Pubs and beer are a symbol of British society and tradition as much as tea and cakes and fish and chips. But beyond the stereotypes, do you know what lies behind the tradition of beer and pubs? This 3-hour London Beer and Brewery Tour offers a new perspective and appreciation of beer as we enjoy ample tastings at various pubs and breweries located in the East End London area. Led by a trained food anthropologist with expertise in the beer and brewing industry, we’ll focus on the history of brewing in London, highlighting beer’s evolution from a dietary staple, to the almost lost tradition of cask ales, to today’s renaissance of craft beer and brewing.
Our walk, led by a food anthropologist and beer expert, travels through the hip East End of London (also the subject of our London East End Tour), stopping in at a select group of breweries, pubs and beer bars like the Crown and Shuttle and Brewdog, allowing us to become Londoners for a few hours. The exact stops and presentation will vary depending on the docent and group; we may visit what was once the largest brewery in the country, known today as Truman, Hanbury, and Buxton, and discuss the history of brewing in London. Here we can also learn about the history of the East End of London more generally, and how it has changed over time, noting how the culinary and cultural landscape has shifted with the arrival of new immigrants and social groups.
We will discuss the reemergence of brewing, the recent craft beer movement, and the ways in which brewers are experimenting with old recipes to reinvent, redefine, and recreate traditional beer styles. We may also stop in one of London's top gastropubs. Here we'll discuss the pairing of beer and cheese, while sampling some traditional British cheeses along with other specialties.
Along the way, we will sample a range of British and local beers to experience the diversity of the country’s brewing industry. We will examine how all of these products fit into the British diet, along with other culinary traditions and philosophies. At the end of the walk, we will have gained an understanding of the significance of beer in British history, including its contribution to diet, its social status, and the decline and rebirth of the brewing industry in England.
Please note any food allergies or intolerances in the Notes box when booking.
Food enthusiasts, we suggest you also take a look at our London Food TourLondon Food Tour.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
Generally speaking, the walk begins and ends in the Shoreditch neighborhood. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map, and 24 hour phone number for any last minute issues.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine. There is some walking in between pubs, but the vast majority of this tour takes place indoors.
Can children join this tour?
The legal drinking age in the UK is 18. Under 18s are allowed on private bookings, but they can not drink.
Is this a walking intensive tour?
This walk covers less than 1 mile overall. There are plenty of opportunities to sit, and use the bathroom if needed. One of the bars we visit only has a bathroom on second floor, which requires walking up a flight of stairs. The other bars have ground floor bathrooms.
Explore one of the world's most iconic entertainment districts, where the rich and famous have rubbed shoulders with the down-and-out for over 300 years, on this 2.5-hour small-group walking tour of London's Soho. Along the way you'll stop at four iconic pubs (own expense), and walk in the footsteps of some of the world's most famous actors, musicians, and writers as you visit locations from Soho Square to Chinatown to London's red light district.
Meet your local guide and friendly small group at Piccadilly Circus at 2pm, for this deep dive into the alleyways, courtyards, and byways of London's Soho neighborhood. Besides landmarks like St. Anne's Church, the French House, Chinatown, and Soho Square, you'll find out where the famous and infamous lived, worked, and played.
Stop at the club where Marilyn Monroe used a double to escape the paparazzi. Step into London’s red light district and learn about the 'English Hugh Hefner', who brought the sex industry to town. Discover which world leader established his World War II headquarters at the French House, and why there are statues of noses found all over the capital.
Find out where Karl Marx lived and wrote sections of Das Kapital, visit pubs frequented by George Orwell, and admire the former home of the legendary lover Casanova.
A trip through Soho is a trip through musical history. See the house where Mozart lived as a child prodigy. Visit a venue where legends like Jimi Hendrix played, and see Paul McCartney's business premises on Soho Square. Your last stop will be a bar made famous by John Lennon and Eric Clapton – Keith Moon from The Who was banned from here for life.
The tour finishes at 4:30pm. Feel free to accompany your guide back to Piccadilly Circus or continue exploring Soho's pubs and nightlife at your own pace.
Enjoy a quintessentially English experience on this 3-hour walking tour of London’s finest historic pubs. Visit some of the city’s oldest and most famous pubs, and learn about the brewing process while sampling two craft beers. Hear tales about legendary patrons while soaking in the authentic atmosphere of three distinct establishments.
Meet your guide and fellow tour participants on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Then, enjoy a brief walk to your first stop, The Centre Page, one of London’s oldest surviving alehouses.
The Centre Page has gone by the past names of “The Horn Tavern,” “The Horn Coffee House,” and “The Bugell,” and is referenced in the 1663 diary of Samuel Pepys and the Charles Dickens literary classic, The Pickwick Papers. British-born Guy Fawkes was also known to frequent the pub, and was said to have conducted a meeting within its cellar walls.
Next, cross the Millennium Bridge and pass by the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre as you walk to Anchor Bankside, a 17th-century pub situated on the banks of the Thames River. Shakespeare himself supposedly enjoyed a pint of ale or two within the walls of the Anchor, a place that has been used as a tavern, brewery, and ship’s chandler. It’s also played host to a wealth of other notable patrons including Dr. Samuel Johnson, another of England’s best-known literary figures.
The pub contains a room dedicated to The Clink Prison, a prison located nearby along the aptly named Clink Street. Pass it en route to your next stop, the Old Thameside Inn. You will also see the remains of the Palace of Winchester, one of the largest and most important buildings in medieval London.
History oozes from the great beams and ancient brickwork of the Old Thameside Inn, formerly an old spice warehouse. Once inside, enjoy three samples of local beer while learning about the brewing process and sitting in the midst of a a life-size replica of Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship, The Golden Hind. At the end of your tour feel free to stay on in the Old Thameside Inn and enjoy a wide selection of ales or quality pub food, all served with a generous measure of British hospitality.
If you’re heading back toward St Paul’s Cathedral by way of the London Bridge underground stop, don’t miss the views of Southwark Cathedral along with the wide-ranging stalls of Borough Market.
Arrange your private pub tour and let the charismatic pub tour leader take care of the rest! The tour normally starts around 3pm. Your guide is an expert on the London pub scene, beer and alcohol history as well as local architecture and British customs (having written books on all five subjects). The guide is a former Beer Sommeliers of the Year and makes regular appearances on British television and radio to discuss the subject.
Visit four delightful pubs within the historic City of London at Holborn, Black Friars, and Fleet Street - each one unique and full of history. Visit a Victorian gin palace; an art nouveau public house that resembles a medieval hall and is the only one of its kind in the world; plus a Restoration ale-house – rebuilt in 1667 after it burned down in the Great Fire of London.
Your group will sit down for a complimentary half-pint in each London pub to soak up the atmosphere, and listen to fascinating anecdotes relating to the pubs and surrounding areas. A half-pint of beer or cider per person in each pub is included in the tour price, and your expert guide is happy to recommend which beer or cider to choose. A mini-tutored tasting will be given, advising on the aroma, flavor and body of your chosen ale.
If you're looking for a private tour which includes history, fun and character to go with your pint, then this is the perfect tour for you.
A walking tour to historic pubs in London with a chance to sample a local beer/ale, soft drink or tea/coffee in unique and historic surroundings as you learn about the history of the pub and locale.
A Pub Crawl, so named in the finest English tradition because in the old days and indeed not so old days, pub drinkers would stop off for a drink at as many pubs as they could until they were reduced to crawling between venues.
Whilst we won’t be going there, this traditional pub walk will visit some of the finest old pubs in London. Each one with a very different atmosphere and history but all sharing a fine offering of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in a wonderful building.
From the fringes of the East End, we will visit pubs in Clerkenwell and Farringdon before visiting some truly historic pubs in Holborn and Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Enjoy a pint or 1/2 pint of beer/ale or soft drink such as coke/lemonade or orange juice... tea or coffee in every pub we visit in this private guided tour.
This private tour of historic London pubs takes us to several famous and infamous old pubs in some very different parts of London. Get to experience London like a local, enjoy traditional drinks in very authentic locations.
This private guided tour of 5 historic London pubs will take us to some of the most historic and traditional pubs in London. However they are all in very different locations and neighbourhoods, joined together by easy London Underground trips.
Though all very different, they all share fascinating and unique histories as well as providing a wide range of quality traditional drinks in a very authentic London atmosphere.
Get away from the tourist and get to experience London as we Londoners enjoy it. Visit places you wouldn't otherwise see and learn some interesting history on these less visited parts of our wonderful city.
In each pub as well as a great atmosphere and interesting neighbourhood and hopefully conversation too... you get to choose from a wide selection of traditional local beers and ales. Of course soft drinks, juices and teas/coffees are also available for those of us that don't have hollow legs which includes your guide of course!
Meet your guide in Fitzrovia in the afternoon, then start your tour with a traditional British pub quiz. Test your knowledge of Britain’s literary scene, then head onward through the City of London to further your knowledge.
During your tour, sample a selection of British beers (own expense) and meet a lifelike incarnation of Charles Dickens to hear what he has to say! Visit sites frequented by great 19th- and 20th-century poets and writers including Brendan Behan, Anthony Burgess, Karl Marx, George Orwell, Dylan Thomas, and Virginia Woolf.
Watch re-enactments of key moments in Britain’s literary history — such as the moment Dylan Thomas met his future wife Caitlin — and hear of the incidents and mishaps that shaped some of British literature’s most famous works.
Discover some of the places that have inspired more modern songwriters and artists like Paul McCartney and Damien Hirst, and enjoy book and poetry readings along the way. Afterward, finish your walking tour at The Coach and Horses pub in Soho, central London.
Windsor Castle is the oldest royal residence in the world still being used by a royal family.