The author spent three years seeking out quirky hostelries that offer more than your average local.
They’re Britain’s most surprising licensed premises, where the reader’s curiosity will be sated as well as their thirst. Walking and cycling trails to the pubs are included, as are waterways, making this a useful companion for leisure travellers.
Entries include pubs in a castle, abbey, windmill, shed and stable; former cinemas, a jail, a chapel, England’s first car factory and the world’s oldest grand music hall.
Others are on boats, in caves and even a disused public toilet.
Yet more have collections such as bookmarks, ties or musical instruments. There’s an inn where Oliver Cromwell held court, others that inspired Charles Dickens. Another leans at such an angle that customers feel woozy without touching a drop.
Amazing locations include beside a lighthouse, an 18-mile-long beach and a seaside pier.
Some can’t be reached by road. Pubs lit with glowing gas lamps, with ride-on railways or that double as barber’s shops are included. Two were dismantled and re-built in new locations.
The author has been on Britain’s most bizarre pub crawl and now you can too.
Fully illustrated with more than 150 author’s photos and 17 historical ones.
Bob Barton is former senior press officer at tourist board Visit Britain, feature writer for Best of British magazine, author of Unusual Railway Pubs (Halsgrove) and a member of the Pub History Society.