Combining both history and London pubs and restaurants on a tour in England will always win me over. The London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour allows you to discover some of the oldest and most historically significant pubs located along the docks, which was known as old London town.
Table of Contents
- Eating London Tours
- Where we went
- The Mayflower
- The Prospect of Whitby
- Turner’s Old Star
- Captain Kidd
- The Dickens Inn
- Points of interest on London pub and food tour
Eating London Tours
Back in the day, these pubs played an important role in the lives of sailors, dockers, and even pirates – a place where they met, intermingled, ate and drank. More than hundreds of years old, they now hold the testimony of the eras gone by.
Once a busy trading port, today this area is relatively more peaceful and offers serene and awe-inspiring riverside views of the city. As you visit these historic pubs, you will be able to picture in your mind’s eye the lives lived and the stories told!
On this unique tour, you will also get to enjoy some of the finest brews that London has to offer along with a wonderful line-up of lip-smacking food that will surely tickle your taste buds and make the experience of re-visiting an old-time pub all the more realistic.
⇒ Looking to discover other parts of England, please feel free to head to my United Kingdom Page
Where we went
The London Old Docks – Historic Pubs, Food & Beer Tour will take you to 5 different pubs. All were unique and historic in their own way and with great stories to tell. Some even have regularly celebrities that hangout out for food and drinks, so keep your eye out.
The first stop on the tour and only a 2 minute walk away from the meeting point are the famous Mayflower (or once known as the Ship). It is a charming little pub with baskets of fresh flowers hanging all over the facade. It is considered to be one of the oldest watering holes in London, rich in history and culture.
Inside, the walls are covered in shipping memorabilia and they even have a logbook for the ancestry of the sailors and pilgrims who stayed on the Mayflower ship.
Here you will be served an English classic of bangers and mash with black pudding and gravy. While washing it down with a scurvy ale. You will learn how The Mayflower became one of the most historic pubs in the UK. As well as learn how it played a very important part in American history in 1620.
Today, from the rear of the pub you can still see the original mooring spot of this famous ship.
The Prospect of Whitby
Built in 1520, The Prospect of Whitby (originally known as The Pelican) is believed to be the oldest tavern on the Thames. As soon as you step inside, you will feel like you have taken a step back in time. The floor is the original flagstone dating back some 500 years (even with the original door trap that is now sealed off).
There is a rear deck that overlooks the former execution docks, complete with replica gallows and loads of interesting memorabilia.
We sit for our 2nd classic British meal Fish and chips with mushy peas, washed down with a craft ale. As we listen to our guide, the first thing that comes to my mind is the phrase ‘If these walls could talk” they would tell you a story. The stories seem never ending, from the pirates to the cruel executions served by hanging judge Judge Jerries.
Looking for something to do near there, how about visiting The Tower of London
Turner’s Old Star
Turner’s Old Star looks exactly like you would picture a typical English pub. It is one of the last remaining traditional East End pubs that is independently owned.
Renamed after the famous artist Joseph Turner, who was inspired by the docks and the ships that frequented the waterways. Today the pub is used in many movies (most recently Legend starring Tom Hardy) and is famous in its own right.
Once you step in you are greeted by the owner (Bernice), who will pour you a London favourite ‘London Pride’ (I had a cider, no more beer for me) and give you a homemade steak pie.
As you may know, I am Australian and we love meat pies, even when we are full. If you have time, take a wander and look at the photos on the walls and see how many celebrities you can name.
Named after a 17th-century pirate (William Kidd) who was executed in 1697 and built inside a former coffee warehouse on the river is Captain Kidd. Unlike the other pubs, it is spacious, has a huge beer garden and is more modern.
In some ways, you can tell it is corporately owned with its own labelled beer and snacks that line the bar. In this case, though, it is Samuel Smith label that is used in this bar.
Here instead of an English classic meal (you’ll need a break after all the yummy food), you will enjoy a classic pub snack the ‘hairy snack’ while sipping on a porter. The porter had a strong smell and the taste was definitely different from the ales.
The Dickens Inn
What better way to end the tour than at one of my favourite pubs in London, The Dickens Inn. Completely covered in fresh flowers, this former 18th-century three-storey warehouse with balconies definitely stands out.
It has a long and intriguing history intertwined with Charles Dickens and East London heritage. When you look at the slant on the roofline, it is higher on one side than the other.
You finish off with a delicious Cheese platter, dedicated to English cheese such as stilton and cheddar that was paired with a Symonds cider. A great way to end the tour after a fantastic time learning, eating and drinking.
Points of interest on London pub and food tour
- Travelling through the oldest tunnel in the world under the Thames, which was once considered the eighth wonder of the world
- Stopping at Tobacco Dock, to see a replica of one of the trading ships coming from the West Indies that remains permanently docked. It is hard to believe that originally this area as large as 40 football fields.
- Visiting and learning about five of the most intriguing London pubs, which are must-visits for any discerning traveller.
- Interacting with a local who told his own version of tales about pirates and thieves at The Prospect of Whitby
- Walking along Wapping Wall, now heritage protected street that was once a bustling hub of pubs and warehouses. It looks really cool how all the cranes are still in place, as part of the street decor.
Other Eating Europe Food Tours
Eating Europe Food Tours concept of discovering unique facts about a city through tasting different foods and experiencing and learning the culture.
If you like the tour, the great news is that Eating Europe Food Tours also operates in Amsterdam, Florence, Prague, and Rome. The best bit is they conduct a variety of well-designed and thoughtful Food Tours and Cooking Classes, depending on your interest.
Which gives any food lovers and budding travellers a chance to explore some of Europe’s most beautiful and soulful cities through their food.
Other Tours they have in London
There are a number of other tours that are currently held in London, I highly recommend the Twilight Soho Food and Cocktail Tour. I also, understand that the Brick Lane is really good especially if you like a good Curry.
- Don’t eat beforehand, as you get plenty of great English food on the tour to enjoy.
- You catch a tube for one stop under the Thames. If you don’t have an Oyster card, don’t worry you can use your contactless.
- Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes as there is a lot of walking.
- If you do not want to drink beer, then you can have a cider or soft drink. Please let the tour know in advance.
- How about taking a guided day tour from London to Stonehenge, Winsdor and Bath
- Not the type of place you would take children for the obvious reasons
Where the London pub and food tour starts & finishes
The food tour takes place in Rotherhithe/Wapping, a 2-minute walk from Rotherhithe Station. And finishes at The Dickens Inn in St Katharine’s Way and only 5 min walk to Tower Hill tube. Once you have purchased your ticket, you will be provided you with a map and instructions for the meeting point.
Additional Information about London pub and food tour
- Price: £79- Per Person ( Which includes, a drink at each pub and food)
- Tour duration; 4 hours Starts at 12 pm
- Intervals: Mon-Fri
- Time; Make sure to be at the meeting point at least 15minutes beforehand.
- Where it starts; Rotherhithe along the Thames where the tour starts, London England
Other Historical places of interest in the UK
If you are interested in discovering other Historical places in England, feel free to read the following articles. All are great options for history and a great day out in London.
- London – Hampton Court Palace
- Nottingham – Nottingham England – A Perfect Weekend Away
- Kent – A Day out at Hever Castle
Thank you for reading this article, I hope it helped you in deciding to do the London Old Docks – Historic Pub, Food & Beer Tour. It is such an interesting tour.
Disclaimer: Even though I was a guest of Eating Europe All views are my own based on my own experience.