The Ultimate Top 10 Old London Pubs: A Story in Every Sip

Jack Harris

Jack Harris

Chief Tweedy Beard

Jack and James enjoying a pint of Fullers London Pride ale at the Lamb & Flag Covent Garden

Greetings, you splendid lot! I'm going to spill the beans on the best old pubs in London. Now, let's put this into perspective, shall we? London is bursting at the seams with well over 3,500 pubs! But hold your horses; not all are cut from the same tweed. So I've carefully curated a list of my favourite London boozers that encapsulate history, charm, and a dollop of British quirk. If you fancy a merry pub crawl led by one of our dapper hipster historians, don't be shy! Reach out to us, and we'll guide you through these time-tested establishments, whether on foot or aboard our nifty vintage bicycles! 🍻🚲

In no particular order;

The Harp, Covent Garden
Chandos Place, London WC2N 4ER, Harp Website
An alehouse since 1724, this joint was CAMRA’s Pub of the Year back in 2011. Stop by the stained-glass window to feel as though you're in a cathedral of booze! Tip: Sneak through the back to experience London's narrowest alley. Real "nooks and crannies" stuff, this.

The Lamb & Flag, Covent Garden
33 Rose St, London WC2E 9EB, Lamb & Flag Website
A proper boozer since 1623 and once dubbed the 'Bucket of Blood' for its fighting rings. Reputedly, Charles Dickens was a regular! Tip: Wander up Floral Street, right next door. A shopper's utopia awaits!

The Seven Stars, Holborn
53 Carey St, London WC2A 2JB, Seven Stars Website
Built in 1602, this one survived the Great Fire. The barmaid, Roxy Beaujolais, is as famous as the place itself! Tip: Head out to nearby Lincoln’s Inn Fields for a splash of green and legal chatter.

Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn
1 Ely Ct, London EC1N 6SJ, Ye Olde Mitre Website
Tucked away since 1546, Elizabeth I is said to have danced around the cherry tree outside. Top that for history! Tip: Book ‘the snug’ for secret tipples and whispery tales.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, City of London
145 Fleet St, London EC4A 2BU, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
Rebuilt just a year after the Great Fire in 1666, it’s older than the Union Jack! Mark Twain and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were fans. Tip: Go for a Sam Smith’s. An ale as historic as the joint itself!

Prospect of Whitby, Wapping
57 Wapping Wall, London E1W 3SH, Prospect of Whitby Website
Dating back to 1520, it claims to be London's oldest riverside pub. Even Judge Jeffreys, the notorious 'Hanging Judge,' was a regular! Tip: Look for clay pipe remnants at low tide. Thames treasure, mate!

The George, Borough Road
77 Borough High St, London SE1 1NH, The George Website
London's last remaining galleried inn, built in 1676 and protected by the National Trust. Charles Dickens wrote about it, so it’s got that ink-and-quill charm! Tip: The ale is pricier, but you're paying for atmosphere, old bean!

The Kings Arms, Waterloo
25 Roupell St, London SE1 8TB, The Kings Arms Website
Victorian décor and originally built as part of a housing development in the 1820s. The Thai food’s so good, a perfect pairing with a pint of ale! Tip: Veggie and vegan treats are on the menu, so all are welcome!

The Grenadier, Knightsbridge
18 Wilton Row, London SW1X 7NR, The Grenadier Website
Established in 1720, this one was originally an officers’ mess. It’s haunted, so keep your wits! Tip: Head here after the Changing of the Guard. Regal to rogue in minutes!

The Mayflower, Rotherhithe
117 Rotherhithe St, London SE16 4NF, The Mayflower Website
Named after the ship that took the Pilgrims to America, this pub dates back to 1621. They even have a book to sign if you’re a descendant! Tip: Visit the Brunel Museum nearby for an extra dose of history.

There you have it! A dandy selection of historic taverns you simply must frequent. Fancy joining us? Reach out and let our dapper guides sweep you off your feet. Bottoms up and Tally Ho! 🚲🍻