Traveller’s Guide to Glasgow: The Subcrawl
Updated: Mar 3
Like Irn Bru and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the subcrawl is a Glasgow institution. Popular amongst the city’s students and dedicated drinkers, the aim of this pub crawl is to stop at each of Glasgow’s fifteen underground stations, visiting a pub for a pint at each one. A cursory Google search will throw up hundreds of hits suggesting various rules and methods for completing the crawl and a warren of forums heatedly debating the particulars; is eating cheating? Clockwise or anticlockwise? When is too early to start the Jaeger-bombs?
But we’re no traditionalists so buy your all day tickets (£4), find a pub nearest to your chosen station and get the party started!
Here’s a suggested route for beginners wishing to experience the Glasgow drinking culture but still be alive enough the next day for a wee tour of the city centre. Join us on our walking tour; we run tours daily at 10.30am and 2pm and we may just have the thing to cure your hangover!
START: Waxy O'Connors
Start your crawl in Waxy O’Connors, a traditional Irish pub just round the corner from Queen’s Street Station. Come hungry as they offer everything from nachos to mussels; a good place to line that stomach! If you’re looking for a rowdier crowd then head to the Counting House on George Square. Housed in a former 19th Century bank, this Wetherspoons is worth a visit for the architecture alone. Their strength lies in their cheap cocktails (Woo Woo anybody?), but their gigantic menu means they spread themselves too thinly when it comes to food. Instead, grab something greasy and deep fried from Pizza Crolla on the corner of Buchanan and Queens’ Street and eat it on the way to St. Enoch’s. (Take the outer circle from Buchanan Street)
St. Enoch: Hootenany's
Behind the station you’ll find Hootenany’s, as good a place as any to try an offering from Glasgow’s very own West Brewery. They have West Hefeweizen on tap, a Bavarian style beer best enjoyed in their beer garden under the knowing gaze of Billy Connolly.
Bridge Street: The Laurieston
This category C-listed pub on the Southside is one you really can’t miss out. The cluttered interior, with horseshoe bar, jukebox and padded bar stools harks back to the halcyon days of the 60s and 70s before the dawn of the sports bar or gastro pub. The walls are decorated with history but the clientele is a mix of young and old – so savour your pint, and the atmosphere!
Kinning Park: The Bellrock
An unassuming pub that caters to the cardigan crowd during the day. However, cheap drinks and a karaoke machine make it a favourite amongst subcrawlers.
Hillhead: Ashton Lane
Get off at Hillhead and you can take your pick of the pubs! If you’re looking for grandeur and tradition head to the Òran Mór, a famous venue housed in a 19th Century church. If you’re feeling merry however, best to leave the Òran Mór for Sunday lunch and make your way to Ashton Lane. Many a subcrawl has been abandoned on this cobbled street, with enough bars and restaurants to keep you going until the wee hours. Vodka Wodka is a good bet for cocktails and a party atmosphere or make your way to the Grosvenor Café for an interior so beautiful you won’t mind the prices.
If it’s before 23:30 you’re well poised to take the subway to Cowcaddens or Buchanan Street to dance the night away on notorious Sauchiehall Street. On the other hand, if you’re feeling worse for wear then it’s only right to end the crawl the way the locals do – with chips and curry sauce…
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