London’s Most Unusual Pubs

We’ve reached part ‘U’ of our alphabetical pub crawl. As Uxbridge and Upminster are a bit far out to attract pub crawlers, we instead decided upon a theme: Unusual pubs.

We asked you to nominate pubs with odd names, peculiar furnishings, or unusual histories. You didn’t disappoint, supplying dozens of ideas.

mitreThe Top 10 Unusual Pubs (and the reason)

1. Ye Olde Mitre: London’s most-hidden pub, and formerly part of Cambridgeshire
2. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese: super-famous, but still quirky as hell
3. Wilton’s Bar: the charming drinking area of the famous music hall
4. The Black Friar: unique interior and exterior
5. The Windsor Castle (Marylebone): noted for its excessive royal decorations and meeting point of the handlebar moustache club
6. The Lamb: unusual in its preserved Victorian interior. Noted for the ‘snob screens’ and a miniature beer garden.
=7. Cittie of Yorke: an odd assortment of rooms, private booths and a medieval basement
=7. Prospect of Whitby: much-loved Wapping pub with a long history and its own noose.
9. Princess Louise: another Holborn mainstay, noted for its restored Victorian interior and listed Gents toilet.
=10. Jerusalem Tavern: the Clerkenwell legend and a rare outlet for St Peter’s brewery.
=10. Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town: perhaps the most unusual on the list, given (a) its weird name and (b) that you enter through a fridge.

Map of London’s Most Unusual Pubs

Green dotted pins are our top 10 places, red pins are other nominations. Note: we only mapped nominations for which there is an obvious ‘unusualness’. Suggest additions in the comments, and we’ll be happy to add them.


View London’s most unusual pubs in a larger map

The Pub Crawl

In a departure from our normal practice, we’re not going to visit the top few in the list. Two reasons. (1) We’ve been to several on previous pub crawls. (2) Part ‘Y’ of the pub crawl is likely to be ‘Ye Olde pubs’, so we’ll save some of the Holborn gems for then.

Instead, we’ve put together an editorial selection of oddball places, taking two proper pubs and two unusual bars. Note that the schedule is subject to change — we’re contacting the last two venues to check they can handle a crowd.

6pm The Windsor Castle (cos we absolutely have to see this place, even though it’s miles from any others).
7.45pm Ye Olde Mitre (via Central Line…have to visit the winner)
9pm Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town (via Central Line…step through the fridge into a basement bar)
10.30pm Callooh Callay (then we’ll step through a wardrobe into another quirky bar)

The group size for this pub crawl will be smaller than usual (10-15 places), as the third venue is tiny. The pub crawl will take place on Monday 6 January – so that the smaller bars are fairly quiet. If you’d like to come along, email matt@londonist.com quickly.

pubcrawls-1The A-Z pub crawl

Get the Londonist Book of London Pub Crawls for less than the price of a pint. Ten original pub crawls, not published on the web.

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  • Heds

    Fantastic choice of pin colours for us Green/Red colour blind bods. :-(

    • David

      The green ones have dots, so even if your vision is monochrome, you should be able to find the top ten easily

    • MattFromLondonist

      We uses green DOTTED pins for precisely that reason.

  • Heds

    Got some new pubs to try though, so that’s all good. Cheers!

  • Joanna Moncrieff

    Er … I’ve read it a couple of times but can’t spot the date for the crawl!

    • MattFromLondonist

      Sorry, added.