Some of London’s pubs date back to the 16th century, illustrating the city’s rich past. Using my local knowledge, I can lead you toward your first stop for a warm atmosphere and enjoyable drinking experience. Not all of them are historical landmarks, but they are amongst the capital’s top pubs. Explore the most historic English pubs in London.
Top 10 Historical Pubs in London
You must stop at an English pub if you’re in London. And with London’s history, you might as well make it a historical pub! However, not all are made equal. As a local expert, I’ve compiled this list of London’s finest and most historic pubs. Expect excellent beer, a warm and friendly ambiance, and, in some cases, proximity to other tourist attractions.
10. Spaniards Inn
This old pub in leafy Hampstead oozes character. Built in 1585, they have attempted to maintain 16th-century authenticity by using antique-looking furniture and a fireplace. It’s not particularly close to a train station, but you’ll love the trip through quiet alleys and greenery to reach it. Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and his wife, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, are rumored to have frequented this bar, as well as some of Britain’s best poets. Intriguingly, the publicans also assert that another great English poet, John Keats, composed his classic poem “Ode to a Nightingale” in the beer garden.
9. Brew Dog
If you have ever drank at a highly praised pub but still believe that all beer tastes the same, then I recommend this establishment for an exceptional drinking experience. It is easy to locate because it is one of London’s largest pubs and occupies one entire block at one end of the street! Some of their specialized craft beers are costly, but you may sample their vast selection without breaking the bank by purchasing quarter pints. It is in close proximity to Tower Hill attractions such as the Tower of London. In close proximity are also All Hallows-by-the-Tower, one of the oldest churches in London, and St. Dunstan in the East, the remnants of a gothic church.
8. The Lamb & Flag
Whether or not this is London’s smallest tavern, its history is surely fascinating. There’s scarcely room to squeeze past folks and get your drink, yet tourists flock here in spite of, or because of this. Unbelievably, there are more people standing outside with their drinks than inside, because there is insufficient space inside! In the 1800s, it was infamous for conducting illegal bare-knuckle bouts and there are vintage battle posters that reflect this historic relationship. Also, the poet John Dryden was supposedly attacked by men dispatched by the Earl of Rochester in the pub’s alley. The pub’s proprietors have commemorated Dryden by naming one of their upper rooms after him.
7. Founders Arms
You can drink up the distinctive ambiance of London’s Bankside and take in breathtaking views of the River Thames. This tavern capitalizes on its riverbank location with numerous full-length windows and a riverside patio. Notably, it is within minutes of the Tate Modern gallery and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. So, explore Bankside! Along this section of river are attractions such as Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde galleon and the Clink Museum. However, I recommend reserving a riverside table to see the amazing views of St. Paul’s Cathedral at night. Few pubs can equal the combination of a bustling tourist location with a traditional pub atmosphere.
6. The Dove
It’s a weird coincidence that London’s smallest pubs also seem to have the most intriguing histories. Here again, this pub was formerly in the Guinness Book of Records for having the UK’s tiniest bar. Locals and publicans alike take pride in the claims that King Charles II visited with his mistress Nell Gwyn. One could speculate that these historical luminaries sought out these modest, off-the-beaten-path taverns to find seclusion. Similarly, I urge you visit if you want somewhere a little quieter.
5. The Good Mixer
At first glance, this Camden Town bar does not appear to have any outstanding qualities. What makes the Good Mixer apart is its connection to British pop history. Camden is where the Britpop independent rock movement of the 1990s got off and most of its stars headed for The Good Mixer. There is a widely-repeated tale about Liam Gallagher from Oasis and Graham Coxon, the guitarist from Blur, having a playful argument in a bar. The competition to reach the top of the music charts first was sparked by bar stool chitchat that escalated into a Britpop rivalry. It continues to attract rock musicians and fans, but its most loyal patrons are locals who have witnessed new owners and fashions come and go over the years.
4. The Rake
This is hardly a conventional English tavern, as seen by its flat and unremarkable appearance. Most English pubs have an architectural aspect that links them with a period in history, such as Tudor, Georgian, or Edwardian. This modern bar was never intended to attract the average drinker, but it is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts who are real connoisseurs or anyone who want to experience speciality craft brews. Interestingly, it was featured in the national media a few years ago for providing the most expensive beers in the country, yet it also provides moderately priced pints. It is also one of the smallest pubs in London. All the frills that conventional English customers enjoy, such as darts, snooker, and Sky TV, are unnecessary and cannot be accommodated here.
3. Worlds End
The Worlds End is a famous pub in Camden Town and is known throughout the UK for its rock music-loving clients. This pub’s proximity to the train station is one of the reasons why it is so popular among guests. Moreover, it has vied for the title of London’s largest pub over the years, and word rapidly spreads about the enormous crowds that pour out onto the street and the lively atmosphere. This North London bar features an underground club known as The Underworld. Choose the Worlds End for socializing over a beer and the Underworld for rock concerts, but don’t expect to be heard in either.
2. The Crown Tavern
There is nothing exceptional about the appearance of this bar at first glance. However, it is immaculately clean, pleasant and inviting, has friendly personnel, and is comparable to other nearby pubs. But its appeal has evolved around tales about its historic clientele. There are unverified rumors that Lenin and Stalin met here in 1905 for a drink. This is claimed to be their first meeting in the UK. As a result, the tavern gets a flow of customers because of this narrative alone.
1. Blind Beggar
This typical tavern in a working-class neighborhood of London’s East End is known as the location where 1960s criminals Reggie and Ronnie Kray drank and murdered a rival. It’s now a landmark in East End history and the gangland link survives to this day. However, the current proprietors are not associated with this lifestyle. Numerous interested tourists seek it out to retrace the steps of the Krays. However, it’s a very quiet, traditional pub and no longer has the star draw which saw celebrities such as actress Barbara Windsor and England football captain Bobby Moore frequenting it in the 1960s. Bobby Moore even owned the tavern in 1966, which was the year England won the World Cup. Football is a huge part of UK culture. To learn more about the latest happenings in the world of UK football, check out GentingCasino.com for the latest football news.