The Fighting Cocks in St Albans is a very old pub with lots of character. The current building dates back to the 15th century but there was an inn at this location for a few hundred years before that.
Along with many other pubs the Fighting Cocks (full name is Ye Olde Fighting Cocks) claims to be the oldest pub in the country. Cock fighting took place from the 17th century until it was outlawed in the 19th century, the cock pit is still part of the pub.
It's in a lovely location - just down the hill from the cathedral and backing on to Verulanium Park with the river Ver running past the front of the pub.
A couple of tables are located outside the pub at the front whilst there is a large enclosed garden at the back.
Although there is a room to the right as you enter the pub most people turn left and sit in one of the many little alcoves. There is also a pit area that was used for cock fighting - hence the pub name.
Real Ale selection is okay but used to be better a few years back. Black Sheep, Old Speckled Hen (very appropriate!) and one other real ale was available at the time of the visit.
The pub was very empty at the time of out visit - we put this down to the rain and being midweek. We had no problems with speed of service! When the sun comes out and people visit the cathedral and park this place gets very busy.
The Fighting Cocks is popular with tourists in the summer. Food is served all day until 9:30pm.
Review date: 9th May 2007
Update July 2010:
Landlord, Abbott and Doom Bar ales available at £3 a pint.
Garden busy on summer evenings with many, mainly smartly dressed middle-aged people, eating outside on the twenty or so large tables.
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