Southampton Arms

Critics' choice
Southampton Arms © Ed Marshall

The sign outside announces ‘ale, cider, meat’, and that pretty much sums up what’s on offer at the best pub in Gospel Oak. The interior might make you think it’s still 1936, as would the cash-only policy. The addition of cheese and charcuterie boards to the offering of meaty bar snacks is about as modern as it gets here.

The roster of lovingly tended ales and ciders, all from small independent producers, changes regularly – but Dark Star, Mighty Oak, Moor and Sambrooks are among the names you might encounter. There’s also mulled cider. One of the many great things about the Southampton is that it retains its mixed clientele, long-time residents and newcomers alike – and of all ages. There’s also a pub dog. This is a true local hero.

Venue name: Southampton Arms
Address: 139 Highgate Road
Opening hours: Open/snacks served noon-midnight daily
Transport: Gospel Oak rail

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

this is the best pub I've been to in London, and definitely the best in NW5. on wednesdays there's a couple of grandpas that play jazz, since we discovered them we go there every single wednesday to hear them play.


Beer and Cider top noch! + amazing atmosphere and beer garden.

Finton Stack

An absolutely cracking little pub, possibly my joint favourite (with The Harp at Charing Cross) in London. A fantastic range of real ales, ciders and new-wave keg beers, all at very reasonable prices (this must be one of the last bastions of the sub-£3 pint), top-notch snacks (pork pies, roast pork rolls) and great decor and atmosphere. The only down sides are that since it's fairly small it can get very, very bust, and it's a 45 minute train-ride from my house.


Love this place. If you live in London and you love beer (or cider), you should drink here at least once.


One of London's best. Has to be. Only downside is how busy it can get but it deserves its business so what can you do? Just get in and have a pint!


Found on here when visiting from the states and in search of a good beer. While not to many pubs in London, this was by far the best. Amazing selection, great atmosphere and friendly staff. No nonsense and no frills. Just a great boozer and great beers. If I lived in London I'd be back weekly! Wish I had found sooner in my visit.


Was very, very crowded the (week)night I went in, so you might struggle for space here. The beers are good though - although I was a little disappointed that given there are now good craft lagers coming in to London maybe these chaps could expand their "real ales/ciders only" to include a couple of quality lagers?


Great pub, really good pork baps. As good as visiting a beer fest.