Years ago, students embarked on the bravest challenge of them all: The ‘Campus 14’. Freshers would traverse University Park’s halls, downing pints in each of their bars, trying to stay alive. In 2001, the event was officially (but ineffectively) banned due to students requiring medical attention; however, with the gradual closing down of many of the halls’ bars, the crawl was rendered impossible.

Some of the bars have survived, and Impact is here to tell you which is the best.

Many students are unaware of the hidden gems scattered around campus. The unknown watering holes. The campus hall bars.

Spread around University Park and Jubilee Campus, you will find bars in five of the halls of residence: Derby, Lenton and Wortley, Hugh Stewart, Willoughby and Newark. Throw in Mooch and you have a fair few places available to go and get plastered without even having to leave campus.

Of course, not all men are created equal, not all degrees are worth the same and not every campus bar is as good as its counterparts. With that in mind, here is the definitive ranking of the bars on campus.

6. Core @ Jubilee Campus

“Then again, it’s on Jubilee campus”

Core is a lovely bar. It has plenty of seating if you’re just there for a refreshment, along with pool and table football tables if you want to give your evening a competitive edge. The courtyard area outside has plenty of tables for a sunny pint in the summer time, or a pleasant space for a cigarette if you hate your lungs. The bar staff are charming and the interesting décor gives it a homely feel. After all, an enormous picture of Audrey Hepburn’s face makes any wall more appealing. Core is genuinely one of the most lovely places the University of Nottingham has to offer. Then again, it’s on Jubilee campus, and you never go to Jubilee campus, so it’s ranked last.

To help Ben with his article, a few of us decided to come along and support him

5. Hops @ Lenton and Wortley 

Hops manages to achieve what has scientifically been described as a ‘reverse-TARDIS’ effect. Looking in from the outside, it seems to be a pleasant if not rather rectangular room, a place where it would be perfectly possible to enjoy some cheap subsidised beer. It is an entirely different story when you enter. Hops is little more than a tiny box. While it does has comfy sofas to claim as a redeeming feature, Hops is not the place to go if you suffer from claustrophobia, or you know anyone that suffers from claustrophobia, or if you’ve even heard of claustrophobia. Presumably primarily aimed at the ‘Borrower’ demographic, Hops does not fair well on the rankings. Couple this with the fact that ‘Lenton and Wortley’ is the least pleasant-sounding hall name, and Hops sinks towards the bottom of the list.

4. Latitude @ Hugh Stewart

“The famed charm of the [Latitude] staff makes it an enjoyable experience”

Latitude certainly tops the ranking for the longest bar, but of course size isn’t everything (obviously there is such thing as too small, like Hops). What disadvantages Latitude is its lack of entertainment, with the games tables being locked away in the JCR for Hugh Stewart locals.

It is, however, still an interesting drinking space, with tables exceptionally close to the bar meaning little movement is required between pints. The famed charm of the staff makes it an enjoyable experience, albeit better the fewer people are in there with you.

3. Vesper @ Willoughby 

(Is this really what the designers think an Italian bar looks like? – Ed.)

Vesper is fairly standard, but it does have all bases covered. There is plenty of seating and excellent food service. The wait for the pool tables is usually not too long, although the requirement to get the cues from behind the bar has often left prospective players befuddled. With table football available as well, Vesper does have a lot to offer. The main strike against it is that it’s so far away from the centre of campus, it might as well be in Broadgate Park. And no one wants to be in Broadgate Park.

2. Echo @ Derby

Edgy American Vibes

The reason Echo nears the pinnacle of campus bars can be explained in one word – Vibes. When you walk in, the first thing you notice is that it’s set out like an American diner. The seats were comfy and the music was not the generic pop being played everywhere else. Genuinely, it was the only place where we didn’t hear Shape of You, and these days that alone is a blessing. The drinks are interesting and the lights are colourful, it’s a cracking place for a chat and it’s easy to forgive the lack of pool table.

Try Echo’s exclusive Bacon cocktail while you get a chance. Trust us on this one.

1. Mooch

Of course, Mooch is number one. The burgers are legendary, the drinks choice is unrivalled and the location is ideal. Where else would you ever go to grab a pitcher of purple rain between your seminars? Every Sunday night, Mooch offers the pub quiz, which you will love as long as you learn to accept that you’re not going to beat the table across the room who Google every answer. The thousands of pounds spent on the beer garden outside will all become worth it as the sun comes out for the last four days of the year, and Mooch will be the place to be.

Ben Baruch

Featured image courtesy of ‘Jason Lengstorf’ via Flickr.

Images by Matteo Everett and Lydia Eccleston.

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