Whether you're looking for a quiet drink in a traditional London riverside pub, food with a side helping of magnificent views, or a lively night out in one of the many pubs along the Thames, follow our guide to London's top waterside hangouts.
The Dove Hammersmith
Step into this classic London riverside pub and you'll find the world's smallest bar room (as certified by The Guinness World Records). The Dove has all the charm and atmosphere you'd want from a traditional English pub, plus great views of the Thames. Its Hammersmith location also makes it a coveted vantage point for spectators of the annual Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Races.
Take in the riverside views at Trafalgar Tavern, a Greenwich pub that's perfectly in keeping with its surroundings. Featuring paintings and busts depicting the area's maritime history, and huge windows offering spectacular views over the Thames, this grand pub is an ideal stop-off between visiting Greenwich's many attractions.
Enjoy a drink or two at this traditional pub on the south bank of the river Thames. Nestled between Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and The Golden Hinde, Anchor Bankside is always a popular drinking spot, attracting tourists and locals alike to drink and dine on its waterside terrace. Arrive early on sunny afternoons if you want to bag a prime position.
Venture into one of several pubs that lay claim to being the "oldest pub in London on the Thames". The Mayflower is a small but perfectly formed gem in sleepy Rotherhithe, an area steeped in history as a former port, the site of the world's first subterranean river tunnel, and the 1620 departure point of the Pilgrim Fathers' Mayflower ship.
Prospect of Whitby
Raise a tankard at the Prospect of Whitby in Wapping, an historic pub that was once the haunt of smugglers, pirates and thieves. Other famous patrons included Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys, and artists Whistler and Turner; while another, Judge Jeffreys, is remembered with a replica of a hangman's noose outside.
The White Cross
Whether you’re en route to a rugby match at Twickenham, visiting Richmond Park, or are exploring Richmond, you’ll love this friendly Thames-side pub. Perched along the pretty riverside walkway, the White Cross has a front beer garden and ample space to relax on a sunny day. If you time your visit right, you'll see the tide rise up to the pub's doors; the perfect excuse to stay!
Unwind with a drink or two at Wandsworth institution, The Ship. This south west London pub overlooking the Thames boasts a decked outdoor space with ample benches to go around. It's especially popular on summer evenings when sunsets are matched with live music nights, annual festivals and quizzes.
The Oyster Shed
Savour panoramic views from The Oyster Shed, close to London Bridge on the north bank of the river. One of the few City of London pubs right on the river, this modern pub is the perfect pit stop between sightseeing. Despite its name, there's more than oysters on the menu, with a wide range of British classics to enjoy.
The White Swan
Relax on The White Swan’s riverside terrace in sleepy south-west London, as rowers glide by on the river below. This small pub swells on matchdays, as rugby fans enjoy a pint or two at this picture-book pub before and after matches at nearby Twickenham Stadium.