A Guide to the Glasgow Subcrawl

Last Updated: 30th January 2017

If you’re thinking about coming to Glasgow to study at one of the city’s universities, forget the prospectuses and course outlines, because here is all the essential information you’ll need to make your choice.

The city is packed full of great pubs and clubs, which you will undoubtedly become familiar with pretty quickly. But, once you become bored of the standard night out routine, another option awaits you: the Subcrawl.

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The Subcrawl takes the conventional pub crawl and turns it on its head. Get yourself an all-day ticket (currently £4.00), start at one station on Glasgow’s subway system and make your way round the fifteen stops on the circular route, drinking at one pub per stop. This might sound like the greatest idea you’ve ever heard, and at the start of the day when you’re young and full of excitement it definitely is. But as you approach Cowcaddens, drunken and weary, the excitement will have subsided and been replaced by shame, regrets and a very empty wallet.

As someone who is not a big drinker, I would compare completing a full Subcrawl, which usually lasts from 10am until whatever time The Garage shuts that night, to what it must feel like to finish an Ironman. Staying awake that long while continually drinking without either being sick all over yourself or being sent home for embarrassing yourself is no easy task, and it’s not a cheap one either. It’s not something that you can do every week, and I’m not sure anyone would want to anyway, however as a one off day out it is totally worth it and, for some, this kind of blowout is the perfect way to mark the end of revision and exams by making up for all those nights stuck inside in one fell swoop.

Glasgow Subcrawl Guide

Our (massive) subcrawl gang

Most Subcrawls require you to dress up, I’m not really sure why as it won’t be hard to tell your group apart from the rest of the commuters riding the Subway not standing in the middle of the carriage screaming “Don’t sit down, that’s cheating!” Dressing up might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I include myself in that, but it does add to the atmosphere and after two or three stops I can assure you that you won’t need to worry about drawing attention to yourself anyway. The last Subcrawl I went on with a group of people I work with required us to dress up as movie characters (see above). Not very original, but some of the costumes were cracking – the Watership Down rabbits were particularly terrifying.

Each group will undoubtedly go to different pubs at each stop but I would recommend the following route (starting at Buchanan Street and taking the Outer Circle):

Subway Station Bar
Buchanan Street The Lab
St Enoch Hootenannys
Bridge Street The Laurieston
West Street Skip
Shields Road Skip
Kinning Park The Bellrock
Cessnock The Kensington
Ibrox Skip
Govan Brechin Bar
Partick Deoch An Dorus
Kelvinhall The Record Factory
Hillhead Curlers Rest
Kelvinbridge Inn Deep
St George’s Cross Wintersgills
Cowcaddens Jacksons

Congratulations! You have now completed the (in?)famous Glasgow Subcrawl. The traditional reward is a night of dancing at The Garage, but there are plenty of other options in the area too or, considering the fact you’ve probably consumed about 30 units of alcohol, maybe it’s just time to call it a night?

Just one final word of advice though: getting a drunken Mickey Mouse head tattooed on your back at the Partick stop is NOT a good idea. But, unlike me you probably already knew that. Jings…

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