Inn Search of Birds

A twitcher turned author has found a novel way of joining his love of birds and beer together.

Professor Sir John Lawton used his time wisely during the Covid pandemic lockdown and researched and wrote the delightful Inn Search of Birds.

The book is a fun look at the history of birds and their paraphernalia and their links to pubs. John has covered the length and breadth of the UK to delve into the world of feathers and froth.

And as he sadly states, some of these pubs fell victim to the financial devastation caused by Covid and have closed for ever.

The Whittles published book, priced at £18.99, was sparked by the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Dales, at the entrance to Wensleydale.

Here are four pubs, all named after black swans and within a five mile radius and an intrigued John was keen to find out why.

John has spent the last 11 years compiling a list based on a sample of 711 pubs, named after birds or things which are bird related.

There are 117 identifiable species of birds, 17 non-specific birds, like a duck and four mythical species, plus 35 pubs named after bird related things.

John takes a light-hearted look at all things feathered. While plain vanilla swans get boring, Bury’s Swan and Cemetery, the Swan and Railway in Wigan and three pubs called The Swan with Two Necks in Bristol, Clitheroe and Wakefield, cry out for an explanation, as do two Welsh pubs, both called The Goose and Cuckoo in Llanover and Llangadog.

The resulting aviary of 117 species doesn’t quite range from A to Z, but the list does run from The Blackbird on Earls Court Road in London to a Yellow Wagtail in Yeovil.

John covers the commonest pub birds, why they are so named, their geography and history, and also pub birds in art, literature and music.

There is even a short chapter on nests, babies, feathers and bird paraphernalia. Best of all, are John’s fondest memories of pub birds, all enjoyed over a pint or two and all in the name of research, of course!

Inn Search of Birds Book Cover

Publication date: 30th June 2023
UK Price: £18.99
ISBN: 978-184995-506-5
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288

Inn Search of Birds: Pubs, People and Places
By John Lawton
Published by Whittles Publishing

For more information and to order a copy of Inn Search of Birds: Pubs, People and Places, please visit:

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Swan image by Gerry from Pixabay and book cover image courtesy of Whittles Publishing

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