Poll: Do you think pubs play an important role in British life?

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New research has confirmed what people who like a few drinks have always known - living near a pub makes you happier.

A study by Oxford University found that regulars with a local pub nearby are "significantly" happier, have more friends, better life satisfaction, and actually drink in more moderation.

The report, for the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), highlighted the importance of face-to-face interaction.

It also revealed that social skills improve after a drink, while people were more likely to be engaged in conversations in small community pubs rather than larger establishments.

The study, conducted in pubs in Oxfordshire, also found that pubs played an integral role in providing venues where people could meet and make friends.

Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, said: "Friendship and community are probably the two most important factors influencing our health and wellbeing.

"Making and maintaining friendships, however, is something that has to be done face-to-face. The digital world is simply no substitute.

"Given the increasing tendency for our social life to be online rather than face-to-face, having relaxed accessible venues where people can meet old friends and make new ones becomes ever more necessary."

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