Student nights in Canterbury

canterbury night out

By Pamela Head,

Canterbury has a great eclectic mix of student nights, spread across the three universities in the area and throughout the City. Whether your idea of the perfect student night out is a full on rave or a frothy cappuccino, Canterbury has it all.

The Venue

The nightclub on the University of Kent campus. It has two floors, and an accompanying third floor at the top called The Attic (technically a separate venue but sometimes opened in conjunction with Venue on big nights such as Halloween). It is open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Wednesday is commonly referred to on campus as ‘Vensday’ and this is the sports team night. They have themes and drinks deals, and it’s a hugely popular night. Saturday night is the other popular night out. SOAP runs this one, and you have even more chances to dress up and cover yourself in paint/win iPads/pose next to a woman or man on stilts. It again has drinks deals and free entry deals before 10pm, and is a student night you can’t afford to miss in Canterbury. If you go to Kent, you’ll no doubt spend a lot of time in Venue.

Club Chemistry

Club Chemistry, often referred to as ‘The Works’ by older students who remember it before the name change, runs several nights. It has three floors and often has different music on each floor, pandering to everyone’s tastes. OMG! Is held every Monday and there are various themes yet again, along with queue jump if you purchase a Student Republic card for £10, sold on the door and around the town, and free entry if you get lucky and win it through the Facebook group. It also runs Juice, the official Christ Church Sports night. They also offer queue jump with an SR card and drinks deals. Saturday is known as Fusion Night at Chemistry, but this isn’t a student night and so can be expensive for you to attend. On Thursdays, they hold Indiecate, the best Indie night in Canterbury, with special guests like Alex Zane and Nick Grimshaw. If you’re an indie kid, or even if you aren’t, pop along.


Chill is the smallest of the clubs on offer in Canterbury. With just one main dance floor and two floors in total, it’s small but don’t underestimate it. The main night it holds is one called Alphabeats on Wednesday nights. This night is themed around a letter of the alphabet, with music, giveaways and food all revolving around this concept, and if your first or last name begins with the letter, you’re given free entry before 11pm. This one is definitely worth a go.

University of Kent Campus bar


This is a nice bar serving chips, burgers, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, smoothies and waffles. The waffles especially are to die for so if you get a chance, try one. On Friday nights, Mungos is turned into a night called Magic Mungos. The lights are dimmed, a DJ is shipped in, the tables cleared and it is the best place to go on a Friday night on campus.


A Tex-Mex restaurant, serving fajitas, enchiladas, pork albondigas (meatballs) and sharing platters if there is a group of you. They also show the football on the weekend. On Tuesday evenings, this turns into Ruby Tuesdays, the campus indie night for all you music lovers.


This is the bar in Parkwood. A regular haunt for those of you living in Parkwood flats/houses, it’ll most likely become your second home. They serve burgers, chips, lasagna, Cajun chicken strips, etc. Woodys also show the football on a weekend and every Sunday they hold Woodys Pub Quiz, so good luck if you enter.

Rutherford Bar

This is the bar in Rutherford College and was originally called The Atom. Though it claims to be a bar, its real success is in providing students a place to go during the day between seminars. They serve pizza, sandwiches and nachos and occasionally host quizzes during the evenings.

K Bar

This is the bar in Keynes College. Another football venue, this bar also serves pizza and has a wide variety of cocktails on offer. Every Thursday night, they host something called Redemption, a reggae music night that is definitely worth a visit.

The Attic

The Attic is technically the bar above the Venue. It is generally considered as part of the Venue by older students due to it originally being called The Lighthouse and being regularly opened up so that students could visit all three floors on a night out. Now, it holds comedy nights, live unsigned nights and theme events like Blue Rinse (dress up as an OAP, it’s fun, honest) and Oktoberfest.

Other events

Student Republic

Student Republic is a big company that runs nearly every night in town. Their major and most popular nights are OMG! at Chemistry on a Monday, and also their night at The Cuban. The Cuban is a bar in the middle of the high street and is mainly commercial but can play other types. For the last two years, Monday Cuban has been the most popular night in Canterbury. If you want to go, make sure you get there EARLY – it’s often at capacity by 9:30pm.

Beercart Arms

This is a more relaxed version of a club night and takes place on a Friday night. It has a dance floor and has the same DJ as SOAP at Venue, but the venue is significantly smaller, in town and more suited to those looking for a pub-feel to their night.

Ye Olde Brewery Tavern

Yet another alternative for your weekend: The Brewery Tavern is a hotel and restaurant but come Fridays and Saturdays, it is turned into a smaller version of a nightclub, with a DJ, strobe lights and some very questionable drinks.


Like every main town, Canterbury is home to Wetherspoons. Fondly referred to as ‘Top Spoons’ and ‘Bottom Spoons’ due to us having two and them being positioned at opposite ends of the high street, I wish you the best of luck in figuring out which one people are talking about when you arrange to meet at one.