There is nothing more traditional and stereotypically British than a classic Great British pub. In many small villages in the UK, a pub is the focal point of the community; a place where events are held, and parties are celebrated. How good the village pub is will often determine whether the village is worth visiting or indeed living in – a village is only as good as its pub.
Whilst the British are known as lovers of pubs, they are also known for their quirkiness. It is for this reason why there are many weird and wonderful pubs to be found up and down Great Britain. From one of the most haunted pubs in the UK to a remote pub sat on a beach facing into the bitter cold of the North Sea. The United Kingdom is a land full of wonder and intrigue, so if you like to mix your travels with the odd alcoholic drink or two in some of the most beautiful and interesting towns, then Great Britain should be your next travel destination.
“I would give all of my fame for a pot of ale” stated William Shakespeare in his play As You Like It. If you are an ale lover like Mr Shakespeare, then read on to discover some of the most unusual, weird and outlandish pubs in the United Kingdom!
The Marsden Grotto – South Shields
The Marsden Grotto is a pub in South Shields – a coastal town in Tyne and Wear at the mouth of the River Tyne. This gastropub is unique given that it is on a beach in the North of England and looks out towards the North Sea! If you were to travel from the shore in a straight line you would end up reaching Denmark! The location of the Marsden Grotto might even have been the place where the Vikings first landed on English shores.
The pub is dug into the cliff face and is one of very few “cave bars” in the whole of Europe. South Shields itself is a beautiful part of Great Britain. Located on the North East coast, South Shields is a town full of history.
The Romans built a fort in the town in AD 160 and expanded it several years later in order to supply their soldiers who were stationed along Hadrian’s Wall.
Ten Bells Public House – Spitalfields.
The Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields is reportedly haunted by one of Jack the Rippers victims. Jack the Ripper was the notorious and unidentified serial killer who stalked the Whitechapel district of London in the late 19th century. Whilst we may never know the real identity of Jack the Ripper, we do know who his victims were, and it is one of these unfortunate victims who still frequents the last bar that she ever drunk at before she was brutally murdered – the Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields.
Annie Chapman’s life was a sad one that led to her being dependant on casual prostitution. In the early hours of 8th September 1888, Annie’s body was discovered by a local resident. One witness, Mrs Elizabeth Long, testified that she had seen Annie Chapman talking to a stranger around 30 minutes before her body was discovered.
The Ten Bells pub is supposed to be the pub where she had her last drink before meeting her unknown murderer. There have been reports from various customers of the pub who are said to have seen Annie Chapman still lingering around the pub, her soul yet to be freed.
For many tourists visiting London, Jack the Ripper inspires a great deal of awe and mystery. Jack the Ripper walking tours are popular for people who want to visit the locations of Jacks grisly murders.
Hoot the Redeemer – Edinburgh.
“Hoot the Redeemer is a ‘speakeasy’ style bar, as we advertise outside that we are a palm reading place,” states general manager Matt Cusworth.
Hoot the Redeemer is a pub like no other. When you descend the stairs down to the outlandish bar, you are greeted by a Zoltan style genie who will certainly quiz you before you enter the bar.
“Inside, we have a cocktail menu based on divination, we make our own alcoholic ice cream, sorbets and slushies – served from our vending machine. We also have a claw crane/grabber arcade machine which allows customers to select flavours to design their own cocktails.
“We have a retro Street Fighter machine from the early 90s in one corner too. We have a grandfather clock with a door saying ‘please do not open’ – inside is a surprise! (It’s a boxing glove that flies out on a pneumatic pump).”
The owner of the bar, Iain McPherson says that the idea of the bar came to him in a dream.
Hoot the Redeemer can be found in Edinburgh, Scotland. The staff describe Edinburgh as the perfect city for them due to the amazing bar scene with most of the premier cocktail bars being owned and operated by bartenders.
“There’s a great community across the city,” states Matt.
“We have plenty of great and unique customers alongside our regulars due to Edinburgh’s huge influx of tourists from around the world.”
Apart from the huge collection of alcoholic beverages from across the world that can be found within the cellars of Hoot the Redeemer, the pub also holds even more treasures for their customers. The pub contains a jukebox, fantastic original artwork as well as retro slot machines so visitors can play pub slots from time ago with a pint of beer in one hand and a cone of alcoholic ice cream in the other.
The New House of the Trembling Madness – York
Go here if you are looking for hard to find Belgian beers! The House of Trembling Madness was converted from an old Georgian town house that had over £1 million spent on it.
The bar extends over five large rooms; there is an art room (which contains copies of paintings by the terrifically creepy artist Hieronymus Bosch), a taxidermy room, multiple bars and a light and airy ground floor which gives out a café type feel.
This bar is certainly a million miles away from a dark and secluded pub and is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in York. York itself is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. Located in the country of Yorkshire, York is a city full of history, beautiful architecture and fantastic entertainment. The county of Yorkshire itself is a mix of radiant landscapes and great towns and cities. There is no shortage of fantastic pubs in ‘Gods own country’ the name the proud people of Yorkshire have given to their home.