British Pub Culture


We hope you’re enjoying the winter season and are looking forward for your dream holidays in 2023. We are ready to welcome you in Great Britain on our small group, self-drive and rail tours this year.

Meanwhile, as it is still cold, we are occasionally hiding in pubs and would love to share few bits of information about an indispensable part of British lifestyle – Pub Culture!

How did it start?

Perhaps you know that back in the days (43 AD to be specific), the Romans have invaded Britain and brought civilization to its people. Since then, all aspects of Celts’ life have been changing, including leisure.

Brought from the Roman Empire “tabernae” majorly serving food and wine, were a great place to simply unwind after tough times on the field, to listen to gossip on army topics, or even used as a recruit place for new soldiers to a company! Many of them also served as inns, welcoming anyone who couldn’t make it home for the night.

Over the centuries, they turned into British “taverns”, majorly serving ale. Civilians started visiting taverns and alehouses after work to socialise, gamble or relax. Only in 17th century the name “pub” was created and was simply a shorter version from “public house”, to distinguish them from private homes and residencies.

Some of the oldest pubs dating back to 8th – 11th century are still open and running across the whole Britain! I had a pleasure to visit one from 1002 during my adventures in England, and let me tell you, the feeling is remarkable. Just imaging Anglo-Saxons in different clothes, hairstyles, with different likes, dislikes, points of view etc. who were also drinking here centuries ago, makes you feel like part of the history and makes you appreciate the progress of our world and the times we’re living in (especially access to clean water or the invention of fridge…)



You’ll find plenty of pubs here in Britain. Though they vary in sizes, styles, products and no two are the same – all of them are full of character.

Many of them have designated areas for dining, some have beer gardens to enjoy the British weather (often under umbrellas) while having a favourite drink, some have a designated space for live music, bar games or even pub quizzes. Some are traditional, some sophisticated, some are scruffy and very local, some are purely touristic – no matter which one you choose, it is a must to visit at least one during your adventures in England, Scotland or Wales!

Their names are usually very odd, royal or funny, often relating to animals, objects, book characters, history or the Royal Family. I recommend you search some of the weirdest, wittiest or oldest pub names – it’s a true art! Must have been all that ale that inspired creators to come up with them!


What can you order?

Alcohol, duh. From stouts, ales, ports, lagers and ciders, to red, white, rose wines and many, many spirits, including gin, rum, vodka, whisky or brandy. There are some points on the list though you should tick as an experience: Scottish whisky (“Water of Life”) or Irish whiskey, English ales (served at room temperature of course) and Welsh gin (e.g Penderyn).

Of course – if you simply don’t drink alcohol or are a designated driver of the trip “forced” to give your fellow companions a ride back to the hotel – there is plenty of options for you too! Choose from a range of soft and fizzy drinks (including very popular “squashes”), non-alcoholic cocktails and increasingly alcohol-free beers!

Can I still eat in a pub?

Even better than back in the Roman days! There is plenty of snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner options! Some of the pubs even have special offers, for example curry or pizza nights, not to mention daily full regional breakfasts or traditional Roast Dinners – a true Brit option for lunch on a Sunday.

Almost all British pubs serve food, some with full waiter service at your table, whilst in others you may be asked to order food at the bar, which they will then bring to your table.

ADEO TIP: In almost all pubs you are expected to order your drinks at the bar. Feel free to try different beers; talk to strangers; order a “round” for a neighbouring table (or even the whole pub if you wish); and chat to a barman – do what you ought to do in a British pub, of course keeping in mind your drink limits. Sit back, relax and cheers to your journey – you deserved it!


Last but not least – the bell! If you hear a characteristic bell ringing in the bar/pub – this is your last chance to order a drink! The bell means “the last order of the day”. Make your way to the bar, or slowly finish your drink as closing time is coming soon.

Some say it is a good reminder to go home (or hotel), though some say you can continue your pub tour and find one that still serves drinks! Any reason is good to go to the pub! In your case, dear traveller, it will be a relaxing treat after a day full of sightseeing and activities – so enjoy yourself!

If you still haven’t booked one of our small group, rail or self-drive tours for this year, including our designated Country Pubs of England self-drive tour to discover the pub culture and stay in British pub inns, please do not hesitate to contact our agents.

Magdalena Glen

January 11, 2023

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