A Guide to Cambridge Nightlife: Alternate Nights

The final part of nightlife options around Cambridge when clubbing and pubbing isn’t enough

This is the third and final part of the beginner’s guide to nightlife in Cambridge. When clubs have become tiresome and pubs too busy, there are many more options to explore around town. Here are the final events to look out for, and a few random options for when work is your last priority.

  1. ADC Theatre

The ADC Theatre hosts an array of extremely talented theatre companies. You can go to see performances ranging from Shakespeare and Brontë to musicals and improv comedy. Upcoming shows include the well-known Footlights and the much anticipated ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ by the University Musical Theatre Society. Watching some potential future actors or comedians is a great alternative night.   

  1. Union Cellars

The Union Cellars occasionally opens its doors to incredible live music events known as ‘Jazz After Dark’ and ‘Hip-Hop After Dark’. At £7 a ticket, the bands that play are mesmerising and mostly improvise. Each instrument takes the lead and passes the spotlight onto the next. A great location for an amazing experience. 

  1. Corn Exchange

A venue with a diverse number of performances and shows to see. Visited by well-known comedians, singers and musicians, be sure to look ahead at what’s on to catch some great tickets. With the Philharmonic Orchestra playing this September, the new term will see some amazing shows from Dawn French to the Blossoms.

  1. House/Kitchen Parties

Feeling of a room party… (image credits: Michelle Crees)

Sometimes all you need is a good house, kitchen or room party. Simply annoy the person with the biggest room until they finally cave and let you wreck it for one night. From card games and Just Dance to shots and more Just Dance, these can be the most memorable nights of term.

Finish the Night:

If you’ve reached the end of your night and want to do something very random then here are a few final suggestions:

  1. Grantchester Meadows 

Normally, Grantchester is seen as the location for peak heat swimming. However, going out for a night trip to look under the stars away from the centre of Cambridge is a great escape. From personal experience, it is a bit tricky making fire to burn your essays, but the process is still entertaining. Some even make this a regular trip for night swimming – an activity I know my body won’t survive in the cold. 

  1. Sit in a punt

The peak of entertainment during lockdown (image credits: Michelle Crees)

Though more of an aimless lockdown activity, if you need a different sort of space, why not head down to Queens’ Backs or Jesus Green and sit in the punts.

  1. 4am Food

Whether it be after a social, a night out or a late library session, food this late (or early) hits different. Either a Souvlaki from Gardies, cheesy chips from the Van of Life or nuggets from the Uncle Franks (Van of Death) can always finish off the night perfectly.  

  1. Castle Hill

Everyone was so happy to see an amazing sunrise (image credits: Michelle Crees)

If you are still awake, wow, congrats. If you still have any energy left, every student must visit Castle Hill at sunrise at least once. Even if the trip brings a beautiful sky over the entire city or a blanket of grey slowly getting lighter (sadly my only experience). The trip can be great preparation for staying up that late for May Balls. 

Overall, there is a lot to see and do in Cambridge. Don’t be afraid to try everything from the big social nights out to the deep existential chats lying on Jesus Green. It will make your experience here at Cambridge weirder but definitely more memorable. 


Feature image credits: Michelle Crees

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