The Bear Inn, Alfred St

This is a delightful pub tucked down the many lanes south of the High. One of Fullers more distant out-postings (there are 4 in Oxford), the Bear lays claim to being the oldest pub in Oxford (from 1242).

It also houses a most impressive collection of ties, or at least ends thereof. The apparent tale is that if you entered the pub wearing a club or society tie that was not already on the wall, you were relieved of the tie’s end in return for a pint. Your name and the club name was pinned onto the end and these are still visible in the cases.

I’m unsure when this tradition ended, but what hasn’t ended is the serving of quality ales. Fullers ales (regulars and specials included) are served in addition to a guest (Shotover brewery previously seen here). There’s little space inside, but outside benches are available and popular in the summer.

Nearby: Chequers, Wheatsheaf, Mitre