Top Student Nights Out on the Virgin Trains East Coast Route

Pay attention, sit up straight, face the front.

You’re at university and you’re there to learn, knuckle down, and make something of yourself in this crazy, dog-eat-dog world. Wait a minute, that’s not what the brochure said - you can do all that palaver later.

First of all you need to exhaust all other forms of entertainment. That’s partying with your friends, meeting new people and exploring new places, yep, that’s an education too.

Well, we didn’t plan it this way, but it turns out some of the country’s top universities are on the Virgin Trains East Coast route (we find brains very attractive).

This also means you’ll find some of the best club, student dives, and top night’s out along the merry Virgin way. ‘Course there’s London with a seat of learning on every corner, but with our fast, frequent (and frankly, funky) services up and down the main east coast line, brilliant nights out await.

Now you’re learning; seeing mates, visiting old friends and hitting the best places in town is easy.

Here’s This ain’t them all either - there are other fierce places attracting serious talent that don’t hit the radar, this is just your starter for ten.

It’s not grim up north

Tired of London? Surely not. Then again, a change of scenery can help, a change of city may do the trick.


Just a nudge over two hours away in Leeds are some of the best student nights ever – we don’t exaggerate. If you book in advance, you can get your tickets as cheap as £23 notes. Use your time wisely on the journey up, catch up on kip, partake in a pre-blowout aperitif, chat with mates and plan the night ahead.


Mondays – Mint Mondays @ Mint Club Accept no imitations.One of Leed’s biggest student nights - £1 drinks and no curfew. Range of music – hip hot, house, garage, disco.

Tuesdays – Little Miss @ Chilli White – Three floors of pure decadence, each fuelled with luscious music, VIP booths and free limos.

Saturday – Propaganda’s Attic  Your Rock ‘n’ Roll Party - if you've been to Propaganda before, you know you're in for a treat. Expect an audio-visual feast and the best indie DJs in the land. Open till 4am.

Club Mission – Set in six Victorian railway arches, Mission has a huge outdoor terrace and three dance floors. Hosting one of the biggest student nights in the North, Mission is not for the faint-hearted. Open until dawn and full of clubbers that like to party… hard. Mission hosts famous club nights including Freak, Insomnia and After-Party.


Just shy of three hours from London, Newcastle serves up unforgettable student nights you can’t remember in the morning. Howay you go.

If you happen to be at Durham University, Newcastle is just a 15-minute train ride for only £7.30 return. Don’t fancy staying overnight? First train back is 4:45am. Sweet.

Mondays – Digital Mondays – popular student soiree with four rooms pushing out all genres. £4 gets you in before midnight and cheap drink offers like £1 VK Knockoffs do the hard work.

Mondays – Powerhouse like to make student nights fun, crazy and cheap. £1 entry. Party, chart, dance, and dirty electro beats all under one roof. Arrive early - queues get biblical.

Thursday – Rebel Thursdays @ Digital - £1 entry and drinks if you put your name down on their Facebookpage - It’s the best alternative night in Newcastle.

Friday – Dirty Pop @ O2 Academy – a fusion of a twin room student soundclash to let you know the weekend has begun. DP just celebrated its eighth birthday party, so it’s come of age. Don’t miss their Giant Beer Pong Arena.


Only one and a half hours away from Durham and Newcastle and if you book in advance, you can get your tickets to Edinburgh as cheap as £10 one way. It’s even cheaper with your 16-25 rail card. Bargain, right? So what’s on offer for student night out:

Mondays – Flare Monday at WHYNOT nightclub is Edinburgh’s biggest student night. It’s also the city’s longest, cutting the rug since 1998. That’s like so last century. Three rooms of music. Outdoor DJs. £1 drinks. ’Nuff said.

Thursdays – The Hive is free entry and student night on Thursdays, however the club is open 7 days a week and offers drinks for a quid.

Silk on Thursday Nights - Temple - student friendly VIP package & 25% off at pre-bar – it’s all top-notch, great design, phenomenal sound and premium drinks.

Lulu on George Street offers student drink deals in decadent, sultry setting.

Electric Circus - just around the corner from Edinburgh Waverley station, throws up a deluge of perfectly formed club nights, live music and then slips a generous helping of karaoke into the mix. Student discounts make it a bit easier on the pocket.

On board party - Game on

Your night out starts on the train – here’s a couple of our favourite train games to keep you ‘entertrained’ before the night begins proper. The following games can all be played without the drinking element. After all, the night is still young:


Black or red

A simple game that requires very little mental aptitude. All you need is a pack of cards. One person deals, one person guesses. Still with us? The guesser states black or red, so obvs they’ve got 50/50 chance. For each incorrect guess, they pay a forfeit; for instance, this can involve having a generous sip of their drink. If the guesser gets the colour right three times in a row, another person becomes the guesser.

Heads or tails

A person flips a coin and calls it whilst it’s in the air. Get it right, they can pass the coin on to the right – if not, they must take off an item of their clothing, take a sip of their drink and the coin goes to the person on their left. Guess right three times in a row and you can retrieve one item of clothing. We do not encourage full nudity on any of our trains.

Never have I ever

Somebody says a statement: “Never have I ever I…” and if the statement is untrue – the person pays a forfeit, which can involve having a sip of their drink. Oh, and the first person to need the loo, loses. 

Ready to BEAM up?

Don’t fancy any of those, download BEAM. Our spanking new (and free) on-board entertainment service straight to your tablet or mobile device, so you can enjoy the universe’s latest blockbuster films, and  TV shows from the comfort of your Virgin Train seat.

A word of warning though, you can’t download the BEAM app over the train’s onboard Wi-Fi. So use the Wi-Fi at our stations or, if you forget to do this before you travel, you can download it using your own data onboard. Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go. And if you’ve booked directly with us – the Wi-Fi is free.

And now some words of wisdom:

Drinking with friends can be a fun, but it also can turn a great night into something you regret. So here’s how to keep it fun:

  • Drink responsibly.
  • Don’t let peer pressure take you beyond your drinking limits. You know you best.
  • Stay with your mates. Stay safe.
  • Add some water into the drinking mix (you’ll thank us in the morning)
  • Eat something before you head out. Eating isn’t cheating, sleep is cheating.

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