7 Awesome London Pub Crawls

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 96 months ago

Last Updated 30 June 2016

7 Awesome London Pub Crawls
A quarter of the Griffin Park pub crawl. Photo by JJ Willow in the Londonist Flickr pool

Griffin Park

Brentford FC's ground is unique in that it has a pub perched on each corner: The Griffin, Princess Royal, New Inn and Royal Oak (you might recognise the Griffin from 2005 hobbit-hooligan film Green Street). Football fan or not, Griffin Park makes for a manageable afternoon on the sauce, taking in just four drinks and probably under a mile walking, with some extremely amiable locals en route. Get a taster with this interactive pub crawl.


Something the 80 year old board game and a drawn-out pub crawl have in common: when you're five and a half hours in and have fallen out with most of your friends, you wonder why you agreed to it in the first place. The name of the game here is to visit 26 pubs — one at each of the London streets and stations featured on the board. Skip the Electricity Company. The Waterworks isn't on the route either, although you'll unofficially visit it about 17 times. And by sticking to halves you'll significantly lower your chances of going directly to jail. To be honest this is the kind of mass, professionally-organised, fancy dress-infested jaunt we're highly dubious about, especially as we read that some venues have requested to be taken off the route. Still, we couldn't not include it.

Wimbledon Eight

Though the Wimbledon Eight sounds like Roger Federer's latest achievement, it's linked to an entirely different kind of athleticism altogether. This was the pub crawl favoured by pie-eyed local Oliver Reed (he who snuffed it after winning an arm wrestle against members of the British Royal Navy crew in a Maltese pub). The Wimbledon Eight is an ethanol-steeped stagger around Wimbledon Common: namely the Dog and Fox, Rose and Crown, Fox and Grapes, Hand in Hand, Crooked Billet and Swan. The Brewery Tap and Prince of Denmark are no longer there, so it's really the Wimbledon Six now. Even so, we wouldn't recommend you stick to Reed's rule of giving yourself 15 minutes to knock back a pint in each pub. Or indeed, going for a second lap. That possibly had something to do with him vomiting over Steve McQueen.

Circle line

The most engrossing account of the Circle line pub crawl we've read is in Mark Mason's Walk The Lines, where he encounters a City worker who drinks a pint of Strongbow for breakfast every morning, as well as recounting the time Karl Marx once got so pissed in London, he ended up smashing streetlamps by hurling paving slabs at them. Others' recollections of this epic tube crawl — which takes in the nearest pubs to each of the original 27 stations on the Circle line — will likely be hazy and and uninteresting.

These chaps look like they're eyeing-up the 12 Days of Christmas crawl. Photo by psyxjaw in the Londonist Flickr pool

12 Days of Christmas

This festive cracker involves 12 pubs, one named after each of the gifts in the song — although if you think you have 12 days to complete it, you've another thing coming. Anyway it's a darn sight cooler than Santa Con and we've written a whole article on how to do it.

Ballad of Peckham Rye

Literary pub crawls are scrawled all over central London, and although they can be entertaining, we recommend this south east alternative. Muriel Spark's dark novella of 1960 stars a number of pubs that were located around Peckham Rye at the time; three still exist in one form or other, namely the Nags Head, Rye and White Horse. You can easily rattle off a third of The Ballad of Peckham Rye in each pub with a pint in hand. The drinking scene is arguably more exciting than in Sparks's day; we'd also suggest the nearby Four Quarters, Ivy House and Beer Shop.  

Londonist pub crawls

We adore pubs, and have invented a cache of our own crawls over the years (in fact we've done a London pub crawl for every letter of the alphabet). Among our favourites are the Ye Olde pub crawl and the Crossrail pub crawl. You can also fashion your own crawl in pretty much any area of London, using our extremely handy pub database.