The mission was undertaken by Matt Ellis, who runs the Smiling Grape Wine Merchant and Smiling Grape Adventure Tours in St Neots, on Sunday 10 October 2021, in order to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by pubs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ellis said: “For many people, going to the pub is one of those things you do without thinking.
Importance within our communities
“Spending time on your own, with friends or family in your local is precious. When pubs were shut during various stages of lockdown last year, we became much more aware of their importance within our communities and this world record attempt was driven by my own appreciation of the different styles of pubs that I enjoy visiting.
“In fact, every one of the 51 pubs on our tour had its own character and typified the different styles of pub that we can choose from, creating some fantastic memories.”
The ultimate pub crawl started at the Regal in Cambridge at midday and finished at the Weeping Ash in St Neots, where Ellis was greeted by the Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Stephen Ferguson and a host of well-wishers. It took Ellis 8 hours, 52 minutes, 37 seconds and 15km of walking, or around 20,000 steps.
Ultimate world record
In order to attain his world record, Ellis explained he had to visit 51 pubs (the current record stands at 50) and have a 125ml drink in each one, photographed for verification by pub staff members. All the evidence has now been submitted to the organiser of The Guinness World Records and Ellis is awaiting official confirmation.
“This was an extreme pub crawl, fuelled mainly by soft drinks, but I hope that my achievement over the last 24 hours will help other people appreciate the range of pubs that are available, the different drinks, food and entertainment that they offer, and maybe try out a few new venues as a result.”
Ellis is already planning his next challenge; he hopes to lead a party from Smiling Grape Adventure Tours on an ‘Around the World Pub Crawl’.
The two-week extravaganza will take in 12 countries across four continents, exploring some of the best and quirkiest drinking spots on the planet as they travel more than 26,000 miles from London via Kiev, Moscow, Singapore, Auckland and Hawaii.