Pubs are a common fixture in British towns. Oxford is no different. Pubs dot the city and many have lots of stories to tell. A pub lunch and an ale is of course and alternative to a traditional meal. Sunday roasts (on Sundays) are something worth trying. Sadly, many of the pubs have now come under chain ownership. However, many still retain their charm.
I. King's Arms
Located at the corner of Holywell Street and Parks Road, the site of this pub was originally an Augustian priory. The name King's Arms was apparently in reference to King James I who was closely associated with Wadham College next door. Due to its central location, the pub is frequented by students and academics.
II. Lamb & Flag
This pub is managed by St John's college and located on St Giles. Apparently Thomas Hardy wrote much of Jude the Obscure here and the pub was also frequented by C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia). Lamb & Flag used to be a coaching inn on the London to the North route where coach drivers, horses and travellers used to rest in the days of the stagecoach.
III. Eagle and Child
Eagle and Child is best known as the meeting place of the Inklings - an informal literary group that included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien. A plaque in a corner which was part of the 'Rabbit Room' commemorates where they met regularly. Apparently this pub also served as the lodgings of the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Civil War.
IV. The Turf Tavern
A popular 13th
century pub with a random mix of indoor and outdoor seating. It is quite hard to find accessed either a narrow alley off Holywell Street or a narrow passageway off New College Lane (just past the Bridge of Sighs). Apparently this is Inspector Morse's favourite watering hole. This is a hidden gem if you are into this kind of thing.
V. The Bear
The Bear Inn is one of the oldest public houses in Oxford located at the corner of Alfred Street and Boar Street. The Inn has on display an interesting collection of tie snippets collected since 1950s often given by the patrons in exchange for a pint of beer.
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