Glasgow pub crawl suggestion: The subcrawl

Have you tried the Glasgow subcrawl yet?

Published 15th Jul 2015
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

There are few things more fun than the thrill of gathering a few - or a crowd - of friends and embarking on a pub crawl.

Pub crawls offer the chance of discovering the hidden gem of a pub you might never have visited, the thrill of entering the bar with a harder reputation than most housing schemes and discovering it's actually a great wee pub or simply the unbridled rejoicing of reaching the last pub with every team member still on board.

There are few more legendary pub crawls than the Glasgow subcrawl, spawn of many an enthralling story and more than a few hilarious videos.

Beginning at any of the city's clockwork orange stop and costing as little as £4.00 (an all day ticket) each to get round, it's a fun way to explore the city.

So here's our guide to some of the pubs you should check out should you feel up to the challenge:

A few things to point out before we begin

It's always easier to start on the south side of the river, as finishing up in town or the West End is better for getting taxis home and such, unless you happen to live close to any of the south side stations then adjust accordingly.

Try to drink responsibly - the amount of stops on the line can lead to one becoming ever so slightly stocious, so perhaps save the 'bombs' for another night and remember to keep an eye on those in your group looking slightly worse for wear. There's also no shame in finishing one or two stops early provided that everyone is still having a good time.

The whole thing should take about eight hours (with required food stop) so we recommend you start in the early afternoon and are prepared to make a day of it.

Start -

1. Bridge Street Station


The Laurieston bar might look rather unassuming from the outside and may make you feel like you require some form of hard man reputation to enter, but in reality its a great wee pub that has embraced a love of great beer - you'll find some sparkling examples or real ale on the pumps and at great value too. A great place to start.

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From here we hit a bit of a conundrum, both Shields Road and West Street are far from the beaten track and require quite a bit of walking to find any kind of decent watering hole and are usually skipped.

2. Kinning Park

The Bellrock. Picture: TSPL
The Bellrock. Picture: TSPL

The Bellrock actively encourages subcrawls and as such most of the bar staff are friendly and happy to greet you with a cold pint and some decent chat. There may even be on occasion some decent live music on offer.

3. Cessnock 

The Kensington. Picture: TSPL
The Kensington. Picture: TSPL

One you might want to add for future reference as a great stop to get access to some of the city's best attractions, The Glasgow Science Centre, the Glasgow Tower and the BBC building are all within walking distance.

Sadly the pub selection isn't as exciting but there are still one or two here worth visiting. The Kensington bar is by far one of the most respectable, on the outside it looks like what one might describe as 'an old man's pub' but that would be doing it a disservice.

Usually busy and always good craic, the pints here are great value too.

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4. Ibrox

The Louden Tavern, formerly the Station Bar. Picture: Louden
The Louden Tavern, formerly the Station Bar. Picture: Louden

Another one that's pretty sparse on pub pickings and is probably best avoided on match days as it will be far too busy.

Should you decide to go for it, then the only accessible bar from the station is the Louden Tavern, formerly the Station Bar.

If you haven't guessed by now it's a Rangers pub and is mostly aimed at Rangers fans. Though the ever permeating tribalism of Glaswegian football is something some people want to avoid, the pub is actually quite quiet on non-match days and the staff are always welcoming.

Should you fancy something different  a short walk up to Paisley Road West brings you to the new GoGlasgow Urban Hotel (formerly the Swallow Hotel).

5. Govan 

The Brechin. Picture: TSPL

Once the beating heart of Glasgow's shipping industry, Govan fell on hard times in the 80s and 90s. However, more recently, the town centre has seen something of a rejuvenation and is always bustling, especially if the weather is good.

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The Brechin is another pub that's well aware of it's reputation as a subcrawl pub and is at home serving quieter groups of two's and three's as it is larger and more raucous parties. When we went in on a busy Saturday, there was no less than three groups of subcrawlers, including a stag party with one very inebriated Telly Tubby, who as it turns out wasn't the groom.

6. Partick 

The Deoch an Doris. Picture: DaD
The Deoch an Doris. Picture: DaD

Heading north of the river you hit your first West End stop and after such sparse options at the previous four stops, you'll find you'll now be spoiled for choice. Partick offers an array of decent watering holes and there are several within walking distance, including the excellent whisky bar The Lismore (which if you're looking for a Dram then you can't go wrong with).

However, by this point you me be a little peckish and the spacious and stylish Deoch an Dorus - which aptly means 'one more for the road' in Gaelic - is perfect for a midway stop.

Offering a cracking menu of freshly cooked Scottish Food (try the haggis croquettes) and plenty of seats, this is a perfect place for a food stop.

7. Kelvinhall

The Three Judges. Picture: TTJ
The Three Judges. Picture: TTJ

Next up is another great bar, situated across from Kelvinhall station is the Three Judges. Offering one of the biggest ranges of real ales, beers and ciders of any of the bars on this list, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed by choice.

On the taps, which offer nine different real ales every day,  you'll find the cream of the Scottish and UK wide micro-brewing hop crop including Fyne, Fallen, Knops and Cromarty.

Don't worry, if they don't have the beer you want on tap they'll probably have a great alternative in their excellent bottle range.

Many also fall astray here as they tend to enjoy the pub too much but one must persevere so onwards!

8. Hillhead

Jinty McGintys. Picture: JM
Jinty McGinty's. Picture: JM

Another of those stops where you are spoiled for choice, especially should you choose to head to the bohemian Ashton Lane.

Jinty McGinty's is the place to go for some craic, always busy, always popular, Jinty's is famed for its live music and electric atmosphere. The only downside is it can sometimes be too popular and you can struggle to get in!

9. Kelvinbridge

The Doublet. Picture: Flickr
The Doublet. Picture: Flickr

Heading for the home straight means one of two things, should you want a wee breather and a quiet pint to recharge, then the Doublet is a great pub situated just behind the station and offers ales and whiskies at great value.

If you're still in the party mood then Inn Deep offers a little more in the way of craft beer, real ale and atmosphere and sits directly across from the river from the station.

You won't find a better selection of craft beers and the staff are so knowledgeable, you'll definitely learn something. Best of all the seats outside offer stunning views of the River Kelvin.

10. St George's Cross

WEST on the Corner. Picture: WEST
WEST on the Corner. Picture: WEST

The last station before town offers a chance to check out the effortlessly cool WEST on the Corner on Woodlands Road. Like a little slice of Bavaria in Glasgow, WotC offers all the great bits of the Templeton Brewery in miniature in a great setting.

11.  Cowcaddens

North Hop

Still with us? OK so Cowcaddens sits in the quieter part of town, emerging out underneath the busy M8 motorway, you'd be forgiven for thinking you weren't in the city centre but thankfully you are. Hidden gem the Station Bar is as old school as they come. Owned by three generations of the McHugh family, the bar itself knows that the key tenet that service is king and the beer selection is not half bad either.

12. Buchanan Street 

North Hop
The Vale. Picture: TV

You've now officially reached the city centre, there's now no shortage of offerings but for general fun and ease of access as by this point you'll probably not be looking to walk too far then we recommend the Vale bar which is home to some exciting little gigs and has hosted Franz Ferdinand in the past. With a no nonsense approach to decor, the pub is home to a very mixed crowd and most Glaswegians will swear by it as most have undoubtedly passed through its doors at one time or another.

13. St Enoch

Sloans. Picture: Sloans
Sloans. Picture: Sloans

Hurray! You've made it, hopefully by  now you are all still together and have had a great day, now for a final pint to finish the night off. One of Glasgow's oldest bars, Sloans is a cracking little pub sitting just the city's bustling Argyle Street.

Offering three floors of fun, a decent selection of drink and an excellent little menu it's the perfect place to finish off.

Note: You can easily begin at any of the stops but we think our way is the best to get the optimum amount of fun out of your crawl but feel free to mix it up.



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