33 Actually Interesting Facts about London Pubs

Travellers visit London for various reasons and one compelling reason if for their pubs. They have evolved from the medieval period and are now a magnet for tourist attractions. Let’s find out about the 33 interesting facts about London pubs in this article.

  • The Argyll Arms in Soho says that there once was a secret tunnel from the pub to Palladium across the road, as it was the mansion of the Duke of Argyll.
  • Some of the London pubs have frosted glass screens, which prevents their customers from having to see working-class drinkers.
  • Some believe that Ye Olde Mitre, built during 1546 is the oldest while another believes that Lamb & Flag, built in the 17th century, is the oldest among all London Pubs.
  • A Japanese bank called Nomura owns the most number of pubs in London, almost up to 5000 licensed pubs and 2,500 off-license shop, which makes them the owner of most pubs in London.
  • Some pubs like the Fox and Anchor and the Market Porter in Smithfield and Borough, respectively, are permitted to serve alcohol beginning from 7 in the morning. This is done to fit in with the working hours of the market porters who work during the night.


  • Leffe beer is the most expensive pint served in London that costs 5.80 pounds and is available at the Coach and Horses. The most costly cocktail costs 5000 pounds that is served at the Dukes Hotel in St. James The cocktail is a mixture of vintage bitters, 18th Century curacao and 19th Century cognac.
  • London invented the porter style beer in London in 1722 by Ralph Hardwood.
  • The Limehouse pub is owned by none other than the famous personality Sir Ian McKellan.
  • There are over 7000 pubs in the city of London and City of Westminster alone, which makes it a vibrant place for alcoholic drinkers.
  • PUB FOR THE OFF-KEY was earlier named after the coal leavers who transported coal across river Thames. The only way to enter the pub was your wife had to prevent you from singing in the bath.
  • The Half Moon in Herne Hill is responsible for making the careers of many musicians.
  • The Winchester in Shaun of the Dead used to be a pub but is now turned into flats. Almost five to six bridges in London are named after famous pubs that were located there.
  • The pub The Hare and Billet located in Blackheath were addressed in Parliament.
  • Samuel Pepys took refuge in the Anchor on Bankside. Few years hence, it served a severe burndown.
  • The Fortune of War was once a pub which is now used to store corpse stolen from graves.
  • There are at least 34 Red Lion pubs in London which were initially owned by Royal families.
  • After the Germans took France, General Charles De Gaulle wrote his speech at the French house in Soho.
  • Shakespeare used The Boar’s Head Inn at Eastcheap in most of his plays, especially in Henry IV.
  • The Pickwick Papers by Dickens, mentions The George and Vulture pub several times and also says was a pub there even in 1268.
  • According to a pub legend, the Ye Olde Mitre has a palm tree inside its ambience where Elizabeth I danced around.


  • The pub Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese has been there since 1538.
  • The Duke of York once faced a storm of the mob when Anthony Burgess was drinking there.
  • Charles II took his mistress Nell Gwyn to the Dove in Hammersmith every night.
  • On average 600,000 people are employed at pubs in London.
  • Earlier, drinks were served by house owns which then elevated to inns and now they’re called pubs.
  • POP GOES THE BAR TAB refers to “pop goes to weasel” to spend all his money in the pub.
  • The Rake is the smallest pub in the city of London.
  • Pubs in Highgate used to participate in events where visitors were allowed to sleep in ditches if desired.
  • The German beer in most pubs in London is the strongest with 50% alcohol.
  • The Widow’s Son in Bow always had buns hanging around their windows as a tradition.
  • Admiral Wells is the lowest pub which is 9ft below the sea level.
  • Sir Ian McKellan and Evgeny Lebedev own the Grapes pub.
  • The Angel and Elephant Castle share their names with the surviving pubs of the Tube station..

Post Author: Elizabeth J. Fant

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *