How To Survive An Otley Run

If you’re wanting to survive the infamous pub run from Headingley to Leeds city centre, known of the Otley Run, prior preparation is the key to success. Fortunately, you’re in the right place as Central Properties Leeds provides the following advice on how to survive the legendary 1.5-mile, 16-pub crawl, justifiably hailed as the ultimate drinking challenge…

Pace yourself… there’s a long way to go

Like with any race, participants need to pace themselves, so they’re don’t burn themselves out at the start. The savviest of Otley Run contestants stick to drinks of a lower alcoholic volume, particularly in those early stages.

Don’t be afraid to opt for the odd Shandy so you’re not left along the wayside before you even get out of Headingley!


A golden rule to surviving a heavy drinking session is to fill the stomach with food. Having a hearty meal before the pub crawl and snacking in between drinks will help limit the effects of the alcohol, meaning you can keep going for longer.

The good news is, there’s plenty of eateries lining the route from Headingley to Leeds to lure you away from the alcohol and fill your stomach on this legendary pub crawl.

Avoid mixing your drinks

Mixing your drinks by swapping from the likes of lager, spirits and wine, can increase the amount of alcohol you can consume and is not recommended.

If you want to make all 16 pubs on the Otley Run, avoid mixing your drinks and, better still, stick to low volume drinks and Shandies.

Be mindful of the roads

When walking from pub to pub always be aware of the traffic and stay sensible!

Keep your money and other belongings safe

When we drink more than we’re used to, it’s easy to be less careful about the whereabouts of our wallets, mobile phones, keys and other items.

With this in mind, when participating in the Otley Run, you may want to consider wearing a bum-bag or something similar to keep your belongings safe.

Look out for one another

As you make your way down the Otley Run, keep an eye on your friends and look out for one another. If anyone shows signs of being too inebriated, it might be time for them to call it a day.

Know the route

Prior to the Otley Run you might want to check out the route, so you know exactly where you’re going and, perhaps more importantly, know how to get home.

Stick to the route

Don’t be tempted to stray off route and stay to the designated Otley Run so everyone knows where they’re going.

Hop on the bus

You can save time wandering from pub to pub by hopping on a bus that regularly travel between Headingley and Leeds. The walk from the Original Oak to Hyde Park is quite far, so you may want to jump onto the 1, 6 or 28 to save some time.

However, that said, a brisk stroll can be a good way to burn off some excess alcohol!

Delegate a whistle blower!

If there’s a large group of you, informing everyone you’re moving onto the next pub can be a challenge in itself! Help overcome the issue of people being left behind by bringing a whistle and appointing someone as the whistle blower to inform participants when it’s time to move on.

Stick to your own round

With 16 pubs to get through, it can be easy to lose track of who’s paid for what round. In this sense, you might want to consider sticking to buying your own drinks!

Don’t be in a rush

When tackling the legendary Otley Run, don’t be in a rush. Instead, relax, take your time and enjoy good food, good drinks and good company in a fabulous, student-friendly part of the country.
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