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The Shakespeare, in Durham, came on one of those sudden and impromtu visits to the beautiful old city.
With the castle, built around 1072, and the cathedral in 1093, the Shakespeare is in good company, originating around 1190!! If you don't believe me, just try out the gent's toilet! I fully expected to see the manacles still hanging from the walls and the moaning of the incarcerated ghosts.
This small atmospheric pub is still back there. Go in and sample it.
With 4 real ale pumps to pick from the Shakespeare does offer good beer. Deuchars IPA and Fullers London Pride being the mainstays. Bath Ales Gem and Ringwood Brewerys Huffkin, the two back ups.
Go on. Take your torch with you if you're the nervous type!