Leeds Otley Run

Leeds Otley Run

A meandering mosey through Headingley into Leeds

The Otley run consists of around 16 different pubs, taverns, and bars, dotted along the Otley Road in Leeds. The specific pubs required for an 'official' Otley run are frequently in dispute, and the cause of many an argument. We have several Otley run routes but the current agreed 'core' Otley run includes the following 16 establishments -
  • Woodies Ale House
  • The Three Horseshoes
  • New Inn
  • Arcadia
  • The Headingley Taps
  • Arc
  • The Box
  • Skyrack
  • The Original Oak
  • The Hyde Park Pub
  • The Library
  • The Packhorse
  • The Eldon
  • The Fenton
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Drydock
There are different versions and the original Otley Run actually ended in the city center. With new pubs and bars opening and others closing the run has adapted over time and we always recommend agreeing on your set route before you begin.

Rules

The rules, much like the route itself, can be open to debate. There are also countless additions, challenges, and variations to be introduced on the day. More on those later, but let's stick to the core rules.
  • No person left behind - it is unacceptable to 'leave' a person behind on the Otley Run. If somebody wants to call it a day that's fine but they have to opt out, disappearing without a trace, given the nature of the Otley run, is not okay.
  • Full participation means imbibing in every establishment. While we don't condone over-indulgence (because that would get us in trouble) imbibing is traditionally considered to be one of the key purposes of the Otley run. What is consumed, provided it fits into the category of 'a drink', should be determined before the run commences.
  • Completion requires that all locations are visited unless entrance is prevented. Should entrance or service be refused Otley Runners should always accept and respect the decision of the management and move on. This is the only circumstance where completion can still be counted provided the missed opportunity is compensated for in the next establishment.
  • Saving up for the next place is not an option.
  • Eating is not cheating.

Fancy Dress

The Otley Run wouldn't be what it is today without the additions and changes people have made to it over the years. Among many other permutations on the rules, and challenges set, one of the more popular choices is fancy dress. Fancy dress Otley runs are as much a tradition as the Otley run itself and as such the sight of oddly adorned revelers making their way up the A660 is a frequent occurrence. Themes are generally considered to be a requirement of fancy dress Otley runs with the more specific and outlandish examples often adding hilarity to the ensuing run. We should point out that particularly offensive costumes can, naturally, cause problems. While the Otley run is known for its costumes the establishments on the route are also many peoples' local pubs, and as such, it's important to consider what you wear. This is particularly important given that Otley runs often begin in the early afternoon. Some establishments have suffered from accepting particularly rowdy Otley run groups in the past and fancy dress costumes mark your group out immediately as a potential problem. This is rarely an issue but be prepared to raise the ire of others if you're not considerate of the local patronage.

Games and Adaptations

There are a myriad of games and permutations to the traditional Otley run, some of which have become so popular that they are at times mistaken for the traditional rules. We do not recommend you do these but put them here for information purposes only. Otley Run Golf - Where participants must stick the drinking pints and count the number of 'shots' required at each establishment in an aim to get the lowest score. International Drinking Rules - The IDR is a classic addition to many pub crawls and an old favorite, the rules of this, much like those of the Otley Run, are often up for debate. Some rules include -
  • Only referring to other participants by a name given to them just before the run commences.
  • Using only one hand to hold fluid receptacles.
  • Only putting empty receptacles down on surfaces.
  • The censorship of certain words i.e. drink.
We welcome suggestions for different games on our forums.