Best 15 cosy pubs in London

When the chill really starts to set in, there’s nowhere better to while away an afternoon than a cosy London pub.

Crackling fires, seats you can sink into and plenty of comfort food – that's what a good cosy pub is all about. So grab a drink, order the pie and mash, and settle in.

1. The Anglesea Arms

Fight the urge to head straight for the riverside pubs in Hammersmith and you will be rewarded with The Anglesea Arms, a cosy pub tucked away just outside the green space of Ravenscourt Park. The wood-panelled bar and warming fire are the fitting accompaniments to a traditional British menu, featuring five rotating real-ale pumps, draught beers and cider.

2. The Churchill Arms

The exterior of The Churchill Arms, which is covered in hanging baskets, shrubs and flowers, with a pub sign showing Winston Churchill's face.
The Churchill Arms pub. Photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash.
Tuck into plates of warming Thai food at The Churchill Arms. Known for its highly Instagrammable hanging baskets outside, the pub's interior is also worth discovering for its quirky Churchill memorabilia. Visit during the festive season and see the sight of hundreds of twinkling Christmas trees covering the Kensington pub. 

3. The Dove

Cosy up at The Dove on Broadway Market in Hackney, where board games, British microbrews and Belgian beers are the order of the day. Food covers all the classics, from fish and chips to pies and legendary Sunday roasts.

4. The French House

Expect a warm welcome at this snug spot, which has a long history as a watering hole. The bohemian vibe, created by actors and writers, who have made The French House their pub of choice in Soho over the years, lives on with no music and no machines – so put away your mobile phone (after a very quick snap for Instagram). 

5. The George Inn

The exterior of The George Inn, with its white galleries and picnic tables in the courtyard.
The George Inn. Photo: Ewan Munro. Image courtesy of The National Trust.

Former coaching house The George Inn is the only National Trust-owned pub. Tucked away down an alley near London Bridge, this sprawling pub maintains its rustic beams, beautiful gallery and cosy interior. The courtyard area also has heaters and old-fashioned lamps to cater for the often-heaving crowd of drinkers.

6. The Holly Bush

Find a cosy bolthole at The Holly Bush, which fits perfectly into the quaint Hampstead village it calls home, with its open fire, stripped wooden floors and Sunday roasts. While away an afternoon or reward yourself with a tipple after a walk on nearby Hampstead Heath.

7. The Plough

The bar at The Plough, with a traditional wood bar and stools with red fabric on the right, and pub dining tables on the left.
The Plough, in East Sheen. Image courtesy of The Plough.

Spot the resident deer on a stroll through Richmond Park, before stopping for lunch in this gorgeous East Sheen pub – you won’t feel like you are in London at all. The Plough maintains its traditional 18th-century-inn look, and there are open fires and British ales to enjoy inside.

8. The Southampton Arms

Spot the sign outside reading "ale, cider, meat" and you'll quickly get an idea of what this cosy pub is about. The Southampton Arms at the bottom of Parliament Hill is a truly old-fashioned pub, with a wood-burning fire, cash-only policy plus numerous hand-pulled ales and ciders.

9. The Spaniards Inn

Shake the dew off your boots after a walk on Hampstead Heath at this warming pit stop. The Spaniards Inn counts literary royalty as ex-locals, including Dickens and Keats. Nowadays, it's popular for its Sunday lunches, open fire and sprawling walled beer garden.

10. The White Horse

The interior of The White Horse, with a traditional bar on the left, wood flooring, and red leather armchairs on the right.
The White Horse. Image courtesy of The White Horse.

Mix with the smart set at The White Horse, a favourite of the well-to-do Chelsea and Fulham crowd. This cosy pub is the whole package with an always-impressive selection of real ales, good food, roaring fires and Chesterfield sofas. Expect a posh crowd in a pub that has earned the nickname “The Sloaney Pony” over the years.

11. The Stonhouse

Follow a stomp in the open air on Clapham Common with a hearty meal and a pint at local favourite, The Stonhouse. The wood-panelled, pup-friendly pub serves European fare made with sustainably sourced British ingredients.

12. The Trinity Arms

For an update on the traditional London pub, head to Brixton's Trinity Arms. This buzzy local, set in a pretty square, serves large portions of British favourites such as fish and chips, chicken pie and Sunday roasts. As one of the few pubs with fireplaces in London, make sure to grab a seat by the fire. 

13. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

The outside of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese with a sign stating "Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Rebuilt 1667".
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. Image courtesy of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.

Step back in time at Fleet Street institution Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, one of many cosy City of London pubs. Rebuilt in the 17th century, it's welcomed Charles Dickens, Dr Johnson, Alfred Tennyson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through its doors. As you'd expect of one of the oldest pubs in London, it's small and cosy with an open fire adding to the time-warp feel.

14. Ye Olde Mitre

Brush up on your history at Ye Olde Mitre, a tavern once frequented by Queen Elizabeth I. It’s a bit tricky to find this Holborn Circus spot, which has housed a pub for more than 500 years, but it's well worth the effort for its maze of intimate rooms to hole up in with friends. 

15. The Coach & Horses

Spot this mock-Tudor pub nestled between more modern neighbours in swanky Mayfair. Dating back to the 18th century, The Coach & Horses retains a traditional feel and offers a range of cask ales to sample. 

For more inspiration, check out the top 101 London pubs guide or immerse yourself in history at one of the fascinating traditional pubs in London.