This is a blog about the maps and guides I use to to help me do pub crawls.
Before the days of the internet and now smart phones people had to use maps to find their way around towns and cities. I still do to this day as I do not have a smart phone, but I do use the internet now to find pub locations to mark off on my A-Z of Bristol or Leeds, as an example.
I must heap praise on the mapping of pubs on the Pubs Galore site, by far the best for finding most proper pub locations. I always use it to pre-plan most pub crawls by marking off on my maps the location of pubs, or even doing hand drawn maps of smaller towns by copying off the Pubs Galore pub map.
If you're wanting to know how many pubs are in an area, just look at the Pubs Galore map and you will soon find out.
It was much harder back in the '80s and '90s so Pub Guides with maps were the best and listed all pubs. Brewery guides also listed all of their tied houses, which was a big help. You just had to ask, when in a town or city, where there were pubs that appeared in these guides. The worst guides of all were the CAMRA ones that just listed real ale pubs, or even worse, listed only what they deemed to be the best real ale pubs.
Back to maps, by far the best for large conurbations is the A-Z series, and the Red Local maps were also good for separate towns.
The Beer Guides
I have guides to most counties in England but not all. The Wiltshire Pub Guide 1991 listed all pubs in Wiltshire in alphabetical order. Pretty simple but I liked it and it gave me good lists of pubs I wanted to do in Wiltshire towns.
There are some more modern guides which I really like, as they map all pubs in the town or city, even if they are keg only pubs. Here are a couple of good examples which I like using.
Real Ale in Derby
Derby CAMRA seem to do these City guides every five years or so, and this is the latest one from 2016. The whole of the city is mapped with pubs marked off by numbers. I cannot fault the guide as it lists all pubs if real ale or keg only. I wish Nottingham CAMRA would do something similar - the last proper CAMRA guide to Nottinghamshire was way back in in the '80s.
Another good fairly recent guide I picked up was the CAMRA Oxford Witney & Abingdon Pub Guide:
A very smart publication with nice mapping of all pubs in the guide, with keg only pubs also mapped. I quite like this guide and used it when going a pub crawl round Witney.
I have lots of brewery guides, many of closed breweries and several still open breweries. If they were a good brewery guide, which most were, they listed every tied house they had at the time of publication. This helped me find out where the tied houses were as I have always tried to do independent brewery tied houses over any other type of pub.
North Country Breweries Pub Guide
A guide to all North Country tied houses that lists pubs by areas of Hull and then counties. I picked this guide up for 75p from the Castle Barge in Newark which was a North Country tied house back in 1983.
Home Ales - A Pub Guide
Home Ales brewery of Nottingham did a good guide of their large tied estate of over 400 pubs in the mid '80s. It listed all pubs with Nottingham at the start, then going onto Nottinghamshire and all other counties they had pubs in. I did not complete this guide but was not far from doing it when the brewery was closed down by S&N.
The Hoppers' Handbook - A Guide to the Harvey Pubs
A nice brewery guide listing all Harveys tied houses and all having a photo. It is a shame that I have not done that many Harveys tied houses.
Innwards - A Guide to Wards Country
A very nice guide to all Wards tied house of Sheffield. There were photos of most pubs and a map of the ones in Sheffield. This was another '80s brewery guide.
Map of Wards pubs in Sheffield
This section is about the maps I use and how I mark them off so that I know roughly where I have been. But the first maps shown listed every pub in the county map they were in, and what brewery was running the pub at the time. The maps were called Better Pubs of each county they were in.
Better Pubs Map of Kent
These maps were folded like a normal map but listed every pub in the county and and what brewery was running them. When it was opened out you could see the shape of the county.
North East Kent
South East Kent
Better Pubs Map of Cambridgeshire
I have tied to get more of these maps as I only have Kent, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Better Pubs did these maps for all of the South of England but not London. I picked these up in the mid to late '80s and would love to get more of them.
Street Maps that show where pubs are located
My wife treated me to a pub crawl in Cardiff but I had no map of it. I then found a map called Streetezee which mapped all of the Cardiff area, but on a closer look it also had a tankard where there was a pub,. When I did my pub crawl round Cardiff in the '90s all tankards were therefore where I did pubs.
I was quick to order more of these maps which were only in the West side of the country.
Cardiff Central & Canton
I never really used this map for pub crawling round Birmingham as I do not like the city that much, but it was a big help when going round the Black Country.
I have worn out Manchester A-Zs due to the amount of pubs I have done in the area.
Beswick,Openshaw & Clayton
All of these areas done on foot with a bus sometimes caught out or back, but never both ways.
Ashton-under-Lyne, Dukinfied & Guide Bridge
I think I pretty much did all of this area and did not know where Dukinfield was.
Manchester City Centre & parts of Salford
I had at one point done every proper pub in the middle of Manchester and most bars.
I made a massive effort to do every pub in Oldham and finally did 156 in the town. I wonder how many are left now.
Local Red Books
These street maps are always handy if doing a pub crawl in a town or smaller city. I have loads of these types of street maps along with the larger A-Z maps.
A map I have used many times on my pub crawls round Norwich though I've only done 88 pubs in the city.
Weymouth & Dorchester
Very handy while on holiday in Weymouth, but I have not had a drink in Dorchester yet.
My mapping of how many pubs I've done in in towns, cities and villages
I picked this road atlas for a couple of pounds from one of those cheap book shops. It took me a while to work out how to get the number of pubs done in each town and village onto the maps without writing on it, and I also had the problem of updating towns and cities where I was doing lots of pubs.
Then I came up with putting small stickers in it with the number of pubs I had done on it. My wife liked the look of it and when I showed my brother he really liked it.
So here is how it looks:
The towns north of Manchester, Skipton & Blackburn
Leeds, Bradford & West Yorkshire towns
Greater Manchester & area
Nottingham & Derby
Lincoln & Newark
Hull & York
I am able to take stickers off to update to map. I think it looks really good, but then I did it so others may think different!
I've only shown a small selection here, and they are all old-school of ways of finding pubs to do when on a pub crawl. I know which way I would prefer to plan pub crawls - by looking at a map, rather than looking at a smart phone and hoping it is giving me the right directions.
So there you have it, a few of my pub guides and maps.