London River Pubs
If you want to escape the stresses of the city for a little while, you’ll probably want to hear all about London’s many pubs by the water. Offering relaxed and soothing vibes whatever time of the year you’re visiting, these riverside bars and pubs are prime spots for grabbing a drink and switching off from the world. Here’s our tips for the best riverside pubs in London, with a few canalside bars thrown in for good measure.
Last updated on 18th October 2016
You can’t get a pint any closer to the banks of the river than at The White Cross. This historical and legendary boozer in Richmond is positioned pretty much on the river, meaning calming views of the water are guaranteed. There’s so much more to this place then just the location though, with a menu of classic seasonal food and a great range of drinks served from 10am onwards.
The Lower Deck is the place to be at Imperial Wharf’s The Waterside. Fitted out with spacious comfy booths that lead out towards a heated terrace and views of the river by the same token, it’s a stunning London riverside pub where you can enjoy cocktails and food while you take it nice and easy.
Can we just take a second to appreciate those views? The Founders Arms surely leads the way when it comes to offering riverside views of St. Paul’s, situated directly opposite on the South Bank, close to the Tate Modern. It’s a boozer for all occasions too, opening from 9am and keeping Londoners topped up with tasty food and drinks throughout the day.
If you’re after London’s best riverside views, you’ll almost certainly want to tick The Gun off your visit list. A magnificent gastropub sitting pretty opposite the O2 Arena, spoil yourself with a beautiful landscape matched by an exceptional food menu and plenty of lovely tipples. Get yourself out into their riverside terrace spot if the weather is playing ball.
The Waterfront on the Wandsworth and Battersea border is a fantastic bar for river view drinks in London. With an outdoor terrace gazing out onto the river, you can enjoy sunrise and sunset drinks, breakfasts, lunches, brunches and dinners. Discover this fantastic river view pub in London.
Situated in a glorious, Grade II listed building with nearly 150 years of history, you’ll struggle to find a more idyllic riverside pub than The Duke’s Head. It’s based at the starting point of the Oxbridge boat race but well worthy of a visit any time of the year, with the venue’s Rowing Club - complete with its own riverside terrace - hosting everything from live music to supper tastings and film screenings throughout the week. A great choice for evening drinks or Sunday lunch in Putney.
The Riverside is a London pub offering an oasis of calm, hiding away in the St. George Wharf complex in Vauxhall. A stylish hangout for after work drinks or dining with friends and family, there’s two outside terrace with room for up to 200 guests to check out the amazing riverside views. Stopping by during the colder months? You’ll still be able to hang in the outside space - it’s fully heated!
Occupying a beautiful location right by the waterside, the Slug & Lettuce on the St. Katharine Docks offers a serene escape from the centre of the city. The venue boasts a spectacular vantage point of the Tower of London, and inside the focus is on delivering a lovely spread of food and drinks, available at affordable rates.
The Narrow Boat is the one pub situated directly on Regent’s Canal in Islington, and it’s a wonderfully serene and inviting place to come grab a drink. Once here you’ll have a beautiful range of cask ales, craft beers, premium spirits and wines to choose between, probably enjoyed best out on the balcony that overlooks the water. There’s seasonal and fresh British classic food on the menu if you should fancy a bite.
The Oyster Shed offers a delightful escape from the hassle of the city. Located near both Monument and Cannon Street stations, this Geronimo Inn favourite provides ideal riverside views, looking out across the Thames towards The Shard, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. This riverside bar in London is strongly suited to city workers during the day and groups heading around after work for a glass of wine and a snack while enjoying this stunning vantage point.
Head to The Boathouse’s top-level Riverview Restaurant to find the pub’s best waterside views. Looking out over the Thames and out towards the famous Putney Bridge, it’s a stunning location to enjoy some fresh, home-prepared food in one of the best riverside spots in west London.
A gorgeous gastro plot sitting alongside the Thames, The Sail Loft is a great boozer in London for those that want views of the river. Not only toting a selection of affordable plates alongside nautical themed interiors, those of you looking for a drink by the river in London will enjoy their terrace and sun-trap.
The views from the Cutty Sark pub are the type to make you appreciate just how great this city is. Perched on the banks of the Thames in leafy Greenwich, pull up a pew beside the window and marvel at that stunning landscape featuring the water and Canary Wharf skyline. The food and drinks? They’re pretty special too; focusing on hearty comfort food classics and an extensive range of beer and wine.
Combining lovely hospitality with stunning views of the water, The Old Ship has stood proudly serving refreshments on the banks of the Thames since 1722. The pub offers some of the best views of the Oxford v Cambridge boat race and a serene landscape the rest of the year round, with gasto grub and an impressive selection of Young’s beers.
You can get some pretty special views from the terrace of The White Hart in Barnes, especially on Boat Race day. The pub sits pretty on the banks of the river, with great British cuisine and a world-class selection of wines available in a venue that oozes with a Tudor charm.
Looking for something extra special for your office summer party this year? Step forward West End on the Thames; a private boat party ready to host a memorable celebration for anywhere between 2 and 500 guests. Take in all of the iconic sites of central London, tuck into BBQ cooked fresh on the deck and dance into the night with Pimm’s in hand at this highly rated boat party in London.
Northbank occupies a beautiful spot right next to the Millenium Bridge. Boasting beautiful views of the River Thames, there’s a great spread of modern British cuisine washed down with wines from around the world, West Country ciders and a generous helping of eclectic cocktails. Make for the large terrace and soak in some of the most sought after riverside views in London.
The Ship in Wandsworth is a vibrant riverside gastro pub in London. In the warmer months The Ship has a barbecue in their outside seating area, ideal to enjoy some juicy meat and drinks whilst facing the beautiful river views of the Thames.
Less a riverside pub, more a riverside party boat; Bar & Co can be found a the Temple Pier. Promising a fun and lively night out, you can take in the vibrant ambience and the late-night party tunes while you marvel at the views of the London Eye, Big Ben and the Oxo Tower. Great for drinks soundtracked by the best in electro, house and Latin tunes on the banks of the Thames.
Resting comfortably on the banks of the River Lea, the Prince of Wales is a family friendly pub that bursts into life come the summer months. With a serene colour tone running through the entire venue, a cosy fire place and quaint antiques spread across the entire venue, it offers East London's locals an easy going atmosphere to unwind and recharge in. For those hotter days, the pub's riverside tables and various outdoor seating areas are perfect for anyone looking for a relaxed way to while away the hours.
The Bull's Head is a comfortable pub just a stone's throw away from Barnes waterside. Situated in an idyllic position and boasting a traditional yet characterful English pub atmosphere; this gem of a boozer provides refreshment and regular live jazz in a wonderful setting. Craft beers, ales and wines are ready for consumption, as well as a hearty menu of pub grub!
Perched by the Hammersmith river with a maritime theme in tow, The Blue Boat is perfectly primed for any and all drinks by the Thames. Brimming with a gastro inspired pub grub, affordable ales and a positively cute patio by the river, drinks in the London summer sun know their place here, and you soon will too.
London bars on the river don't come quite as close as Farmopolis, which is located right at the end of the jetty at the Greenwich Peninsula. Promising a futuristic approach to sustainable culture, expect delicious bites at the cafe, bespoke drinks at the bar, and a roster of thought-provoking talks and events.