3 London Buses You Can Drink Booze On

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 20 months ago

Last Updated 08 November 2022

3 London Buses You Can Drink Booze On
The bakc of a red bus with a mural of a dog on it. The actual dog casually lays near the bus
Image: Ludo's in Wood Green does beers, stand-up comedy, music and film nots - not bad for an old double-decker!

Boozing on London buses has been a no-no since 2008. Except, that is, on some very special buses. Here's where to catch them.

1. The bus outside an old bank

A double decker busing hiding in a courtyard behind a gate and floral baskets
You can climb aboard this Fleet Street bus, or even book it for a private event. Image: M@/Londonist

While the beloved no.15 heritage Routemasters no longer make their way up and down Fleet Street, there is one vintage bus still worth jumping aboard in these parts — namely the one in the beer garden of the Old Bank of England pub. Switch out wooden benches for moquette, as you perch inside this museum piece, and sup a couple of pints of pilsner, without fear of being chucked off by the driver. (The driver in this case is a mannequin, anyway.)

2. The bus that does craft beer and stand up comedy

People crammed into a cosy bus area in the evening
Standing on the upper deck is totally allowed on this bus. Image: Ludo's

Ludo's must've seen the Old Bank of England's effort, and said 'hold my beer'. This put-out-to-pasture double-decker has been given a new lease of life, as a bar in the Blue House Yard, near Wood Green. The proprietors Charley and James have built an actual bar on board this bus, serving craft beer, cider, and proper bar snacks like Cornish pasties and pickled eggs. And that's not all; Ludo's (named for the owner's dog, a mural of whom adorns the back of the bus) also hosts film, music — and even comedy nights. Now THAT's what we call a night bus.

3. The bus bar that actually drives you around London

A flute of fizz is raised as the holdee passes under Tower Bridge
Toast London's landmarks as you make your way around. Image: Bar Bus

Prefer your boozy buses to go places? The Bar Bus is an unashamedly excursionist way to zip around the usual suspects, glass in hand, during the summer months — the kind of thing your mum or an out-of-towner would appreciate as a pressie. There's booze to buy on the flower-festooned open top joyride — or be savvy and BYOB, waving your bottle in the general direction of every London attraction you drive past.

Worthy mentions: The B Bus lays on afternoon teas while whisking you around the sights, but if you're pushing the boat bus out, you can elevate your experience with a touch of effervescence (yep, a glass of fizz). Bustronome — a mash-up of the Magic School Bus and the Dorchester — will pair of your rack of Welsh lamb with a delish wine. Both these buses appear on our article on transport themed eating and drinking in London.