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Walking Tour

 

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we’ve partnered with Instagram’s brilliant Aleks_London_Diary to create the ultimate London pub crawl which features some of our most famous historic pubs around Buckingham Palace.

From Brunton Street where Queen Elizabeth was born, through to popular celebrity haunts and what’s thought to be one of the oldest pubs in Westminster, we’ve covered them all.

Grab your trainers, your pals and open Google maps and enjoy the celebrations with a tipple or two!


For more sights around London check out Aleks Instagram here

 


 

Rose and Crown

Hyde Park Corner is an area between Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Mayfair. Hidden in the small street is an old pub - Rose and Crown.

Apparently the pub was once used as the living quarters for Oliver Cromwell's bodyguards. The cellars were used as a gaol for felons awaiting execution at the nearby Tyburn. It was originally named 'The Oliver Cromwell' and remained so from 1643 to 1678.

The pub was then renamed 'The Rose & Crown' and has traded ever since under that sign which consists of a royal crown surmounting a Tudor rose, symbolising the union of the houses of Lancaster and York.

Rose and Crown is perfectly placed if you want to visit the Wellington Museum at Apsley House.

Kings Arms

Featuring solid wooden beams and rippled plaster, stepping into this pub truly takes you back in time. Formerly known as The Jolly Butcher, The King’s Arms was established in 1878 on a site that dates back to the 1600s, when it was sold by Nathaniel Curzon to Edward Sheppard for just £8!

Over the years it has played host to real kings, was frequented by royalty, as well as celebrity royalty, with the likes of Johnny Depp and rock stars Arctic Monkeys known to have enjoyed a drink within its walls.

Located a short walk from Piccadilly Circus station, the King’s Arms is surrounded by some of London’s most famous attractions.

Coach & Horses

The Coach & Horses is the oldest building on Bruton Street and the oldest surviving unreconstructed tavern in Mayfair – complete with original cellars and a cold room. It’s also thought to be one of London's narrowest pubs.

The coaching inn was built in 1170s to capitalise on the increasing numbers of people travelling via horse and carriage, providing rest to the tired horses and their weary passengers.

It was a very popular type of tavern at the time and you’ll find over 50 Coach & Horses pubs in London alone! The Coach and Horses’ beautiful exterior stain glass windows marks this pub as one that is hard to miss. Pictures on the walls feature caricatures of 19th-century politicians and clerics.

Just a few doors down at number 17 Bruton Street is where Queen Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926.

Masons Arms

The Mason's Arms, located at 38 Maddox Street, was built in 1721 and rebuilt in its current form in 1934 with the mock Tudor facade it has today.

The name Masons Arms is a reference to the working profession - probably a stone mason in this context but could also refer to freemasonry. The three castles on the sign is a reference to the livery of the Worshipful Company of Masons.

The Masons Arms is an historic pub with wood-panelled interior. Serving a wide range of cask ales and traditional pub food, it’s a stones throw away from Oxford Circus and is loved by both locals and tourists.

The Blue Posts

This pub was first licensed in 1728 as the Two Blue Posts and was rebuilt in its present form in 1892.
Some people say that the name Blue Posts comes from the fact that the pillars outside were originally painted blue to make the house more distinctive, before the days of numbering buildings.

Now the pub provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of Carnaby Street which became the centre of London fashion in the swinging 60's. With lovely wood panelling and open fireplace it's a true traditional London pub.

In fact you can still hear the locals tell stories of how the Beatles used to meet their managers in this very pub!

The Goat Tavern

Clarendon House (where the Goat Tavern is) was a town mansion which stood on Piccadilly from the 1660s to the 1680s and it was one of the biggest properties in the area. It was built for the powerful politician Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon who fled abroad soon after completion of the house.

Former customers of the Goat Tavern pub included Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton who lived nearby. Carrying on the naval tradition, in the Edwardian era the smoking room upstairs was a favourite meeting place for senior naval officers. Gatherings at the pub was banned during the 1st World War as the authorities were concerned that naval officers meeting in a London pub would disclose strategic operational plans, putting ships and sailors at risk of enemy action.

In 1878 the Goat Tavern was rebuilt and the frontage extended by adding a wines and spirits department on the west side, which is now incorporated into the bar area.

The Golden Lion

The Golden Lion is one of those pubs that make you rub your hands together when you come across them. It is so narrow that it immediately brings to mind scenes from Harry Potter in which buildings tend to appear and disappear.

It’s placed in St James's area, in the City of Westminster, which developed as a residential location for the British aristocracy. Back in the day, St James’ Theatre was right next door to the Golden Lion pub whose upstairs bar was actually connected directly to the establishment’s Circle.

A Golden Lion tavern has stood on this site since 1762 and a theatrical theme runs through the pub, including the Theatre Bar upstairs, which contains some artefacts from the former theatre - news cuttings, photos and posters about the former St James Theatre.

 

Sherlock Holmes

The Sherlock Holmes was originally a small hotel, known briefly as the Northumberland Arms, and under that name appeared in one of the Sherlock Holmes stories “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor".

In fact, the Turkish bath that Holmes and Watson used to frequent in the stories was located right beside the hotel at 25 Northumberland Avenue. The pub was restored to a late Victorian form and the main exhibit, a detailed replica of a corner of Holmes' fictional apartment, was installed on the upstairs floor, where it can be viewed behind a plate glass wall from both the roof garden and the first-floor restaurant and through small windows in the upstairs hallway.

The displays in the bars include theatre posters, Dr Watson's old service revolver, political cartoons and the stuffed and mounted head of the Hound of the Baskervilles.

A long-standing Northumberland Street landmark, The Sherlock Holmes pub is a must-see for fans of the classic fictional character. Its interior is loaded with references to the many books and films he has featured in, and upstairs you will find a detailed recreation of Holmes’ famous Baker Street flat, including rare memorabilia.

Two Chairmen

Two Chairmen is thought to be the oldest public house in Westminster. It’s a charming 18th century pub with original beams and leaded windows next to St James’s Park. It has been called 'The hidden gem of Dartmouth Street' by The London Evening Standard.

The pub’s unusual name comes from a trend in the 1700s, when men would transport the wealthy people of London around in Sedan chairs, literally making them ‘chairmen’.It is said the phrase ‘cheerio’ originally came from well-to-do folk shouting ‘chair ho!’ at the chairmen to request a lift, which inadvertently became a way of saying goodbye to anyone left behind.

The pubs appears in the opening number of Disney movie, Mary Poppins Returns. Lin Manuel Miranda as Jack, cycles past the pub whilst singing "(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky"

Bag O'Nails

First licensed in 1775 as the Devil & Bag O' Nails, the latter part of the name thought to be a Cockney derivation of the word Bacchanalia. A relatively common pub name at the time, the original sign would have depicted a scene inspired by Roman mythology, featuring a satyr or ‘devil’ as it looked to be with its pointed ears and cloven feet celebrating the Roman god of wine, Bacchus. ⁣

It was rebuilt in 1838 as part of the development of Belgravia by Grosvenor Estates and is now Grade II listed and still retains the old, unique atmosphere. ⁣