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The UK's favourite pubs

The UK's favourite pubs

Written by

Abbie Dawson


July 3, 2023


Latest research

Pubs need our support more than ever. But which are the nation’s favourites?

The humble British pub has been the centre of communities for centuries. And today, it remains an important part of our national identity,

However, mass closures are rocking the sector due to soaring business costs. It’s estimated the number of operating pubs has dropped below 40,000 for the first time in history.

So, which pubs are our favourites?

Here's how we found out...

We collected a sample of nearly 6,000 UK pubs with the 25 most common names, including “Red Lion”, “White Horse” and “The Bell”. Then, we analysed over 600 of them to create a score out of ten based on average visitor reviews and monthly searches online.

Raise a glass to...

According to the research, White Horse pubs are officially the UK’s favourite, with an average score of 9.4/10. Pubs bearing this iconic name are searched 14,800 times every month and have an impressive visitor review score of 4.4/5.

UK's Top 5 Favourite Pubs

Pub Name Avg. Review Score Avg. Monthly Google Searches Popularity Score
1 White Horse
4.4 14800 9.4
2 Kings Head
4.3 8100 7.0
3 The Ship
4.4 6600 6.5
4 The George
4.3 6600 6.5
5 The Greyhound
4.3 6600 6.5

Unbeknownst to most modern day pub goers, the White Horse symbol formed a part of George I’s heraldry when he became king and hundreds of pubs across the UK took this name as a mark of loyalty.

In second place...

The second most-loved pub in the UK is the King’s Head, scoring 7/10. This pub name is Googled 8,100 times on average each month and boasts a 4.3-star visitor rating.

There are thought to be over 200 pubs with this name in the UK. As the head of the monarchy changed over time, the more general name was viewed as a safer option to declaring allegiance to a specific king.

Who else made the cut?

Pubs named The Ship rank third, with a score of 6.5/10. These pubs have an average monthly search volume of 6,600 and an average visitor rating of 4.4 stars. While there is no concrete origin of the name, its believed that many of these pubs were opened by former seamen or named as a tribute to them and are most often found near to the coast.

In fourth and fifth position, sharing a score of 6.5/10 are pubs named The George and The Greyhound. Six British monarchs have been called George so it’s no surprise there are an estimated 223 pubs with the name. Both these pubs are viewed fondly by the public too, with an average monthly search volume of 6,600 and an average review score of 4.3 stars.

The Greyhound is the second animal-inspired name to feature in the top five, derived from hunting grounds and animals involved in the sport.

The rest of the top 10 features The King’s Arms (6.4), The Star (6.2), The Fox and Hounds (5.9), The White Hart (5.8) and The Royal Oak (5.7)

So those are the UK's favourite pubs by name. Did your favourite make the cut?


Startle analysed the top 25 most common pub names and collected a sample of 5925 of individual pubs with these names, spread across the UK, using The Good Pub Guide.

For analysis, 25 pubs within each pub name category were used and their average Google review score recorded (correct as of June 12th, 2023). These scores were averaged to give an overall review score for each pub name.

We also used Google Keyword Planner to collect the UK’s average monthly Google searches between June 2022 and May 2023 for each pub name.

To get a score out of ten for the two data points, the average review score for each pub name was doubled and the Google search data was normalised. The two scores out of ten for each pub name were then averaged to give an overall popularity score out of ten.

The UK's favourite pubs

Abbie Dawson

Marketing Manager at Startle. I'm in charge of our marketing activity, making sure to spread the word of Startle to as many brands as possible. When I'm not working, you'll find me vinyl shopping to add to my collection or working out at the gym (usually making enemies with a punching bag).

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