Thames River Pub Crawl 101
I fancied a pub crawl. It was a lovely Saturday morning, and with winter approaching, you can’t take those for granted. I’ve been a huge fan of Wapping since my friend Jim introduced me to the area a few years ago, and have taken many friends to some of the great river front pubs that are there, many of which are some of the oldest in London.
Decisions made, girlfriend on-board, we set off for Tower Hill, the gateway to Wapping, or at least in my opinion the jumping off point for any east London River pub crawl.
1- The Dickens Inn.
Located in St Katherine’s Docks, this is the first pub we hit. Because of its close proximity to the Tower of London it was swarming with tourists, and not what I would call a great pub. It does the job, but keep your expectations in check.
A view of Tower Bridge in the distance, with some sails of nearby moored boats.
Halloween decorations up already.
Red baseball cap.
My only fashion/style advise in this blog. Americans, when you travel overseas, don’t wear a Texans cap, a Under Armour top, and New Balance trainers. A: you look like fat Americans, but more importantly, you look like rubbish.
Heading east along the river. Good views towards Tower Bridge and the Shard.
Walking along the river parallel to Wapping High Street.
Brick Land isn’t really Brick Lane since they paved over most of the road. Wapping still has a lot of old charm to it.
2- The Town of Ramsgate
Built in 1758, the Town of Ramsgate is the smallest pub on our list. It gets a lot of tourists, although they are of the more enlightened kind.
Steps leading to the Thames.
In the summertime when the tide is out you can take a stroll along the banks of the Thams.
A pub crawl does require the occasional pint.
Health and safety gone mad. This glass partition was recently added, and doesn’t help the view.
Heading back inside.
Long bar. Food is pretty good here. Nice and cosy in the winter time.
Two bridges connect old warehouses that have been converted to flats.
The river cops HQ.
I’ve taken this as far as Canary Wharf before. It’s a nice walk, something I dragged my friend Nathan on once. 10.5 miles of sightseeing on foot in one day. The dogs were barking.
3- The Captain Kidd
I found a wall to lean on.
The pub is named after the 17th century pirate, William Kidd, who was executed nearby. The pub was converted from a coffee storage warehouse. Job well done.
This is a Samuel Smith pub, so all the beer on offer is from them, FYI.
Looking west along the river. The Captain Kidd has the biggest outdoor area on the water in this part of London.
You can’t get much closer to the Thames than this.
A tasty beverage.
Heading east again. Some great architecture on offer. Wapping is one of the older parts of London.
Wapping became a parish in 1694, making it kind of old.
Another converted warehouse.
Wapping can be very quiet at times.
4- The Prospect of Whitby
The pub claims to be the site of the oldest riverside tavern in London, dating back to circa 1520.
Great outdoor decking area on the 1st floor overlooking the river.
The pub has a very ‘old world’ feel to it. It might be the top of my list for this little pub crawl.
The first floor landing.
Good view of Canary Wharf from this pub.
Right. Need to escape Wapping to get to pub V.
The London Overground, which goes under the Thames.
5- The Mayflower Pub.
Another pub claiming to be the oldest on the Thames.
The pub claims to be the location where the Mayflower ship was moored prior to sailing to the New World in the 16th century. The food is good, and the view is great.
Although it was a little crowded last night.
Looking west towards the City.
I would recommend this little pub crawl for anyone with an interest in historic pubs and the River Thames. These pubs offer some great views in some warm and cosy venues. I’d stay away from the food at the Dickens and the Prospect of Whitby. If you want to eat, I’d suggest the Town of Ramsgate or the Mayflower. The best views are from the Prospect, but all the pubs get you on the water, except for the Dicken’s, which is located on the docks.
Further afield I would recommend the Cutty Sark pub in Greenwich as a must see. If you kept walking east from the Prospect, you’d reach Canary Wharf and you’d be able to take the DLR to Greenwich.
With winter approaching, conditions might deteriorate for this pub crawl, but there’s always next year, assuming the Russians don’t nuke us.