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A pint of history in Britain's oldest inns

Added: Friday, June 14th 2019


The title of "oldest pubs" is a hotly contested one in the UK, but which watering holes have been around the longest, and which we do love the most? Liberty Games have analysed Google reviews of Britain’s longest standing pubs to find out which are the most popular. You can see their findings in this old-style map here.

Socialising in the pub has long been a favourite pastime of the Great British public for hundreds of years, be it sitting in a beer garden, grabbing a pub lunch, or enjoying an evening of playing pool and catching up with friends. Some of the oldest pubs in Britain, such as the Bingley Arms in Bardsley, Leeds, claim to have opened as early as 953 AD, closely followed by the Porch House in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in 947 AD and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans, Hertfordshire - claimed to have opened in 793 AD.

While there is no way to really find out which pub opened first, Liberty Games have analysed the Google Reviews of each of the oldest pubs, to see which watering holes are the most highly regarded by pub-goers around the country.

Scotland takes the crown…

Representing the Scots, the Clachan Inn, located in Drymen, and which claimed to have opened as the first licensed pub in 1734, is leading the way with an average Google star rating of 4.7.


The history of pub claims that the first licensee of the The Clachan was Mistress Gow -- sister of outlaw turned Scottish folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor, born in 1671. Today, the inn is a family-run business offering visiting guests food, drink and accommodation.

...Followed closely by Wales

Taking second place is the Skirrid Inn in Abergavenny, Wales, which has received an average of 4.6 Google stars, and claimed to have opened in 1110.


The origin of the name of the pub -- ‘Skirrid’ is based on the Welsh word for Shiver --Ysgyryd. It has been rumoured that over 2,000 years ago in the hours after the Crucifixion of Jesus, the mountain (on which the pub is located) showed its anger, shivering and breaking into two, creating “the Great Shiver” and “the Little Shiver”. This pub has also been used as a courtroom and place of execution, with its own oak hanging beam, and is therefore listed as one of Britain’s Most Haunted Pubs.

Nottingham offers the largest choice of popular oldest pubs

Nottingham is home to two of the Top 10 most popular oldest pubs, including Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem (claimed to have opened in 1189) which has an average Google star rating of 4.5 and Ye Olde Salutation Inn, which supposedly opened in 1240, and has an average star rating of 4.4. Not only this, but Nottingham is also home to the Bell Inn -- a further pub claiming to be one of the oldest in the UK, having opened in 1427. Having just missed the Top 10 most popular, this pub has an average star rating of 4.2, but Nottingham truly seems to be the place to be, if you’re looking to visit historical pubs.

The Top 10 most loved, oldest pubs


Pub name


Date claimed to have opened


The Clachan Inn

Drymen, Scotland



The Skirrid Inn

Abergavenny, Wales



Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem




The Royal Standard of England

Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire



Ye Olde Man and Scythe

Bolton, Greater Manchester



The Bingley Arms

Bardsley, Leeds

953 AD


Ye Olde Fighting Cocks

St Albans, Hertfordshire

793 AD


Ye Olde Salutation Inn




The Adam and Eve




The Prospect of Whitby

Wapping, London


Below, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, St Albans

Olde Fighting Cocks