Wetherspoons closures: Which pubs are closing and why?

8 August 2023, 12:46 | Updated: 8 August 2023, 12:50

The pub chain is set to close even more branches.
Wetherspoons has confirmed a huge number of venues are up for sale in 2023. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

One of the UK's largest pub chains Wetherspoons is set to close even more branches after already calling last orders on multiple branches in the last year. So which pubs are closing for good?

Wetherspoons has confirmed that two more of its branches have closed, or are due to close, in the coming weeks following the closure of multiple other venues.

The Saltoun Inn in Fraserburgh, Scotland closed its doors on July 30, and The Bankers Draft in Eltham, London is set to do the same on August 20.

It comes after last September when the pub group, which is one of the UK’s biggest pub chains, announced it was putting 32 pubs up for sale after a “commercial decision” as businesses across the UK continued to struggle with higher food prices, energy costs and the cost of living in general.

In July 2023, the group also announced it was to close the doors on another 22 pubs – despite having already shut 29 sites this year.

Read more: Wetherspoons increases cost of pints across several pubs - is your local affected?

Read more: Is Wilko closing down? Full list of shop closures

The Jolly Sailor is one of the pubs listed for sail.
The Jolly Sailor Wetherspoons is one of the pubs listed for sale. Picture: Alamy

Which Wetherspoon pubs are closing?

  1. Asparagus, Battersea
  2. General Sir Redvers Buller, Crediton
  3. Millers Well, East Ham
  4. The Bankers Draft, Eltham
  5. Hudson Bay, Forest Gate
  6. Capitol, Forest Hill
  7. The Saltoun Inn, Fraserburgh
  8. The Percy Shaw, Halifax
  9. Coronet, Holloway
  10. The Alfred Herring, Palmers Green
  11. The Cross Keys, Peebles
  12. Foxley Hatch, Purley
  13. The Butlers Bell,Stafford
  14. The Widow Frost, Mansfield

Pubs 'available' for sale:

  1. Wrong ‘Un, Bexleyheath
  2. Jolly Sailor, Hanham
  3. Resolution, Middlesborough
  4. The Rising Sun, Redditch
  5. Sennockian, Sevenoaks
  6. Lord Arthur Lee, Fareham
  7. Plough & Harrow, Hammersmith
  8. Moon on the Hill, Harrow
  9. The Sir John Arderne, Newark

Which Wetherspoon pubs have already closed in 2023?

  1. The John Masefield, New Ferry
  2. Angel, Islington
  3. The Silkstone Inn, Barnsley
  4. The Billiard Hall, West Bromwich
  5. Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis, Southampton
  6. The Colombia Press, Watford
  7. The Malthouse, Willenhall
  8. The John Masefield, New Ferry
  9. Thomas Leaper, Derby
  10. Cliftonville, Hove
  11. Tollgate, Harringay
  12. Last Post, Loughton
  13. Harvest Moon, Orpington
  14. Alexander Bain, Wick
  15. Chapel an Gansblydhen, Bodmin
  16. Moon on the Square, Basildon
  17. Coal Orchard, Taunton
  18. Running Horse, Airside Doncaster Airport
  19. Wild Rose, Bootle
  20. Edmund Halley, Lee Green
  21. The Willow Grove, Southport
  22. Postal Order, Worcester
  23. North and South Wales Bank, Wrexham
  24. The Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Glasgow
  25. The Knight's Templar, London
  26. Christopher Creeke, Bournemouth
  27. The Water House, Durham
  28. The Worlds Inn, Romford
  29. The Saltoun Inn, Fraserburgh
Wetherspoons boss criticised the planned changes to alcohol duty.
Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin criticised the planned changes to alcohol duty. Picture: Alamy

Why are Wetherspoons closing so many pubs?

Wetherspoons said the move was part of plans to offload a number of sites in a huge overhaul of its estate.

At the time, the pub group said: “In fact, the disposals have raised relatively modest amounts (although every little helps) and almost all are related to circumstances... where there is another Wetherspoon pub nearby.”

It comes after the chain's boss Tim Martin reacted to the changes to alcohol duties set for Tuesday, as he labelled the shift “bad news” for the hospitality sector. He claimed the changes will cost his business an extra £8m a year.

“Rather than the historic British/Irish melting pot, where people congregate daily, pubs risk becoming more of a special occasion, with the daily couple of pints consumed by regulars being replaced by home drinking, to the social detriment of the country,” he also told The Independent.

Despite the disappointing news, the pub group did also open three new pubs in the past year, in a move that may reassure some fans of the chain.

Mr Martin also said last month: "As a result of a continued improvement in sales and a slightly reduced expectation for cost increases, for example energy costs, the company anticipates an improved outcome for the next financial year, and anticipates an outcome for the first half of 2023-24 approximately in line with the second half of 2022-23."