12 Pubs of Christmas

12 Pubs of Christmas

If your an international student coming to study English in England or anywhere else within the United Kingdom then you may have already noticed our particular affliction to festive jumpers and festive head gear in the lead up to Christmas. In many other countries festive jumpers are normally worn only on the day itself however if you are a student studying in any large city in the you may have heard about the 12 pubs of Christmas. In this blog I will try and recollect my experience over the weekend (however most of it was a blur) and give you some ideas on possible routes to take.

Its all in the name

As the title suggests its simply 12 Pubs. There are plenty of event companies that can organise a route for you however its not difficult especially in bigger city's like London, Brighton or Manchester to create your own route. Look for pubs that are grouped in close proximity to avoid long walks between venues. Obviously the more you drink the harder it is to follow a specific route and like we found this year you may need to throw in a wildcard pub every now and again if you cant find the venue you are looking for or its been closed down as we found this year.

It was all a Blur

One of the biggest issue I will have with this blog is trying to recollect my experience. The general concept of a 12 pubs is drinking. Like the title says its 12 pubs if you're a non drinker then it may not be the most exciting thing to do and a trip to London's winter wonderland would probably be a better bet to get in the festive spirit. Even though I consider myself to be an average drinker, trying to polish off 12 pints in a 30 minute window sounds easy at first but if your talking to friends at the same time then you may find that you slip behind the allotted time given

Blog 12 Pubs of Christmas 2

Our Route

  1. 12:30 meet bubba Gumps in the trocadero
  2. 2pm - Waxy O'Connors, Rupert Streett
  3. 3.15pm - On Anon, Piccadilly Circus
  4. 4pm - The Exchange Bar, Gerrard Street
  5. 4.45pm - Moon Under Water, Leicester Square
  6. 5.30pm - Ruby Blue, Leicester Square
  7. 6.15pm - All Bar One, Leicester Square
  8. 7pm - The Brewmaster, Cranbourn Street
  9. 7.45pm - Garrick Arms, Charing Cross Road
  10. 8.45pm - Bok Bar, Bedford Street
  11. 9.30pm The Longacre, Long Acre


  • Make sure you have enough battery on your phone to last the day
  • Check that pubs haven't closed and are open at the times required
  • Have some alternatives in mind
  • Have a good breakfast
  • Be prepared to do nothing the day after (you will need a day to recover)
  • Think of innovative drinking rules
  • Think of innovative penalties 


  • Left hand drinking only
  • Ales and Bitters only
  • No toilet breaks allowed
  • No mobile phones allowed
  • worst jumper award (normally for the person who has made the least effort
  • Secret Santa's


To be honest the idea of doing 12 pubs and drinking in each may not appeal to some people and there are cultural factors to consider also.  If you are unable to drink the amounts required in the allotted time then don't worry and don't feel pressured to do penalties if you feel that your not comfortable with it.  Remember a 12 pubs tour is only a bit of fun for Christmas, its true value lies in having fun with friends.  The concept is obviously to drink and be merry but everything has to be done in moderation only you will know your limits and we recommend that any students of ours undertaking a 12 pubs tour act with diligence and restraint if needed.

I thought that it would be a good idea to get this blog up early so that any of our students studying English in London could have a read and perhaps understand better the tradition and what it's all about. If your interested in doing a 12 pubs or have been staying with Polar Choice accommodation in London and would like some further information then don't hesitate to get in touch with me and I will do my best to steer you in the right direction with some further ideas on making a good 12 pubs route.

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