Top 16 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 – this is what a good cosy pub is all about. Here we round up some of our favourites. So grab a drink, order the pie and mash, and settle in.

Ye Olde Mitre Tavern

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.

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 six rotating real-ale pumps.

William IV

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Find all the traditional must-haves of a cosy pub at the William IV. This Hoxton spot offers everything from real ales, board games and newspapers, to Sunday roasts, comfy chairs and a roaring fire. And, this being the East End, you can also get a craft beer and brunch on weekends.

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.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Step back in time at Fleet Street institution Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. 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 an old pub, it's small and cosy with an open fire adding to the time warp feel.

The Trinity Arms

For an update on the traditional 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. If you're lucky, grab a seat by the fire; if you're not, the welcome from the friendly team is just as warm. 

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.

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.

The George Inn

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.

The Churchill Arms

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. 

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.

For more inspiration, take a look at our 101 London pubs guide or immerse yourself in history at the city's traditional pubs.