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The Royal Oak, London Bridge pubs

London Bridge pubs

Find the perfect place for pints when in and around London Bridge with Time Out’s guide to pubs in the area

By Laura Richards
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Maybe you’re in search of pints when stopping by the area. Or perhaps you’re looking for your new post-work bolthole. It could even be a reality check you’re after, following on from drinks up The Shard. Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let Time Out guide you round the best pubs near London Bridge and a little beyond; watering holes that should work for a night out, for drinks the morning after or for a lazy London lunch (avec pints, of course).

RECOMMENDED: Find more fun nearby with our London Bridge area guide

The best pubs in London Bridge

Dean Swift

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Craft beer pubs Shad Thames

Down the picturesque cobbled alleyways of Butler's Wharf, the Dean Swift is an impressive retreat from tourist town, especially if you’re into your craft beer. Of the 14 taps and pumps on offer just four are permanent fixtures while the rest change whenever the barrel runs out. Bottoms up.

Tim Roney

Draft House

Bars and pubs Pubs Tower Bridge

This branch in the Draft House chain is a short walk from London Bridge and sits in the shadow of Tower Bridge. Downstairs is a basement bar dedicated to cocktails, but the ground level remains decidedly pubby and committed to the Draft House cause: serving good gastropub food and an outstanding selection of beer.

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The George, southwark
© Flickr / Oxfordian

The George Inn

Bars and pubs Borough and London Bridge

If you fancy a spot of history with your drinking, The George is a must-visit. William Shakespeare championed this pub back in his day, and the inn was even host to performances of a number of his plays. You can still spy the old galleries on the pub’s exterior from which people would have crammed in to catch the theatrics. Meanwhile, the interior is as creakingly atmospheric.

Photo: © Flickr / Oxfordian

Gladstone Arms

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Craft beer pubs Borough and London Bridge

This pub was saved from the wrecking ball fairly recently, declared an asset of community value and taken on by a new team. Hooray for that. Old regulars needn’t panic – the much-loved live music offering is still intact. Elsewhere, there’s craft beer, a menu of small plates, reclaimed furniture and a cosy, friendly atmosphere.

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Lord Clyde002.jpg
© Ed Marshall

Lord Clyde

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Southwark

The Lord Clyde is a lived-in home from home for middle-aged regulars and penny-conscious students. Draught lagers are glugged by regulars playing darts in a back room otherwise decorated by a print depicting the Lord Clyde’s heroic action at the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War.

Marquis of Wellington

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Gastropubs Bermondsey

The Marquis of Wellington near the Bermondsey Beer Mile has had a recent facelift to help it stand out from the crowd. Inside you’ll find beers from a few nearby breweries – including Anspach & Hobday just over the road – plus a small selection of pizzas that’ll keep you going if you’re boozing on an empty tank.

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MC & Sons

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Pubs Southwark

MC & Sons does what many pubs do: it serves Thai food alongside its crisp pints. But it does so very well indeed. It also happens to be an Irish pub, with the kind of welcoming atmosphere you’d hope to see – it’s heaving after work with large groups gathered by the bar. You’d be mad to not want to get stuck in with them.

The Miller

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Pubs Borough and London Bridge

Down on Snowsfields you’ll find The Miller, a pub popular with students and workers alike. They’re drawn in by a menu of burgers and fast food from Bunsmiths, improv comedy nights upstairs and cans galore behind the bar from London favourites like Beavertown. It may look a bit shabby on the outisde, but contemporary art and comfy old chesterfields warm up the atmosphere indoors no end.

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© Oliver Knight

Rake

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Craft beer pubs Borough Market

This ever-popular Borough Market pub is miniscule, and with walls covered in the kind of scribblings you'd find in a toilet cubicle. These words are tributes from brewers who've found a place as passionate about beer as they are. Seven kegs and three casks, along with two fridges containing bottles galore, pump out a constantly changing variety of brews, with many ultra-rare ones to nerd out over.

Rose

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Pubs Bermondsey

Once an unremarkable Southwark pub with a good jukebox, the Rose re-emerged in the summer of 2013 after a two-year closure and refurbishment, sporting a dashing look – dark wood, bronze-topped tables and posh pork scratchings. Cocktails are of the hot-right-now pre-mixed and barrel-aged varieties, or look to G&Ts and martinis. A food menu covers all bases.

Venue says Our Sunday roasts make their triumphant return this Sunday! Booking advised to avoid disappointment

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Royal Oak

5 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Pubs Borough and London Bridge

Charming net curtains are strung halfway down the ceiling-high windows, a dozen pieces of vintage china are mounted above the bar, and to move through the pub, you have to step through immaculately maintained dark wooden doors holding pretty etched glass windows. It all makes this one of London’s most atmospheric places to drink, with beer predominantly from Harvey’s brewery in Sussex (which runs the pub).

Woolpack_press2011_CREDIT_TomMartin.jpg
© Tom Martin

Woolpack

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Bermondsey

For the best beer garden in the area, head to The Woolpack, a down-to-earth watering hole on the ever-charming Bermondsey Street. Having said that, it’s no secret, so you may have to keep eagle eyes out for a table in the sun. Back indoors though, it’s a quality two-floor pub-restaurant as part of the Young’s family. Expect a decent wine list and a popular Sunday lunch menu.

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Wheatsheaf

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Wineries Borough Market

Rail-bridge engineering works above Borough Market forced the closure of this pub for three years until it emerged with a new look in December 2012. It’s a pleasant place to sit, although is heaving on market days – but definitely keep it in mind for its buzzing, shady beer yard. This being a Young’s pub, the beer offer is limited by brewery ties. The food menu is much more enticing, made up of hearty dishes like ox cheek mac and cheese and wild boar meatballs.

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