The Perfect Graduation: Celebrating Success at 10 of the UK's Largest Universities

Future graduates (or those who want to celebrate with them) you've toiled and triumphed, and now it's time to celebrate your academic success. But where to host that all-important graduation party? Fear not, as we're here to guide you through some of the best venues near ten of the biggest universities in the UK. We promise you it’ll be first class.


University of Manchester

Boasting over 43,000 students, the University of Manchester is renowned for courses in medicine, as well as engineering and the social sciences. What better way to celebrate your graduation than getting together with those you love at a location near the main campus?

We’ve hand-picked some of the best nearby locations which take party bookings, so whatever the size of the group who want to raise a glass to you, you’ll be sure to find a great location with our shortlist of pubs, restaurants and bars.

From Browns Manchester right on the doorstep of the main campus, through to venues just a few miles away like the Plough on the Moor, March Hare or Woodside, you can check out our recommendations below.

University of Leeds

Home to over 38,000 students, the University of Leeds is perhaps best known for courses in engineering, medicine and business. Just like with Manchester, there’s a Browns Brasserie really close to the main Leeds Campus which is always a great choice.

Alternatively, you might opt for the Adelphi a little over a mile away, or perhaps a country pub like the Roundhay Fox, Calverley Arms or the Inn at Scarcroft instead. Whatever the case, you can be sure of finding a great location for your party and raise a glass together in style in and around Leeds.


University of Edinburgh

With over 37,000 students, the University of Edinburgh prides itself on its rich history, and has internationally respected courses in the arts, social sciences and humanities fields. Nestled in the heart of Scotland, this prestigious institution was born in 1583, under the authority of a royal charter granted by King James VI.

Originally known as "the Town's College", it was founded under Presbyterian auspices by the Edinburgh town council. To keep the theme going, you’ll find Browns Edinburgh nearby, while a little further out you’ll find the lovely Salisbury Arms, the Sheep Heid Inn, Melville Inn and Hawes Inn. Alternatively, hop in a taxi or take a drive to the Fettykil Fox – it’s about 17 or so miles away, but definitely worth the trip. 

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham, with over 34,000 students, is famed business, medical science and engineering courses. Founded in 1900, this esteemed institution proudly stood as England's first civic university, opening its doors to students from all walks of life and breaking down traditional barriers. Its roots can be traced back even further to the medical education seminars of Mr John Tomlinson in 1767-68, laying the foundations for Mason College, which eventually grew into the University of Birmingham.

To celebrate your graduation from Birmingham, why not try the Junction in Harbourne, One Trick Pony Club in Mosely or Bacchus Bar in Birmingham City Centre? We think you’ll be spoiled for choice.


University of Nottingham

Over 32,000 students call the University of Nottingham home, a university known for its strong pedigree of excellence in the study of engineering, medicine and business. This esteemed institution began its life as an adult education school in 1798, making it a beacon of knowledge and enlightenment for over two centuries! The university we know and love today, however, really took shape in 1881, when Nottingham's first civic college was opened in the city centre.

If you’re a Nottingham graduate, there’s plenty of places to celebrate your achievements, from Browns Nottingham, the Rose and Crown, Ilkeston, or the very impressive Quorndon Fox (the arch covered walkway to the front door would make for a great graduation photo opportunity!). Check out our choices below.

University of Sheffield

With over 31,000 students, the University of Sheffield is renowned for its world-class research in a broad range of specialisms, including the arts and humanities through to medicine. 1828 saw the founding of the Sheffield Medical School, with the story continuing with the founding of Firth College in 1879. But the journey didn't stop there: in 1884, Sheffield Technical School was established, marking an important step towards the university we know today.

To raise a glass to your success, consider Browns Sheffield, the Lescar, the Prince of Wales or the very imposing looking Fox House. You can view all of these pubs, brasseries and bars (and a whole lot more) at the link below.


University of Southampton

The University of Southampton, home to in excess of 28,000 students, is known for its leading-edge engineering, medicine, and social sciences courses. The story of the University of Southampton begins in 1862, with the establishment of the Hartley Institution. The institution was a beacon of knowledge, complete with a library, reading room, museum, and a platform for public lectures. Fast forward to 1952, and the Hartley Institution transformed into the University of Southampton we know today.

For pubs nearby to the main campus, we’d recommend the Cowherds or Chilworth Arms. Alternatively, if you don’t mind travelling a little, the Riverside in Bournemouth is in a gorgeous location – and another spot that would make for great photos.

University of Bristol

With over 27,000 students, the University of Bristol is famed for its vibrant student life excellence in their arts, humanities, natural and social science courses. The precursor to the University of Bristol was University College, Bristol, which came into existence in 1876. This institution was the result of tireless efforts by visionaries like John Percival, who believed in the power of education to shape minds and societies. Fast forward to 1909, and University College transformed into the University of Bristol we know today. This marked a new chapter in Bristol's educational landscape, with the university quickly becoming a beacon of learning and research in the UK.

You’ll find a suitably academic looking location for your celebrations at The Botanist (complete with red brick building, naturally) a short walk from the centre of campus. We also love the Mall, Hole in the Wall and Flyer, all within a mile or so of campus


University of Warwick

The University of Warwick, home to more than 26,000 students, is known for business, engineering, and social science study. Founded in 1965, the University of Warwick started with a pioneering spirit and a vision to excel in both teaching and research. Can you imagine the excitement when the first intake of 340 undergraduates and 96 graduate students stepped onto campus in October of that same year? Despite its relative youth, Warwick quickly gained an esteemed reputation for world-class research both domestically and internationally. Its commitment to excellence and innovation has firmly secured its place among the UK's leading universities.

For a great country pub that always delivers for large group bookings and parties, try the Queen & Castle in Kenilworth. Personally, we’ve had a few memorable parties at the White Horse, Leamington… just don’t tell your guests there’s a lifesize statue of a white horse in the courtyard – it’s always fun to see someone turn a corner and unexpectedly being face- to-face with the titular animal!

Remember, graduation is a significant milestone, a moment to reflect on your journey and look forward to new beginnings.

So, wherever you choose to celebrate, make it a night to remember – and if we’ve not included your uni in the above list, don’t worry: just follow the link below, enter your university postcode or town, and browse our hand-picked list of pubs, restaurants and bars.