London is known for its cozy pubs, leather booths, and hearty pints of ale. Let’s face it, haven’t you always wanted to sleep above a historic pub, clinking glasses with friends, listening to crackling fires and eating fish and chips? Well, good news: a handful of historic pubs in London still offer cozy accommodation, so you can go straight from steak pie to shut-eye.
Most historic London pubs don’t offer accommodation, so you’ll have to keep your eyes out for those that do. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a few of the best here for you:
The Wellington Hotel
Average Cost: £175/$230 per night
The Location: This traditional pub is right in the heart of Waterloo, just opposite the station and underground. Not to be confused with another hotel with a similar name across the river, the Wellington, this tavern stands proud with an exterior of marble. The place is owned by the Fuller’s Brewery company, founded in 1845 and operating over 380 enterprises across England.
The Vibe: The interior of The Wellington Hotel is well-preserved Edwardian, with a cozy bar area downstairs and formal sitting and sleeping rooms upstairs. You can’t miss the magnificent memorial on the ceiling above the long bar commemorating the Battle of Waterloo.
The Grub: The pub is open for lunch or dinner, with entries, bar snacks, and weekly specials, like Lentil Cottage Pie, throughout the day.
The Rooms: Rooms are excellently and modestly furnished, with breakfast and television included. As it can get raucous at times, the staff provides ear plugs to light sleepers.
The Horse & Stables
Average Cost: £18/$23 per night
The Location: The themed Horse & Stables is a friendly hostel with a chipper staff, located conveniently next to Lambeth North Underground.
The Vibe: Its thick mahogany wood interior might remind one of long, wintry nights. Formerly known as The Walrus Bar and Hostel, the pub underwent a makeover in 2011 and has been furnished with horse pictures and horseshoes ever since. It has the distinguished air of an older gentleman, but draws in crowds of budget travelers and backpacker types.
The Grub: The bar boasts four cask ales on tap, a decent selection of bottles and whiskies, and, of course, excellent pub grub like mouthwatering burgers and big platters you can share with friends. As with many British taverns, there’s a hearty Sunday menu served all day; their slow-cooked pork belly is one of the best guilty pleasures you’ll have on any trip.
The Rooms: For the price, they offer a lot: free breakfast, linen, towels, WiFi, luggage storage, maps, earplugs, discounts at the bar, and all sorts of informative tourist goodies. There’s only 5 rooms, 2 private and 3 shared dorms, so you can bet this hostel stays quiet most of the time.
St. Christopher’s Inn
Average Cost: £15/$20 per night
The Location: St. Christopher’s is an inn chain throughout Europe, with hostels from Berlin to Barcelona. St. Christopher’s now has 8 London locations, with Tower Bridge, London Bridge Underground, and the world-famous Borough Market just a short walk away from a few.
The Vibe: Built for backpackers and solo travelers, each St. Christopher’s location is simple, clean and to-the-point. Don’t expect to find all the bells and whistles of a swanky hotel stay, but do expect to make cool friends and get a good night’s sleep.
The Grub: Breakfast is included and 25% off of all food, with 2-for-1 drink specials every day, which comes in handy with a decent gin selection. Fare is average pub grub, but there are some tasty lunch options close by.
The Rooms: Upstairs are the dorms and double rooms, with minimalist and modern furnishings, while the entrance is marked with a lively 16th-century English pub.
Ship Inn on the Isle of Dogs
Average Cost: £75/$100 per night
The Location: The Ship Inn is located at the southern tip of the Isle of Dogs and sits adjacent to the Thames. According to local lore, the building that is now Ship Inn was once two houses sandwiched together.
The Vibe: The Ship Inn draws after-work crowds with their large TVs and regular events like poker and board games.
The Grub: Drink specials include seasonal ales and seasonal, sourdough pizzas. Locally lauded as the best pizza on the Isle of Dogs. Fresh continental breakfast every morning.
The Rooms: Comfy, well-furnished rooms are more hotel than hostel.
Fox & Anchor
Average Cost: £250/$325 per night
The Location: The elegant Fox & Anchor city pub lies in the heart of Farringdon, just a short walk to the Museum of London.
The Vibe: The Victorian ambiance is all class: a historic tavern with bare-brick walls, stately leather chairs, and velvet furnishings.
The Grub: Fine wines and traditional Sunday roast. Here you’ll find more roasts and charcuterie boards than burgers. Even if you’re not staying in town, you can drop here for an English breakfast that’s fuller than full: the City Boy Breakfast is all eggs, bacon, sausages, and more, coupled with a pint of stout.
The Rooms: Though other pubs we mentioned may be better located, you can’t beat Fox & Anchor’s comfortable rooms and effortless sophistication.