The Best Family Friendly Pubs in South London

By Adrienne Wyper Last edited 10 months ago
The Best Family Friendly Pubs in South London

The best pubs south of the river where you and the kids can spend a happy hour or two...

Cupcake making at The Bolingbroke.

The Herne Tavern, East Dulwich

Real fires crackle in the wood-panelled bar and dining area of The Herne Tavern in East Dulwich (kids welcome until 8pm).

The children's menu is short: macaroni cheese and peas, fish or chicken and chips, but for junior socials there are party picnic bags (£7 per child, minimum 10 children). The garden is huge (rumoured to be south east London's largest pub garden), with benches and tables, raised beds and fruit trees — and a converted barn.

Over the road is Peckham Rye with its pond for feeding the ducks, ornamental gardens, swings and slides and adventure playground.

The Herne Tavern, 2 Forest Hill Road, SE22 0RR

The Ship, Wandsworth

Room to run about abounds in The Ship, a riverside institution near Wandsworth Bridge, which has been going since 1786.

Onboard The Ship.

Inside there's a wood-burning stove, attractively mismatched chairs and tables; outside a terrace with sturdy, quirky furniture overlooking the river. The menu features favourites like sausages, fish and chips and pasta with tomato sauce.

Teach your kids about pre-mobile communications with the red phone box — great photo opportunity.

Outside The Ship.

Take advantage of more photo ops by boarding the riverbus (nearest stop Wandsworth Riverside Quarter Pier) and crossing the river Wandle by footbridge.

The Ship, 41 Jews Row, SW18 1TB

Jam Circus, Brockley

The very name conjures up sticky-fingered fun... Fridays are the kids' favourite here: soft play!

Jam Circus.

Every week from 11am to 4pm there's an area with ball pit, soft play shapes, toys and a playhouse, which can be booked for parties.

There are baby-changing facilities, and children are welcome until 9pm.

Inside Jam Circus.

The 'modern British with a twist' menu has, unusually, a kids' brunch, as well as eggs on toast and chicken or cod goujons.

Jam Circus, 330-332 Brockley Road, SE4 2BT

Richard 1st, Greenwich

Handy for all manner of Greenwich good times, like straddling the Meridian Line in Greenwich Park, seeing stars in the observatory, and strolling along the river or boarding the Cutty Sark.

The garden of Richard the First.

For kids, it's a two-option menu: haddock or beefburger and chips; roast beef or pork on Sundays. The bright conservatory at the back is light and airy, and in the garden there's built-in bench seating suited to slumping and scrambling.

Richard 1st, 52-54 Royal Hill, SE10 8RT

The Bolingbroke, Battersea

Work up a thirst on the wide-open spaces of Wandsworth Common (and there's the Lady Allen adventure playground for disabled children), then quench it with pop, a babyccino, and several squash options from the kids' menu at The Bolingbroke. Food features hummus and crudités, as well as the usual burgers and bangers, and the kitchen can serve mini portions of adult grub, too.

Cupcake making at The Bolingbroke.

And for dessert? A freshly baked fairy cake to decorate with hundreds and thousands, chocolate buttons and marshmallows.

Highchairs, baby-changing facilities, and colouring-in with crayons are on hand. And you can hold kids' birthday parties here.

The Bolingbroke, 174 Northcote Road, SW11 6RE

Imperial Arms, Chislehurst

Going underground at Chislehurst Caves is compulsory for south London sprogs, and committed to the ground nearby in 1873 was Louis-Napoleon, hence this pub's name.

Inside the Imperial Arms.

The pub area is cosy and traditional style: leather-studded bar stools, tables and chairs, but step through to the courtyard wine bar — wow! — fit for an emperor, lit by chandeliers and festooned with flags, busts and statuary.

Your own little emperors/empresses are welcome until 9pm, catered for by the 'Little Napoleon' menu, listing homemade burgers, chicken goujons, margherita pizza and fish fingers.

Imperial Arms, 1 Old Hill, BR7 5LZ

Fox & Grapes, Wimbledon

Explore the wilds of Wimbledon Common, a slice of countryside in the capital, with the remains of a Roman hill fort, and the 19th-century Wimbledon Windmill (which has scouting history displays as well as the mill itself) within strolling distance of the pub. Opposite is the ivy-clad wall of Cannizaro Park, too.

Inside the Fox & Grapes.

Inside, its sense of space, oak beams and muddy dog walkers extend the rustic feel. The kids' menu offers pasta with pesto, as well as sausages or fish and chips, with roast beef on Sundays.

Fox & Grapes, 9 Camp Road, SW19 4UN

The Anglers, Teddington

Kids will make a beeline for the slides and climbing frame in the garden of this riverside pub, only to be distracted by boats passing under the footbridge over to Teddington Lock, and the board games on hand.

Dining at The Anglers

The menu itself is as satisfying as the food it lists (chicken salad, burger/bangers/fish and chips, mac and cheese), as it's a fold-up 'fortune-teller' packed with colouring-in, quizzes and food facts. Or you could picnic on the 'beach'. Adults will appreciate the baby-changing facilities, too.

The Anglers, 3 Broom Road, TW11 9NR

The Ivy House, Nunhead

As you'd expect, London's first co-operatively owned pub has the interests of the community — including its youngest members — at heart.

The Ivy House.

The building is Grade II listed, with many original 1930s features. More imaginative kids' menu choices — served until 7.30pm — include spinach and lentil burger, and cheese and ham omelette, with small-scale roasts on Sundays.

In term time there's a packed pre-schoolers' weekly programme with samba drumming, ukulele music and nursery rhymes. No garden, but there's ample open space nearby on Peckham Rye and the Victorian splendour of Nunhead Cemetery.

The Ivy House, 40 Stuart Road, SE15 3BE

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Last Updated 25 November 2016