Holborn pubs

Holborn has a whole host of pubs to explore, from creaking old inns to modern craft beer boozers
Princess Louise
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
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There are some seriously old-school pubs to discover in Holborn – from taverns hidden down the backstreets to former Victorian gin palaces, there’s plenty to please tourists and locals alike. But Holborn also hosts its share of forward-thinking drinkers within craft beer pubs and places with a modern gastro menu. Whether or not it’s historic pubs you’re after, you can guarantee these boozers will be buzzing as soon as the clock strikes five – so soak up that atmosphere.

RECOMMENDED: Find more fun in the neighbourhood in our Holborn area guide

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© Alys Tomlinson
Bars and pubs, Pubs

Cittie of Yorke

icon-location-pin Holborn

This authentically dingy, wobbly and warren-like pub is the kind of place in which to film a period drama. The main room is lined with conspiratorial dark wood alcoves, with old barrels over the long bar and framed portraits from Vanity Fair c.1870. Get your cheap booze fix from a range of Sam Smith beers on draught.

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Bars and pubs

Craft Beer Company

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

The High Holborn branch of Craft Beer Company still holds London’s record for the most keg lines and cask pumps – a total of 30 and 15 respectively. Crowd in at the bustling bar and work through beers brewed in obscure parts of the world. You’ll spy the pub in summer from its ever-crowded pavement.

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Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs

Draft House

icon-location-pin Smithfield

The Draft House’s formula of brash, neon decor and more beer options than you can shake a stick at is a popular one, and one that suits the after-work crowd near Chancery Lane pretty nicely. With 13 beers on tap and countless bottled brands, knowledgeable staff more than happy to help you out with a taster and the opportunity to drink by the third-pint, beer lovers are spoilt for choice.

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© Ming Tang Evans
Bars and pubs, Pubs

The Duke

icon-location-pin Holborn

Decked out with scuffed wooden booths and painted an eye-watering rhubarb colour, The Duke is a throwback with a heart. The drinks selection is limited at best – don’t expect much more than San Miguel and Becks by way of lager – but they’re served with a smile. Food is firmly of the pie-and-mash variety, but is priced accordingly.

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Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs

Holborn Whippet

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With its tiny size and its cracking range of beer, The Holborn Whippet can see crowds on its courtyard out the front, especially at clocking off time. Force your way to the bar and you’re greeted with a tantalising array of ales on draught.

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Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

The Lady Ottoline

icon-location-pin Holborn

The Lady Ottoline has recently been taken over by the same group that operates Newman Street Tavern, The Princess Victoria and The Henry Root, so expect an upmarket gastropub with a sturdy gin list.

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Bars and pubs, Pubs

Princess Louise

icon-location-pin Holborn

This Sam Smiths pub and former Victorian gin palace is one for your London bucket list, if only to hide in one of its frosted-glass booths for a moment. The pub is still beautifully ornate and it won’t cost you the earth to drink in such old-school opulence. 

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Bars and pubs, Pubs

Seven Stars

icon-location-pin Holborn

Located behind the Royal Courts of Justice, the tiny, charismatic Seven Stars still sees its fair share of baristers through the doors. They’re charmed by landlady Roxy Beaujolais and her quirky ways – which sees cartoon strips on the wall, a menu of retro bar snacks and a pub cat roaming freely and often dressed in a ruff (seriously).

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Bars and pubs

George IV

icon-location-pin Holborn

It’s a splendid little pub, this, with a young, international clientele drawn in no small part from the nearby London School of Economics. They’re treated to a decent selection of ales on draught and a seriously traditional menu of pub grub (soups, ploughman’s and chunky sarnies). 

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