What's The Most Unusual Pub In London?

By M@ Last edited 54 months ago
What's The Most Unusual Pub In London?


Part 'U' of our alphabetical pub crawl.

For the 21st part of our epic pub crawl, we're faced with a quandary. Until now, all instalments have visited a particular area of town — D for Dalston, E for Euston, F for Farringdon, etc. But for part 'U', we have nowhere central. We could run an epic crawl from Uxbridge to Upminster (via Upton Park), but where's the fun in that.

Instead, we're using the final vowel to look for London's most UNUSUAL pubs. That could be unusual furnishings or decoration, an odd theme, a peculiar name, a strange history, or any other novelty or quirk that makes the pub worth visiting.

We need your nominations, then we'll arrange a pub crawl round the most popular. (But in January, as this month's already too boozy.)

Here’s how to play

  1. Let us know (in the comments below, on Facebook, or by tweeting #UnusualLDNPub) your favourite pubs of oddness.
  2. We’ll tally up the votes in a few days and publish the results.
  3. We’ll then arrange a pub crawl around the most popular choices. You’re welcome to join us.
  4. By ‘pubs’, we’re using a shorthand — you can also vote for bars.
  5. You can nominate more than one place. All nominations count as one vote, whether you rank them or not. Likes on Facebook and retweets of someone else’s vote are also counted as new votes.
  6. Venues should be open to the public with no pre-booking, entry fee or membership required.

So, where shall we go?

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.

Last Updated 03 December 2013

Dr. Matt Lodder

Gotta be the Windsor Castle near Edgware Road. Full wall mural of Princess Diana, a whole corner dedicated to the Moustache Club of Great Britain, and innumerable plaques screwed into the bar saving spots for children coming of age some time in the next few decades -- plus the beer's not bad either.


the dukes head in putney - probably the only pub that used to have a boat builders in the roof and a rowing club in the basement. although i wouldnt go now, its be ruined by gastropubinteritis.

baroness slapper

The Wibbly Wobbly floating pub in Rotherhithe: http://www.beerintheevening.co...


The Castle in Clerkenwell - the only pub in England to own a pawn broking licence?


The Freemasons Arms in Hampstead has a cellar where London Skittles are played. Unlike other forms of skittles it is played not with a ball but a cheese of lignum vitae which is thrown (not rolled) at the hornbeam skittles pins down a 21ft. alley.

Lindsey Berthoud

The Prince, N22: opposite a temperance monument, a few doors from the Greek Orthodox Cathedral this old boozer has a shisha garden, lays claim to the biggest TV screen in London, boasts beautiful Prince of Wales feathers tiling on the front door (tiles made in Shaftesbury Ave), attempts to modernise the interior with dubious success, original features survive, often playing loud music tv to old locals, rarely has fully stocked bar (ie at times no beer, no wine, no lemonade), sometimes does Thai food, cash only (card machine been broken for at least 1 year), excellent pool table, spacious toilets. Foursquare tip (not from me) says its the best place in London for people watching. http://www.flickr.com/photos/l...


The Princess Louise, on High Holborn has a pretty unusual interior full of little booths, alcoves & cobbyholes (and the loos are listed, apparently.) And, being a Sam Smiths pub, the prices are unusually cheap for central London :-)

Richard Leeming

The Hemingford Arms on Offord Road in N1 bears consideration for the sheer amount of useless paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling. Lovely pub too.


The Sultan, Collier's Wood, the only pub in London owned by the Hop back brewery.

Andy K

I like the Windsor Castle too. Also I recently discovered Tapping the Admiral in Kentish Town, which is awesome but I'm not sure is quite odd enough...


The Commercial Tavern in Commercial Road. Comic strip wallpaper. Cockoo Clocks, antlers, and chandeliers galore. Mad!


Dudes, it's all about The Nag's Head in Walthamstow. The landlady is obsessed with cats, so cat-themed decorative pieces are all over the pub. They also have an upstairs bar called Madam La Zongas. I'm pretty sure Flossie, the landlady with a penchant for kitch and cats, is what my future looks like.



How about the faltering fullback

Andrea Liu

Freemasons Arms in Hampstead, with its own skittles alley?


I visited London a couple of years ago for an arts event and went to a pub somewhere in the capital, which I am now trying to find out the name of. I was rather tipsy when I walked into the place, so the name has vacated my memory. The bar counter is very, very low and quite short. It was tiny inside and there is a narrow, wooden staircase leading to lower level (equally tiny) rooms to drink in. I believe only two rooms, but I may be mistaken. It definitely should be on this list of unusual pubs. Please help me.