Best of British: 60 things that make Britain great

Imagine you're cut off in a far-off land. What longings would be uppermost in your mind? Here we celebrate those aspects of life that make our islands distinct and beguiling.

39. Village pubs

Sign in front of an english pubIf you want to learn the English language with the British Council, one of the sections of the course will be focused on the village pub and the cultural role it plays. Beginning as inns built along the Roman roads, they became so popular that, in 966, King Edgar limited them to one per village. For centuries, they acted as the social heart of the community, but, since the 1990s, the ‘pie and pint’ culture has been in decline and the ‘gastropub’ born. Those lucky enough to have a pub that acts both as a meeting place for villagers of all ages and walks of life and serves good-quality, locally sourced food are fortunate indeed.

‘Few things are more pleasant than a village graced
with a good church, a good priest and a good pub’
(John Hillaby)

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