Cosy English Pubs
England boasts many different types of pub, from traditional country pubs in idyllic, rural settings to ornate Victorian and Edwardian pubs in urban areas. I have always loved the traditional rural variety, but as a design historian I also admire urban pubs, with their effusive architecture and opulent, grandiose interiors. This article invites you to explore some the cosiest pubs in England.
The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle
The Bridge Hotel occupies one of the most spectacular locations in Newcastle, boasting incredible views of the colossal High Level Bridge and the iconic Tyne Bridge. The pub is located right next to the historical Castle Keep from which Newcastle derives its name. Built on a medieval site, the Bridge Hotel is a traditional venue boasting quiet secluded areas, cosy Victorian snugs, wooden panelling and carved fittings, together with stained glass windows and highly detailed mosaics. The Bridge Hotel was designed in 1899 by the important Newcastle architects James Cackett and Robert Burns Dick, who also designed the Laing Art Gallery and the architectural portions of the Tyne Bridge.
The Eagle and Child, Oxford
The Eagle and Child is a world-famous public house in the historic town of Oxford, England. The pub was a favourite haunt of legendary authors J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, who would meet there to discuss their literary works such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the Chronicles of Narnia. Oxford is one of the most beautiful, quaint and architecturally-significant towns in England, and after a day sampling Oxford’s cultural highlights, there is no better respite than a pint in one of its greatest pubs.
Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, Nottingham
Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem is a pub in the historic city of Nottingham, England. According to local legend Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem takes its name from the 12th Century Crusades to the Holy Land, and it has a strong claim to be the oldest pub in England. Not only that, but Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalemthe pub is built into a cliff face, making use of a network of caves, and many of the rooms thus resemble dark and secretive grottos. Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem is one of several pubs in Nottingham (including Ye Olde Salutation Inn and The Bell Inn) which claim to be the oldest drinking establishment in England. The name refers to the medieval crusades: legend has it that knights who answered the calls of Richard I to join the crusades stopped off at this watering hole for a pint on their way to Jerusalem.
The Philharmonic, Liverpool
One of the most ornate pubs in Britain is the Philharmonic in Liverpool. Known locally as the Phil, its official name is the Philharmonic Dining Rooms. Located on the corner of Hope Street and Hardman Street, the pub is diagonally opposite the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, from which it derives its name. However, it is to another musical connection that the Philharmonic owes its international fame: members of the Beatles regularly frequented the pub before the group’s meteoric rise to prominence.
The Three Horseshoes, Leamside
The Three Horseshoes stands in the tiny village of Leamside in County Durham. The Three Horseshoes is not a venerable medieval pub or a famous tourist attraction. It is, however, a quintessential ‘local’ pub – the kind of place frequented by regulars, with a welcoming fire and a friendly atmosphere. To its regulars the pub is affectionately known as ‘the Shoes’. The interior is tastefully decorated in traditional rural pub style, not the modern simulation of it that is becoming increasingly common. As visitors enter the front door they encounter a mosaic doorstep featuring a three horseshoes emblem. One of the pub’s greatest assets is the coal fire, which generates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, especially during the cold winter months.
The Crown Posada, Newcastle
The Crown Posada is one of the most famous pubs in Newcastle and certainly the quirkiest. Known locally as the Coffin, the pub is a tiny building wedged into a narrow site on the Side, a street that runs steeply down to the River Tyne. The Crown Posada is the second oldest pub in the city and is a Grade II Listed Building thanks to its elaborate Victorian design and Pre-Raphaelite stained glass. The Crown Posada was designed in 1880 by the Newcastle architect William Lister Newcombe. The Crown Posada is cask ale lover’s paradise, featuring many locally produced ales from the Jarrow and Wylam breweries, among others. Available from time to time are Durham White Gold and Wylam Gold Tankard. For this reason, the pub regularly receives awards from CAMRA. The pub is on the National Inventory of History Pub interiors and is one of must visit pubs in Newcastle.