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Top 5 Historic Pubs in London, UK

Monday, June 28th, 2010

If there’s anything more an iconic symbol for London than Big Ben or the London Eye, then it must be the traditional English pub and London is full of them, dating from pre-Victorian times to just about five minutes ago.  However, with a city rich in history and as changeable as fashion on Oxford Street, let’s stick with five of the most historic pubs in London:

London Historical Pub

Ten Bells

Probably the most famous and/or infamous on the list, depending on your whims.  There’s been a pub on this corner of Commercial Street in Spitalfields since 1752 but it was rebuilt in the Victorian Era.  This is the very pub where Jack the Ripper was said to haunt in the fall of 1888 and any modern day Ripper tour worth its salt will make a stop here.  Mary Kelly, probably the most known Ripper victim, was the hooker who staked her claim at the Ten Bells.  Woe on anyone who tried to stomp on Mary’s turf.

Ye Olde Chesire Cheese

Is a public house right in the City of London proper and it’s about as historical and famous a pub as there can be.  This is the stuff of Dickensian legend.  There’s been a pub on this site of Fleet Street since the days of Henry VIII but today’s building was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666.  It’s dank and gloomy and oh, so dark, which adds to the character of the place, quite literally – since it’s mentioned in the Charles Dickens classic, “A Tale of Two Cities.”

The Lamb and Flag

At over 300 years old, it is said to be the oldest pub in historic Covent Garden.  Today it attracts mostly tourists but then again, so does everything else in the colorful market area.

The Spaniards Inn

No trip to London would be complete without a brief “ride to the country” within the city – Hampstead Heath, where you’ll find The Spaniards Inn.  It has been on this site since the mid-16th century and was frequented by the likes of highway robberman Dick Turpin, as well as a host of literary notables such as Lord Byron, John Keats and yes, Charles Dickens.

St. Stephen’s Tavern

This is the public house directly opposite Big Ben, and as such, you are just as liable to grab a pint with a journalist covering Parliament as you are with a wandering tourist.  The location is fantastic and the crowd is always vibrant.  It’s young by London standards, only dating back to 1873, but this is where former British Prime Minister Disraeli would hang out in the basement, where the St. Stephen’s Gentlemen’s Club was borne.

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Photo by genvessel.

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer lisa fantino

Lisa Fantino is an award-winning journalist-turned attorney and nearly fanatical vagabond. Her passport is always at the ready!

7 responses to “Top 5 Historic Pubs in London, UK”

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  1. Luis Goncalves says via Facebook:
    June 28th, 2010 at 19:26

    All clients from Venere arriving on July 1st 2010 to casa Joao Chagas, will have a free Port Wine and a Queijinho do Ceu at the O Cafe da Praça.
    http://www.constancia.info

  2. Cristina Serban says via Facebook:
    June 28th, 2010 at 19:30

    Indeed…the traditional English pubs are great! :D

  3. Lisa Fantino says via Facebook:
    June 28th, 2010 at 20:58

    Grazie tutti and come visit over at Wanderlust Women on FB. http://www.facebook.com/venerecom#!/Wanderlust.Women.Travel?ref=ts

  4. Bruce Erickson says via Facebook:
    June 29th, 2010 at 03:34

    Been to some of these. Guess I’ll need to go back

  5. Holiday Cottages Mid Wales says:
    September 17th, 2010 at 20:02

    Great post and I love London. Actually, I am new here at this blogs and really enjoy this informative post too much and I would like to know more about historical places of UK.

  6. villa estartit says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 11:14

    Thanks for sharing this post it will helps me to see that places…… whenever i visit over there…..

  7. 2012 olympic mascots wiki says:
    January 27th, 2012 at 20:53

    Awsome website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also.


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