historic pub trail:OXford

World famous for the home of Oxford University, as well as the HPT Oxford pub trail, this is a county of dreaming spires, stately homes and lush farmland. In fact there is something for everyone in Oxfordshire.

Dog-friendly

Haunted

Craft beer

Super old

The Jam Factory

Formerly known as Frank Cooper’s marmalade factory, the Jam factory is now home to a restaurant, bar and gallery, resonating with the beer lovers and art enthusiasts of Oxford. Cooper’s famous recipe was created by his wife, and a jar of the marmalade can be seen down the rabbit hole with Alice in the original illustrated Alice in Wonderland! It’s just a short walk away from the railway station, so you’ll soon be admiring fascinating photographs of the old factory and choosing from 8 draft beers from the Cotswold Lager Company. Cheers! to nostalgia.

St. Aldates Tavern

Found in the heart of Oxford city centre, St Aldates Tavern is a traditional victorian pub that stands opposite the town hall. Originally owned by Courage, it was known by locals as The Bulldog up until the 1990’s. Now they work with more than 15 breweries and have The Blue Room which is home to a variety of events including meetings of the Oxford Lancers University AFC team! There’s plenty of craft beers to choose from, but we recommend Castle Combe Pendulum Pale Ale!

The Bear

Having served Oxford since 1242, The Bear Inn knows what matters the most. A fire unfortunately destroyed the original coaching inn around 1600, so all that is left is the small but mighty pub that you see today, formerly known as “The Tabard”... and during the Napoleonic wars it was briefly renamed “The Jolly Trooper”. This hidden gem off the high street is renowned for its impressive and quirky collection of ties - dating back to the early 1900’s!  Ranging from regimental to police and hockey clubs, there’s thousands of ties to admire whilst enjoying a well kept London Pride from the rare bar (it’s made of pewter!) in this atmospheric old worlde pub. 

The White Horse

Situated on Broad street next to Balliol college with Trinity nearby, The White Horse is one of only two remaining public houses in Oxford left “untouched”. This grade two listed building dates back to the 16th century, and when renovating the first floor kitchen after a fire broke out in 1980, a witch’s broom was found concealed in the wall. Through fear of superstition, people refused to touch the broom so it was left in its place and boarded where it remains to this very day! The White Horse is also famous for the filming of Inspector Morse in the 1980’s and more recently ‘Lewis’ and the new ‘Endeavour’, so reminisce in this must visit historic pub and admire the the sloping beams and the abundance of wood panelling around the ancient walls. We recommend that you indulge in their famous fish and chips and pair your meal with Shotover’s session bitter Prospect!

The Turf Tavern

“An education in intoxication” - The Turf Tavern, (or just “the Turf” to locals) is a popular but well-hidden gem in central Oxford, located at the end of a narrow winding alley called St Helens Passage - historically known as Hell’s passage! Its substructure and use as a malt house and drinking tavern date back to 1381, and the low-beamed front bar area was put in place sometime in the 17th century. The Turf was originally called “The Spotted Cow” but changed in 1842. However, one of the remaining sections of the old city wall runs along one side of this historic pub and with the Bridge of Sighs nearby, this atmospheric and busy location is frequented by University students. It’s also where former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a Guinness World Record for consuming a yard glass of ale in an impressive 11 seconds in 1963, and served as a hangout for the cast and crew of the Harry Potter movies when filming took place at the nearby colleges! We recommend the cask ale Black Bewty, a White Horse special, and some of the intriguing ciders like Old Rosie and Lilleys Apple and Pear.

The Lamb and Flag

The Lamb and Flag has been operating since at least 1566, situated just south of St. Johns. And in 1613, the college moved the pub to its current location in St. Giles - the original site is now the Dolphin Quadrangle! This reminiscent establishment is adorned with oars from St.John’s college rowing teams of the past, and it is believed that Thomas Hardy wrote a substantial amount of his novel Jude the Obscure here. In this story, the city of Christminster is a thinly veiled Oxford, and it is thought that a pub that appears in certain passages is based on the Lamb and Flag! It’s also been featured in episodes of the ITV detective drama Inspector Morse so it's more than worth the visit. They have a great selection of cask ales, ciders and a classic pub grub menu, and we recommend the award winning copper ale Skinners Betty Stogs!

The Rickety Press

Another Jericho gem, this corner terraced pub with a modern vibe and an eclectic mix of clientele, ranging from students studying, occasional tourists and a steady stream of early doors drinkers and diners.  Dodo pubs started out in 2009 with the Rusty Bicycle in the back streets of East Oxford, and as they were starting to think about their next step the Radcliffe Arms in Jericho came up for sale. They attempted something different this time round, and so the Rickety was born as a gastropub.

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