Going on a night out is a big part of British culture, whether you’re a university student, a middle-aged professional or a retiree, we can all appreciate the fun to be had while out socialising with friends.
However, not all of our towns and cities in the UK offer the same quality of nightlife. Some locations have a plethora of bars and pubs drinkers can choose from, while others are much quieter and with a much scarcer selection of venues.
British towns and cities also vary wildly when it comes to safety. While all of the best nightlife venues have ample staff and door supervisors, all with the appropriate training and SIA licences, safety is still an important factor that many of us consider when planning a night out in town.
So, which UK locations are the best not only for bars and pubs but for safety as well? Looking at the largest towns and cities in the UK, we can reveal the overall best places for a night out and the best locations purely for safety and drinking.
The best place in the UK for a night out
Here we can see the top ten best places in the UK for a night out. This includes data on the number of drinking venues per head, the cost of a pint, and a range of different safety concerns, all of which come together in our Overall Night Out Score.
1. York Overall Night Out Score: 7.67/10
York is the UK city with the best night out having received an Overall Night Out Score of 7.67. Famous for its excellent offering of pubs and bars, including some that are hundreds of years old and some of the most haunted venues in the country, York has a diverse and interesting nightlife that has something for everyone. Combining this variety with some of the best scores in every safety category, York is a great night out where you can have fun without feeling unsafe or at risk.
2. Telford Overall Night Out Score: 7.56/10
Telford takes the second spot with an Overall Night Out Score of 7.56. This Shropshire town may have fewer nearby pubs and bars than York, but it makes up for that with an extremely low price of a pint at just £2.60. Combine the affordable drinks with another extremely good set of safety scores, and you’ve got yourself a worry-free night out for you and your friends.
3. Warrington Overall Night Out Score: 6.97/10
In third place is Warrington, which received an Overall Night Out Score of 6.97. This large northern town is pretty much halfway between Manchester and Liverpool and is easily accessible from both as well as having a direct rail link to London. Warrington benefits from a healthy balance of having many pubs and bars in the area to choose from while providing a relatively safe experience for visitors to the town.
The best towns and cities in the UK for drinking
In this section, we look purely at the data for drinking venues and the price of a pint. This gives us an idea of which towns and cities offer the greatest selection of bars and nearby pubs for their size, without breaking the bank on overpriced drinks.
1. Blackpool Night Out Drinking Score: 7.63
The best place in the UK for a boozy night out is Blackpool, which clocked a Night Out Drinking Score of 7.63. With relatively cheap pints at just £3.07 each, and an impressive selection of bars and clubs for its size, Blackpool is a great place to enjoy a night out filled with drinks and partying.
2. Bolton Night Out Drinking Score: 6.92
In second place is another North West town, Bolton, which received a Night Out Drinking Score of 6.92. With as many as 247.57 pubs in the area for every 100,000 people in town, Bolton is the ideal place for a pub crawl like no other! Additionally, the low cost of pints, averaging at just £2.84, means you can afford to visit more pubs here than in most other places in our list.
3. Plymouth Night Out Drinking Score: 6.41
Plymouth takes third place with a Night Out Drinking Score of 6.41. This South Coast port town has an excellent selection of local bars and clubs with even more per head than in Blackpool! However, with fewer nearby pubs and a higher price for a pint, Plymouth will have to settle for a bronze medal on this occasion.
The UK’s best places for safety on a night out
We also take a moment to focus solely on the safety of these different locations to see how suitable they are for a carefree and enjoyable night on the town. Looking at a range of safety factors, such as how much locals worry about being mugged or subject to a hate crime or even how safe they feel walking alone at night, we can reveal which UK towns and cities are the safest places to party.
1. York Night Out Safety Score: 9.66
Once again York claims the top spot, this time for being the safest city on our list with a Night Out Safety Score of 9.66. York scored well across the board when it came to safety, but particularly excelled at being a safe place for people to walk home at night, scoring 75.87 out 100 for that metric. It seems that York’s reputation for being a friendly city is well-founded, and the top spot in our ranking is equally well-earned.
2. Telford Night Out Safety Score: 9.33
Telford also reclaims its second-place spot just below York, having earned a Night Out Safety Score of 9.33. Similarly to York, Telford scores well across all safety metrics but does especially well when it comes to people not being worried about hate crime.
3. Norwich Night Out Safety Score: 8.61
Norwich takes third place with a Night Out Safety Score of 8.61. It seems that people in this East Anglian city have little to worry about when enjoying a fun night out, as the town scored highly for most safety factors.
We wanted to find out which UK towns and cities are the best places for a good night out. We considered a range of factors including the number of venues per head, the cost of a pint, and a range of safety issues.
The data we used for the number of bars and clubs was taken from Tripadvisor, while the number of pubs close to each location was taken from CAMRA’s whatpub.com. We then compared this data to the populations of each town and city using data from The Geographist.
Additionally, we sourced the price of a pint from Numbeo. This figure was given as a price per 500ml, which we used to calculate what a pint measure would cost in proportion. We also used Numbeo’s safety data to track a range of safety-related factors for each town and city.
We combined all of these factors into a single overall score, where each was given equal weighting. We also created separate scores for each town and city-based purely on drinking factors and safety factors.
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