Nightlife in Bournemouth: Clubs & Bars

The Old Fire Station

For many young people, after a hard day’s surfing comes a hard nights partying. Luckily, Bournemouth doesn’t just offer some of the best surfing conditions in the UK, but also some of the best nightclubs and bars in Dorset too. With two universities that enrol more than 30,000 students between them, there’s a lot of young and excitable people in town – especially during fresher’s week festivities at the beginning of September.


Like any town with a lot of students, there are plenty of cheap options for predrinks in Bournemouth. There are no less than four Wetherspoons within five minutes’ walk of the seafront, so most will find suitably budget-friendly drinking options with ease. As with many Wetherspoons pubs, two of them also have strong historical connections – making a nice atmosphere in which to sip your £2 pint. The Mary Shelley is named after the iconic 19th century author of Frankenstein, who was buried in the church adjacent to the site.

The other is The Moon in the Square, which took the inspiration for its name from a famous George Orwell essay about pubs and was formerly the opulent home of Bournemouth’s first mayor TJ Hankinson. For those with a bit more cash, or the aspirations to be so, there’s also several highly rated cocktail bars. These include the number one rated bar on Trip Advisor, Be at One Cocktail Bar, and a specialist whisky bar called Smokin’ Aces. Lastly there are many independent pubs too, such as the award-winning Firking Shed or the quirky shabby chic Americana of The Sixty Million Postcards.


The two most iconic Bournemouth nightclubs that are still open today are The Old Fire Station and Halo. The reserve of students four two nights and week, and open to all on the other two, The Old Fire Station is – as its name suggests – located behind the original 1901 façade of the old Bournemouth fire station. With three dancefloors and four bars spread across this massive venue, most nights will have something for clubbers of almost every musical persuasion. However, during the Summer holidays when no students are in town it only opens on Saturdays and rarely hosts special events.

The other big unique clubbing space in Bournemouth is Halo.Built inside an old church, it certainly has its own atmosphere – as well as loads of guest DJs including Annie Mac and Solardo due to play over the rest of 2019. For a cheaper, and younger, night out try student favourite Cameo. This cheap but cheerful club plays 90s bangers, cheesy anthems and all the general WKD or VK soaked messiness you’d expect from a student club. If you needed anything else, there’s chain pub/club Walkabout, which hosts a dancefloor until 1 or 2am on many nights. And for your – er – adult needs, there’s also a well-known strip club called Wiggles.

Just don’t end up spending £1100 there in one night like these lads did. Be careful, clubbers!