Tourist Trail

This is a pub crawl we put together a while ago for a friend visiting town. His first time in London we wanted to show him all the classic tourist sites but avoiding the tube and passing through as many pubs as we could find. A lot of walking, but a very successful trip. With school holidays ending, but the sun still shining it’s the perfect time to become a London tourist.

The full map is shown below, assuming you start at Liverpool St station and walk at a decent pace. Pick whichever parts work depending on where you are and what you want to see. In the end (due to a late train) we decided to skip straight to St Stephen’s Tavern (for a decent bacon sandwich overlooking Tourist TrailWestminster) and making our way back east along the rest of the route.

The Chandos, I have it on good authority, is pronounced “chandoss”, and doesn’t rhyme with Nando’s but however you say it is always good for a beer particularly given how close it is to Trafalgar and Leicester Squares.

Waxy O’Connor’s is a huge labyrinthic Irish pub, great to explore but don’t try and meet people in there, you could get lost for days. However, Waxy’s Little Sister over the road is the exact opposite, the elusive quite, cosy pub in the middle of town. Head upstairs and stay warm by the fire while ordering your drinks straight to the bar via a dumb waiter.

Whichever pub you choose, you’re directly on-top of china town so if you’ve worked up an appetite you’re spoilt for choice. Once you’re done head across to Covent Garden, admire the shops, street entertainers and the market or just head straight to the Nags Head.

Heading east along The Strand and Fleet street you pass the Seven Stars (another good choice for food), Ye Olde Chesire Cheese and the Blackfriar. Three of the oldest pubs in London and still all going strong.

Once you enter The City things can get a bit quiet at the weekends but thankfully there’s always a couple of pubs to keep things going. The Centre Page on Knightrider street is worth a visit for their collection of David Hasselhoff memorabilia if nothing else. Meanwhile, Madisons at the top of One New Change is a classic City Bar, the beers are small and expensive but the view of St. Paul’s is worth it.

If you’ve made it that far, it’s probably time to get back on a train, but if you’re lucky enough to be visiting on a weekday then we’d always recommend exploring some of the old lanes Old Doctor Butler’s Head and the Jamaica Wine House will get you off to a great start.