Historical version 6 of Closing Time
EDIT We now have 24 hour licencing laws so pubs can apply to extend their opening hours.
This is a weird thing that we have in the UK where pubs close (by law)
- 11:00pm Monday to Saturday
- 10:30pm Sunday and Bank Holidays
Pubs traditionally ring a bell for last orders ten minutes before they close the bar (your last chance to get a drink) and again to indicate the bar has closed. Modern pubs tend to do this less and simply (and annoyingly) close the bar. Nice pubs also let you have some drinking up time (up to a maximum of 20min by law).
There are exceptions to closing time. You can go on later if you have live music, and later still if you have live dancing. The landlord has to apply for a special licence.
Because of closing time, people either tend to go onto clubs (where they can still drink) or late night drinking dens. Closing time has also been blamed for a "culture of binge drinking" arising in Britain.
See also this article on Everything2.