What are London’s top tourist attractions? The Tower, St Paul’s, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey?
Each has its own unique tale to tell about London’s history: it was in our palaces, churches, forts and prisons where all the big stuff happened after all. Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s were the sites of many a royal wedding and you can almost feel the anguish at the Tower of London where so many people were tortured, executed or hidden away and forgotten.
But where did the small stuff happen? Where did common folk go to forget their troubles, forge friendships, meet cohorts and have a laugh with their mates?
On every London street corner, hidden down every side street and tucked away in every Diagon-style alley you will find an iconic pub where time has stood still. Peer through the leaded light windows and you will see a low-lit room with cosy nooks and where every vertical surface is covered with period paintings, prints, memorabilia, horse brasses and wall lamps wearing little hats.
These are our historical monuments hidden in plain sight. Who knows what allegiances were formed at their carved oak bars; what whispered conversations took place in their shadowy corners and what lovers’ trysts were held in their upper bedchambers?
Our historic pubs are so downplayed that their stories are often only sketched out on a discreet notice board or on the back of a snack menu. So it’s high time that our fascinating and historic inns were given the status they deserve – as remarkable tourist attractions.
So after an excellent day out at one of our guidebook-listed attractions, head for the pub. A visit to one of these hostelries will leave you feeling that you have discovered your own secret corner of our city.
And you will have been to the pub. What’s not to like?