London Thameside pubs - Tower Bridge to Limehouse
This great river is an under-used resource, relied upon as a last resort in a transport strike, but much of London's wealth and prowess could not have been achieved without this famous stretch of water. Many of London's most famous landmarks are on, or were built next to the river.
The Thames in London was once lined with dozens of pubs, providing drink, food and lodgings for those who made their living on or near the river. A few original pubs remain and some new ones have been created, taking advantage of their unique location. Be it a hot day in summer or a bright and chilly winter's day, the Thames embankment is always a nice place to take a stroll or watch the boats go by; occasionally stopping for a drink of course.
We've divided the river into sections to make a visit easier. It is possible to walk the length of the Thames in London, on either bank, using the Thames Path.
From Tower Bridge eastwards towards Docklands
Take the Thames Path as soon as possible from Tower Bridge
(a great photo-opportunity here), then pass by the big bland Tower Hotel, the path will take you through St. Katherine Dock
, built by Thomas Telford and opened in 1828. The Dickens Inn was converted from an old warehouse, discovered in tact and rebuilt here in the 1960's.
"Town of Ramsgate"
Continue along the Thames Path, keeping the river on your right. Considering the bombing this area was subject to there are still some handsome historic buildings remaining. Soon you will come to The Town of Ramsgate
a deeply traditional old pub with its roots in the 18th century and beyond. If the weather's fine enjoy the view from the riverside patio.
Next is the The Captain Kidd
named after the notorious pirate; inside the pub however, is a different story of deception and injustice. This attractive riverside pub is a new-ish pub in an old building, opened in 1992. For sun worshippers there's a substantial south facing riverside terrace.
"Prospect of Whitby"
Walking on past the Wapping tube station and the hideous river police station, you will eventually come upon The Prospect of Whitby
one of London's most famous pubs. Built in 1543, it was known as the Devil's Tavern, a fearsome haunt of smugglers and villains. Later its name was taken from a ship that berthed nearby. The bar has a flagged stone floor and a pewter bar top and is held up with old ship's timbers; very atmospheric. A nice terrace and an upstairs deck are great if you can get a seat.
Continue eastward, it's a bit of a trek but an interesting one, with some excellent views. The reward is The Grapes
a tiny pub in a terrace of old cottages, bare floors and match-boarded walls. There's small deck at the rear hanging over the water. Charles Dickens knew this pub well; as a child he was made to stand on a table and sing to the customers. As an adult, he immortalised it as the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters pub in Our Mutual Friend.
Feet willing, it's not that far to Canary Wharf where a DLR can be ridden back to the City, or the Limehouse and West Ferry DLR stations are nearer to the Grapes. Of course you could start here and do it in reverse.
Find more riverside pubs by going to Advanced Search
, enter a location and tick the Waterside box.