Fitzroy Tavern is just one of the many pubs you’ll stop at during the London Literary Pub Crawl. // © 2015 Creative Commons user 55935853@N00
Feature image (above): Literary pub tours are a fun experience for literature lovers and beer connoisseurs alike. // © 2015 Creative Commons user 55935853@N00
Regular pub crawls are fun, but literary pub crawls might have you follow “Charles Dickens” through London’s most historical bars — and what could be better than that?
If you like a little history with your libations, check out these literary pub crawls from around the world for both pints and pondering.
Dublin Literary Pub Crawl
Dublin is a city full of pubs and, according to famed author James Joyce, there’s only one way to cross the city without passing one: You’ve got to go into every single one. Profiled in various newspapers and magazines, the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl is arguably the most famous of all literary pub crawls, and it tries its best to follow Joyce’s advice.
The tour winds its way through the Dublin pubs — ones frequented by writers Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift — as a guide recounts the city’s literary history and quotes from the most famous works of Irish literature. It also features reenacted bar fights from “Ulysses” and traditional Irish folk songs such as “The Waxies’ Dargle” for a pub experience like no other — and one you’ll hopefully remember.
Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl
For New York’s finest writers, drinking and writing went hand in hand. So, it’s only fitting that the Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl takes its guests on a guided tour through the village’s pubs. Guides (several of whom are trained actors) will lead pub crawlers through history — both literary and alcoholic.
One stop on the tour is the famous White Horse Tavern, which counts novelists Norman Mailer and Jack Kerouac as former patrons. It was also the preferred haunt of poet Dylan Thomas, who has a booth dedicated in his honor.
In addition to the Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl, there’s also a Brooklyn version for those who would rather explore the borough.
Indy Literary Pub Crawl
The Indy Literary Pub Crawl in Indianapolis, Ind., is hosted by bestselling authors, including young adult writer Mike Mullin, and goes in-depth about Indianapolis’ underappreciated literary scene. The best part of the pub crawl, however, might be the fact that proceeds go toward Indy Reads, a non-profit program that teaches literacy to Indiana residents.
The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour
The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour features the dueling fictional characters of Clart, a “literary bohemian,” and McBrain, the “clean-hankied intellectual,” as your tour guides. The pair engages in an amusing battle of wits as they discuss the intertwined histories of Scotland’s famous writers, such as Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, and the country’s most famous pubs. Featured prominently in guidebooks, this is one pub crawl not to miss.
The London Literary Pub Crawl
The London Literary Pub Crawl might be your only chance to meet famed authors George Orwell, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas and T.S. Eliot — or, at least, actors pretending to be them. This pub crawl is sponsored by the Maverick Theatre Company and features professional actors in the roles of literary greats, including Dickens and Woolf.
As you drink in literary history (as well as various cocktails), you can watch the present-day Thomas meet his wife, and “Eliot” renounce his U.S. citizenship. There’s even a special Shakespeare tavern tour for those who want to imbibe like the bard.