Archive for the ‘Endless British Pub Crawl’ Tag
*This is the last post on THIS blog site. I have used up my entire allotment of media space for 1pumplane.wordpress.com so this remains, as long as wordpress will allow it to, as an archive of the first 6 years (almost) of the Endless British Pub Crawl. I also have an offline version stored (a bit more than a DVD’s worth) for shits and giggles once this archive leaves the ether. If you are still interested in following my progress toward a) drinking in every pub in the country, b) running coast-to-coast and North-to-South, and c) becoming British (both figuratively and literally), you’ll find the Endless British Pub Crawl Continues at
This was never supposed to last this long. When I started the blog in January 2009, I had been in Britain 5 days and thought it might be a good way to dump some photos and post some updates where a few friends back home could find them and without having to post or email them individually with items that all of them would be getting, anyway. I thought it might last into the middle of Spring at most. But, I found the landscape and culture too compelling (and this medium as both a diary and a newsletter too personally entertaining) to quit. Now, it has metastasized into a sick addiction…and the few regular readers that stick with it are just perverse voyeurs (God-love-ye!).
I don’t think the writing will improve much as this continues but I will, initially at least, strive for quality in lieu of quantity. And, more frequent knob jokes. See you there.
Sometime overnight the blog got hit #300,000. Not bad considering this should only be of interest (very limited interest at that) to a dozen or so Americans. Steady, day-to-day but it restores my faith that at least the number of clicks have fallen off this past year or so. Rest of you are a bunch of freaks.
[Note: Google has a somewhat improved version I have shifted the maps to, all on one view. You can use the link to the left or here]
I have exceeded the limits of Google maps (their KML file parser only allows 1000 features, and while I don’t know what the other three are, 997 were the first batch of pubs). You can still browse the maps, but there is a link to page numbers at the bottom, with roughly 200 per page so I’ve pulled the link until I can find a bit of mapping software more drunken runner friendly. Here were some of the milestones:
Pub #1, The Red Lion, our local in Stretham when we first moved here; a mere 87 yard stumble, downhill along walls to our front door.
Pub #100 fell the day before my first British birthday, during a lunch run to Granchester from the labs in Cambridge. Almost exclusively London, Cambridgeshire, and Kent at this point.
Pub #500, 10 September 2010: Density around Bicester, Oxford and parts of London are beginning to look like Cambridge and Ely.
Today (17 September 2012) with 1029 pubs down. My vacation is nearly over and even with the 10 or more mile-per-day September running still on, it is looking less likely that I’ll be adding many in the next few weeks. I’ll do updates of the map at each new 100, though.
“You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best.
I’ve been gone for a week, I’ve been drunk since I left.
These so-called vacations will soon be my death.
I’m so sick from the drink, I need home for a rest.”
_____from Home For A Rest by Mann and Kelly_____
My favourite pub (and the first British pub I ever visited), the Canny Man’s in Edinburgh, is not written up in this blog nor are dozens of others that predate our term of residence in this spectacular nation. They were visited during one of several trips for job interviews, work, conferences, or vacations and this sort of self-indulgent, public diary would never have crossed my mind back then.
This collection remains here to entertain myself and a small number of friends and if any of it offends then it probably isn’t for you. Every now and then, someone takes great offence at my reports on what I experience and demand I edit to suit their desires (and often threaten bodily harm). I doubt that any of the few hundred people per day that visit one or another of these posts makes a decision about patronising a bar based on my poor prose or snarky observations; any that do are as deluded as those would-be Ministry of Truth officers.
For me, the 1000th was always going to be just another pub, and an annoying one, at that. When I exceeded 100, most people acted as though they thought it was bullshit until the number got out of the 100’s; the same thing happened with 500, with incredulity only waning as I approached 600. These doubts usually are stated as, “oh, and you keep a count of these, do you?” Fuck me, I write a blog post for each one and the metadata is logged in an Excel spreadsheet…welcome to the 21st century support for functional alcoholics. Here are some of the sorts of details I can access.
19 January 2009: commence British residence
19 January 2010: 1 year, 293 pubs so far
19 January 2011: 2 years, 531 pubs so far
19 January 2012: 3 years, 811 pubs so far
Pub #1: Red Lion, Stretham, Cambridgeshire, 19 January 2009
Pub #100: The Red Lion, Granchester, Cambridgeshire, 29 May 2009
Pub #200: Cherry Tree, Newmarket, Suffolk, 31 July 2009
Pub #300: White Horse, Witcham, Cambridgeshire, 31 January 2010
Pub #400: SportsBar in Marylebone Station, St John’s Wood, London, 30 May 2010
Pub #500: Wetherspoons, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, 10 September 2010
Pub #600: Boundary House, Swindon, Wiltshire, 28 May 2011
Pub #700: The Commercial Rooms, Bristol, Somerset, 11 September 2011
Pub #800: Wheatsheaf, Lower Woodford, Wiltshire, 8 January 2012
Pub #900: Plough, Clanfield, Oxfordshire, 4 May 2012
Pub #1000: Red Lion, East Chisenbury, Wiltshire, 9 September 2012
Most visited pub names:
The Red Lion – 36 (includes 1 “Ye Olde Red Lion”)
The Crown – 16
The Plough – 16
The White Hart – 15
The King’s Arms – 12
The White Horse – 12
The Black Horse – 11
The Swan – 11
The Wheatsheaf – 11
The Prince of Wales – 10
I remember a surprisingly large number (most in fact) of the pubs I have visited due to the exercise of writing up something about the occasion, even if it has nothing to do with the pub itself nor, even, reality. Some of my personal favourite write-ups (not all are pubs) include:
The Baron of Beef, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 06 February 2009 (makes me laugh)
The Chequers, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, 08 March 2009 (aerosols and discarded pants)
The Prince Regent, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, 11 March 2009 (oh, the hangover….)
The Goat Tavern, Kensington, London, 19 March 2009 (Chicago Cubs references)
The Cock, Hemigford Grey, Cambridgeshire, 30 May 2009 (first birthday here)
Snowdonia Marathon, 24 October 2009 (several pub stops, awesome run)
The Dog and Duck, Linton, Cambridgeshire, 06 January 2010 (puzzle and last night out in Cambridgeshire)
London Underround Birthday Pub Crawl, 30 May 2010 (ludicrous, but good birthday out in London)
The Crown, Penzance, Cornwall, 31 December 2010 (our 25th Anniversary)
The Langley Tap, Langley Burrell, Wiltshire, 11 September 2011 (landlord had pint waiting for me during Chippenham Half Marathon)
London Marathon, 22 April 2012 (a high point of sorts, 5 pubs and more)
What a bunch of dicks (I’m probably not welcome at alumni golf tournament anymore)
Florence religious tourism (from Florence Marathon trip, I should grow up someday)
and, any of the ones tagged “Made Me Laugh”
After this present vacation ends next week, I predict the pace falling off dramatically for a while. Maybe, at least, the writing will get better when I have a new one to report.
On to 1500! It might even coincide with my citizenship/naturalisation application….
Sometime during the Swindon Half Marathon the 100,000th visit to this blog occurred. That’s really ridiculous: I have a couple of dozen acquaintances that should be interested in some of this stuff, and two or three friends that check in now-and-again but even spread out over nearly three years this is a surprising amount of traffic that has to be attributed to strangers or the strange. I can only imagine that it must be down to the subject matter because I know the prose isn’t grand; on the other hand, all the articles are short as befits the attention span of typical net users and there is always the threat of puerile humour and nudity so maybe this isn’t so surprising after all. Just because I don’t have a mature life doesn’t mean you can’t get one (I’m just saying…).
So it has come to this…1000 posts in less than 3 years (975 days, to be precise).
In that time we have come quite far together: 712 pub stops, 4025 miles running (1740 unique miles in the UK, at that), almost 96000 views of this blog (averaging about 200/day the last few months after slow beginnings) and tons of ridiculous shit that I should bring me disgrace. In that same time, I have only managed my way onto one proper publication (with acknowledgements in a few others, although another paper from the Cambridge work is almost finished) and one patent, and for that meager output I truly am ashamed; but, my big bag of guilt still has a bit of spandex left and, besides, I left plenty of tired, old impropriety across the Atlantic to make room for new experiences so let’s keep piling it in.
One of my favourite pub experiences was early on at the Chequers in Cottenham which I hope has reopened since we left the area. I have some favourite pubs in various places but no one favourite nationwide yet. The map, linked here and over to the left of the page gives you the names of pubs reviewed or otherwise used as a template for my blather in this document and makes a nearly comprehensive reference for planning a pub crawl in Oxford, Swindon, Cambridge, Ely, Faringdon, Kidlington and Bicester; many other areas are covered less extensively but it should continue to grow over the coming years.
Pub count by date...summer surge came late this year
Here are some of my favourite posts out of that ridiculous collection, if you are at all interested or just bored:
Picking on the deceased, especially one’s betters, is always worthy: Arthur Stanley Eddington plaque. Other times, the sciences offer jobs that are hard to resist (but the job has been filled and removed from the HR site since then). Never sure if it was an attractant or repellent, and still don’t understand what the dog had to do with it (unless it was a Cocker).
Many articles about running as tourism have been posted, but some are better than others. Place names tend to be the best for humour…like these here. Or this one. We actually drove about 10 miles out of our way one weekend trip for this hamlet, but the signs have been stolen so often they stopped putting them up. Claims to never having paid for it aside, this was a nice if mistaken sight. Deep in Cambridgeshire you find some good place names, and they seem to treat strangers well on Hills Road Cambridge. Our first trip to Wales resulted in disappointment with this highway’s promise.
The daily Haiku was a feature early on, before I realised just how many pubs were going to be reviewed. The best ones happened spontaneously like this one on a trip to London.
As I write this I am suffering stigmata…okay, I accidentally stabbed myself in the palm with a screwdriver this morning. Still, religion figures into the blog from time-to-time as it did about the ex-masturbators and the fisting-for-Jesus folks. In Italy, it is hard to escape the influence of the Church and so we gave into its temptations.
An eternal Dylan fan and no stranger to public nudity and substance abuse, I felt kinship with these guys. Other times the news is just ironic on its own. Romance is alive and well in Ireland, as this guy proves.
With luck running will continue and I’ll cover many more miles of virgin territory and review loads of worthy races (although my feelings have not changed for the ‘Finisher’s Medal’). Barely 1/10 of 1% into the stock of pubs to visit, I should be able to maintain this pace of coverage for awhile, as well. Best, to all, and here’s to 1000 more of this nonsense.
I stopped handing out the “this is pub # xxx since 19 January 2009” cards sometime after the 550th pub. Since then I’ve spotted two of these in pubs, one framed and one just propped against a darts trophy. Cool. I’ll start again next week when I hit #670. Here’s the template I’m using at least through #719: