Does the idea of visiting Windsor Castle or Big Ben during your next trip to Great Britain sound a bit stale? Here’s an activity that might be more up your alley: A team of scientists recently figured out the shortest, most efficient route for grabbing a pint at 24,727 British pubs listed on the Pubs Galore website. The result is a 28,269 mile pub crawl – billed as the world’s longest – covering a distance longer than the circumference of the Earth. You may want to consider delaying your return flight.
Walking at a typical speed of a mile every 20 minutes, and putting in a full-day’s work of eight hours a day every single day including weekends, the mammoth crawl would take well over three years to complete – and that doesn’t even include drinking any beers! The good news is that the entire crawl creates one big circle – so even though the researchers behind it began at The Green Shutters on the Isle of Portland off England south coast and ended at The Rodwell in Weymouth a few miles away, you can start at any point on the crawl and end up back where you started… three years the wiser and probably a bit hungover.
Despite his findings, lead researcher William Cook from the University of Waterloo in Canada stated, “We did not set out to improve the lot of a wandering pub aficionado.” Instead, the point of the exercise was to tackle the largest ever “travelling salesman problem,” attempting to find the shortest single closed-loop route between a large group of destinations. Using the pub database allowed Cook’s teams to test their methods on a set with 100 times more stops than any previous road-distance travelling salesman problem to date, according to The Guardian. Cook described the project “as a means for developing and testing general-purpose optimisation methods, which have wide applications in science, industry and commerce.”