From big screens in Brighton to beer gardens in Birmingham, here are some of the best bars (and pop-up pseudo-stadiums) around the UK to watch the 2014 World Cup.
The Lord Clifden
34 Great Hampton Street, Birmingham B18 6AA
Sun-Thurs: 12pm-12am; Fri-Sat: 12pm-late
With 12 screens throughout the bar including a giant one in their extra-large beer garden, the Lord Clifden is your go-to World Cup hub in Birmingham. To get completely in the mood, grab a drink from their new outdoors bottle bar and snag yourself a plate of hog roast, and continue the party after the games end thanks to the weekly DJ sets.
The Electric Cinema
47-49 Station Street, Southside, Birmingham B5 4DY
Doors open an hour before kick-off
The oldest working cinema in the UK is diversifying its offering a bit to show England’s group games. Book ahead to make sure you’ve got a seat saved on one of their sofas — tickets are only £7 and you’ll get to participate in the pre-game World Cup quiz. We hear there might be prizes …
Brighton’s Big Screen
Approx. 3 Madeira Drive, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 1EN
Opens from 1pm or 4pm on weekdays, from 11am on the weekend
This free outdoor cinema comes back to Brighton’s seafront for its third consecutive year, and in between screenings of crowd pleasers and family classics, it will welcome football fans for the World Cup on a giant screen. Just turn up and enjoy the spectacle.
46-48 Queen Charlotte Street, Bristol BS1 4HX
Mon-Thurs: 4pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 12pm-1am; Sun: 12pm-10pm
Since “you can never write off the Germans”, why not watch them at Bavarian Beerhouse with massive litre mugs in hand? The bubbly dirndl-clad waitresses will keep things fun, light hearted and on-theme. You’re probably not the only one to have the idea to watch Germany here, so make sure to book ahead (it’s mandatory for all England and Germany games).
The Roof Terrace at The Varsity
Thompson’s Ln, Cambridge CB5 8AQ
Mon-Thurs: 3pm-10.20pm; Fri-Sun: 12pm-10.20pm
The roof terrace is a show-stealer at this splendid Cambridge boutique hotel, with incredible views of the city and the river. They’re showing two of the England games, both accompanied by a special menu of Brazilian grilled meats. Tickets are £15 on the door, and since they come with a complimentary cocktail and what’s likely the best panorama in East Anglia, we’re up for it.
Calverley Street, Leeds LS2 3AD
Gates open 1.5 hours before kick-off
Leeds is not scrimping on its World Cup festivities: the city council is throwing caution to the wind and putting up huge screens in Millennium Square for the whole tournament. You can watch the first two England group matches live as well as a selection of other matches. Admission is free and on a first come, first served basis.
World Cup Fan Park at Camp and Furnace
67 Greenland Street, Liverpool L1
2:30pm opening for days with 5pm matches; 6:30pm openings for days with 9pm matches
A reformed industrial warehouse where you can get a dose of art alongside the tournament. Expect vintage caravans and indoor foliage, this ain’t your local boozer. There will be Brazilian street food for nibbles with plenty of space to samba. It’s free to enter and strictly first come, first served. The DJs will be spinning a suitably carnival-esque playlist throughout the night. And on three big screens, they’ll be showing every. single. game.
ITV Fever Pitch
Old Granada Studios, Quay Street, Manchester M60 9EA
Gates open either 1pm or 3pm
World Cup fan parks are few and far between this time around, but Manchester is stepping up with a free football festival kitted out with 450 tonnes of sand shipped in to create a Brazilian beach stadium. You’ll be able to watch the action live on the arena’s 40sqm screen. If you keen for a kickabout, head to the High Tempo zone or refresh yourself at the Little Copacabana beach bar. Entry to this tropic delight is free, but you still need a ticket … there might be some on the door or you can volunteer to get in for free (just need to do a bit of work).