Around the Town in 50 Pubs: Campus Bars Edition

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An Englishman, a Welshman and a (Northern) Irishman have made it their mission to walk into every pub in Lancaster this academic year – will they still be capable of walking out come June?

For this edition the intrepid team decided to return to familiar pastures – the campus bars in which they conduced their alcoholism for the entirety of first year. Though everyone is probably familiar with these old haunts for the sake of completeness and to make our title true we thought it only fair to see how these establishments fared on the merciless Potts scale.

The Trough of Bowland – [7/10]

The watering hole of Lancaster’s oldest college, the aesthetics of Bowland bar are somewhat muddled – a mix of old fashioned benches and slightly less old fashioned plastic tables. Along with every other pub in this edition, Bowland offers lager at a good price and a pool table. Bowland also has music events on offer and access to the TV (if you hand in your library card) and of course the legendary Bowland Pies. The Trough of Bowland also scores a bonus point after the Bowland Bar sign went viral following some sound exam advice – and also possibly because the writers of this review call this college their home.

The Winning Post (Cartmel) – [4.5/10]

Anyone who makes it all the way to this bar will most certainly need a drink on arrival, perhaps even a bite to eat. Of all the bars on campus, Cartmel certainly has the biggest menu – it has even offered Man vs. Food style challenges in the past – giving it a feel more of a restaurant with a bar perhaps. It is also home to a very large games room which is all part of the college’s noble efforts to accommodate its poor students who live on the edge of civilisation. The Winning Post was the previous location of the Battle of the Bands final (now held at the Sugarhouse) squeezing a bonus point out of us, this however cannot prevent a disappointing score.

The Northern Oak (County) – [6/10]

A strange set up, like many of the college bars it tries its best to accommodate many areas (some of which are included on the scoring scale we use). Food is available at certain times when the County Diner is open and The Northern Oak is even home to Costa Coffee, to the delight of many coffee lovers who felt out of place when queuing for a Costa in LUMS behind many suited business people. There is nothing particularly interesting about the bar’s interior and décor (apart from the new canvas prints of the infamous ‘County Ducks’). A large games room with bar sports, regularly hosting ‘Live at the Oak’ AND a fortnightly comedy club on Thursday nights helps The Northern Oak to a respectable score.

Trevor (Furness) – [7/10]

Trevor is probably the only campus bar which everyone actually knows the name of. Also the most central, Trev is popular for students who want to kill an hour between lectures by having one of Trevor’s smoothies, milkshakes or some of their famed cake. There’s also ‘Trev o’clock’ where you can get discounted drinks on weekday evenings. Despite failing to meet some of the more specific criteria Trev did win a bonus point for its extensive and socially facilitating seating.

The Mill (Fylde) – [5/10]

The Mill, like The Winning Post, has more the feel of a restaurant with a bar. In the centre of the ‘sports college’ The Mill certainly keeps this reputation with a large drop down projector screen to view live sports matches. It seals its reputation as the place to watch sport on campus by remaining open through the days at the weekend when many of the biggest sporting events take place. With an interesting menu which features burgers made from the meat of emu, camel, kangaroo, zebra and many more, it will certainly appeal to those feeling a bit carnivorous. There is also a decent selection of ales on offer, but The Mill fails to score on many other aspects on the scale.

The Herdwick (Grad) – [8/10]

The Herdwick has the feel of a proper pub: regular curry nights, interestingly decorated walls and an impressive ale selection which has seen The Herdwick featured in the ‘Campaign for Real Ale’s’ Good Beer Guide since 2003. It also plays host to a yearly ale festival during the Summer term. The Herdwick also has live sports on show and regular open mic nights. It may not be the largest pub on campus, but it is by our reckoning the finest bar on campus.

Grizedale Café Bar – [6/10]

During the day, Grizedale is a good option if you would like to eat on campus with simple yet delicious food such as wraps and pizza. At night it also seems like a popular option as it turns into a cocktail bar. Grizedale bar is possibly the trendiest bar on campus and many students even suggest that this is the best bar on campus. However, after a letter published in the last edition of SCAN, we can no longer un-see the fact that it is essentially a glorified Ikea showroom and it fails to score more than 6 points.

The Red Lion (Lonsdale) – [5/10]

Though once you could be fined for being drunk here, don’t let such blatant Bowland propaganda put you off this large establishment. During the day it does serve food, however Lonsdale prides itself on its DJ nights and is the best option for “clubbing” on campus (open until late on Fridays and Saturdays). If you’re on campus looking for some loud dance music this may be the place for you, however if you are just going for a pint and want a pub setting perhaps you should look elsewhere.

Bar 74 (Pendle) – [4/10]

Now named Bar 74, it is definitely possible that Pendle Bar will have once again changed its name by the time this article is published. It’s known across campus for “never being open”, Bar 74 has very limited opening hours (7pm-11pm, Monday-Thursday) and then closed on the weekend. The bar itself feels particularly retro with some aspects of the bar looking like they’ve been designed for a spaceship in an 80s film – or a particularly unpleasant strip joint. Bar 74 does host special events such as the prolific Pendle Live, Live at the Oak’s only rival for regular quality music on campus but our rating system is merciless and despite some positives Bar 74 tumbles to the worst score on campus.