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Discover the best live music, bars and nightclubs in Cumbria

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

Cumbrians love their peace and tranquility in the glorious scenery – but they know how to let their hair down, too. Here are some of the best places to have a great night out.


Nightclubs
Girl in nightclub

If you’re looking for nightclubs and bars, Carlisle’s Botchergate is still the street with the highest density, although others have opened around Devonshire Street and Lonsdale Street, and in the Historic Quarter. Botchergate gets very lively on Friday and Saturday nights. The street is closed to traffic from 9pm to let party people wander from one side to the other, and back again, as they visit a number of bars and clubs.

Live sport

A right turn after walking out of the railway station, Botchergate opens with The Griffin pub on the right, a good place to watch live sport on TV, and a cracking little venue, Bar Solo, on the left. Travelling down the street from there, you’ll come across themed bars taking you back to the 70s, or to Australia, along with a few traditional pubs, restaurants and plenty of takeaways.

If you’re looking for nightclubs and bars, Carlisle’s Botchergate is still the street with the highest density, although others have opened around Devonshire Street and Lonsdale Street

Trendy bars

Devonshire Street has earned a reputation for trendier bars, where drinks discounts aren’t the attraction but creativity of alcohol and food offerings certainly is. You could spend a pleasurable night without taking many steps, visiting The Thin White Duke, Artwork, The Fat Gadgie and Maggie Elliott & the Three Pillars.

Intimate shows
Old Fire Station, Carlisle

The Old Fire Station is an arts and entertainment centre, which is home to a variety of events

Carlisle has a number of smaller venues for the more intimate show. The Brickyard is a live music venue with a capacity of 320, a great use of a century-old church hall. The Old Fire Station is exactly what it says it is, and has been building a great reputation over recent years for its programme of live entertainment, from bands you loved as a teenager to cutting-edge comedians and plays. It also gives a space to local artists, workshops and exhibitions.

Buzzing venues

The people of Kendal are spoiled when it comes to buzzing live music venues. Bootleggers puts on top notch gigs every Thursday, Friday and Sunday, plus other gigs throughout the year. There is also a DJ every Saturday night.

Local bands

Live music singer

The Source Collective is a good spot to enjoy local bands and singers, plus the occasional touring act, often for just a few pounds. Open Mind, in the city centre, stages singers and DJs in an intimate setting, free of charge. And check out Warwick Bazaar – by day a shop selling weird and wonderful items, by many nights an intimate music venue upstairs.

Performing arts

Stanwix Arts Theatre is worth a visit – it is the main performance space for the performing arts courses at the University of Cumbria, and puts on more than 90 shows a year.

Whatever you decide to do, you’re guaranteed a fantastic night out in Cumbria.

Read more about Cumbria and the Lake District

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Image credits: ©Joe Watts/Unsplash; Lev Dolgachov/Stephen VanHorn/stock.adobe.com; Stephen Dunn/Old Fire Station

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