Not everyone is aware that Glasgow has a subway system. It doesn’t have the cachet of the London Underground, the Paris Metro, or the sprawling NYC system, but it’s been shoogling people around since 1896. And I do mean “around” as there are only two lines on the Glasgow Subway, Inner Circle or Outer Circle which as their names suggest, confirm that the system is one big loop around Glasgow (technically one line, just two tracks!).
There are 15 stops on the Subway and all except one have a pub near them so naturally, as we Glasgwegians are fond of a shandy or three, it has been known for groups of people to attempt to circumnavigate the Subway, stopping for an alcoholic beverage at every pub on the way. AKA The Subcrawl.
There are variations that include not sitting down on the Subway itself, and often fancy dress is involved, but the basic goal is to have a drink at each stop – Shields Road being the exception – and so it came to pass that last Saturday saw me meet up with a band of merry idiots as we set off on not only a Subcrawl but a Stagcrawl!
So at midday we ordered the first drink to mark the beginning of the loop at St. Enochs with the plan to go south of the river first, towards Govan and Ibrox, before crossing back under the mighty River Clyde to the West most point of the subway at Partick.
Like most big cities, there are some parts which don’t have the best reputation (the aforementioned Ibrox being an example due to ties to a certain blue football team, and orange coloured walks) but equally this is Glasgow, a place known for it’s friendly nature and, as if proof were needed, our smiles were returned in each pub and we were welcomed in warmly by the locals who are, no doubt, well acquainted with Saturday Subcrawls. It was great to see these old boozers still going in the face of the onslaught of Wetherspoons et al!
Around the same time as us there were two other groups doing the Subcrawl so, if nothing else, there were always a few (increasingly drunk) faces in each pub anyway!
I loved it, exploring parts of Glasgow I wouldn’t normally visit, and I don’t think I’ve laughed so much for so long, which explained why the most painful part of me the next day was my stomach muscles! In fact I am still, a couple of days after the event, waiting for the hangover to kick in..?!
It was a great day with a fab group of people, all there to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of the equally fab Rob and David. The banter was random, the laughter frequent, and that’s before we get on to the inflatable guitar, the tiny rocking horse, hair dye rainbows, and shots of dubious nature.
So, for (my own) posterity, here are the pubs we visited at each stop:
St. Enochs – Hootenannys
Bridge Street – The Laurieston
West Street – Lord Nelson (plus a shot)
Shields Road – skipped
Kinning Park – The Bellrock
Cessnock – The District (to make up for skipping Shields Road) and The Kensington
Ibrox – The Loudoun
Govan – Brechin’s Bar
Partick – Deoch An Dorus
Kelvinhall – SparkleHorse
Hillhead – Curlers Rest (and food stop)
Kelvinbridge – The Doublet
St. George’s Cross – The Carnarvon
Cowcaddens – Jacksons
Buchanan Street – Drury Street (until closing!)
Given we stopped in the last pub for a while, I reckon it was about 20-21 drinks across 12 hours. We only got caught in the rain once and we didn’t lose anyone! All I can say is roll on the Wedding Reception in a couple of weeks time!