The Hairy Bikers' Pubs That Built Britain

The Hairy Bikers' Pubs That Built Britain

The Hairy Bikers, otherwise known as Simon King and David Myers, travel up and down the UK discovering the little-known history of Britain’s pubs, inns and taverns. In this entertaining travel documentary series, they enjoy a pint while speaking to the landlords, locals and experts who unravel the stories behind the establishments which have been at the heart of communities for years.

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Ep 1: Yorkshire
Si and Dave uncover tales of pubs in the crossfire of the bloodiest Civil War battle.

Si and Dave uncover 370 years of history in a Yorkshire pub believed to have been drunk dry the night before the bloodiest battle of the English Civil War. In this engaging travel documentary, Dave takes a lesson in battlefield fighting while Si hears of Ripley Castle’s famous female soldier, ‘Trooper’ Jane. In York, the boys learn the gruesome history of a pub which once doubled as a hospital.

Ep 2: The Lake District
The Bikers follow in the footsteps of the area’s famous poets, Wordsworth and Coleridge.

The Lake District is known for its stunning beauty that has inspired writers for centuries. In this glorious travel documentary, Dave takes Si on a pub tour, following in the footsteps of poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge. On the way, they sample negus, a wine-based drink from the late 1800s, and then battle it out in a traditional pub competition to find out who ‘The Biggest Liar’ is.

Ep 3: Manchester
Si and Dave discover Manchester pubs that were home to a hotbed of political plotting.

Si and Dave head to Manchester to uncover historic pubs once at the heart of the city’s industrial revolution. In this fascinating travel documentary, they discover politics, protest and plotting were rife in the area’s pubs during the early 1800s. They visit a local brewery to discover when and why beer became popular in Britain and then, surprisingly, join a knitting group.

Ep 4: Cornwall
The Hairy Bikers discover pubs at the heart of Cornwall’s sinister smuggling past.

Si and Dave take a trip back in time to Cornwall, where they discover pubs that were at the center of smuggling. They start this delightful travel documentary in the tiny fishing village of Polperro, where they discover a smugglers’ tunnel and a landlord with criminal connections. Heading inland to Bodmin Moor, they visit the famous Jamaica Inn and try the tipple of the time: rum shrub.

Ep 5: Lincolnshire
The historic pubs of Lincolnshire and their importance to World War II are investigated.

Si and Dave visit Lincolnshire, on a mission to discover the importance of the area’s pubs during World War II. In this revealing travel documentary, they visit an inn that housed the homeless when a village was bombed and meet veterans with tales of daring do. And they visit the Bluebell Inn, a pub that served the famous Dambuster Squadron and now stands as a living memorial to fallen soldiers.

Ep 6: Liverpool
The Bikers get groovy as they visit the most important pubs from the swinging sixties.

Si and Dave are in Liverpool, home of The Beatles and other legendary groups and musicians. Things get groovy in this travel documentary as they meet John Lennon’s drinking buddies from his early days. And before performing their own song on stage at the Cavern, the duo discover why one nearby pub was a regular for 60s stars including Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Beatles.

Ep 7: South Wales
It’s full steam ahead as the Hairy Bikers drive a train with a pub at the end of the line.

The Hairy Bikers visit the valleys of South Wales to uncover the history of some fascinating boozers and unearth pubs that were at the heart of the area’s coal-mining communities. In this enlightening travel documentary, they journey underground to the coal face to find out what life was really like there, meet an award-winning choir and drive a steam train that has a pub at the end of its line.

Ep 8: Home Counties
The Hairy Bikers drink medieval ale before trying some traditional Morris dancing.

The Home Counties, the area surrounding London, may seem a bit suburban. But, as this travel documentary uncovers, it has a fascinating history. From drinking medieval ale in the ancient town of St Albans to the traditional art of Morris dancing in Britain’s oldest independent pub, Si and Dave embark on a historic pub crawl to learn how inns were involved in the brutal Wars of the Roses.

Ep 9: Glasgow
The Bikers explore Glasgow’s rich legacy of shipbuilding in Scotland, one pint at a time.

Si and Dave’s historic pub tour takes them to Glasgow, where they explore the city’s shipbuilding history. Meeting former shipyard workers, they discover what pub life was like when the yard’s whistles blew. Si tries his hand at welding, then the Bikers celebrate the Scottish city’s illustrious past with some cocktail-making in a bar supposedly styled on the famous ship, The Queen Mary.

Ep 10: East End London
Si and Dave travel to London and visit pubs associated with the notorious Kray twins.

Si and Dave step back in time to the 50s and 60s of London’s East End. In this intriguing travel documentary, they uncover murder and brutality when their tour takes them to pubs once central to the criminal deeds of the notorious Kray twins. Si takes a drive with an old associate of the Krays, while Dave learns to fight the Kray way at the boxing club where the deadly duo once trained.

Ep 11: Edinburgh
Things get gruesome in Edinburgh, Scotland as body snatching and murder are on the menu.

The Hairy Bikers’ pub tour takes them to Edinburgh, Scotland where they delve into the evil doings of body snatchers Burke and Hare. As this travel documentary continues, they discover dark histories in pubs that witnessed gruesome murders and then hear of a ghost who visits one of the city’s oldest bars. They also meet a pub folk singer who keeps the city’s historic tales alive in his songs.

Ep 12: Bristol
While delving into the area’s seafaring history, the Hairy Bikers try a little cider.

The Hairy Bikers delve into Bristol’s seafaring past and discover some pubs with fascinating maritime histories. In this engaging travel documentary, the boys venture to an inn with a special hole in the wall designed to keep watch for press gangs and a landlord who played a key role in the abolition of slavery. And Dave samples some of the area’s most famous export: cider.

Ep 13: Oxford
The boys drink at pubs frequented by CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and other famous writers.

Following in the footsteps of some of Britain’s literary greats, Si and Dave take a pub tour of Oxford to visit where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien drank pints together. They also drop into one of the city’s oldest inns, a favorite haunt of Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter. And while Dave goes for a punt, Si visits Brasenose College for a taste of one of their ancient concoctions: Brasenose Ale.

Ep 14: Great Fire of London
Si and Dave try a spot of mud larking, but will they uncover any historical treasures?

Si and Dave’s historic pub tour takes them to London, where they discover inns that witnessed the Great Fire in 1666 and watered the workers during the 50-year rebuild of the city. This fascinating travel documentary starts at a pub on the banks of the Thames where Samuel Pepys watched the devastating fire. They also meet mud larkers who uncover fascinating finds in the muddy banks of the river.

Ep 15: Carlisle
How did a government scheme designed to curb rowdy behavior change Carlisle’s pubs?

The Hairy Bikers head to the beautiful city of Carlisle, as their wonderful travel documentary series comes to an end. They discover an extraordinary World War I government scheme designed to put a stop to drunken behavior by taking over and controlling all the pubs and breweries. The Bikers discover what the scheme did and how it changed Carlisle’s pubs forever.

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