"Television trivia fans ahoy. The Old Grapes is a traditional Mancunian boozer with a twist: it's co-owned by Liz Dawn, better known as Vera Duckworth from Coronation Street."
Get square-eyed in Manchester
Television trivia fans ahoy. The Old Grapes is a traditional Mancunian boozer with a twist: it's co-owned by Liz Dawn, better known as Vera Duckworth from Coronation Street. Hence the walls are positively plastered with Corrie memorabilia. You can even spot Vera off duty, propping up the bar under a picture of Jack Duckworth. Good local ales and no-nonsense pub grub complete the picture. Even Ken Barlow would approve. We run regular trains to Manchester from many destinations, so getting there quickly and easily should be straight forward.
Soak up history in Leeds
One of Britain's oldest pubs, Whitelocks is a gloriously traditional, city-centre boozer and a favourite haunt of Chris Moyles. The bar is steeped in history and retains many of its original features. The pub was first licensed in 1715 and retains a loyal clientele today, with real ales, such as Theakston's Old Peculier and Deuchars IPA, plus regular guest ales and great pub fare served in the old-school Luncheon Bar. Whitelocks was awarded the 100th 'Leeds Civic Trust Blue Plaque' for historical importance in 2006. Raise a glass to a piece of history.
Get into the spirit of things in Cumbria
Cumbria claims the most haunted pub in Britain to be the Kirkstone Pass Inn, near Windermere. The inn dates back to the 15th century and once had a hanging tree in the grounds. Ghostly sightings include an 18th-century highwayman and a mischievous boy who likes knocking the pictures from the walls. The Kirkstone Pass is so remote that the inn has its own water and power supply. Expect a lock-in with the spooks, come mid-winter.
Sing sea shanties
The Baltic Fleet is the only surviving sailor's pub in Liverpool. The bar's design maintains the maritime motif; the ship-shape bow of the pub is curved like New York's Flat Iron Building. Today, it's best known for a pint of Wapping Bitter and a plate of delicious scouse, the local lamb or beef stew, served with fresh bread and red cabbage. It's a meal fit for a first officer.
Crawl round the bar in Glasgow
A legendary meeting spot, the Horse Shoe Bar is a Grade II-
listed Edwardian pub boasting the longest continuous bar in the UK and a host of elaborate Art Nouveau aesthetics. Best of all, it serves great real ales and top-notch food at bargain prices. Don't miss the pies - the quintessential 'Glesga' lunch. Beats a deep-fried
Mars bar any day.
Revel with the Romans in York
While it looks relatively unassuming from the outside, inside York's Roman Bath Inn it's a different story. During excavations of the site in the 1980s, the remains of a Roman Bathhouse were found in the pub's basement. They have now been turned into a small museum, the entrance of which is in the pub itself. Consequently, the establishment's décor reflects the site's history, with murals of Roman bathing scenes covering the interior pub walls. There's also the expected good food and ale on offer.