Are these Britain’s quirkiest pubs?
bunkhouse cardiff

With British pubs increasingly becoming clones of each other, we go in search of the country’s most unusual watering holes

Tired of stepping into a local hostelry in search of a quiet pint, only to find it’s been turned into a generic sports bar, fitted with multiple TV screens and serving pricey craft beer?

Never fear. We’ve taken the time to compile a list of Britain’s proudly distinctive pubs, so you don’t have to break your back searching for a place with a little style.

Have one on us.

Teviot Row House, Edinburgh

Teviot Row House is, straight up, the oldest student union bar in the entire world, so you can be sure the regulars in here know how to take their ale.

There are actually six separate bars in the entire place (less queuing equals a win in our books), including a pub-library hybrid section, probably to make the students feel at home.

If you can deal with all the studenty activities going on through term time (open mic nights should be a laugh), it proves to serve your drinking needs well.

Teviot Row House Student Union, EH8 9AJ, more info

The Tempest Inn, Brighton

Few places allow you to sup your favourite beer in a seafront cave, but The Tempest Inn is one of the exceptions. It’s almost more fun to roam and explore the entire place, which is made up of a dozen connecting caves – we know what your thinking: there’ll be no issues with finding a seat then.

The food isn’t to be scoffed at either, as they source local and organic ingredients from the city itself.

159-161 King’s Road, BN1 1NB, more info

The Sheffield Tap, Sheffield

Lets face it, we all hate waiting for trains. Let’s face it, we all love drinking beer. You see where we’re going with this?

The Sheffield Tap’s perfect location (if it was any closer to the station it’d be blocking the 16:15 to Nottingham) means finding this wonderful delight no problem at all.

And with its wide variety of craft beers, there’s plenty of choice for your mid-journey beverage.

1B Sheffield Station, S1 2BP, more info

The Grove Inn, Leeds

The Grove Inn is something of an acquired taste, but if you give it a chance, you’ll be richly rewarded. The pub dates back to Victorian times, and provides a sharp contrast to the shiny high-rise buildings that surround it now. Its layout is maze-like, with each separate room boasting bags of character and history. The decor here is quirky, and for every piano, wooden floorboard, and oversized mirror, there’s an accompanying story.

Back Row, LS11 5PL – thegroveleeds.co.uk

The Milk Thistle, Bristol

This one might prove trickier to find, as it’s hidden away in one of Bristol’s most historic buildings: Quay Head House.

The place itself it modelled after a prohibition speakeasy, giving the place a vintage style and feel. It’s not just beer you’ll be gawking at across tables either, The Milk Thistle boasts a regularly changing cocktail menu to keep your taste buds occupied throughout the night.

Quay Head House, Colston Avenue, BS1 1WB, more info

Manchester235, Manchester

Drinking and gambling may be a notoriously dangerous pastime, but every gambler I’ve ever met in a pub has claimed that he is definitely, DEFINITELY, up on his winnings, so it can’t be that dangerous.

At Manchester235, you’ll get your shot at glory, as it’s themed after a Las Vegas casino, with all kinds of debauched games littered about the premises.

2 Watson Street, M3 4LP, more info

Evans and Peel, London

Is it a bar, or is it a secret, underground detective agency? Truth be told, the line was blurred long ago, but what we can tell you is that Evans and Peel is so invested in their noir detective agency theme, you’ll probably get immersed in a compelling mystery there.

Even their website looks like a screen grab form CSI – you’d be surprised if Horatio Caine didn’t pop out and offer you a Cosmopolitan.

Alas, you will have to settle for other, less prolific, DIs for your drinks.

310c Earl’s Court Road, SW5 9BA, more info

Bunkhouse, Cardiff

Okay, you got us, Bunkhouse isn’t officially a pub. It’s actual purpose is a hostel, which explains the beds lining the walls.

They do however, offer a decent selection of craft beers at their bar, and it’s not uncommon to see a gaggle of youths relaxing with a pint before heading back to their actual houses.

Worst case scenario: you have a few pints, and fall asleep on the bed. Win win.

94 St Mary Street, CF10 1DX, more info

More:

British gin guide: 32 bars you need to try

Five movie-themed bars where you can make a toast to Hollywood

The ultimate guide to good bar etiquette

Main image: Cardiff Bunkhouse