New pub name trends revealed – Survey reveals the most popular pub names across the UK

Changing Tides in Pub Naming: UK Trends Unveiled Over Three Years

A recent study by ukphonebook.com has delved into the evolving landscape of pub names in the UK, shedding light on the shifting preferences and emerging trends over the past three years.

Top 10 Pub Names in 2023: The Red Lion Reigns Supreme

As anticipated, The Red Lion claims the throne as the most popular pub name in 2023, with a staggering 517 establishments bearing this classic moniker. The royal procession continues with the Royal Oak and Crown (Inn) securing the second and third positions, respectively.

PositionMost Popular 2023Total
1RED LION517
2ROYAL OAK472
3CROWN (INN)446
4ROYAL BRITISH LEGION335
5WHITE HORSE303
6WHITE HART276
7NEW INN273
8ROSE CROWN226
9KINGS ARMS208
10PLOUGH (INN)206

Noteworthy Changes in Pub Naming Trends: A Closer Look

Analyzing data from 2020 to 2023, the study unveils several intriguing developments:

  • Royal British Legion Retreats: The Royal British Legion bids farewell to the top 10, attributed more to the institute’s reduced presence than a naming trend shift.
  • The George Makes an Entrance: A new contender, The George, makes its debut, with ten establishments adopting this name, possibly influenced by the future heir to the throne, Prince George.
  • Victoria’s Ascension: Victoria-themed pubs ascend from 43rd to 9th place in overall popularity, with eight of the 66 establishments adopting this regal name since 2020.
  • Bulls Charge Back: Bulls, represented by The Black Bull and Bulls Head, make a noteworthy comeback, claiming 10% of newly named pubs in the past three years.

Types of Pub Names on the Rise: Animals and Royalty Take the Lead

Examining the surge in popularity, animal-themed names have witnessed a 6.5% increase, while royalty-inspired names boast a 7.7% rise, potentially linked to the coronation of King Charles.

To ‘Inn’ or Not to ‘Inn’: A Modern Dilemma

A contemporary trend emerges as ‘Inn’ becomes less favored in pub names. Although 28% of UK pubs currently carry ‘Inn’ in their title, a mere 16% of new establishments since 2020 choose to include it. This shift could be attributed to a preference for shorter names or a departure from the traditional concept of inns as accommodations.

PositionMost Popular since 2020Total
1RED LION25
2ROYAL OAK20
3WHITE HORSE15
3CROWN15
5KINGS ARMS10
5GEORGE10
7CROWN INN8
7COACH HORSES8
7VICTORIA8
10WHITE HART7

The Red Lion Rules: UK’s Most Popular Pub Name

The classic Red Lion maintains its dominance as the most common pub name in the UK, with 468 pubs proudly sporting this title. Following closely is The Royal Oak, and the Royal British Legion secures a spot in the top three.

Expert Insights: Navigating Pub Name History

Reflecting on pub names, Kevan Wilding, founder of Pubwiki, notes the historical significance. Many beer houses in the 1850s laid the foundation for today’s local pubs. However, evolving licensing laws led to changes, particularly in Hertfordshire.

CAMRA Chairman on Pub Names’ Charms

Nik Antona, National Chairman for CAMRA, highlights the charm of quirky pub names. Pubs, integral to community life, offer safe spaces for socializing, fostering community engagement, and combating loneliness.

Top Pub Names by Type: Royalty and Animals Take Center Stage

Eight of the top ten most popular pub names draw inspiration from royal connections, with the Red Lion holding a dual role as both an animal and royal symbol. Animal-themed names account for 34% of all pub names, while royalty claims 17.6%.

In the third position, machinery and tools (9.1%) carve their niche, with nature-inspired names (8.8%) following closely, emphasizing royal connections, especially through the rose motif.

Vehicles (8.7%) conclude the top five, reflecting a diminishing trend as Britain shifts away from its seafaring and manufacturing heritage.

For those seeking the perfect pub experience, ukphonebook.com’s business search provides the most up-to-date contact details for pubs across the UK.

PositionMost popular name type since 2020Total% change
1Animal1136.5
2Royalty707.7
3Tree / Plant24-0.4
4Machinery / Tools19-1.9
5Vehicle18-2.2
6Location12-1.4
7History7-2.5
8Age6-1.3
9Space6-0.8
10Job2-1.6
11Sport0-1.0
12Religious0-0.6
13Food0-0.5
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