Royal Oak, Winchester
Winchester, the capital of England in Medieval times, has plenty of interest to history fans, but one which may be missed off is a visit to England's oldest bar.' Well at least that is what the Royal Oak is claimed to be, even if several establishments nation-wide would dispute that fact. Hidden down an alley which helpfully bears its name, initial impressions are of a fairly bland, if spacious pub. A bit more character is on show if you venture downstairs, with some evidence of the age of the building clear to see by looking at the walls. Despite its central location there is still room for a compact beer garden to the rear, with five large tables squeezed in. Five is also the number of ales available on our visit, with a sixth pump waiting to be called into action.
18 Dec 2012
There's usually a fair selection of drinkable ales and space to find a seat. The food, although chain-menu-esque is perfectly edible. The small beer garden gives spectacular ring-side views over (in fact, almost on) Winchester's one-way system. Was once involved in a rather raucous pub quiz here, and it is old, apparently. Wouldn't walk past it on a pub crawl; wouldn't make a detour for it.
Royal Oak Passage, Winchester, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9AU
How to get there
Door-to-door journey planner
How to find the Royal Oak pub
From Winchester station head down City Road then right into Jewry Street and right again into High Street. On the left side there is a small passageway which leads to the pub.