Crackling fires, seats you can sink into and plenty of comfort food – that's what a good cosy pub is all about. So grab a drink, order the pie and mash, and settle in.
1. The Anglesea Arms
Fight the urge to head straight for the riverside pubs in Hammersmith and you will be rewarded with The Anglesea Arms, a cosy pub tucked away just outside the green space of Ravenscourt Park. The wood-panelled bar and warming fire are the fitting accompaniments to a traditional British menu, featuring five rotating real-ale pumps, draught beers and cider.
2. The Churchill Arms
3. The Dove
Cosy up at The Dove on Broadway Market in Hackney, where board games, British microbrews and Belgian beers are the order of the day. Food covers all the classics, from fish and chips to pies and legendary Sunday roasts.
4. The French House
5. The George Inn
Former coaching house The George Inn is the only National Trust-owned pub. Tucked away down an alley near London Bridge, this sprawling pub maintains its rustic beams, beautiful gallery and cosy interior. The courtyard area also has heaters and old-fashioned lamps to cater for the often-heaving crowd of drinkers.
6. The Holly Bush
7. The Plough
Spot the resident deer on a stroll through Richmond Park, before stopping for lunch in this gorgeous East Sheen pub – you won’t feel like you are in London at all. The Plough maintains its traditional 18th-century-inn look, and there are open fires and British ales to enjoy inside.
8. The Southampton Arms
Spot the sign outside reading "ale, cider, meat" and you'll quickly get an idea of what this cosy pub is about. The Southampton Arms at the bottom of Parliament Hill is a truly old-fashioned pub, with a wood-burning fire, cash-only policy plus numerous hand-pulled ales and ciders.
9. The Spaniards Inn
Shake the dew off your boots after a walk on Hampstead Heath at this warming pit stop. The Spaniards Inn counts literary royalty as ex-locals, including Dickens and Keats. Nowadays, it's popular for its Sunday lunches, open fire and sprawling walled beer garden.
10. The White Horse
Mix with the smart set at The White Horse, a favourite of the well-to-do Chelsea and Fulham crowd. This cosy pub is the whole package with an always-impressive selection of real ales, good food, roaring fires and Chesterfield sofas. Expect a posh crowd in a pub that has earned the nickname “The Sloaney Pony” over the years.
11. The Stonhouse
Follow a stomp in the open air on Clapham Common with a hearty meal and a pint at local favourite, The Stonhouse. The wood-panelled, pup-friendly pub serves European fare made with sustainably sourced British ingredients.
12. The Trinity Arms
For an update on the traditional London pub, head to Brixton's Trinity Arms. This buzzy local, set in a pretty square, serves large portions of British favourites such as fish and chips, chicken pie and Sunday roasts. As one of the few pubs with fireplaces in London, make sure to grab a seat by the fire.
13. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
Step back in time at Fleet Street institution Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, one of many cosy City of London pubs. Rebuilt in the 17th century, it's welcomed Charles Dickens, Dr Johnson, Alfred Tennyson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through its doors. As you'd expect of one of the oldest pubs in London, it's small and cosy with an open fire adding to the time-warp feel.
14. Ye Olde Mitre
Brush up on your history at Ye Olde Mitre, a tavern once frequented by Queen Elizabeth I. It’s a bit tricky to find this Holborn Circus spot, which has housed a pub for more than 500 years, but it's well worth the effort for its maze of intimate rooms to hole up in with friends.
15. The Coach & Horses
Spot this mock-Tudor pub nestled between more modern neighbours in swanky Mayfair. Dating back to the 18th century, The Coach & Horses retains a traditional feel and offers a range of cask ales to sample.
For more inspiration, check out the top 101 London pubs guide or immerse yourself in history at one of the fascinating traditional pubs in London.