UR TRAVEL: 5 Quirky And Characterful London Pubs

 Written by Rebecca G. 

1. Tompkins – Canary Wharf

Nestled away overlooking the River Thames, Tompkins is off the beaten track and is generally only known to the Canary Wharf veterans. It’s a quirky place with very high ceilings, modern yet vintage style décor and a 42nd floor bar overlooking the sites of London. Its clientele ranges from bankers to young trendsetters, meaning you get a different vibe on every visit. The beers can be pricey, but it’s an experience not to miss. Interesting fact: there’s a YouTube video of a man randomly base jumping from the bar – with no prior warning. Worth a visit!

2. The Harp – Covent Garden

The Harp is rated as one of the top real ale pubs in London, and it’s easy to see why. On the CAMRA real ale list, it’s a tiny, traditional pub between Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. It oozes charm from it’s beaten up wooden floors and enviable collection of beer mats to the super friendly bar staff and die hard ale drinkers that prop up the bar. Get in quick though, there’s very little space and only a handful of seats, but it’s great place for people watching a good old banter.

3. Holborn Whippet – Holborn

‘Beer from the brick’ as its affectionately known, this pub has a hearty selection of local craft beers, pulled from a large brick fountain in the centre of the bar! It also serves a great selection of wood-fired pizzas and burgers. What more could you want than a pub that gives you your after drinking favourites throughout the night! It has a bustling outside presence in the summer months and even in the winter people congregate outside under the heaters. With its eclectic mix of city folk and trendy creative types, it offers a lighthearted and fun setting for a good beer.

4. Caminos – Kings Cross

Kings Cross is one of those up and coming areas of London, and it’s getting the bars and nightlife to match. Just off the tourist track, Camino’s is a Spanish tapas bar with great food, moody and colourful décor, and an upbeat vibe. It attracts a creative crowd from nearby Angel and Old Street and has an excellent selection of drinks and bar snacks. It also does really good coffee. It plays some rocking tunes and turns into a club late on. There are also lots of other bars very close by, so it’s a great spot for a night out.

5. Be at One – Liverpool Street

There are a few Be at One’s around London, and I’ve been to enough to know this is my favourite. It’s one of the smaller ones I’ve been to, but that gives it a lot more atmosphere. It has a great mix of bankers and vintage clothing lovers, being on the edge of Shoreditch, but right in the City. In the summer months, everyone spills outside, and it’s like being at one big street party. The cocktails are awesome, and there are loads to choose from. Between 5 and 7 they do happy hour so get down early!


Rebecca is a freelance employee engagement advisor and creative writer. She moved from Newcastle Upon Tyne to the the bright lights of London ten years ago, and now calls herself an adopted Londoner. She is soon to be an adopted New Yorker with an imminent move to the Big Apple! She has two blogs, the first explores the application of psychology in the workplace and can be found here: psycatatwork@blogspot.co.uk. The second is City Girl Walking-  adoptedlondoner.wordpress.com, where she shares the sights, smells and sounds she experiences as she explores the world.  

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