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Victorian pubs

A reoccurring theme throughout Christopher Winn’s “Walk Through History, Discover Victorian London” is Winn’s love for Victorian pubs and the fascinating history surrounding them.

Each pub featured in our “Walk Through History, Discover Victorian London” pub crawl is about a ten minute walk from the next and the route is pretty straight forward. Follow the route and go back in time, grabbing a pint while you’re at it. Happy drinking!

Starting point – Chancery Lane Station

Go outside of Chancery Lane station and walk towards Holborn for one minute. The Cittie of Yorke is located to your right.

Cittie of Yorke:

Central London, WC1V 6BN


With Winn describing it as having a “glorious interior”, the Cittie of Yorke boasts a Victorian style appearance with an amazing central fireplace and wooden beam ceilings. It’s a Samuel Smith pub and has their usual drink and food selections including traditional pub pies, and was rewarded a ‘Worth a Visit’ badge by The Good Pub Guide.

Continue in the same direction, past Holborn station and the Princess Louise is on your right.

Princess Louise:

Central London, WC1V 7EP


Having the title as one of London’s most renowned Victorian pubs, the Princess Louise has wood panelling and glass etching throughout the bar that gives you an authentic Victorian vibe. Winn describes it being beautifully restored with its original features kept, like its private booths and ‘snob screens’ (used as a way to separate the middle and working class clientele back in the day). The Good Pub Guys describe it as a superb gin palace, also giving it a ‘Worth a Visit’ badge.

Walk back to Holborn station and head down Kingsway road. Take a right and walk down to Strand towards Charing Cross. The Coal Hole is located next to the Savoy Hotel on your left.

The Coal Hole:

Central London, WC2R 0DW


Occupying the Savoy Hotel’s coal cellar in Victorian London, The Coal Hole has high beamed ceilings, leaded windows and Victorian style tiled flooring. Its wine bar downstairs and large selection of beer bodes well for a great variety of booze.

Keep walking down Strand towards Charing Cross, take the second exit of the roundabout down Whitehall and the Silver Cross Tavern is on your left.

Silver Cross Tavern:

Central London, SW1A 2BX


Before being licenced in 1674, the pub occupies what was one of the only legal brothels to exist in the country. The Silver Cross Tavern doesn’t fail to take you back in time. Winn describes it having an impressive Victorian interior with marble, mirror, tiles and stone used throughout. It’s a Greene King pub, serving their standard food and drinks. The fish and chips seem to be a hit.

Walk back to the roundabout and down Cockspur St which merges into Pall Mall. Take a right onto St James’s Square and continue onto Duke of York St. The Red Lion is on your left.

The Red Lion:

Central London, SW1Y 6JP


To finish up, go inside of The Red Lion to experience what the Architectural Review describes as the best example of a Victorian Gin Palace. Its interior consists of a mirror backed bar, detailed ceiling, and mahogany wall frames. It’s always buzzing on a sunny day with crowds of people standing outside with a drink in hand. As a Fuller’s pub, it has a varied selection of drinks and food with the pies being highly recommended. The Good Pub Guide has given it a ‘Worth a Visit’ badge as well as a ‘Beer Award’.

Walk Through History, Discover Victorian London” is available to buy online and in all good book shops now.

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