jobs in both areas. Well-preserved Victorian buildings house new-age vintage shops, record stores and galleries, as well as a great collection of bars and cafes. After dark, a strong provision of late night venues build a boisterous atmosphere and it isn’t hard to see why this area has been described as ‘Nottingham’s Soho’.
Broad Street, the narrow route that runs straight through the middle of Hockley, is home to Nottingham’s Brewdog, a typically industrial and sparsely themed outpost for the Scottish beer makers who are distinctly proud of their place on the crest of craft beer’s 21st century wave of popularity. You’ll also find an awesome double-header of a venue on this road; a seriously classy bar called Rum House (sorry, no prizes for guessing what spirit they specialise in) with a mural-lined set of stairs that leads up to Bad Juju, an intimate ‘tiki’ bar offering all sorts of umbrella-garnished concoctions.
On the very north edge of Hockley lies Pryzm, an enormous six-room complex previously known as Oceana where over 2,500 can, and regularly do dance and drink until the smallest of the small hours. Cocktail bar Boilermaker is probably toying with being too cool for its own good – the street side entrance could be mistaken for an empty and unused shopfront during the day, but that’s the point. At night you walk in to have your ID checked by a bouncer posing as a bored employee and will be directed through a secret door into an expansive, retro-designed room with a quirky atmosphere and world-class beverages. Baa Bar on Goose Gate is where to head for those bubbling, smoking cocktails and potent, layered shooters that you can ‘treat’ the hen to. This place is that exclusive, we've even got a decadent Hockley cocktail bar crawl to read through...
Built in 2001, The Cornerhouse is an entertainment leisure centre in the heart of Nottingham, just across the road from the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall. With various bars and restaurants, it’s a perfect place to do a bit of bar hopping in a small area. It’s also just a short walk from Victoria Centre, a vast shopping complex, so if you’ll be indulging in a bit of retail therapy on the hen party - this is the perfect venue to reward yourself with a cocktail (or six) for all your hard work.
There are two Revolution vodka bars in the city, and the one in the ground floor of the Cornerhouse is particularly fantastic. The long menu of cocktails (subject to great early evening deals) and the famous ‘trains’ of flavoured shots are the perfect catalyst to kick off any wild night. Caribbean cocktails and all things rum are served with a smile at Turtle Bay, and keep an eye on your watch as they have famously lengthy early evening and late-night happy hours, where cocktails are 2-4-1. Their delicious bar snacks can also line the stomach before the merriment continues elsewhere. Rocket at Saltwater offers the most impressive al fresco drinking and dining venue in the city, with a huge terrace that’s routinely standing-room-only in the hotter months and thoroughly heated to be comfortable in the winter as well. For the late night crowd, there’s the recently refurbished and re-branded Pom Pom, a vibrant dance club open until 3am.
The Canal Front
Just a short walk from the train station is an underappreciated gem of Nottingham, the Canal Front. 19th century industrial buildings have been repurposed as stylish waterside bars and restaurants usually with large outside seating areas where you can watch the narrow boats chug past over a chilled glass of prosecco.
Via Fossa is a large pub set inside an impressive building and with a sizeable patio terrace outside the front. The menu is varied and great value, particularly when the hen-friendly shot and bomb deals are ramped up over the weekend. Fellows, Morton and Clayton takes advantage of an amazing location in a beautiful old warehouse still adorned with the original sign of its namesake, which used to be the largest canal transportation company in England and dates all the way back to 1837. The Canalhouse has to be seen to be believed – the adjacent canal actually extends inside the building and comes complete with resident narrow boats and an arched bridge connecting either side of the venue.
There are fantastic hen party packages to be found in Nottingham, with brilliant central hotels and loads of daytime activities to keep you and girls entertained. Have a look at what we have to offer in the mad midlands party capital and place an enquiry to receive a personalised quote.