Best Pubs in London for an Authentically English Experience

There is no greater experience than visiting one of the many traditional pubs in London and enjoying a pint of craft beer accompanied by a hearty Sunday roast – complete with Yorkshire puddings, gravy and sides. From pubs dating back to the 1500s or the modern Michelin-starred gastropubs, there is no shortage of places to explore. To help with your London adventures, we’ve compiled a list of the best pubs in London for an authentically English experience

Featuring a sturdy mix of both old and new, these are the places you need to visit.

Best Pubs in London for an Authentically English Experience
London is home to hundreds of pubs

Best pubs in London

The Churchill Arms

Where: Kensington
Address: 119 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 7LN

It’s hard to miss the phenomenal flower display that covers the exterior of this pub. Dating back to 1750, the Churchill Arms exists as one of many historic pubs in London. As the name suggests, you can find a generous amount of Winston Churchill memorabilia that adorns the interior and it is rumoured that Winston Churchill’s family were regular visitors to the venue.

If you’re in London during the festive season, don’t miss the chance to view the impressive Christmas light display that adorns the exterior of the Churchill Arms.


Best Pubs in London for an Authentically English Experience
Photo by tolenga dany on / CC BY-NC-ND

The Churchill Arms is one of my favourite pubs in London. This is because it is incredibly unique and also very British, with the outside covered in Union Jack flags, as well as hundreds of flowers and other plants. Another unique aspect of this pub is that they serve Thai food, including noodle, rices and curries dishes. This is very different to traditional British pubs as you’d normally just find dishes like Fish and Chips, Pies and other common pub food. The pub is also part of the Fullers chain, which means they brew a large amount of their own beers, with one of the most famous being London Pride. – Mike, Travel and Destinations

The Spaniards Inn

Where: Hampstead Heath
Address: Spaniards Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 7JJ, UK

Filled with old-school charm, this pub has been pouring beer since 1585 and has the feeling of a country pub in the heart of London. If you’re searching for an outdoor spot to sip on a glass of Pimm’s in the summer, look no further.

The Lamb and Flag

Where: Covent Garden
Address: 33 Rose St, London, WC2E 9EB

An iconic watering hole in Covent Garden, this pub can be found tucked behind an alleyway in the centre of London. Equipped with a strong whisky and ale collection, the site of this pub has been actively serving beverages since 1772 and was previously known as the Copper Arms. In 1833, the name was changed to the Lamb and Flag.

In the early 19th century, the Lamb and Flag became synonymous for hosting bare-knuckle prize fights, however, this is no longer the case and the pub is much more convivial than its past.

The Crown and Shuttle

Where: Shoreditch 
Address: 226 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6PJ

Existing as miles apart from its previous incarnation as a strip pub, the Crown and Shuttle plays host to a wide range of award-winning craft beer and is a Shoreditch hot-spot for hearty British fare. You can indulge in a serving of the classic Cumberland sausage or a dive your fork into a beef and stilton stew. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail instead of a beer, you can head upstairs to Filthy Fanny’s – a 90s themed bar.

Image courtesy of the Crown and Shuttle

The Ship

Where: Wandsworth
Address: 41 Jews Row, Wandsworth, London, SW18 1TB

What could be more iconic than enjoying a pint of ale while overlooking the mighty River Thames? A popular spot year-round, The Ship has been operating since 1786 and is still going strong. The main attraction here is undoubtedly the open beer garden that overlooks the water.

The Castle

Where: Tooting Broadway
Address: 38 Tooting High St, London SW17 0RG, UK

Image courtesy of The Castle

A contemporary pub, The Castle is loved by Tooting residents thanks to the generous outdoor seating area and modern gastropub menu complete with tasty pub fare. Dating back to 1832, this pub is anything but dated and can be found opposite the Tooting Broadway market.

The Harwood Arms

Where: Fulham
Address: Walham Grove, Fulham, London SW6 1QP 

Currently one of the only Michelin-starred pubs in London, this is pub was built for the food-lovers out there.

The Dog and Duck

Where: Soho
Address: 18 Bateman Street, London, W1D 3AJ

The Dog and Duck are famed for its strong literary association, as George Orwell (apparently) used to drink here. Today, they are known for dishing out a huge portion of English classic – fish and chips, of course.

Big Ben

The Seven Stars

Where: Holborn
Address: 53 Carey St, London WC2A 2JB, UK

A survivor of the Great Fire of London in 1666, this small but cosy pub is still going strong today and offers a traditional selection of ales and British food.

Ye Old Mitre Tavern

Where: Holborn
Address: Ely Court, Hatton Garden, Holborn, London EC1N 6SJ

Note: this little tavern is not easy to find, but when you do – it’s worth it. The current structure of the low-ceilinged inn dates back to around 1772 however it is believed the location was previously the site of the pub since the mid-1500s.

Best Pubs in London for an Authentically English Experience
Image courtesy of Ye Old Mitre Tavern

The Star Tavern

Where: Belgravia
Address: 6 Belgrave Mews W, Belgravia, London SW1X 8HT

A large attraction of the Belgravia area, the Star was built in the 19th century. As for the interior, visitors will find mementoes of the Great Train Robbery, which fiendish plan was supposedly hatched on these premises. This grand old pub is worth a visit if you find yourself exploring the surrounding mews, or do some plotting of your own over a pint and a pub meal.

People’s Park Tavern

Where: Victoria Park
Address: 360 Victoria Park Rd, London E9 7BT

Image courtesy of People’s Park Tavern

One of the more modern pubs on the list, the People’s Park Tavern looks out onto the always popular Victoria Park and is home to a huge beer garden. Although summer doesn’t stick around for long in the England, this pub welcomes visitors year-round and the beer garden is suited for all seasons. In between rounds of beer, you can keep yourself entertained with a round of crazy golf just out the back.

Cat and Mutton

Where: Broadway Market
Address: 76 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ

The atmosphere here is always great thanks to the location at the top of Broadway Market. Filled with mismatched furniture, this cosy pub is both friendly and inviting. Visitors can enjoy a series of local brews on tap at the gorgeous copper-topped bar.

The Old George

Where: Bethnal Green
Address: 379 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 0AN

The Old George is one of the many beautifully resorted pubs in London, the site dates back to the 1700s. The quirky interior features exposed ceiling beams and brick, an assembly of portraits, bric-a-brac, vintage décor and knick-knacks scattered through the pub.

The Blue Boat

Where: Fulham
Address: Distillery Wharf, Parrs Way, London W6 9GD

Another notable pub along the Thames, this pub is popular among rowers from the many boathouses nearby and local residents.  

Best Pubs in London for an Authentically English Experience
Image courtesy of The Blue Boat

The Nag’s Head

Where: Knightsbridge
Address: 53 Kinnerton St, SW1X 8ED

Located just around the corner from the shopping district of Knightsbridge and the iconic Harrods, this little pub is filled with portraits covering the walls and an inviting fireplace in the centre of the pub. A step inside this establishment is like taking a step back in time.

The Cow

Where: Notting Hill
Address: 89 Westbourne Park Rd, London W2 5QH

Charming and old-fashioned, The Cow gastropub holds a large focus on fresh seafood and European specialities. You can find a range of pub classics on the menu, and the chefs produce a delicious roast beef on Sundays.

My favorite pubs are The Pub at The Warrington Hotel and the Duke of York. Both are in St. John’s Wood and have wonderful food. The Warrington is big and grand, while the Duke of York is more of a low key local hangout. I think that everyone should make a point to go have a Sunday Roast at a pub in London – it is always so delicious and it is something distinctly British. – Kit, The Kitchen

Do you agree? Where else do you think to deserve to be added to our list of the best pubs in London?

Gemma is a travel-lover from Melbourne. When she's not surrounded by the great outdoors, Gemma can be found spending her time with family and friends or planning her next trip overseas.

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