Prospect of Whitby

Bars and pubs Wapping
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(10 user reviews)
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Prospect of Whitby
© Nick Ballon

Historic pub that claims to be haunted by celebrity ghosts. If you don't catch a glimpse of them, you can console yourself with a great view of the Thames.

If you've ever taken a boat up the Thames, you'll have probably noticed a scaffold and hangman's noose outside an appealingly aged tavern by the Wapping riverside. It’s a grim reminder of Execution Dock, a nearby gallows where many a pirate met his end (yes, really). And the tavern in question is the Prospect of Whitby, London’s oldest riverside pub and the best of three by the river in Wapping.

Wood panelling, dark corners and uneven stone floors help to make it one of the city’s most atmospheric old drinking dens. Indeed, it seems hardly to have changed since the days of dock workers and deckhands. The neighbouring old warehouses might have been converted into luxury flats, but the pub still feels like the shadowy haunt of weatherbeaten sailors, smugglers and pirates, all just a few gulps of rum and a fist fight away from their next voyage.

Venue name: Prospect of Whitby
Address: 57 Wapping Wall
Opening hours: Open noon-11pm Mon-Thurs; noon-midnight Fri-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-9.45pm Mon-Sat; noon-8.45pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: Shadwell DLR/rail
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Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
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Raquel W

After a pub crawl along Narrow St from Canary Wharf, this is definitely my favourite place!

Izzy K

Dated 1520, the highly atmospheric Prospect of Whitby is the oldest London ‘river inn’ with a fantastic view over the Thames. The space draws on its historical connection to pirates, so it’s full of naval memorabilia and the walls are filled with stories and ghost legends. They claim Dickens and Samuel Pepys as their former customers, while the noose on the shore outside is a reminder of the execution dock that once stood nearby.

They have a good selection of beers and other drinks but the food menu was a bit of a let-down. You can find the pub classics here, but also burritos and wraps. Unfortunately, the look better on paper than taste. The battered halloumi in the ‘veggie fish and chips’ set was soft and juicy, but I couldn’t taste any of the coriander and lemon marinate. The number of fries served with it made me think they brought me kids portion by mistake. The Big Ben burger was average. The sauce it was served with, though, was very good.

It’s a perfect drinking spot for summer in a quiet neighbourhood. The terrace and the garden are spacious, and considering we came on Saturday afternoon, it was not overcrowded at all.


Like most other Londoners, after several boat trips down the Thames, having had this pub pointed out by each one of the various skippers, I was determined to visit this historic pub.  A Taylor Walker pub and therefore of decent pedigree and a good range of beers on tap.  The uneven flagstone floor is resilient to the high tide when it floods in and the ground floor small garden can accommodate a surprising number of people, as it did when I visited on a hot Friday evening.  The view from the first floor balcony (off another large room) is amazing - you realise how tidal the Thames is! - and you find yourself standing right next to the hangman's noose that put an end to many a naughty pirate, Next to this is a large sun terrace.  The food is acceptable - usual London prices.  And surprisingly few tourists.  


I work nearby so quite often we come here for gatherings. 

The pub itself is beautiful, managing to find the balance in showcasing its (very long and colourful!) history whilst also being modern.

Yesterday we had an end of term gathering, which meant that quite a few of us descended on the pub at midday. 

We sat in the garden which was lovely in the sun (second hottest day of the year!) however there were two big problems with the bar itself. 1) There were only two members of staff working. The group I was with combined with other customers led to long and lengthy queues to receive okayish customer service. 2) The pub had run out of ice. On one of the hottest days of the year led to drinks being lukewarm and nowhere near as fulfilling as they should have been. Considering we were sat in the garden the drinks warmed up quickly without ice. The drinks are on the pricey side and no allowances were made for the fact they warmed as soon as they were out of the fridge!

Aside from this I had a good time, as I always do here. Most of this is due to company but some of this is due to the atmosphere of the venue. 


Wapping? Yes, Wapping.

I know it’s somewhere most of us do not go to, but if you end up there one day, please please stop at that amazing pub.

This historic ‘public house’ dates all the way back to the 16th century. (Turner and Dickens even stopped here!)

It’s incredible to wander around the place and look at the original flagstone floor. It sort of looks like a maze with all doors leading to new rooms. There are a several terraces where you can enjoy the sun, but the best one is definitely the one on the first floor with superb views of the Thames and Canary Wharf. When you’re standing there, don’t forget to look down, you will see the post where they – supposedly – used to hang pirates and other outlaws.

As for the food, it’s pretty good and quite big portions for the price.

One of my favourite spots, check it out!

Cheeky Bellini



Great traditional and quaint looking pub with terrace overlooking the river which is perfect for summer days.

tim m

Well I vote it better than the other reviewers. Great pub in great location with great beers on tap. Certainly a cut above your average Spoonies!


Visited on a summer Monday evening. The view on the river is fantastic & the interior is quite interesting. We had fried haloumi cheese with chips x3 and pork belly with roasted potatoes x1 accompanied by draught ESB & Doombar. Nothing looked fresh, fries were too dry, potatoes soaked in fat, meat was just OK. Hardly good value for nearly £10 or over £13 respectively. The beer had good temperature but came with a head that disappeared immediately. Waiter was friendly & trying although he was clumsy, touched glasses everywhere when serving & neglected personal hygiene. The place though half empty was very noisy thanks to sounds coming out of the kitchen & another waiter. A good stop for a pint with a river view but nothing else.


We went to the 'Prospect' after watching the Queen's Jubilee celebrations on the river Thames for a drink. Expecting the place to be in good spirits (as we were) we were certainly disappointed! The manager at this pub is extremely rude and so was his side kick blonde staff member.. service is appalling. Myself and my friends were spoken to so rudely and aggressively. I suppose because they are the 'oldest' pub on the river they think they can treat people however they like. This was my worst experience of a pub in London, and I have lived here my entire life. AWFUL, RUDE, DIRTY AND UNPROFESSIONAL!! DO NOT GO HERE!! There are so many nice traditional pubs in London, that treat you well, with respect, and value your money and custom. Do yourself a favour and spend your time and money elsewhere.