London and beer go hand in hand and have both been around for millennia. Many a visitor has sat on the Thames, sipping on a pint as the boats drift by. So, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn there are over 3,000 pubs and bars scattered across the capital. Pubs are so inbuilt to the background culture of London, there are several tube stations named after public houses including Angel, Elephant & Castle and Manor House.
Taking a pub or food tour across London can be one of the best ways to truly experience city culture. From the intimate micro-breweries to beautiful, atmospheric inns. While sadly London lost many of its pubs during the great fire – wooden structures were all the rage back then – there are still a host of pubs that date back hundreds of years.
The Anchor, 34 Park Street, SE1
The Anchor Pub itself dates back to 1775, although did undergo some recent refurbishment, much of the original structure is still visible. The site itself has been home to an alehouse since long before 1666. Confirmed by Samuel Pepys, as he wrote about seeking refuge in a “little alehouse on bankside” while watching the Great Fire of London ravage the city.
The Guinea, 30 Bruton Place, W1J
The Guinea Pub in Mayfair has been the location of an inn since 1423, although the current public house building dates back to 1720. It now boasts a popular Grill (The Guinea Grill) and separate bar (The Guinea).
Ye Olde Mitre, 1 Ely Place, EC1N
Interestingly, although based in London, due to a historic land-dispute, Ye Old Mitre was once part of Cambridge. Built back in 1546 for use by the servants of the Bishops of Ely, the surrounding area is steeped in history and is an interesting place to stop off for a cask beer.
The Ten Bells, 84 Commercial Street, E1
With classic Victorian tiling decorating the interior, the Ten Bells is an interesting pub with ties to the infamous Jack the Ripper. Taking its name from the number of bells housed in the neighbouring church. The Ten Bells has also previously been known as the “Eight Bells Alehouse” and did briefly take the name of “The Jack the Ripper” between 1976 and 1988.
These are just a small selection of the incredible public houses the capital has tucked away, but almost every city building is surrounded by exciting history and culture. Why not plan your own pub or food tour around some of London’s pubs and breweries?
If you would prefer to join a pre-existing tour, at East End Tours we offer a Jack the Ripper pub tour which takes you around the important sites. With stops at the various Victorian ale houses connected with the infamous serial killer.