A guide to campus bars


Chances are, you didn’t choose York for the nightlife. You heard it was a ‘campus university’ – so the nightlife on campus would have to suffice, right?

Unlike most universities in the UK, York doesn’t really have a ‘Student Union’ bar – it has several! Generally, different colleges go to different bars, but it is also a case of personal preference.

Below is a basic guide to campus bars  – don’t forget to tweet @YorkVision how you get on!

the lounge james

If you live near James or Halifax…

Halifax is a large college and its lack of facilities and house-type accommodation give rise to a lot of pre-drinking parties in kitchens. This is actually really nice, I had a few friends in Halifax in first year and I was jealous of their community feel (I lived in James).

I spent most of First Year in The Lounge simply because it was close. It has fantastic cocktail deals, though the drinks are now a bit sugary for my (slightly more refined) tastes, they certainly pack a punch and the Long Island Ice Teas have lead to many a Willow night.

It doesn’t have the same ambience as the Courtyard except when there’s a football match on or when everyone flocks to the Roger Kirk (which is next door) for events like Roses or YUSU elections, but it has pool tables, a darts board and an amiable atmosphere.

Halifaxers, it is worth the walk—and if you’re in James it’s literally five minutes from your bed if you want to get a quick drink with your friends or predrink before going on a bar crawl. However, nothing on campus can beat walking across the bridge to V Bar on a Monday for Vanbrugh Jazz.

If you live in Vanbrugh… 

V bar is a nice bar, it has a more pub-like feel than The Lounge and has cheap drinks deals including fishbowls. It has the comfiest chairs on campus except perhaps those throne-like sofas in the Courtyard.

Societies often have informal meetings there, they usually play good music and every Monday they have a live jazz band. You can even bring your own instruments and join in if you’re brave.

It’s open to sit in during the day, it’s weird sitting in there with my pre-9am seminar coffee and remembering being trashed in there every Monday of First Year what seems like forever ago. It’s also very near the Vision office, walk out of the double automatic doors towards Biology and walk diagonally upwards towards University Road.

See that disgusting, grey asbestos filled building next to URY? Yep, that’s us.  Walk around to the door at the Left of the building, next to music and then follow the path around to the big window. I’ll have a Brothers.

If you live in Wentworth…

Edge is not a bar I have experienced much. It doesn’t have much of an ambience and to be honest, I’d recommend mingling with the freshers from other colleges as they are more likely to go to Willow/not judge you for having a casual midday pint than the postgrads.

You’re near  The Lounge and V  Bar so read the above paragraphs. If you are  a postgrad, go relive your youth with a WKD fishbowl in V bar with some 18 year olds. You’re worth it.


If you live in Derwent, Alcuin or in fact anywhere else on Hes West…

The Courtyard is my favourite bar on campus by a long shot because the food is cheap and amazing, it’s always buzzing any time of day or night and they do evening pizza (Jamesites, they also deliver to The Lounge!).

Drinks are reasonably priced and it feels like a real pub, it also has outdoor seating for the smokers amongst us, or those who enjoy a bit of mildly carcinogenic fresh air. They do Pimms in the summer, it’s lush and their burgers are massive and to die for.

Down the corridor is D Bar which screens sporting events on a massive screen. People often order takeaway to the seats near the porters too and eat it there, the drinks are slightly cheaper than the Courtyard, I think, and it’s a good place to have a society social as it is very spacious.

If you live on Hes East…

Yeah, your facilities are currently ‘in the works’ as they have been for years (though the University will probably skin me alive for saying that).

Don’t fear though, you have The Glasshouse, which as it serves quite a large number of students is often buzzing. They do cocktails too, they’re cheap and strong and it’s near the bus, which you can stagger onto to go straight to town. The Glasshouse also does good food during the day.

I wouldn’t personally make the trek to Hes East especially to go there, but it’s what you have and it’s a place serving alcohol til late near your bed so don’t complain. Also they have a night called Marmite where they get the Willow DJ in and do cheap drinks deals. It’s pretty good!

2 thoughts on “A guide to campus bars

  1. Just a few points for clarification: The Courtyard no longer does pizzas for the Lounge, and also the guy who DJs marmite doesn’t work at willow, he works for YUSU CS, but good job nonetheless!

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