So, you are planning on having a night out in Chelmsford? With a population of almost 200,000 people and a vibrant high street consisting of over 400 companies, you can expect there to be quite a dynamic nightlife in place.
Let’s not forget the stereotypical stigma attached to an Essex night out, there is usually very high expectations in place when it comes to partying late into the evening.
One thing we can definitely say is that there are so many clubs and bars to choose from and they are also surprisingly close to each other with the bulk of places within a stone’s throw of each other.
With a student population of 40,000 from the famous Anglia Ruskin University, you can also expect some mid-week events especially on a Wednesday which are famous for student nights and cheap drinks. It might be that you face a few sticky floors and questionable smells but it is all part of the student experience.
Obviously, everyone’s tastes are different and will depends on the different types of music that you are into, however, we have tried to look at the overall experience to come up with the five best places to go out late in the evening. Also don’t to use us as the best Chelmsford taxi company for getting to and from the places you will be partying at.
1. Bar and Beyond
Located on the high street, Bar and Beyond is part of a franchise which promotes a split level experience and entertainment. What this means is that during the early evening, you are able to enjoy some food and drinks which could be considered a warm up to the latter part of the evening which it describes as a high quality club experience.
For any of you reading this that have been around in Chelmsford for a while will remember this place as Chicagos which had the two podiums on the dancefloor filled up dancers full of false sense of confidence brought on by the alcohol. This alone was high quality entertainment as people would take turns to climb up onto the podium once they mustered up the courage and swing a few dance moves.
Now since it has been turned into Bar and Beyond, it’s a slightly different style of night out with the infrastructure having a bit of a shuffle around inside and even the drinks are served out of metal cans. Not sure that is the most hygienic options but adds to the experience.
However, talking of the overall experience, it certainly is a popular place in Chelmsford with some nights packed to the point where you may have to queue for an hour if you get there a bit too late.
If you like having your own area, then there is a VIP table option which is a raised platform towards the back of the club and overlooks the dancefloor. We definitely recommend getting this because it gives you a bit of space to have a dance and avoids having to queue up at the bar which can sometimes take quite a while if it’s a busy night.
It would not surprise us if you have heard of this chain before. We have visited a few around the country and a night in Popworld never disappoints! For any old-timers reading this, you may remember this venue as being Missoula or more recently Liquorist!
Missoula was your typical nightclub playing current chart hits across two floors and most nights would have a recently packed crowd. Popworld takes you back a few years away from the current chart hits and brings back the cheese.
They have big major venues located in the heart of cities such as Southampton, Manchester and Cardiff so it’s definitely a popular choice among party goers. Spread across two floors, there’s always plenty of room in there for a dance and a sing-along. The drinks are also pretty cheap too especially if you are into your shots.
3. Slug and Lettuce
This is probably the most under-rated place in Chelmsford in our opinion. Again for the older readers here, you might recognise this place as Yates where they famously use to sell Jaegerbombs for a pound during Quidalicious nights out.
Again, super friendly customer service from the bar tenders and we must say the music here is probably one of the best in Chelmsford. Plus they do some awesome cocktails with the large glass of pornstar martini are particular favourite of local party goers.
The only issue maybe that it doesn’t run too late into the night with a closing time of 2am but at the same time, if you don’t like being surrounded by 18 year olds then this is the perfect place to go as it tends to be a slightly older crowd.
This place is quite popular for its daytime restaurant but once the sun sets, you will hear the booming noise of dance music blaring out. Again, located next to Popworld, this music is a stark contrast to the cheese pop played in Popworld. Be prepared to bring out your 2 step and a few fist pumps in the air as this place will really bring out your groovy side.
It is also well known for welcoming famous stars from The Only Way Is Essex, so don’t be surprised to see some of them dancing along to a few tunes.
If you are looking to spend a bit more money, then Ctzn does offer a pretty cool table service that allows you still be part of all the partying without having to be bundled into the dancefloor.
Drinks served in white glasses are a nice touch too and the bar staff are friendly too so a nice overall experience. The only concern would be that you should not be surprised if during one of your favourite hits, a tussle breaks out as there is usually a fight or two. But these are usually taken care of by the bouncers relatively quickly.
If you are looking for a cheap night out that is full of cheers and dancing, then it doesn’t get much cheaper than Walkabout! Located round the back of Popworld, it is where the old Whetherspoons used to be located.
It’s sometimes shocking how cheap drinks are here compared to some of the other places and is usually relatively lively even during the weekday.
At one point, there was a table tennis table there which used to gather a crowd but we are not too sure if they still have this available to use.
One of the best nights here is on Thursday which is Karaoke night and allows you to belt out your favourite tunes to a lively and very friendly crowd. Combine this with a few cheap drinks for one of the best mid-week nights out.
Again, the bar staff are very friendly here too and there is plenty of space around with a second floor option available for a quieter experience.
6. Be at One
You will probably have heard of this chain of bars if you work or go out in London quite a bit. It’s a very lively cocktail bar that prides itself on the quality of drinks it provides. There’s a wide range of exotic choices to really test the taste buds and there is a pretty cool atmosphere in there too.
The relatively dimmed out lights with an expressive rendition of Pony from Magic Mike adds excitement to the evening of party goers. Even the bar staff jump up onto the platform and become Magic Mike impersonators for a short period of time! Definitely an experience which is unique to Be at Ones all over the country.
We do have to warn you though that the drinks are not the cheapest in Chelmsford, they are almost identical to London prices and if you are doing rounds for the evening, expect to see a questionable figure on your bank statement the next morning. However, the quality of the drink and time spent making them is impressive.
As you can imagine, this is probably not the ideal location for the newly out of school or university students so you will see a more mature professional crowd in this place.
So, hopefully this article has provided you with some inspiration as to where to go out if you are planning on having a night out in Chelmsford. You won’t be short of options with places to cater a wide range of tastes and needs.
Don’t forget, if you are more interested in the pubs then checkout our guide to the best pubs to visit in Chelmsford.