London's best venues for folk music

Your guide to where to go for all sounds folky

Bush Hall - See folk in the beautifully formed interior Bush Hall - See folk in the beautifully formed interior

Whether it's fiddle-driven traditional forms or warped and weird nu-folk that tickles your fancy, our guide to London's most reliable folk venues – and the club nights staged there - will help you plan your night out.

Central | NorthSouth | East | West

Central

  • Apple Tree

    45 Mount Pleasant, London, WC1X 0AE (www.comedownandmeetthefolks.co.uk).

    Hosted by former linchpin of The Rockingbirds, Alan Tyler, Come Down and Meet the Folks happens h...

  • Betsey Trotwood

    56 Farringdon Rd, London, EC1R 3BL (www.thebetsey.com).

    This Victorian corner pub stages almost nightly music events as a backdrop for the supping of a f...

  • The Horseshoe

    24 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AG

    The band Rebetiko Odyssey hold a (free) jam session on the first Monday of every month, which is ...

  • The King & Queen

    1 Foley St, London, W1W 6DL

    This is where the Musical Traditions Club – now in its twentieth year – has its monthly, Frid...

  • The Slaughtered Lamb

    34-35 Great Sutton St, London, EC1V 0DX (www.theslaughteredlambpub.com)

    It's by no means its exclusive home, but the roving Pull Up the Roots night is a regular visitor ...

North

  • Albert & Pearl

    181 Upper St, London, N1 1RQ (www.albertandpearl.com).

    A shabbily chic ambience and kitschy cool prevails in this dimly lit bar, a suitably welcoming en...

  • Cecil Sharp House

    2 Regent's Park Rd, London, NW1 7AY (www.efdss.org)

    The esteemed headquarters of the English Folk Dance and Song Society – whose history dates back...

  • Green Note

    106 Parkway, NW1 7AN (www.greennote.co.uk).

    Pleasant vegetarian cafe/bar and venue featuring live music five nights a week (and Sunday aftern...

  • King's Head Crouch End

    2 Crouch End Hill, London, N8 8AA (www.thekingsheadcrouchend.co.uk)

    Downstairs at this tiny Crouch End institution (it's home to one of London's longest-running come...

  • Kings Place

    90 York Way, London, N1 9AG (www.kingsplace.co.uk)

    Vast, swanky new arts and media centre (now home to The Guardian) on a waterside site close to Ki...

  • Old Queen's Head

    44 Essex Rd, London, N1 8LN (www.theoldqueenshead.com).

    This expansive, groovily refurbished boozer/hipster hangout is where you'll find the winner of th...

South

  • Cabbage Patch

    67 London Rd, Twickenham, TW1 3SZ (www.myspace.com/twickfolk).

    The home of Twickfolk, which has been running since 1983 and is one of the most well-regarded roo...

  • Dulwich Hamlet FC

    Edgar Kail Way, Dog Kennel Hill, SE22 8BD (www.thegooseisout.com).

    One of two venues regularly hosting folk-particular club The Goose Is Out (the other is at The Ma...

  • The Grosvenor

    17 Sidney Rd, SW9 0TP (www.thegrosvenorsw9.co.uk).

    The upstairs live room of the two-storey Grosvenor – which is situated slightly off the beaten ...

  • Hootananny

    95 Effra Rd, London, SW2 1DF (www.hootanannybrixton.co.uk).

    This late-night Brixton venue runs the programming gamut from roots reggae (a speciality) to blue...

  • Selkirk

    60 Selkirk Rd, London, SW17 0ES (http://www.theselkirktooting.co.uk).

    The upstairs room of this Tooting venue is home to the celebrated Wizz's Sitting Room, held every...

  • The Magnolia

    211 Lordship Lane, London, SE22 8HA (www.thegooseisout.com)

    This handsome bar and restaurant is a second home to The Goose Is Out, which takes place every Fr...

East

  • Passing Clouds

    1 Richmond Rd, London, E8 4AA (www.passingclouds.org).

    Occasional home to Magpie's Nest subsidiary events Folklahoma! and Two For Joy, this low-profile,...

  • Ye Olde Rose & Crown

    53-55 Hoe St, London, E17 4SA (www.walthamstowfolk.co.uk).

    The long-lived and well-respected Walthamstow Folk club is found here every Sunday evening, showc...

  • The North Star

    24 Browning Rd, London, E11 3AR (www.whatscookin.co.uk)

    After years in the upstairs room of Leytonstone watering hole The Sheepwalk, the reliably excelle...

West

  • Irish Cultural Centre

    Blacks Rd, London, W6 9DT (www.irishculturalcentre.co.uk).

    As well as holding regular Irish film and literary events, theatre performances, regular ceilis, ...

  • Bush Hall

    310 Uxbridge Rd, London, W12 7LJ (www.bushhallmusic.co.uk).

    The exterior is unprepossessing, but inside the restored Edwardian plaster work impresses, as do ...