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.

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  • 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.

  • jamie

    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.

    • Correct-o-bot

      *enter, you numpty.

  • baroness slapper
  • cigaguides

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

  • stephgr

    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.

  • http://londonist.com/ Lindsey Clarke

    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/lindseymclarke/6591216445/in/set-72157628618018621/lightbox/

  • Andrew

    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.

  • Graeme

    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…

  • Al

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

    • Correct-o-bot

      *Cuckoo. FFS.

  • doreen

    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.


  • Thomas

    How about the faltering fullback

  • Andrea Liu

    Freemasons Arms in Hampstead, with its own skittles alley?

  • Milly

    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.