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15th December 2023

Share your love of historic pubs this Christmas

  • Historic England is celebrating historic pubs this Christmas
  • Discover atmospheric listed pubs with our new curated heritage pub trails in Birmingham, Cambridge, London, Bristol, Manchester and Newcastle
  • Create your own local historic pub trail by searching for historic pubs on the National Heritage List for England
  • Share your memories, stories or photographs of your loved listed local as part of the Missing Pieces Project
  • Press images can be downloaded here

As the days grow shorter and there’s a wintry chill in the air, there’s no better time to enjoy the warm glow of a historic pub.

Whether it’s meeting friends and family in a beautiful historic building or taking time out from the hustle and bustle near a roaring log fire, these atmospheric properties, at the heart of local life, connect us to our communities past and present.

Heritage Pub Walking Trails

In celebration of historic pubs, we’ve created walking routes through the heart of some of England’s major cities, which we hope will whet your appetite for the local heritage that surrounds us.

Whether you’re home for Christmas or staying with family or friends, it’s a great time to get out and explore the history around you. Our curated historic pub trails will help you discover the unique charm of listed buildings that are currently (or were once) used as public houses.

Birmingham: our circular walking route takes in six historic pubs including The Queens Arms, built in the 1870s; The Bulls Head, which features traditional Victorian décor and a resident pub cat, and the ornate Old Royal Public House, created in the 19th century in striking purple brick and terracotta.

Cambridge: discover six historic pubs in the centre of Cambridge, including The Eagle Public House, where Crick and Watson announced the discovery of DNA; 10 Peas Hill, which was once home to the novelist E M Forster, and The Pickerel Inn, dating from 1608 and possibly the oldest licenced ale house in the city.

London: In the Cannon Street area, discover six historic pubs including The Olde Wine Shades, one of the oldest pubs in the city, built in 1663 as a merchant’s house; 28-30 Cornhill, built between 1934-1935 and featuring jazz-deco ironwork and decorative friezes; and The Jamaica Wine House, the site of London’s first coffee house, visited by the celebrated diarist Samuel Pepys.

Bristol: Discover six historic pubs in the centre of Bristol, including the Shakespeare Inn, one of Bristol’s oldest pubs and originally a timber framed house built in 1636; the Seven Stars, which played an important role in the Abolitionist movement in the late 18th century; and 59, 61 and 63 Baldwin Street, a historic establishment known for its connection to the city’s maritime past.

Manchester: our route around Princess Street and Portland Street highlights six historic pubs, including the Circus Tavern, one of the oldest pubs in Manchester and one of the smallest pubs in the country; the Vine Inn, with its striking frontage of green glazed tiles and stained glass windows; and The Bank, originally built in 1803 to house the Portico Library and retaining many of its original features.

Newcastle: in the Quayside area, discover six historic pubs including 63 Quayside, one of only a few Quayside buildings to survive the 1854 Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead; Akenside House, named after local poet Mark Akenside (1721-1770); and The Red House, a 17th century building with views of the Tyne bridge.

Discover more about our historic pub tours and create your own local historic pub trail by searching for historic pubs on the National Heritage List for England.

Cheers for our historic pubs – share your memories, stories or photographs of your loved listed local as part of the Missing Pieces Project

There are more than 8,000 listed pubs across England and we’d love to hear about your favourite historic hostelry. Each place has its own tale to tell and is waiting for you to capture a missing piece of its story.

The Missing Pieces Project is all about uncovering the hidden histories of our remarkable listed places and revealing overlooked stories. Your view of a place is as unique as you are, so every snapshot and story you add is an important piece of the picture.

Why not share your photographs and memories of your listed local? Perhaps there’s a regular who knows all about the pub’s history and could record an audio or film clip via YouTube?

Your story helps us to understand and protect what makes these remarkable buildings so special and significant.

Discover more with our guide to England’s Historic Pubs.


Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “Our historic pubs have been part of the fabric of life, and at the heart of communities, for generations. This Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to discover and explore some of the remarkable listed public houses in your local area, where seasonal greetings carry down the centuries. We’d love to see your experiences of the beautiful buildings on these heritage trails and to hear your memories of your favourite historic pub. Do add your favourite pub moments to the Missing Pieces Project for everyone to see and enjoy.”


For more information please contact: Esther Blaine, East of England Public Engagement Manager at Historic England on 07584 365681 or email

Download press images here

Click on each individual image and then “I” for the caption. Click “…” to download.

Notes to Editors: 

Historic England is not endorsing the venues, merely providing information on buildings and their architecture for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.

About Historic England

We are Historic England: the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.

Find out more about how the historic environment can help our wellbeing.


This year Historic England is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the National Heritage Act, which established the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, as Historic England was then known. The Act sets out the organisation’s duty to protect historic buildings and archaeological sites, as well as to enhance the public’s enjoyment and knowledge of the historic places that surround us all.


The National Heritage List for England is held and managed by Historic England on behalf of the Government and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It identifies the buildings, sites and landscapes which receive special protection, so they can be enjoyed by current and future generations. There are over 400,000 items on the List, covering England’s most valued historic places.

There are three grades of listing – Grade II, Grade II*[star] and Grade I.

For further information, see What is Listing?

The Missing Pieces Project

Add your missing pieces of the picture

No single person or organisation knows the whole story of a place. Everyone with a connection to a place has their own unique piece of the picture. We’re inviting everyone to help reveal a more complete picture by taking part in the Missing Pieces Project.

Just search for a place on the National Heritage List for England, and sign in to add pictures, stories, scanned documents and more. Every family memory and community event, every phone snap and newspaper clipping, is an essential part of the story of a place – a piece that was missing until you got involved.

For more information please contact: Esther Blaine, East of England Public Engagement Manager at Historic England on 07584 365681 or email

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