The Circle Line Pub Crawl is, quite simply, the ultimate London pub crawl. Many people have attempted it, not all have made it through, but there are plenty who have lived to tell the tale. Whether you plan to dress up as famous London monuments or want to stag pub crawl London (or at least a big part of it), the Circle Line Pub Crawl is the ultimate test. With an impressive 27 stops, this ultimate London pub crawl is not for the faint-hearted, but the pride you’ll feel when you finish it is (almost) worth the hangover the next day.
Each of the pubs on this list are within a few minutes of the tube station, so all you need to do is arm yourself with your Oyster card and a group of friends. To ensure you have the best Circle Line Pub Crawl experience.
The ShakespeareFind this pub
The first stop on the Circle Line Pub Crawl is The Shakespeare in Victoria, just across the street from the underground station. This large, open-plan pub has plenty of history – once boasting the longest bar counter in London! However, due to its proximity to the station, it can get a little busy on weekends.
The Shakespeare starts serving food from 9am and then booze from 10am, so you can get started early. Make sure you fill your stomach with a full English breakfast before you continue on the crawl. It’s a Greene King pub, so you’ll find their own beers on tap along with a selection of guest beers such as Timothy Taylor.
The pub is of course named after arguably the world’s greatest dramatist. But did you know he wrote 38 plays and 15 sonnets?
ST. JAME'S PARK
The Old StarFind this pub
Stop number two is another Greene King pub – The Old Star. Recently refurbished and split over three floors, this is the perfect place to host a Circle Line Pub Crawl… There’s London underground memorabilia everywhere! It’s also less than a minute walk from St James’s Park underground station.
The Old Star has a couple of intimate alcoves dotted around that sit up to 20 people, ideal for a big group wanting their own space. Of course, you can expect some Greene King classics on tap here along with real ales that change on a regular basis.
The pub was once nicknamed “The Cab House” due to it being a favourite place for London cab drivers.
St Stephen's Tavern PubFind this pub
Ready to combine your pub crawl with some history and culture? St Stephen’s Tavern is an iconic pub, first opened back in 1875, and popular with politicians both past and present. Even Churchill has sunk a few pints in this Grade-II listed watering hole. It’s just two-minutes walk from Westminster Underground station and opposite both Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament.
This is a Hall & Woodhouse pub, which means they serve their own Dorset-brewed Badger beers alongside a range of other guest drinks. As your third stop, try to get there as early as possible before the tourists visiting Big Ben come flocking in.
The Princess Of WalesFind this pub
Two-minutes walk from Embankment, close to the bustling Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square, you’ll find this quaint hideaway, The Princess of Wales. This Nicholson’s pub is set over two floors, so don’t worry if you it looks small at first sight. But being close to Charing Cross station means it can get quite busy at peak times.
They serve one regular beer at The Princess of Wales; St. Austell Nicholson’s Pale Ale. If that doesn’t whet your whistle, they are renowned for having an eclectic range of changing cask ales. While you’re here, check out some of the biographies and portraits of famous local residents too.
Did you know? The pub is named after King George IV’s secret first wife, a Catholic widow. The marriage was declared illegal (at George’s father’s behest) as he would not have been eligible to reign with a Catholic wife.
Temple Brew HouseFind this pub
Stop number five is well worth the four-minute walk from Temple Underground Station! Temple Brew House is a micro-brewery that is home to the Essex Street Brewing Company. Slap bang in the middle of the bar is the five-barrel brew house, so your pint travels mere feet from the brewing tank to your glass. It doesn’t get much fresher than that!
This unique pub, which is packed full of mismatched furniture, has several awards under its belt. Luckily, it tends to be quite quiet in the day, so you’ll have your pick of places to sit. As for the beers? Well, they have two regular Essex Street beers and then plenty of changing offers. You’ll be spoilt for choice here!
The BlackfriarFind this pub
From a hipster’s paradise to a history-lover’s dream. Your next stop on the Circle Line Pub Crawl is The Blackfriar, just a stone’s throw away from the underground station. As soon as you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time thanks to the unique Art Nouveau style. This Grade II listed pub may seem like a museum, but the range of drinks on offer says otherwise.
The Blackfriar is another Nicholson’s pub, which means they serve up the same St Austell’s Pale Ale as The Princess of Wales. They also have two classics as regulars, Fuller’s London Pride and Sharp’s Doom Bar. On top of this, they have a whopping seven changing cask ales!
Did you know? The pub was built in 1875 on the site of a Dominican friary (a place where friars or members of certain religious communities live).
Ye Olde WatlinFind this pub
From one Nicholson’s pub to another! As with most of their pubs, there’s a real sense of history at Ye Olde Watling. It’s just a two-minute walk from Mansion House Station to the pub, which was apparently built out of wood from old ships by Christopher Wren. There’s a small back room with a few more seats here, but most of the time you’ll find yourself with enough standing room to sink your next drink.
You may even find yourself sitting in the dining room, the room where the plans for St Paul’s Cathedral were apparently drawn up!
Again, you’ll find Nicholson’s three regulars at Ye Olde Watling; St Austell Pale Ale, London Pride, and Doom Bar. However, they also have five changing cask ales, including the fruity Titanic Plum Porter and the award-winning Hopback Summer Lightning.
Cannick TappsFind this pub
Make your way up the steps of Cannon Street underground station, head over the road, and then back underground to The Cannick Tapps. Yes, this is an underground pub! However, it’s fully air-conditioned, which means it’s a great stop on the Circle Line Pub Crawl regardless of the weather. It also boasts a quirky interior with plenty of seating, so you’ll be able to spread out a bit.
One of the highlights of The Cannick Tapps is their craft wall, with plenty of rotating beers. Not sure what you want to drink? One of the bar staff will be more than happy to recommend something. They also serve up Doom Bar as a regular, if you want to stick to what you know.
The MonumentFind this pub
We’re onto stop number nine of the ultimate London pub crawl and you may just be starting to feel it… However, the minute walk from Monument Station to The Monument Pub should give you a bit of fresh air. This Greene King pub is big, so it shouldn’t matter if it is getting later in the day and busier.
The Monument serves up everything you’d expect from a Greene King pub; plenty of drink choices at reasonable prices. They also have outside seating. We’d recommend signing up for their email newsletter to get yourself a free drink, as you’ll be visiting plenty of Greene Kings on this crawl.
Did you know? The Monument is close to where The Great Fire of London started in 1666. The Monument was designed as a memorial as part of the rebuilding of the City.
The MinoriesFind this pub
From tube to pub in less than 60 seconds! Exit Tower Hill tube station and The Minories is just across the road. But if you fancy a scenic d-tour, this traditional establishment is just a stone’s throw away from top London attractions – Tower Bridge and Tower of London / London Dungeon.
Whether inside under the atmospheric railway arches, or outside in the heated beer garden – your group will be well served whatever the weather. And if sport is your thing, all major sporting events are shown on Sky and BT Sport.
Did you know? The word ‘Minories’ refers to the religious house the “Sorores Minores” sisterhood of the Order of St. Clare. Don’t know what that means exactly? Neither do we, so why not ask the bar staff to see if they can tell you more…
The Hoop and GrapesFind this pub
History and the Circle Line Pub Crawl collide yet again when you make your way to The Hoop and Grapes from Aldgate tube. Again, it’s the Great Fire of London, which spared this fine old timber-framed building. The fire stopped just 50 yards short of the building, making it one of very few buildings of its kind to survive this period.
Time has warped the structure – creating the perfect atmosphere for enjoying traditional British pub food and craft beer in central London. Open from 12 noon on weekdays and 11am on Saturdays.
Hamilton HallFind this pub
Chandeliers and high ceilings await you at Hamilton Hall. Situated next to the busy commuter hub of Liverpool street station, this establishment will make you wonder whether you have walked into a ballroom or pub.
But no need to swap your trainers for smart shoes or stilettos, because the menu will soon fill you with the familiarity (and cheap prices!) of a Wetherspoons pub. So if you’re with a large group, why not aim to make this your round of drinks?
Did you know? Hamilton Hall is the former ballroom of the old Great Eastern Hotel and named after Lord Claud Hamilton, chairman of the Great Eastern Railway Company (1893–1923).
The GlobeFind this pub
Stop number 13 is lucky for those that don’t like walking. The Globe, is just a one-minute walk from Moorgate tube and half a mile from Hamilton Hall.
Iconic London tourist attractions are, once again, right around the corner. They include the Museum of London, The Bank of England, Guildhall Art Gallery and the Royal Exchange Buildings are all a short walk away.
As with the other Nicholson pubs, it may take you longer to choose from the extensive drinks menu than to consume your beverage. The menu includes more than 20 types of gin, nearly 30 types of rum/whiskey, five craft ales, six ciders – as well as non-alcoholic and gluton-free options.
Did you know? The famous poet, John Keats, was born in a stable next door.
The ShakespeareFind this pub
Congratulations! You’re over half-way there. The Shakespeare is just a three-minute walk from Barbican underground station – stop 14 of 27 on the Circle Line Pub Crawl. And it is the second pub on the crawl named after England’s most famous writer, the Bard, William Shakespeare.
It is the place you’ve been waiting for if good Italian food and drink is your thing. Because The Shakespeare has teamed up with a historic restaurant from Italy ‘La Pia’, founded in 1887 in La Spezia.
A large selection of focaccia breads and pizzas are available at different sizes and prices, to help you make it through the second half of the ultimate London pub crawl.
Note: if you’re pub crawling on the weekend, The Shakespeare doesn’t open until 5pm on Saturdays and is closed for private hire on Sundays.
The CastleFind this pub
The story of a king, his gold watch and cockfighting. This forms part of the strange history of The Castle – located opposite Farringdon station in the City of London’s square mile. The story goes that the pub holds a pawnbroker’s license thanks to King George IV. The King is said to have exchanged his gold pocket watch for money with the landlord in order to continue betting on cockfights taking place at the pub.
Thankfully, your visit is unlikely to feature kings and cockfights. But do try to spot the pawnbroker’s sign outside the pub as you enter.
Tip: get 25% off food by completing The Castle’s feedback survey (on their website and in advance).
The Parcel YardFind this pub
No need to leave the station! Yes, The Parcel Yard is situated inside Kings Cross station. Just make your way up the steps next to platform nine. It’s also close to the Harry Potter shop – perfect for fans of the world’s most famous little wizard.
Here you can enjoy a drink in another listed building, which is fitting for a pub owned by the historic Fuller’s company. Fuller’s now operates around 400 pubs nationwide, having begun its journey in 1845. You may have already spotted or tasted its flagship beer ‘London Pride’, which has been brewed in the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick since 1958.
The Euston TapFind this pub
Twenty-eight keg beers and fifteen cask beers makes the Euston Tap the place for beer and cider lovers. The drinks on offer are chalked up next to the bar, allowing you to choose wisely. Will you choose by strength, by price, or by name?
The list features German favourites such as Bitburger Pilsner, a ‘Wild Wave Cider’ from great English brewers Adnams, and the unusual ‘Cappuccino stout’ by Lagunitas.
The Euston Tap is situated right by Euston Square underground. It is open from 11am “until late” Monday-Saturday and 11am-10pm on Sundays.
Did you know? Famous English poet, Sir John Betjeman, tried and failed to save the old Euston Station in the 1960s. The two lodges housing the Euston Tap are what remains.
GREAT PORTLAND STREET
The AlbanyFind this pub
Stop 18 on the Circle Line Pub Crawl takes you right to the centre of London’s Fitzrovia district. The Albany is one minute from Great Portland Street tube station.
But despite its central location, it is known for its relaxed and local atmosphere. Open midday to midnight Monday-Thursday, midday to 2am Friday-Saturday, and midday to 10pm.
Did you know? Around eight million tube journeys begin or end at Great Portland Street every year.
The Metropolitan BarFind this pub
Well done, you are two-thirds of the way through London’s top pub crawl. Need to stretch your legs or catch some more fresh air? Why not take a d-tour through the popular Regent’s Park on the way to The Metropolitan Bar. The bar is another part of the Wetherspoons chain – cheap and historical.
Regent’s Park is host to London Zoo, a boating lake and an open air theatre. World-famous Madame Tussaud’s is also on route if you choose to walk the 13 minutes from the Albany to The Metropolitan Bar.
Speaking of world-famous, Baker Street is the tube stop closest to the bar. 221B Baker Street is renowned for having been home to detective Sherlock Holmes. Pop into the Sherlock Holmes museum here, if you fancy.
Did you know? The pub is named after the Metropolitan Railway, which was the first urban underground railway in the world!
The ChapelFind this pub
Next up: a light, uplifting and spacious gastro pub in the heart of Marylebone/Paddington. The Chapel near Edgware Road could be a good dinner option as you hit the final stretch on the pub crawl.
Food is all cooked fresh, including freshly-baked bread served with every meal. And if alcohol is still top of your priorities, a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits from all over the world are available.
The owners: Alison and Lakis have been welcoming customers since The Chapel opened in 1995.
Sawyers ArmsFind this pub
You will find the Sawyers Arms right next to the historic London Paddington station. The original parts of ‘Paddington’ (as it’s known by Londoners) were designed by the great British civil engineer – Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
At the Sawyers Arms you will find a familiar menu of food and drink – it being the latest Greene King pub on the crawl. Make sure to check the website of the UK’s largest pub retailer and brewer for discounts and deals.
Opening hours are 11am-11pm Monday to Saturday, and 12pm-10:30pm Sundays.
Bayswater ArmsFind this pub
Five-minutes walk from Bayswater underground station is the Bayswater Arms. Close to the lush Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace – it is yet another one of London’s many green spaces worth visiting.
Speaking of green, the Bayswater Arms is also a Greene King pub. You should know the menu well by now, so why not make it a quick stop as you head towards the final five stops of London’s top Circle Line Pub Crawl?
Did you know? The name ‘Bayswater’ comes from Bayard’s Watering – a spring supplying the City of London since 1439.
NOTTING HILL GATE
Old SwanFind this pub
This spacious pub completes the hat trick of consecutive Greene King pubs. You know the drill – it’s traditional British pub food and drink on the menu at the Old Swan. Built in 1962, it even had a spell being named the Rat & Parrot before returning to its original name.
Notting Hill Gate underground station is just a one-minute walk down the road. So if you’re in a rush to complete the crawl, there’s no need to run!
If this is the place you choose for dinner, make sure to check for any food and drink deals.
HIGH STREET KENSINGTON
The BritanniaFind this pub
Get off one stop south on the Circle Line Pub Crawl and you will arrive at High Street Kensington. Tucked away in a side street just off this famous, luxurious shopping area lies The Britannia.
Here you will find comfy leather armchairs and a roaring fire (in winter) – just what you need at the end of a long day. Open until midnight Monday-Saturday and 11pm Sundays.
Did you know? The pub sits on the historic Britannia Brewery site, which has been serving customers since 1834.
The Stanhope ArmsFind this pub
Just three stops to go! High Victorian ceilings and a bright, airy atmosphere will greet you at The Stanhope Arms near Gloucester Road tube station.
The pub was built in the 1800s when this part of the road was called Stanhope Terrace – named after local landowners, The Stanhopes, the Earls of Harrington.
Again, you will be familiar with the Greene King menu. Can you remember what you had at The Shakespeare this morning?
Opening times are 9am-11pm Monday-Wednesday, 9am-12pm Thursday-Saturday and 10am-11pm Sunday.
Hoop & ToyFind this pub
Are you feeling excited as you get to The Hoop & Toy in South Kensington – your second-to-last stop?
This is another Victorian pub, with feature brick walls and modern furniture, open until midnight Tuesday-Saturday and 11pm Sunday-Monday.
If you have time and energy for some more sightseeing, why not visit the nearby Royal Albert Hall or Victoria and Albert Museum? Only have time for one? Go see The Royal Albert Hall, opened by Queen Victoria in 1871 and named after her late husband, Prince Albert, whose idea the venue had been.
The AntelopeFind this pub
This pub crawl terminates here! Have you got a spring in your step as you make the 0.2 mile (three-minute) walk from Sloane Square tube station to The Antelope?
Either way, once you get to the bar, it will be your 27th and final order of the day. And The Antelope is the perfect place to do it – a beautiful, traditional pub in Belgravia.
And that’s it. Whatever your choice of drinks… alcoholic, non-alcoholic, cocktails, sparkling water, wine, spirits or beer – you have shown great stamina and determination.
Well done, you have completed London’s top Circle Line Pub Crawl! We hope you’ve enjoyed it.