Morse Code For Beer in Oxford

The Morse Code for Beer in Oxford, whether you live in Oxford or are a visitor there’s a fair chance that you have watched Inspector Morse downing a pint or two over the years. If you are a local you may be familiar with one or two of the pubs that act as backdrop to a methodically rolling out plot or yet another red herring designed to confuse and intrigue the viewer.

But I’d lay decent odds that most people don’t know that there’s at least a dozen pubs in and around Oxford where fans, or the decently curious, can share a pint with the dour Inspector’s ghost.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the person who created a map of Morse Pubs In Oxford  which added hugely to my own knowledge which stretched to just one pub, The Trout Inn in Lower Wolvercote. I have not tried to arrange these in order to make a pub crawl or more dignified meander but the Linked Map will help you to draw up your own plan.

The Bookbinders Arms, now called Old Bookbinders, 17/18 Victor Street, Oxford, OX2 6BT. Featured in ‘The Dead of Jericho’.
These days Old Bookbinders is a quaint old pub that serves French style food. The staff are friendly and welcoming and people rave about the food.

The White Horse, 52 Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BB. Featured in four episodes: The Dead of Jericho, Service of All the Dead, Last Seen Wearing, The Secret of Bay 5B. More recently the place has been featured in ‘Lewis’ and ‘Endeavour’.
The White Horse is an atmospheric place, low beamed and dark. As well as a selection of local real ales, the place is renowned for its food. Traditional English classics such as game pie and fish and chips are favourites on the menu. The fish and chips are suggested by some visitors to be the best in Oxford.

The Jericho, 56 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AE. Featured in ‘The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn’
The Jericho is on the site of a medieval inn; the current building was built in 1818. Although the building is old the pub is now part of a large chain of pubs although it still retains a little of the area’s former bohemian spirit. One advantage that may be worthwhile, the kitchen is open for longer hours than many local places and so if you are running late there’s probably still a warm meal to be had here.

Turf Tavern, 4 Bath Place Holywell Street, Oxford, OX1 3SU. Featured in: The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, Service of All the Dead, The Settling of the Sun.This pub is one of Oxford’s historic taverns dating back to the 14th century. The Turf is hidden away down a little alley. They are very proud of the famous patrons who have passed through their doors. Just a few of the famous people whose ghosts you will rub shoulders with are reputed to be Thomas Hardy, Margaret Thatcher, Oscar Wilde and, among the living, David Cameron and Ben Kingsley.

The Trout Inn, 195 Godstow Road, Lower Wolvercote, Oxford, OX2 8PN. Featured in: The Wolvercote Tongue, Second Time Around.
The Trout seems to be one of the most well-known of Morse’s pubs although it is not in the centre of Oxford so it certainly won’t be on anyone’s Morse pub crawls! The Trout is a great place to enjoy in the summer by sitting outside. On the downside, the place gets very busy with long waiting times and, it seems, some frustrations from clients left waiting for orders to appear.

The Randolph Hotel, 4 Beaumont St, Oxford, OX1 2LN. Featured in: The Wolvercote Tongue, The Remorseful Day.
More accurately called the Macdonald Randolph Hotel, this is a great place to stay in Oxford for Morse fans. The hotel even has an ‘Inspector Morse’ bar where you can ask for a Morse Cocktail. The hotel faces the Ashmolean Museum so there’s room for some more cultural exploits of a different nature.

The Kings Arms, 40 Holywell St, Oxford, OX1 3SP. Features in three episodes: The Wolvercote Tongue, Happy Families, Deadly Slumber.The pub stands on the site of an Augustinian priory and has been run as a pub since 1607. Interestingly, the place was run as a men-only place until 1973 and was the last to open up to women.

The Lamb and the Flag, 12 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JS. Featured in ‘Last Seen Wearing’.
A timber framed pub outside the centre of Oxford. This is more a college style pub with a wide range of English real ales and a wide range of Belgian beers. Due to the location, there’s not so many tourists here.

The Mitre, 16 High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4AG. Featured in: The Last Enemy, Happy Families.
Whatever it might have once been this is now a branch of the national steakhouse chain Beefeater with all that implies. Probably a good place to take the whole family for a not too expensive meal?

The Eagle and Child, 49 St Giles, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 3LU Features in ‘Second Time Around’ but renamed as ‘The Scissors Wine Bar’.Known locally as the Bird and Baby. Historically it was the meeting place of a writer’s circle called the Inklings, a group that included both C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. The place can get crowded but there are several little alcoves where lucky visitors can get space to themselves.

Victoria Arms, Mill Lane, Old Marston, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX3 0PZ. Featured in: The Daughters of Cain, The Remorseful Day.
Again, a little way from the centre of Oxford situated on the river Cherwell. The inn here was built in the 17th century and rebuilt in the 19th century. The pub serves Wadsworth’s Ales and you can always have dinner here. This is a great place to enjoy the spring or summer sunshine with glorious sunsets best enjoyed from the bench tables.

There’s probably more Oxford pubs that have found their way into Inspector Morse but these might make a good start and make an interesting basis for visiting, or revisiting Oxford

Outside View Trout Inn Layout In Pub Trout Inn Meal At The Trout Inn

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