In our search to find the oldest pub in London, we have scoured the streets and found the four oldest pubs in London where after hundreds of years, you can still enjoy a cold pint.
If you’re looking for an exciting day out, a trip to the nation’s capital should certainly tick all of your boxes in terms of enjoyment and entertainment. London is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the face of the earth, and for good reason.
With historic landmarks such as Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Big Ben, the House of Parliament, the River Thames, the Tower of London and much more besides, you certainly won’t be short of things to do and places to see.
After a day of sightseeing, though, you’ll likely be thirsty and maybe even peckish? If so, then what better way to take in all that the capital has to offer than relaxing with a cool, crisp pint in the oldest pub in London? Here are 4 of the oldest pubs in London, which by the way, are all worth a visit.
1 Ely Ct, Ely Pl, Holborn, London EC1N 6SJ
First, on our list, we have this Holborn boozer. Established way back in 1546, the Ye Olde Mitre is a quaint and cosy little pub. It is warming and welcoming from the second you set inside.
Nowadays, it’s rare to find a pub in a city that isn’t noisy and rowdy, with large screen TVs and fruit machines. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, this is the pub for you.
There are no fruit machines, no TVs, and no overly loud music blaring from the speakers. Instead, there is an open fire, wooden beams, old-style whiskey glasses and portraits of historical figures such as Henry VIII.
Spaniards Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 7JJ
Up next we have the Spaniard’s Inn, Hampstead. Established in 1585 and located on the edge of Hampstead Heath is this unusually-shaped three-storey white building.
The pub is located in a rural setting and is very isolated. If you have an interest in Highwaymen, the legend goes that Dick Turpin was born here and mastered the art of criminality in this very pub.
Thankfully, there are no villains that drink here now, only people with an eye for taste. With low-ceilings, dark wood décor and antique furniture, this pub is a real treasure! Not to mention that the ale selection is truly fantastic.
117 Rotherhithe St, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4NF
This nautical-themed pub is the oldest pub on the River Thames and was established back in 1550. The pub itself has changed names over the years and was originally known as the Shippe.
Although it may have changed names, the building itself has remained true to itself. With nautical tankards and taxidermy animals on the walls, this is a beautiful pub inside and out.
57 Wapping Wall, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 3SH
Established in 1520, the Prospect of Whitby is believed to be the oldest pub in London. It was originally known as the Devil’s Tavern. It was also a popular hangover for smugglers, pirates and other nefarious villains from the criminal underworld.
Having seen guests including Charles Dickens, Richard Burton and even Princess Margaret, it’s safe to say that it has seen its fair share of unique patrons over the centuries.
There is even a hanging noose on the balcony that was placed there to commemorate the ‘Hanging Judge’, George Jeffreys. After a hard day at the execution dock, he would relax here with a tankard of ale.