If you’re looking to get out the house for a little while this Christmas, we’ve gathered some of the cosiest, most convivial pubs to swing by on the big day (many of which are quite conveniently placed at the end of a great walking route).
They’re all open for walk-ins, and some of them are still taking bookings for meals, too. As we all know, though, things can change pretty quickly these days, so we’d recommend giving them a quick call on the day just to double check they’re still open.
Because you wouldn’t be the first to discover there’s no room at the inn.
Main image: The Zetter Townhouse Clerkenwell
Founder’s Arms | Bankside
A Young’s pub with sprawling riverside views and an outdoor terrace from which to enjoy them, with a mulled wine, hot spiced apple or Irish coffee in hand.
Details: 52 Hopton Street, London, SE1 9JH | Book here, or just turn up (open 12-6pm)
The Grazing Goat | Marylebone
A gorgeous, rustic-styled space with blazing fires, warm industrial lighting and a long bar, at which they’re serving a couple of draught beers, a decent wine list, and mulled wine laced with sloe gin.
Details: 6 New Quebec Street, London, W1H 7RQ
The Zetter Townhouse | Marylebone & Clerkenwell
Not a pub as such, but the two Zetter Townhouse hotels each have gloriously sumptuous cocktail bars that are open on Christmas Day, serving cocktails and gourmet takes on quintessential British snacks.
Details: 28-30 Seymour St, London, W1H 7JB | 49-50 St John’s Square, London, EC1V 4JJ | Book here
The Queen’s | Primrose Hill
A light and airy corner tavern looking onto Primrose Hill, with a decently priced wine list and a dedicated Bloody Mary menu – just in case you go a bit too hard on Christmas Eve.
Details: 49 Regents Park Road, London, NW1 8XD
The Flask | Hampstead
One of Hampstead’s cosiest pubs, tucked down a flagstoned alleyway and within easy reach of Hampstead Heath after a Christmas day stroll. Two roaring fires will be spitting out heat, and they’ve got Young’s Winter Warmer on draught and a locally renowned mulled wine recipe.
Details: 14 Flask Walk, London NW3 1HE | Book here or just turn up
The Spread Eagle | Camden
Walk up to Primrose Hill, take in the views over the city, then retreat to The Spread Eagle for mince pies, boozy coffees and Champagne.
Details: 141 Albert Street, Camden Town, London, NW1 7NB
The Narrowboat | Islington
The Narrowboat looks directly onto the canal, and besides serving up the usual suspects behind the bar, you’ll also find hot gin & gingerbread cocktails, Baileys hot chocolates, and hot toddies on the menu.
Details: 119 St Peter’s Street, London, N1 8PZ | Open 12-7pm
The Gipsy Queen | Gospel Oak
Roaring fires, Christmas pudding negronis, and an ever-changing line-up of intriguing craft beers (alongside your more usual pub drinks) just a stone’s throw from Hampstead Heath.
Details: 166 Malden Road, London, NW5 4BS | Open 12-5pm
The Ship | Wandsworth
Wandsworth’s sea-worthy pub has a sprawling terrace overlooking the river, but if you manage to book ahead you can organise yourself a mulled wine reception on arrival.
Details: 41 Jews Road, Wandsworth, SW18 1TB | Book here or drop by, 12-4pm
The Castle | Tooting
A spacious, dressed-up pub with a huge heated garden out the back. There are even privately bookable huts with their own fireplaces…
Details: 38 Tooting High Street, Tooting Broadway, London, SW17 0RG
The Half Moon | Herne Hill
An old-school Victorian pub with moody, cosy interiors and comfy chairs, perfectly placed for a snifter after a stroll across Brockwell Park. There’s usually a great selection of beers on tap, plus house cocktails and a well-travelled wine list.
Details: 10 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London, SE24 9HU | Open 12-5pm
The Grove | Balham
A plush, colourful, light-filled Victorian boozer with mulled wine, Champagne and Christmas cocktails joining the usual pub line-up.
Details: 39 Oldridge Road, Balham, London, SW12 8PN | Open 12-5pm
The Cutty Sark | Greenwich
A stellar riverside spot with enough wooden and nautical trappings to make you feel like a sailor, and a decent enough drinks menu to let you drink like one, too.
Details: 4-6 Ballast Quay, Greenwich, London, SE10 9PD
The Clockhouse | Peckham
The perfect pit-stop after a stomp around on Peckham Rye. Cosy interiors with open fires, tweed-wrapped banquettes and mismatched vintage furnishings make for a picturesque setting for a Christmas Day pint, and they’re dog-friendly, too.
Details: 196a Peckham Rye, East Dulwich, London, SE22 9QA
The Royal Oak | Bethnal Green
Columbia Road’s old-school gem, with pared-back ’20s influenced interiors, and an island bar for pulling up a stool and enjoying a crisp pint.
Details: 73 Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG | Open 12-6pm
Fox & Anchor | Smithfield
A classic, wood-enveloped Victorian tavern with plenty special booze in for celebrating, from dessert wines and port to magnums of Champagne, plus a variety of cask ales.
Details: 115 Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 6AA
The Crown | Bow
Red wine, hot toddies and a roaring fire perched on the fringe of Victoria Park. Take a bracing post-dinner constitutional around the ponds and the pagoda before holing up here for something restorative.
Details: 223 Grove Road, London, E3 5SN
The Owl & Pussycat | Shoreditch
A huge, two-storey pub slap-bang on the middle of Redchurch Street, with a heated & covered beer garden out the back and a good line-up of beers on tap.
Details: 34 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP
Duck & Waffle | Liverpool Street
Another cocktail bar worthy of mention: housed on the 52nd floor of the Heron Tower, and now sporting a faintly magical makeover as the Polar Express, there are certainly less festive places for a fancy drink on Christmas Day than the Duck & Waffle cocktail bar…
Details: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY | Book here
The Alexandra | Wimbledon
The Alexandra always has a great atmosphere at Christmas, because they host a free lunch for locals who’d otherwise be spending the day on their own. And you can join them for a little mulled wine by the fireside.
Details: 33 Wimbledon Hill Road, London, SW19 7NE | Open 12-3pm
The Spotted Horse | Putney
The hub of Putney High Street, The Spotted Horse is a spacious but cosy, smartly turned-out pub with a heated rooftop terrace and a healthy line-up on tap.
Details: 122 Putney High Street, London, SW15 1RG
The Britannia | Kensington
Tucked off High Street Kensington, The Britannia’s dressed up in beautiful turquoise tones. There’s an open fire, and a solid selection of beers on draught.
Details: 1 Allen Street, London, W8 6UX
The Alfred Tennyson | Knightsbridge
As you’d expect from the area, The Alfred’s a well-heeled pub with plenty of stools and bars to prop up if you’re swinging by for a drink. There’s log fires, cosy corners to get tucked into, and a menu of winter specials including salted caramel espresso martinis and hot spiced apples.
Details: 10 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8LA
The Drayton Arms | South Kensington
A Kensington classic with a friendly atmosphere, plenty of tables and a heated area outside. Drinks-wise, you’ll find a solid line up of draught beers on the go, alongside well-crafted cocktails.
Details: 153 Old Brompton Road, London,
Want to really earn that pint? Take a look at these Christmassy walks in London.