Your Amazing Race: London Calling

7 of 9

Interior of the Bear Inn, Alfred Street, Oxford, England, showing part of the pub’s collection of ties.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Drinking Song of the Merchant Bankers
The Soul Surfers collect the Fast Pass at The Bear Inn. I really wish the episode had focused a little more on this pub. While researching this business, I uncovered so many cool features of this watering hole! It’s one of the oldest public houses in Oxford and dates back to 1242! The existing building is circa-17th century. Think of how many pints of ale have been served there!

Taps at the Bear Inn, Oxford

© Jorge Royan via

Wikimedia Commons

The best part of the pub? The Bear has a collection of over 4,500 snippets of club ties! The tradition started in the ’50s. Patrons donated the ends of their ties in exchange for a half pint of beer! The collection is displayed behind glass-cases lining the walls and even on the ceiling. The ties display insignias for members from clubs, teams, and schools. Want to experience the Bear Inn? Check out their weekly pub quiz on Tuesday nights!

More from International Travel

The Oxford Pub Crawl
Lamb and Flag: Located at 12 St Giles, this pub is not only an historic gem dating back to 1772, but also operates for a good cause. Profits fun student scholarships at St John’s College. Soak up the smarts of the other patrons and channel the energy of Dickens, a once regular, as you sip on your beverage and take in the atmosphere.

Turf Tavern: A 13th century Ale House with an eclectic clientele of students and International tourists. The bar is small but the large drinking courtyards make this stop a must on the crawl. Hard to find but worth the effort.

The White Horse: This pub is located in the heart of Oxford by Blackwells Bookstore and the Sheldonian Theatre. An historic building dating back to the 16th century. Famous for their fish and chips, this pub could not be more authentic.

The Rose, Oxford – Tea House: If booze is not your thing, try this tea sanctuary.The Rose only serves the very best – whether it be ingredients sourced from the local area or exotic teas from a little further afield. Taking tea while on a British holiday is bucket list worthy. The Classic Afternoon Tea arrives with organic smoked salmon and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches followed by homemade scones and cake. Enjoy this experience between 3:00 and 5:00 pm.