An integral part of staying in a Oliver’s Travels luxury holiday home is a visit to the local pub. British pubs are more than just a place for drinking – they act as a real hub for the surrounding community.
The Great British Pub is not a forgotten place that belongs to folklore and simpler times. It is the older and more revered brother of the city drinking place which is sadly filled with flat screen televisions broadcasting the football matches and quiz shows you left behind when you went on holiday.
If you want to experience real English Ale and speak to the barman about his recommendations from local breweries while sitting under old wooden beams that have overheard many interesting conversations, then make sure you book a holiday near a Great British Pub.
Oliver’s Travels has picked out some recommended pubs to set you on your way.
Character is important in a pub and The Nutshell in Suffolk is certainly not short of it. Measuring just 15ft by 7ft, it is the smallest pub in Britain as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. There are plenty of manor houses to stay in nearby. But be prepared for a friendly squeeze – if you’re renting a 16th Century Manor House for 24 people, will The Nutshell have room for all of you?
Did someone say Guinness? You can’t leave Ireland without a sip of the good old black stuff and there are plenty of very welcoming pubs where you can settle in and enjoy a few pints. With Guinness memorabilia in the nooks and crannies of traditional Irish pubs you might wonder why the harp is the brand’s logo. But at Clancy’s of Athy in County Kildare you’ll soon understand that on the Emerald Isle, music and drinking go hand in hand. On a Thursday night musicians on the harp, flute and fiddle will play for hours singing songs that recount Ireland’s past while you order another pint or three.
Part of the appeal of traditional pubs is the history of the building and the former patrons who passed through the doors. Dickens wrote about the many London pubs with dark histories and in Thomas Hardy’s novels, pubs and inns were the beacon of life in the bleak Norfolk broads in the Nineteenth Century. However, one petite and delicate author of several romantic novels is surprisingly the clue to another great British pub.
Greyfriar’s in Chawton is an oak beamed traditional pub opposite the much-visited Jane Austen museum where the writer lived for the last eight years of her life. The pub is within driving distance of houses in the Cotswolds and the South West. It is the perfect spot for a summer day with its extensive beer garden which acts as a great waiting place for one half of the family who perhaps aren’t so keen on learning all about the creator of Pride and Prejudice.
Visitors to Britain and to its rural countryside in particular will learn as much about British society and culture by visiting a pub as they would visiting a museum in a capital city. We are a country that still clings on to tradition, wants to enjoy itself and makes sure to know everyone’s business by speaking to those round the bar who are all in the know.
Great British Pubs are simple and honest but with just enough charisma to make them unique which, in our opinion, is the perfect sort of place for a great evening in the country with friends and family.
Then why not browse our range of luxury cottages within walking distance of a quality pub and plan your next Countryside Escape now!