Exeter’s Crappiest Pub Crawl

If you thought Saturday Lemmy was bad, think again.

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In case you were wondering why we didn’t just go to Cavern on our Saturday night like normal people.  the reason that this night was even a valid idea was because you can take the girl out of Glasgow, but you can’t take the Glasgow out of the girl. Iona’s half Scottish, I’m Polish, and we’re both always up for anything ridiculous. As students, we delight in any chance for a cheap drink. But as we know, cheap and classy do not always go hand in hand.

This will not end well.

Having no idea what we were getting ourselves into, we set only one criteria : if you can sit on the sofa without contracting an STD, you’re batting too high. So we started off with The Cellar Bar… a.k.a the Gandy Street Crack Den.

Taking photos wasn’t even a possibility without the fear of having our phones snatched. Being quite tall individuals, we found it too much effort to spend the entire evening ducking under the ridiculously low ceiling, and so left quite quickly. Before Trainspotting (Exeter edition) became a reality.

After sailing several hours down the mainstream, we came across the most indie joint in town: Bike Shed Theatre. We can only assume the bell on the bike on the wall could summon every hipster in town.

Does the whole thing look a little.. triangular, to you?

Just as we were about to leave, we noticed that the bar was foam-lined, presumably as a deterrent to head injury, which would seem imminent to anyone without a triangle around their neck. So, passing the Methodist Church, we moved a few doors down to The Mint.

Is it ‘mint’ to look like that?

Aside from the brawl going on outside, the married couple arguing with a bouncer, and the undoubtedly herpes-infested sofa, this place seemed almost charming. And then they started playing Justin Bieber’s greatest hits. Needless to say, we did not stay long.

After wandering around in search of more atrocity, we decided to venture down the other end of the High Street, to the dreaded Duke of York. And, as we walk in, we see the sign: karaoke night.

It was a little like walking into a parallel dimension. This is a place where getting an invite to Jeremy Kyle is easier than hitting the right note in any song, and belting Rod Stewart’s Sailing is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged. So, how did we cope?



It was simple really. At this moment in time, it became acceptable to get disgracefully drunk on tequila shots, which almost made hearing the landlord’s rendition of Sweet Caroline bearable. Almost. Noticing that we were being watched by a rather drunk gentleman from across the room, we thought this would probably be the best time to get out before it was too late.

Walking past the King Billy was risky on a Saturday night, and we did consider walking in for a drink. The blaring One Direction and hordes of intoxicated locals set fear in our hearts, however, so it was the Old Firehouse for a cooldown for the rest of the night.

The forbidden kingdom.

It’s impressive that we both emerged with our dignity intact.

There you have it – these are but a few examples of the sketchiest pubs in Exeter, and we suggest that you stay as far away as your sense of personal hygiene will let you.