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The Gentle Author’s Pub Crawl

October 2, 2013
by the gentle author

Feeling in need of exercise and refreshment, I set out on a walk to visit some favourite pubs along the way and I took my camera with me too.

Mitre Taven, Hatton Garden, opened 1546

George & Vulture, City of London, opened 1600

Bust of Dickens in the dining room at the George & Vulture

Jamaica Wine House, City of London, opened 1660

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars, opened 1905

The Old Bell, Fleet St, opened in the sixteen-seventies

The Punch Tavern, Fleet St, opened 1839

Old Cheshire Cheese, Wine Office Court, opened 1538

Ship Tavern, Gate St, opened 1549

Cittie of Yorke, Holborn, opened 1696

Seven Stars, Carey St, opened 1602

The Lamb & Flag, Rose St, opened 1623

At the Lamb & Flag

The Anchor, Bankside, where Samuel Pepys watched the Fire of London

The George, Borough High St, opened in the fourteenth century

You may also like to look at

The Pubs of Old London

22 Responses leave one →
  1. marianne isaacs permalink
    October 2, 2013

    I just love your articles on the old buildings of London. I wonder how much of these very old buildings is original to their beginnings or whether the sight occupation is more the point??

  2. Paul Kelly permalink
    October 2, 2013

    I think I’ve been in all these pubs. Does that make me naughty? I don’t know , but they are nice pubs.

  3. Vicky permalink
    October 2, 2013

    These photographs are excellent, good enough to go into a book about London, the past and the present. Have you ever thought of producing one?

  4. October 2, 2013

    Really interesting photo’s – love the black and white rendering as suits the area and the period architecture. Hope there is time for a pub crawl on the writing course!!

  5. October 2, 2013

    We’ve been in a few of these but not all – so some more to add to our list if we stay in London again. (It’s a bit difficult with the dog, but we might manage it.) Is the cat still in the Seven Stars? He doesn’t like being photographed, but I sneaked one when he wasn’t looking. According to Dan Cruickshank, one room of the Cheshire Cheese may have been connected in some way with the 17th/18th century sex trade in London. There are so many wonderful stories connected with pubs – that’s why they’re so fascinating. Thanks for this article – very enjoyable.

  6. Ana permalink
    October 2, 2013

    I like that some of these pubs are still around.
    None of the pubs where I live are like that, with the exception of the pub at Sydney’s Rocks area, which is the first Australian pub. Everything is in terms of architecture and character is rather ‘meh’.

  7. SBW permalink
    October 2, 2013

    Thank you.

  8. Paul Godier permalink
    October 2, 2013

    You’re as good with your lens as your pen. Brilliant.

  9. David Whittaker permalink
    October 2, 2013


  10. Pauline Sparks permalink
    October 2, 2013

    Lovely pictures gentle author. The George in Borough High St is a particular favourite of mine. I wonder if you enjoyed a quick one in each establishment ! You certainly covered a lot of ground with that particular walkabout. Best wishes. Pauline

  11. Peter Holford permalink
    October 2, 2013

    Some lovely, characterful pubs. It’s always a wonder that they have survived with little brewer’s ‘updating’. I live in a rural area and one of our historic pubs has just been sanitised with the latest fashion in pub fittings. Why do they do it? So it’s good to see these ones.

  12. Greg Tingey permalink
    October 2, 2013

    Drunk in all of them
    Unbfortunately some are now tourist-trap shadows, selling dubiously-kept beer…
    However, a favourite pub-crawl … start @ The Lamb in Leadenhall, then the Swan, Ship Tavern Passage then Either the Market Porter or the Rake in Borough Market, then the Lord Clarence (Marshalsea & finish @ the Royal Oak, Tabard Street … where I’m going later this evening.

  13. Ros permalink
    October 2, 2013

    You must have been very disciplined about the drinks to continue with such a steady hand throughout the whole series of photographs. They’re great by the way, as is the choice of pubs. A fine historic selection.

  14. Gary permalink
    October 2, 2013

    You did well to sink a pint in all of that lot. Thanks for the tour.
    It reminds me of a day in my miss-spent youth when I took up a bet to have a pint in every pub in Market Rasen

  15. October 3, 2013

    I love it . Stark and head-on perspectives somehow entice the viewer .

  16. Carolyn Badcock - nee Hooper permalink
    October 3, 2013

    A delightful post, gentle author……………….. Greg Tingey’s first line made me smile – “Drunk in all of them”…… Was Greg drunk in all of them, or has he had a drink in all of them?

    The shot of Dickens’ bust looking across the dining room spoke to me.

  17. The Lost Fox permalink
    October 4, 2013

    That is one heck of a pub crawl. Great pictures including some of my favourite hostelries and some that I clearly need to visit!

  18. Jonathan Howarth permalink
    October 4, 2013

    Your recommendations and knowledge of London are always a joy, and I’ve found so many fascinating places to visit through your blog.

    I opened this pub crawl with great anticipation only to find I’ve been to each and every one of these pubs many times over the last 20 years. I was really hoping you’d find me some new ones for me.

    I guess it confirms we have similar tastes and passion for history and beer. A good mix!

  19. Cherub permalink
    October 4, 2013

    I don’t know if it’s good or bad to say this, but I’ve been in most of these establishments during the 20 years I worked in London 🙂 I’m fond of The Anchor (used to love the upstairs restaurant with the bowed floor and the windows overlooking the river across to the City). The George is my friend’s local, he lives and works walking distance from it. Although it’s a modern place, I also have fond memories of The Founders Arms at Bankside – I worked in the gallery opposite for a while and we often went there after work or to eat.

  20. October 6, 2013

    this is a tardy comment but yes, lovely pics! thanks for all these! so nice to see the jamaica is still there…i knew the george would have to be. had lunch drinks there years ago and just discovered the seven stars – a pub with a sweet, funny personality!

  21. October 7, 2013

    I love to hear about the old pubs of London and I have been to a few of them from your list. I will certainly investigate those on your list that I do not know.

    I also like The Prospect of Whitby at Wapping and The Mayflower at Rotherhithe, which are a bit off the beaten track but worth a look and they boast wonderful views of The Thames.

  22. Milo Bell permalink
    October 11, 2013

    I’m living in Perth, Western Australia at the moment and in moments of homesickness (which are often and intense) i consult your site.
    I remember most of these pubs and was a regular at the Cittee of Yorke when my girlfriend was studying law at Grays Inn.
    Last time i was in London i went for a nostalgic crawl and wandered into one i’d not been in before but is on your list: “The Seven Stars” on Carey st. Cracker of a pub.

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