What happens when you do The Otley run

Leeds Otley Run Pub List

If you’re from Leeds or the surrounding area, you might already be familiar with the glorious concept of The Otley Run. If not, you might be one of those people who wishes someone luck as they assume it’s an actual run as opposed to a pub crawl. (I got two of those last week).

The Otley Run is pretty much a rite of passage for anyone who lives in Leeds as who wouldn’t want to make their way up to Headingley and walk back into town, attempting to visit 16 different pubs over the course of a two and a half mile walk? Well, it could be anywhere up to 16 depending on the route you take and even then you have to take into account probably missing out Leeds Uni SU and not being let into others.

Here’s what happens when you do The Otley Run.

1. The day commences at Woodies and you have the moment of realisation that it’s the cheapest bar in the land and why don’t we make it our local? They had me at two glasses of prosecco for a fiver. Bonus points if you visit here with someone from London as they’ll more than likely lose their mind at the prices.

2. It’s a bold move to start the Otley Run drinking prosecco as it gives you the false confidence that continuing with prosecco or wine and sticking with it for the next three to four pubs is a great idea.

3. You’ll soon see the error of your ways when you’re a bottle of wine down after a mere three bars and realise that you need to pick a drink that you know you can last all night on – most likely the spirit you developed a tolerance to at university which in my case, is vodka.

4. Pace is everything if you want to get into town at a respectable time and in a semi-respectable state. Thinking you have all the time in the world because you started at 2pm is a rookie error when it takes you over two hours to finish the first four pubs.

5. The walk down the Hyde Park Pub is possibly the longest walk you’ll ever encounter (of around 15 minutes) and there’s a reason why people hop on the bus or grab an uber instead of embarking on a trek which has the adverse affect of sobering you up.

6. On the other hand, it’s a great opportunity to mingle with other groups, befriend the occasional stag party and play a game of fancy dress bingo (if you don’t see someone dressed as a crayon, racial stereotype or in a onesie, you’ve missed out).

7. After leaving the Hyde Park Pub, it’s time to break the news to those in the group who aren’t from Leeds that they’re about to begin another marathon walk (of approximately 10 minutes) to The Library.

8. It’s from this point onwards when you’re on the cusp of being in town that it’s probably best just to let things go downhill.

9. The run descends into old man pub territory after The Library and yet there’s something charming about them all the same. The pubs get smaller and it’s easy to get lost in a sea of fancy dress.

10. The detour to Leeds University SU is definitely optional, especially if it’s been more than three years since you graduated.

11. Once you’ve ticked off the smaller bars, where better is there to end a run than the Dry Dock? AKA a large boat/bar type place with a nautical feel.

12. Eventually you'll you make it to Dry Dock and it’s time to ditch any fancy dress (transitional fancy dress is a must) if you want a hope in hell’s chance of getting let into anywhere on Call Lane.

The full Otley Run route is as follows:

·        Woodies
·        The Three Horseshoes
·        The New Inn
·        Headingley Taps
·        Arc
·        Box
·        Skyrack
·        The Original Oak
·        The Hyde Park Pub
·        The Library
·        The Packhorse
·        The Eldon
·        Leeds Uni (optional)
·        The Fenton
·        Strawbs
·        The Dry Dock

So tell me, have you done the Otley Run? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments.

1 comment

  1. I still think wishing someone luck with this is probably the right call! ;p