With the eve of the infamous and annual Viking Raid nearly upon us, manyparty-going students are left with a very difficult decision to make. No, it’s not about which colour route to take, but what on earth can I do instead?
Tonight in town will be a nightmare for all involved. Taxi drivers, bouncers, bar staff, police, Mr Oki and, most poignantly, the North Yorkshire Ambulance Service. Yet for anyone who just simply wanted to go out tonight, you would have to negotiate a plethora of rowdy freshers walking in a long line and clogging up your favourite bar with boring stories of drunken promiscuity and vain attempts to adopt campus waterfowl.
I don’t think I could stand going out when everyone is matching anyway. And, no, ripping the t-shirt into a revealing vest top doesn’t count.
So, for those looking to avoid the other routes, here is an alternative route that you can take, that frequents classy independent pubs and bars before ending with the inevitable.
1. The Charles
Keeping up with tradition and starting the crawl on campus (just), the Charles has been a welcome alternative to Courtyard through its choice of cheap food and well-priced pints. It’s full of charm and is located in the pretty setting of Heslington village, with Heslington Hall perfectly blocking out the quadrilateral blight of campus.
Better known as Lucia’s to York’s incumbent students (which is just off Swinegate), this stylish cocktail bar sits above Lucia’s restaurant offering all of your favourite cocktails, as well as some rather more unique ones. At £3 a pot, and £9 for a pitcher, you can’t go wrong.
3. The House of Trembling Madness
An ancient but very pokey pub above their shop on Stonegate offers an impressive array of speciality beers and ciders. And if you want to be a massive #LAD in front of your peers, you can take on their Yard of Ale challenge, where you have to sink, well, a yard-length glass full of ale. That’s actually quite self-evident.
4. Evil Eye It is written in student folklore that this is Johnny Depp’s favourite bar and, in fairness, Evil Eye is an amazing place. Just a few doors down from Trembling Madness on Stonegate, it offers York’s (and maybe the country’s) biggest and unique range of cocktails in a very edgy setting.
By the market just behind the Shambles, the Pivni is a small timber pub that specialises in craft ale that also gives out popcorn for free! It even has a dukebox, so you can actively choose not to listen to house music .
Just off Coney Street on New Street is one of York’s best alternative venues. With energetic rock music piercing round the rooms and 2-4-1 cocktails most nights, it can’t be missed. The originality of their cocktail names is also something to admire. The Graham Norton is my favourite.
7. The Drawing Board
Two doors down from Dusk is this relatively new cocktail bar. What gives it an edge is that the walls are lined with blackboards, so you can tag up the place at your leisure. And if you get bored, there’s a place called Vanity on the top floor. I’ll let you work out that bar by yourself…
And the final destination… The Willow Bar and Disco.
Because all roads lead to Willow.
Don’t forget: when/if you complete this bar crawl, donate £5 to RAG. Let’s not forget what we’re getting wasted for.