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Great English Pubs, And Great Articles (Hubs) About Them on HubPages - Hubs on Pubs

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Hubs on Pubs

When I think of England, and "things English", one of the first that comes to mind is ye olde English pub. Almost every novel I have ever read, except for those of the Bronte sister's - I don't think they were big on pubs - from "The Pickwick Papers," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," to the wonderful, modern detective stories of Dorothy Sayers, Martha Grimes, and P.D. James, every one has included a colorful tavern, a local watering hole with a fascinating name, or a neighborhood pub that figured in the action somehow. What would England be without her amazing pubs, inns and taverns?

While perusing this week's HubMob for interesting reading material (there's a lot there - I recommend you check it out), I came across a HubMob hub by ethel smith - English Pubs. Her hub set me to musing on this question.

Quitessential English Pub

Quitessential English Pub

Another Beauty

Another Beauty

Great Hubs on Pubs

  • English Pubs
    The great British Pub is the mainstay of each community, right? Well these days that statement is so wrong. A Pub is a shortened name for a Public House. These used to be the traditional drinking...
  • English Pub Signs A Short History of English Pub Signs
    The history of British pub signs is a long and fascinating one. A trip around the pubs of England takes you on a journey through myth, legend, heraldry, sport, religion, transport, famous people and so much more.
  • My Favorite London Pubs
    London is full of pubs -- little neighborhood gathering places, grand old gin palaces, historic ancient inns, and everything in between. Visiting pubs is a wonderful way to meet the real people of London and...

Why Write About Pubs?

I decided I needed to write on it, but I quickly concluded it was much too worthy a topic to have been passed over in the past. And, sure enough, many fine writers had already tackled their own hubs on pubs.

The idea intrigued me though, and "hubs on pubs" tickled my fancy. It sounds a bit like a Dr. Seuss book - for grown-ups, perhaps, but nonetheless, a Dr. Seuss book.

Once I started digging though, I was so impressed with these other hubs on pubs that I decided they should be included here, so that you can enjoy them enmasse, as it were.

To that end, this hub includes a compilation of some of the great "hubs on pubs", in tribute to all the great hubbers who wrote them.

Since the Highwayman first clattered into the old inn yard in search of the innkeeper's "red-lipped daughter, plaiting a dark red love knot into her long black hair," English pubs and taverns have held a magical place in our imagination.

They are the last bastions of home and country, where brave men rallied before setting sail to rescue innocent folk from the terrible wrath of Madame de Guillotine.

They are the quaint rural haunts of colorful characters, replete with blackened beams and a canny barkeep who knows everyone business for miles around. These are the stuff of legend.

Great British Pubs

hold a magical place in our imagination.

Image from

Image from

Image from

Image from

Detective Novelists Love Pubs

Martha Grimes, master of the detective genre, names her novels for English pubs.They are great names, too.

The first of her crime novels I read was called "The Dirty Duck". I was absolutely enchanted with the heady mixture of Shakespeare, Olde English public houses, and the sensitive, poetic, and intelligent hero, Inspector Richard Jury.

I have since seen him brilliantly portrayed by noted actor, Adam Dalgliesh, in the BBC miniseries of several of her Inspector Jury novels.

In a 1983 interview with Washington Post reporter, Sarah Booth Conroy, responding about why she chose pub names for her stories, Martha Grimes is quoted as saying:

"I remember vividly when I decided to write my first mystery. I had written a narrative poem and another novel, neither published. But in 1977, I was sitting in a Hot Shoppe in Bethesda [Maryland], looking at a book about English pub names, and I came across 'The Man With a Load of Mischief'. Suddenly I knew that's what I wanted to do: write books set in English pubs.... Now, unless I have the pub name first, I can't write the book."

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More Great Hubs on Pubs

  • All You Can Eat Buffet Restaurants and Carvery Pubs in Cardiff, Wales, UK
    For all you can eat restaurants or a carvery in Cardiff, this is a comprehensive list of 21 venues serving everything from eat as much as you like restaurants to full roast dinners, either way you'll save hours just checking this list...
  • Wales Driving Tour
    Legend has it that in 1170 B.C. (Before Christ) the Ark of the Covenant was captured by Brutus, a descendant of the Trojans, and he brought it to an uninhabited Island he named Britain, after himself. About...

Pubs Are Hot-beds of Information

Fictional detectives from the great Sherlock Holmes to Inspector Morse have relied on the corner pub as a source of information - I love John Thaw's portrayal of that complex and world-weary D.C.I., Chief Inspector Morse.

To be sure, Holmes almost always went out of his way to be well-disguised, so as to fit in with the locals, but any fan of the genre knows that the best place to dig up some dirt is "round t' pub", or "down t' boozer", as the local hostelry is known in some parts of the world.

Every good fan of the North American versions of the murder-mystery genre knows that the local watering hole can be a wonderful source of every conceivable atmosphere, from slick and sophisticated, to seedy, back street dives. More importantly, the local bar tender can be a top-notch source for information about a suspect or that suspect's movements and, best of all, the suspect's "connections".

So too, in English detective fiction, the local publican has a marvelous eye for who knows who, and who knows what, as well as being somewhat of an amateur psychologist - I'm sure from hearing so many tales of woe poured out over a pint.

From a source of information, to a source of repose and a cold pint after a long day pursuing "bad 'uns", and sifting fact from fiction, the local pubs, taverns, and ale houses have well served a long line of fictional English detectives and their reading public.

When Next You're in the British Isles...

Make sure you have planned at least one visit to a grand old, or brand new hostelry when you find yourself next in the British Isles. A list of pubs from Marsha Grimes' detective novels might be a good place to start.

A friend of mine suggested a pilgrimage to every actual pub listed - even threatening to provide a map, should we ever find ourselves there together.

To get you started, I have provided a partial list of a dozen of my favorites:

  1. The Man With a Load of Mischief
  2. The Old Fox Deceiv'd
  3. The Dirty Duck
  4. Jerusalem Inn
  5. The Deer Leap
  6. I Am the Only Running Footman
  7. The Five Bells and Bladebone
  8. The Old Contemptibles
  9. The Horse You Came In On
  10. The Blue Last
  11. The Grave Maurice
  12. The Old Wine Shades

I hope you enjoy the actual pubs as much as I enjoyed reading the novels set in them. And have a great time on your tour, sampling the local beverages - just remember to take a long a designated driver.

An Ode to Hubs on Pubs

Collected here, some Hubs on Pubs -

For fun and reading pleasure;

But Hubs on Pubs, though fun to write,

Are dry as Temperance treasure;

No - Hubs on Pubs contain no beer,

No spirits, ale, nor stout;

For such as those, to pubs we goes,

Not hubs, though some might doubt -

Now, raise a glass to Hubs on Pubs,

To hubbers fine who penned 'em,

So drink we now, "Good Health, too all!"

And England's best, we send 'em!


© 2010 RedElf


RedElf (author) from Canada on August 05, 2012:

We have some pretty nice genuine-fake "English" pubs over here. They're not the real thing, but they try hard, bless them, and some are nice, cozy family-style places. I would love to "cross the pond" and visit the real thing some day!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 03, 2012:

Hi RedElf, I have spent many a happy hour in the 'Dirty Duck' in Stratford on Avon!

We have some fabulous traditional pubs in the UK and some great names!

I enjoyed reading thank you and voted up!

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 26, 2012:

Yes, thanks, I am well-aware that Inspector Dalgleish is a fictional charater. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

bethinau on April 26, 2012:

Just read about the pub names--specifically the Martha Grimes titles and HAD to respond.

Roy Marsden played Adam Dalgliesh in the BBC adaptations of P.D. James's mysteries. Dalgleish is just as fictional as Richard Jury.

RedElf (author) from Canada on December 14, 2010:

Thanks so much, arthurchappell! So nice to meet you, and welcome to HubPages.

arthurchappell from Manchester, England on December 13, 2010:

Just joined and starting to add my pub sign hub postings too - hood feature this. Cheers.

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 06, 2010:

'dude! Great to see you! Yes, too bad we all don't follow that trend here (well, some do).

Andrew from Italy on April 06, 2010:

I love pubs, as much as I love the habit of giving almost every house a name. So British, so wonderful. Thumbs up! :)

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 05, 2010:

Thanks, Justine76. Maybe I'll see you there... ;)

Justine76 on April 05, 2010:

I live in New England. Our pubs aren't nearly as cool as Old England's sound. We do have a couple nice ones that I like to visit. Maybe one day I'll get to go visit and try out a REAl pub.

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 04, 2010:

Thanks so much, Gals! Nice of you to stop by! I've always been fond of pubs.

Pamela99, I'd love to visit one or two (or three or...) one of these days ;)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 03, 2010:

The pubs in England sound good to me. Good hub.

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on April 03, 2010:

Great photos and great hub. Pubs-what a wonderful place to spend a bit of time.

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 02, 2010:

Thanks so much, Internet writer62! When I was at school (not in England) we had a favorite watering hole. It was a nice little lounge that catered to coffee-addicted grad students. We loved to hang out and exchange "deep thoughts" - definitely the center of our social lives ;)

Internetwriter62 from Marco Island, Florida on April 02, 2010:

Very nice, Pubs and England often go hand and hand. After all pubs are social centers in England. I have seen pubs featured in many British sitcoms. Excellent Hub.

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 02, 2010:

Most welcome, ethel! Thanks for the link, and for the great hub that gave me the idea!

Oh, how lovely - a cream tea! She may have gone more for the lime 'n' lager ;), but you never know...

Thanks so much for commenting, Tn - I'll have a look at the video - thanks!

TnFlash from Tampa, Florida on April 02, 2010:

Excellent Hub, except I couldn't get the video to play.

revybaby from On the Road on April 02, 2010:

One of my best memories of an English Pub was not of drinking -- except the lime and lager is good. I guess it is about drinking -- but of a lovely cream tea that we had one day. Now, when my daughter was doing a Summer Abroad -- I doubt she ever had a cream tea at a pub...

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on April 02, 2010:

This is great and thanks for the link. I shall reciprocate.

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 01, 2010:

It is indeed! It was great fun to research. Thanks so much, Patty.

drbj, that's another great hub! Pub-Hopping-Shopping Tour! Too fun!

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 01, 2010:

Hi there, Hh! Yes, there are fewer and fewer places that allow smoking. Glad you enjoyed the hub!

Thanks, Enelle. I am a big fan of the Dr. ;)

I would love to do that sometime, Paradise7!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 01, 2010:

Now that's a great idea for a new tour for tourists. Combine it with shopping and you've got something for the men and the ladies: the Pub-Hopping-Shopping Tour in jolly olde London.

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 01, 2010:

It's an entire culture, isn't it? Great photos and thumbs up!

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on April 01, 2010:

I like the idea so much, of pub-hopping in England.

Enelle Lamb from Canada's 'California' on April 01, 2010:

I concur! A most excellent rendition of Dr. Seuss too :P

Hello, hello, from London, UK on April 01, 2010:

It was a lovely institution but with that smoking ban it seems to go. Thank you for your great hub.

RedElf (author) from Canada on April 01, 2010:

Thanks so much - I thought they were kinda fun ;) Nice to meet you!

TattooVirgin on April 01, 2010:

Now thems some nice Pubs. Great Pub Hub... Peace :)

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