When people think of London they often think of innovation, business, bars and nightclubs. It’s true, all of that resides in our great capital, but the city is also over 1,000 years old, and with that kind of mileage is has a lot of history and some great pubs.

As the weather turns chilly and the nights begin to draw in, there really isn’t anything more British and enjoyable to do than find yourself a cosy pub to bunker down in with a group of friends and a good beer. Living in the capital gives you access to some of the best and oldest pubs and more than one has a story behind it. So, why not follow in the footsteps of thousands of Londoners before you and grab yourself a drink to warm you up on a cold autumn night?

The Dove 

Right on the bank of the Thames, this pub has a great terrace looking out onto the ancient Thames, beamed ceilings and walls covered in prints and paintings from time gone by. You can be assured of a good meal from this Fuller pub and this hasn’t changed in over 300 years since it hosted Charles II and his mistress, actress Nell Gwyn who apparently dined here in the late 17th century.

The Nell Gwynne

The Nell Gwynne, found down a london alley, is a cosy retreat from the modern world. From leather-topped bar stalls, glass booth dividers and wooden bar to antique looking lights and old-school wall-paper, this is a historic gem. Built on the site of the old Bull Inn and named after Charles II’s mistress (a popular woman when it comes to pubs it seems!), this pub is near the locality where Nell was born and raised before becoming a famous actress in her day and mistress to a king. The pub is associated with a mistress and mere feet from a grizzly Victorian murder. Just the sort of place you’d like to go for a drink?

The Mayflower

Found in the heart of the Rotherhithe village, this pub claims to be the oldest pub on the river Thames in London. Make your way through cobbled streets to get to this beauty and enjoy river views when you’re there. According to the pub, you can see the original 1620 mooring point of the Pilgrim Father’s ship the Mayflower from the warmth your seat next to the fire! It’s got lovely warm red walls, a good deal of wooden furniture and lots of historical nick-nacks lining the wall. The perfect pub environment, oh, and by the way, they sell stamps too.


This pub started life as an Officer’s Mess for The First Royal Regiment of Foot Guards in 1720. It wasn’t until the early 19th century that it was licensed but from then on it’s catered for a wide variety of Londoners. Apparently a frequent haunt of King George IV this pub is also said to receive lots of haunting activity around September due to a Grenadier being beaten to death by his friends after he cheated in a game of cards. It’s led to visitors attaching money to the ceiling to appease ‘Cedric’ and so the ceiling of this pub is covered in money from all over the world! We guess you might want to skip it during September but after that it’s a great cosy pub.

Windsor Castle

No, we’re afraid this isn’t one of the Queen’s residences. This pub looks from the outside, as if it’s been plucked up out of the English countryside and deposited in Kensington. With it’s quaint exterior it has a beautiful country-chic interior. It retains it’s cosy pub feel while still managing to get a little bit of Country Living in here and there. Going way back to the 1830s this is a pub which you can lean back on your chesterfield sofa with a local brew and some great food.

 Those are just a few of our top picks for the snuggest pubs in London to visit this winter. It’s places like this, great in themselves and steeped in history, that make London such a great place to live in. Are you a young person thinking of moving to London? We are a charity that can help you make a new life and career in London. Contact us today.