Posted by: anglopole | August 24, 2008

‘Back of Beyond’

I’ve just come back from a family visit to a nice local pub (I’m so grateful for the smoking ban, btw.) and thought I need to write something more about pubs here….

It seems that one of the things that the British people (men, especially) miss from their homeland while living abroad is pubs. The full name of such a drinking establishement in Britain is a Public House. Whenever I hear the full name used on the odd occasion, it makes me giggle inside as in Poland the literal translation would mean a brothel 😉 So, it would be extremely funny if a Brit visiting Poland asked a passerby for a way to the nearest public house! Pub is by all means a safer, so to say, term to use when in some countries of the continental Europe! 🙂


I don’t think there is a village, or a district in a town in Britain where there would not be at least one pub. It shouldn’t really be surprising that they are so cherished since in some areas they are the only place of some interest to visit, and not just to drink or eat, but also to have a closer encounter with the locals and their culture (this varies from county to county).

I do agree that British pubs are unique (even though I do tease the Brits about their passionate love for pubs) 😉 

Each pub has:

  1. a specific name – these can be either serious, funny, neutral or strange but are essential to make the pub stand out and lure clients to pay regular visits. Here are some examples of pub names:

Adlington Arms, a pub named in medallist\’s honour   (that’s from latest news)

Kings Arms

– Rising Sunday

– Coach and Horses

– The Hole in the Wall

– The Sociable Plover

– The Drunken Duck

– The Cat & Custard Pot

– The Silent Woman (some of my readers probably suggest such a pub is just right for me….;p )

– World Turned Upside Down (that’s a good one too, isn’t it?)

 This one is my personal favourite when it comes to strangeness of a pub name (hence the title of the entry bears it too!)

 the back of beyond = a lonely, forasaken place…

Here you can find more pub names.

2. a characteristic building (some pubs still have thatched roofs, or prussian walls, others are more Victorian or Edwardian in style and still others blend with the rest of the local architecture

edwardian type of a pub
edwardian type of a pub
victorian type of a pub
victorian type of a pub
thatched roofed pub
thatched roofed pub

3. A peculiar atmosphere created by various kinds of interior décor and its regular visitors, history (which is often displayed in the form of photographs on the walls of the particular pub)


 4. the extra facilities you can find in the pub’s premises, eg. bed and breakfast, an indoor or outdoor play area for kids, which is a great idea as the whole families can enjoy an afternoon out (like we did today).

a big outdoor play area at a local pub

There is even a language characteristic of pubs and it’s called a pub banter (friendly conversation in which people make a lot of jokes with and amusing remarks about each other). Here are a few jokes you might hear in a British pub:

whats the difference between a prostitute and a rooster?
A rooster says “c*ck-a- doodle-doo”
a prostitute says ” any-c*ck-will-do”

Q: Why do men whistle when they’re sitting on the toilet? 
A: Because it helps them remember which end they need to


Fred & Mary use a code for sex, 
The code is”washing machine” 
So one night in bed fred whispered 
to mary “Washing Machine Dear”! 
Mary rolls over and says not to night dear,im tired. 
But 10min later she feels guilty and says to fred, 
“Washing Machine”to late my dear,replies fred, 
It was only a small load,so i did it by hand.!

More of pub banter to be found here

As you can see, visiting pub will not only quench your thirst, satisfy your hunger or your kids’ 24/7 need to have fun, but it can also be a cultural experience where you learn a lot about the local community, and also about the Britishness as such.

Here you go then, here\’s a list of some of the best pubs in the UK: – if you’ve already visited some, or would like to add some valuable info to my little introduction to the British pub life, do post a comment, please.


  1. hahaha!
    Is the Back of Beyond place run by Aussies by any chance? 😉


  2. hahaha, yeah, I thought the same thing:-) In the Aussie land they also have another word ‘bullamakanka’, meaning more or less the same thing…


  3. Have just stumbled upon your blog. I’m English living in Spain and the way you describe England and the pictures you post are great – makes me feel homesick! I’ll be checking in from time-to-time.


  4. Hi there F.S.! Thanks for your comment! Do visit my blog when you can – mind you, I don’t just write the nice stuff about England! 😉


  5. Ah yes, the local – always my first port of call when I’m back in Blighty.

    I’m a bit suspicious of some of these pub names. A lot of the wacky ones were invented by pub chains such as Wetherspoons and aren’t traditional names at all.

    One of the greatest things about pubs is the way they have been able to adapt to changing times. I love the fact that you can go to a 15th century thatched pub in a small village and get a Thai curry.


  6. Long time no see, Island 🙂 Now you can go to some pubs and not just get a Thai curry but also Polish pierogi 😉


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