We will be in England in the early spring of 2020 and were wondering if anyone could recommend a good Pub tour or crawl...London or Bath or Wells. We prefer one that happens in the evening. In my early online searches many appear to be in the afternoon. We are interested in the beer and authentic atmosphere in the pubs with a bit of (but not dominated by) historical commentary. Thanks for any tips.
I have just have looked online for historic pubs in London. There are several best of lists. I would preview these and pick a district with a cluster of those you like which are in walking distance from each other so you can walked to the next one after taking the Underground there and then a taxi back. Then you can linger or go as you like. Usually you order at the bar and then find a seat. One reason that there may not be any evening tours is that they may prefer to cater to the dinner crowd. You can ask to join others already there if they look friendly and are not dining. These folks are more likely to be fellow travelers because all the locals went home or to their neighborhood pub. There are also Wine Bars. When we were in the Countryside we would just go to a recommended Inn or Pub and have dinner and stay the evening. Sometimes hotels have a nice bar. Bon Voyage!
LondonWalks does a number of pub tours in the evening. I've done a few of them (not very recently), and really enjoyed them.
Just Google "Free Walking Tours _________" for any city you're visiting. The tour guides are fully licensed, usually English and they work for tips. The same organization has night life tours, and they're great. You'll be with 12-15 individuals of all age from all over the world, and none will be introverts. Great fun.
I’d stick with London Walks in London, I’ve done several of their pub tours. I particularly like the rock music one as well as the Soho one. £10, no need to tip, although you’re free to buy the guide a pint in the last pub.
hey hey barbara
getyourguide.com has a few tours
like you said, most in the afternoon. we did a gin tour with ginjourney.com few years back. started at night, chaffeured in a van, 15 of us and about 6 pubs. had a cocktail made by that pub's bartendar with gin they are famous for. it was really a fun night. we stopped at a restaurant for dinner, not included with price. hope you find something fun to do.
To start, I Love London Walks and have been on most of them over the last 25 yrs. As I write this I pulled down my copy of their 1996 schedule- sadly some great tours from then are no longer offered.
Their 2 hr pub walks are far from a crawl. You will visit 2 pubs and end at or near a third (the guide may or may not go in). Each stop will be for only 15-20 min. Meaning time for a 1/2 pint then gone as you may spend a number of minutes getting served as the regulars glare at the interlopers.
If you want to see a wee bit of London, at night, I would recommend the Hampstead pub walk if still on the schedule.
Thank you all so much! Very helpful!
I'd already made a list of the London Walks pub walks that are available in late February and Hampstead in the Evening is one of them :-) Looking forward to it.
Or, if you want to do it yourself, get hold of a copy of London by Pub. As a born and bred Londoner I still find it for areas I don’t know well. No idea if it’s available in the US - you can pick it up cheaply second hand here
Ditto London Walks. They are excellent.
I love London Walks. Do go on their website and you will see a full description of the London Pub Walk. They meet usually at 7PM in the evening, 7 days a week and at a Tube Station. They generally walk you around the area, have a great talk about that area and you go to 3 pubs, they leave you at the third pub near a tube station and if you have any questions about how to get back to your hotel or whereever your going next, they are very helpful. It is a fun night out and last 2 hours but it states it all on their website.
You may begin or end at the same tube station or a different tube station where ever the last pub is. Again, all infor on the website. They just redid their website for 2020 and it really has even more information than their old website.
I have been on two pub crawls and several walks during the day. The only difference between the walks and the pub walks is you go to pubs on the pub walks that are only done at night. The great thing is if it rains you don't have to go. No reservations and cost is 10 pounds.
You just show up for the walks where they tell you to show up and you have a great time!
Alan, thanks to your post, I just ordered the book for my upcoming 2 weeks in London (February). The price was £.01 and the delivery cost . . . £5.29. Still a bargain.
If you have any more suggestions, please post them
So you’re branching out from Greece :-)
The other book I really like is Secret London. A lot of interesting bits and pieces and some nice pictures.
There’s a new edition just come out which I’ve not seen. It might mean you can pick up the old one cheaper.
Great help! Also bought the books! Really appreciate all the great tips!
Thank you all!
Alan - Greece was the "break" in my normal travel schedule (let's see how many sights I can visit in a day). It was a do-as-little-as-possible two weeks!
I love London but haven't been for nearly a decade, so I decided that February was a good time for me and "how bad can the weather be?". . . I booked the ticket for an 8-night stay, then started looking at all the things I want to do . . . I ended up going back and extending the ticket for another 7 nights! (and another $100).
I know I won't manage to see everything I want to, but with that long, I might finally get to either Oxford or Cambridge for a day . . . if it isn't wicked cold and raining.
In Bath, a couple of my favorite pubs I went to were hands down "Coeur De Lion" and "The Raven". Both are old, proper pubs with great ambiance. Coeur De Lion is tucked down a little alley way not far from Bath Abbey and is said to be one of Bath's smallest pubs. The Raven is an amazing spot to go grab a few proper ales during the day or night, as they have both an upstairs and downstairs. Very charming as well. I heard their Pies are a staple, but didn't;t get the the chance to try one.
In Wells I really enjoyed The Crown, which is near the entrance to Bishop Palace Gardens and the Wells Cathedral. Again, great ambiance in an extremely old inn.
If you find your way to Glastonbury, go to the George & Pilgrim Inn to have a drink. It is said to be one of the oldest buildings, dating back to the 1200's, and provides an amazingly medieval feel. I actually stayed the night here while in Glastonbury. If you like ghosts, it is apparently the spot as The George & Pilgrim Inn is supposedly extremely haunted as well lol.