These are the best London pub crawls and bar crawls London has to offer, whether you’re on a historical hunt or looking for something louder. The pub scene is bustling with excitement and creativity, giving rise to some innovative ideas and pub crawl themes that will make your night unforgettable.
Visiting your local pub is a rite of passage for many Brits. And that’s certainly the case for Londoners. But once in a while, when the weather is fine (or not fine), you’re feeling in the mood (or really not in the mood), you’ve got money in your pocket (or barely any money in your pocket) and you’re in good company (or completely alone), you want to go out for a pub crawl.
We reckon this is particularly true for day-trippers and other holidaymakers, just in London for a bit. Because why see one pub on your visit to London when you could see 30? So here’s our guide to some of the most popular pub crawls in London and ideas to inspire your adventure.
Featured in this guide:
- Monopoly Pub Crawl
- The Historical Crawl
- London Literary Pub Crawl
- The Shoreditch Pub Crawl
- And more…
Monopoly Pub Crawl
Named after the beloved board game, the goal of the Monopoly Pub Crawl is to make it to 26 different pubs located close to 26 different London tube stations. It’s so popular that it’s garnered its own website and internet following, with a monopoly board detailing every single location from the Lord Nelson on Old Kent Road through to the Spread Eagle on Oxford Street.
Remember kids: drinking, unlike Monopoly, is not a game. But both the game and the crawl can take up an entire day. And ruin the next one.
Pubs on the crawl include: Ye Grapes in Mayfair, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street, and 24 other pubs that may or may not have Ye in their name
Attractions along the way: Trafalgar Square, Eros Statue, King’s Cross Station, London Transport Museum
The Historical Pub Crawl
Hailed by The Telegraph as a crawl taking in ‘London’s most fascinating historical nuggets,' this route starts off in Blackfriars and takes you all the way through to Holborn.
It’s a much more manageable trek with just six spots on the list, but each one is steeped in British history from the Grade II listed Blackfriar with its stained glass details, through to the rich timber wood of the Cittie of Yorke, tucked away in a cellar. If you’re on the lookout for more historic watering holes, check out our guide to the Oldest Pubs in London.
Pubs on the crawl include: Cittie of Yorke in Holborn, Blackfriar in Blackfriars
The Circle Line Pub Crawl
No surprises here: this pub crawl is a relatively straightforward one that follows the Circle Line underground track around the heart of London. It one-ups the Monopoly Pub Crawl, both literally and metaphorically, as you’ll have to hit 27 bars to fully complete the crawl.
Starting off and ending in Embankment (with a suggested celebratory tipple in Leicester Square, because you’ll probably need a drink after you’ve completed it), it follows the Circle Line – which, funnily enough, doesn’t resemble a circle, but a beer bottle. They suggest you do it in 12 hours, having half pints in each pub.
Pubs on the crawl include: The crawl website gives you multiple options for each station, so take your pick. Or choose a pub local to a station to suit you and your own tastes.
Attractions along the way: Tower Bridge, King’s Cross Station, Barbican Theatre, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben
Along with the tennis whites and Wombles, Wimbledon’s also home to a pretty amazing pub crawl route. The crawl was popularised by actor Oliver Reed, who allegedly took Steve McQueen on a night out to his favourite Wimbledon pubs.
After a 15 minute pint in each, they started the crawl again. The common route goes round the board just the once. It starts in the Hand in Hand and finishes at the Swan (a replacement for the now-closed Finch’s).
Pubs on the crawl include: The Fox and Grapes, The Fire Stables
Attractions along the way: Wimbledon Tennis Stadium
Shoreditch Pub Crawl
Shoreditch: home of the hipsters, craft beer hangouts and street art. The neighbourhood has plenty of bars which put a twist on the usual melon man and there's a dedicated Shoreditch Pub Crawl company that'll take you to the quirkiest spots in the area. The kind of places that give Shoreditch its reputation for being...very Shoreditch.
It starts off at Sink Pong Bar, a bar filled with ping pong tables. Better bring your A-Game and gym shorts: this is one for shots and dancing and playing around, rather than quiet pubbing.
Attractions along the way: Brick Lane, Old Spitalfield Market
London Literary Pub Crawl
Because sometimes it’s good to have some culture with your crawl. This special guided crawl (which lasts 3 hours, involves about a mile of walking, and in which you don’t stop in every pub…so you can still take in all the info) takes you to the favourite boozy haunts of London’s writers and creatives, from Shakespeare to Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf.
You’ll be accompanied by actors playing some of the deceased literary figures and reading famous extracts from their works. It’s a lot of fun and you might find you have something in common with one of the country’s most popular writers…you both like drinking.
Pubs on the crawl include: Shhh...it’s a secret
Attractions along the way: Pollock’s Toy Museum
The Sam Smiths Crawl
Okay, so this is officially more of a challenge than a crawl. It’d be impossible to do all of these on one crawl. So please don’t try. Samuel Smith’s Brewery is located in Yorkshire, but they’ve got a number of very popular (and cheap) pubs across London, mainly in the very centre. These guys came up with the Sam Smiths Challenge, where they looked to visit every Sam Smiths pub across the capital. But you can make your own route between these charming, welcoming and - I can’t stress this enough - cheap pubs using their map of London Sam Smiths pubs, located on their website.
Pubs on the crawl include: every Sam Smiths pub in London
Pub Crawl Themes
Pub crawl themes can add an extra layer of fun to the experience. Some themes could include a costume theme, like dressing up as characters from British history or a favorite movie, or a foodie pub crawl where each stop includes a small bite to mix perfectly your pint experience.
Pub Crawl Ideas
Looking for more unique pub crawl ideas? Why not create your own crawl based on your interests? Perhaps a crawl that only stops at pubs with live music, or one that explores London's haunted pub scene.
Tickets and Passes
Book your London pub crawl through The London Pass® for a hassle-free experience. With one pass, you gain access to 100+ London attractions alongside the curated pub crawls. Make the most of your London visit with a pass that covers it all!
4 Interesting Pub Facts
The Prospect of Whitby in Wapping claims to be London's oldest riverside pub, dating back to around 1520. Legend has it that pirates and smugglers once frequented the pub.
Some London pubs are older than the US, with four pubs existing before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. The George Inn on Borough High Street is London's only surviving galleried coaching inn that dates back to the early 17th century.
During World War II, many London pubs were partially buried or reinforced with concrete to serve as air raid shelters. The Princess Louise in Holborn is one pub that still has wartime shelter signs posted.
The Lamb & Flag pub in Covent Garden earned a mention in Shakespeare's play Henry IV Part 1. The Bard was known to frequent the pub in the late 16th/early 17th century.
Any other pub crawls that we've missed? Get in touch to let us know. Need a bit of fresh air with your drinks? Have a look here.