Five of London’s favourite historic pubs
As you’d expect in a city of London’s age, there are plenty of fascinating historic buildings lurking around corners and hidden down narrow alleys – and pubs are no exception!
There is a wealth of old alehouses you can frequent during your stay in cheap hotels in London, so if you’re in need of some inspiration as to the top traditional pubs to visit in the capital, check out our list of five of the best.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
This pub deserves to be on any list of London’s top historic drinking holes, as there has been an inn here since the mid-16th century. Its present incarnation, however, dates from 1667 after the original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.
Tucked down an alley off Fleet Street, this fascinating establishment is comprised of several different bars, each possessing its own unique charms. It’s definitely worth slipping downstairs to the cellar bar, as it used to be part of a 13th century monastery.
Many literary figures have reputedly drunk here over the years, including Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, so you’ll be in good company if you stop for a pint in this pub.
The George Inn
As the city’s last remaining galleried coaching inn it would be wrong not to include The George here.
Now looked after by the National Trust, a large part of the building was sadly demolished by the Great Northern Railway, but what is left is brimful of character and certainly worth exploring. One of its crowning glories is the hidden courtyard, which is something of a suntrap in the summer. As you slip off Borough High Street and into its confines, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time!
This was another of Dickens’ haunts and is even mentioned in his novel Little Dorrit!
Ye Olde Mitre
Another pub that makes use of ‘ye olde’ in its name – and once again another establishment that manages to live up to its historic credentials.
Located on Ely Court, near the Chancery Lane tube stop, this rather small but incredibly enchanting bar is well worth a visit while in London.
Once you step inside, you’ll be met with a warm welcome from the staff and can look forward to spending a happy hour or two sipping on your drinks – without the distraction of a TV or games machines creating noise in the background.
Make sure you look out for the stump of a cherry tree in the bar – one of the pub’s claims to fame is that Elizabeth I danced around this tree while using it as a maypole.
The Prospect of Whitby
Dating from the early 16th century, this is arguably one of London’s best-known pubs and it’s had its fair share of famous customers over the years, with Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens and Kirk Douglas among the people to have had a drink here.
Situated on Wapping Wall, it overlooks the River Thames. When you step inside, you’ll be walking on the original flagstone floor, while the bar top is made from pewter – not something you’ll see in your average boozer.
If you want to know what it was like to sit in a Victorian pub, make sure you visit The Lamb before you leave London.
Constructed in the 18th century, it was restored to its former glory in the 1960s and many of the original fixtures are still in place – including the rather quirky snob screens, which used to enable drinkers to anonymously order their next beverage.
This establishment on Conduit Street is also a good place to head to in the summer, thanks to its inviting beer garden.