The Tunnelmouth Inn

The Tunnelmouth – favoured drinking establishment, not only of the Guardians, but of all manner of dodgy patrons with supernatural ties (real or imagined) was inspired by a visit to the charming, and equally hard to find, Tunnel House Inn in Cirencester.

Take the road signs too literally and you’ll give up long before you get to the Tunnel House Inn. Not only is the pub much farther off the main road than the one and a quarter miles indicated, but it sits hidden in a canal-side hollow, down the end of a bumpy track that makes you tremble for your tyres.

Once you’ve arrived, though, you could stay the whole day. There are two gently appetite-enhancing walks, one into the Bathurst Estate woods, the other along the leafy towpath, beginning and ending at the handsomely pillared entrance to the old canal tunnel (built 1789).

If you prefer not to stir from the pub grounds, you can set up HQ in the large garden, where there are picnic tables, rolling fields to look out on, a gypsy caravan and a children’s farm to explore.

All this before you’ve even set foot inside the pub, which has a dusty-floorboarded air of yesteryear.