London’s Historic Pubs: A Five Pub Crawl

London is a great pub city. It’s one of the best, if not the best. Few places globally can compete with it. The city has a unique pub culture, with the streets lined with drinkers, standing outside pubs enjoying a post-work pint to unwind for the day.

For visitors in London, experiencing the many pubs of London is a must, particularly after a long and busy day exploring all the sights. Many of the pubs in London are jam-packed with history too, making them just as exciting for a tour as spending a day out on a hop on hop off London bus. But where exactly should you check out when visiting the city?

Here are five historic London pubs you should sink a pint in across the city…

The George Inn

The George Inn is the last remaining galleried inn in the capital and dates back to the 17th century. A stone’s throw from Borough Market, the pub is named in Charles Dickens’ novel Little Dorrit, with the writer himself having visited.

Once a coaching inn, it’s still a fantastic destination to take a break after a long day shopping, and to this day you’ll step inside and find a cosy spot, just as people have been doing for hundreds of years.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Crossing the river to Fleet Street, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is another haunt of Charles Dickens and has stood there since 1538. Damaged and rebuilt in 1666 following the Great Fire of London, the pub is like a time capsule, where you could sit and browse the many wall hangings for hours.

The pub claims a number of literary figures were regulars, including Sir Arthur Conan Dyle, P.G. Wodehouse, Mark Twain and Alfred Tennyson as well as Dickens, while it was also the home to Polly the Parrot for around 40 years before its death in 1926. After the birds passing, around 200 newspapers wrote an obiturary worldwide.

The Lamb and Flag

Located in Covent Garden, The Lamb and Flag has been a licensed premises since the early 1600s and was once nicknamed The Bucket of Blood due to being a venue for bare-knuckle prize fighting. It has a rather more pleasant demeanour about it today and is a popular destination for people visiting Covent Garden or getting a quick drink before a night in the West End.

The Spaniards Inn

Hampstead Heath is one of the more picturesque spots in London and was built in 1585, forming the entrance to the Bishop of London’s estate.

It’s believed that Dick Turpin was a regular of the pub, while his father was the landlord for a period. The pub is also mentioned in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers as well as Bram Stoker’s Dracular.

Today there’s still a real old-world charm to it and is perfect for a pint and spot of lunch after a gentle stroll across the Heath.

The Prospect of Whitby

Finally, the list wouldn’t be complete without The Prospect of Whitby in Wapping. It dates back to around 1520 and is on the banks of the River Thames. Steeped in history, the pub has rich maritime heritage while it was also the spot for hanging pirates and sea rovers according to popular historian John Stow.

Of course, there’s none of that today, just great pints, great food and a brilliant atmosphere.

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