The New Didsbury Dozen: the definitive list of boozers on this legendary pub crawl

It's an absolute rite of passage for Mancs and a must-try for everyone else.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 2nd December 2022

Whether you’re a born and bred Manc or simply visiting, ‘The Didsbury Dozen’ is an absolute institution of the Manchester drinking scene.

However, the sad reality of going out post-pandemic is that not every watering hole survived and, unfortunately, some of the original Didsbury Dozen didn’t make it through lockdown. Rest in peace, The Stoker’s Arms (now Dockyard), The Sanctuary (now Head of Steam), The Slug and more.

That being said, while we will certainly miss them, they say every ending is a new beginning; as one door shuts, another one opens — and when we say door, we of course mean the door to a pub.

So, without further ado, we decided to formalise The NEW Didsbury Dozen. At least one drink in each, those are the rules. You can argue all you like, this is the definitive list from here on out, so you’ll just have to deal with it.

1. The Didsbury

Where else to start but the beginning? Lucky for us, the consensus has always been that a pub crawl called The Didsbury Dozen should obviously start at The Didsbury. Kicking off the crawl on the curved corner of Wilmslow Road, this traditional pub offers little surprise but signals the start of a great night.


2. Ye Olde Cock Inn

The best part about the opening two pubs on this list is that not only have they remained literal cornerstones of this crawl but they are genuinely spitting distance from each other. As in you just walk five yards. Another ‘olde’ English pub that offers the same as next door plus a ping pong table. Easy.

3. The Famous Crown

Ok, so now you’ve had a couple of pints, you’re ready for the short walk down the road as you begin the first mobile part of The Dozen toward The Famous Crown. What’s it famous for? Coming back from the dead with solid beer, a cosy interior and some mint food to line your stomach for the bulk of the boozing.


4. The Royal Oak

Didsbury Dozen pub crawl - The Royal Oak
Didsbury Dozen pub crawl – The Royal Oak

Had some pub grub or at least a butty from the Co-op up the road? Good. Sod that ‘eating is cheating’ nonsense, this is a long old night and we don’t need any heroes — you’ll all be heroes at the end. Next up, another non-nonsense boozer: The Royal Oak. Small and cosy; beer, wine and the rest of it. Simple.

5. Fletcher Moss

Now we move on to one of our favourites and arguably one of the best bars in Didsbury, let alone on The Dozen, Fletcher Moss. Just 75 yards off the Village high street and offering up live sports, craft beers, plus the beloved beer garden, this hidden gem is just as pretty in the winter as it is in the summer. Iconic.

6. The Nelson

Didsbury Dozen pub crawl - The Nelson
Didsbury Dozen pub crawl – The Nelson

Back toward the high street now; just on the corner of Barlow Moor Road, you’ll find The Nelson. Yes, named after the Admiral and yes, another no-frills boozer owned by Craft Union Pubs. Often serving up Moorhouse beer as its guest and playing host to the local darts league, it’s everything you’d expect.


7. The Dog and Partridge

Ok, halfway there and we’re definitely into the busy section now: pubs every couple of yards and, before you ask, yes we’re skipping The Botanist (formerly Pitcher & Piano) there’s loads of ’em. We’re moving on to The Dog and Partridge for some classic ale, Pieminister pies, cheese plates and more. Oh yes.

8. The Dockyard (formerly O’Neills, The Stoker’s Arms)

If you’ve been around Spinningfields or Media City in the last decade, you’ll recognise the name The Dockyard and if you’ve been in one, you’ll know you won’t be disappointed. Serving up pizza, burgers, wings, great beer, live sport and a wonderful back patio complete with wooden huts, it’s a winner.

9. The Station

Hopefully, you’ve soaked up the alcohol with some well-earned carbs as we’re now at a crucial juncture where many bow out. Make sure you’ve got all your belongings as we pull into The Station. This popular Irish pub has sports, live music three nights a week and a serious love of Guinness. Say no more.

10. The Woodstock Arms

Still standing? Good, cos we’re entering the final third of this drunken journey and you’ve gotta walk again. The fresh air might do you good. When you do stop you’ll arrive at The Woodstock: a beautiful establishment with lots of room and lots of booze. If anything, it’s too nice for your raucous rabble.

11. The Metropolitan

The penultimate stop on our alcohol-fuelled trip through Didsbury is The Metropolitan, or as it’s commonly known, ‘The Met’. Once a grand Victorian railway hotel, it’s now a massive bar and restaurant plating up banging Sunday Roasts and hangover-curing breakfasts. But you’re on a mission, concentrate.


12. The Railway

You’ve made it. One more drink and you’ve smashed The Didsbury Dozen. Starting in the Village and ending the night in East Dids, head over the road to The Railway, a simple, British, cask ale tavern, much loved by locals. We don’t need to sell it, you’ll love it too — that’s if you can remember it, of course.

Better still, you’re only stumbling distance from the Burton Road tram stop. You’re welcome.

Now get yourself home, you mess.

And just like that, you’re done. The only question is, did you make it to the end of the new and improved Didsbury Dozen in one piece? We sincerely hope you did and that there was no man left behind.

It goes without saying that you should always drink responsibly and luckily, the idea of The Dozen is you can pace yourself by spreading it out over the day and grab plenty of food on the way — we don’t need any heroes, only good vibes.


We’ll leave you to squabble among yourselves as to what locations we may or may not be missed off and how exactly you’re going to phrase your strongly-worded letters.

If we don’t catch you in the comments, we’ll see you in the pub!

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Featured Image — Wikimedia Commons/The Station (via IG)/The Metropolitan (via IG)