Rugby fans, rejoice! The Six Nations is coming up (Sat Feb 1 - Sat Mar 14). Where better to watch the action, World Cup or otherwise, than at one of London's best rugby pubs? Our selection of top London pubs can be found near the home of English rugby, Twickenham, and beyond, but they all have one thing in common: more than a bit of a buzz on match days. Grab a pint of craft beer, practice your very own take on the haka and prepare chants so filthy you'll need placing in the sin-bin before half time.
The best rugby pubs in London
A landmark Young’s pub and rightly so, the large, Victorian-era Alma serves punters of all stripes gathered around a low, island bar. Some perch on barstools, others at tables nearer the windows: most will be gawping at the large, pull-down screen for big matches. Outside of these magic 80 minutes plus stoppages, the Alma attracts ale fans eager to sample Sambrook’s Wandle, Wells Bombardier or something from the regular Young’s range.
This Fuller's pub claims to be the most famous rugby pub in the world. While we can't confirm that, we can tell you that it's found opposite Twickenham station, attracting a fair few loyal supporters for a pre- or post-match pint, as well as those who've missed out on match-day tickets and fancy soaking up some serious sports atmosphere. They even have private screening rooms available for hire if you and your mates fancy making the most of the action.
All Draft House pubs will be screening matches during the Six Nations, but try booking ahead for a spot in front of the Seething Lane branch's 'monster screen' for full impact. With beers from all around the world, you can get behind your country on all scores.
This pub gets busy for weekend lunches, so imagine how packed it is when the rugger comes around. But it all adds to the match-day atmosphere and you can book a spot for groups in advance to make sure you’re enjoying the sports in stylish Kensington surrounds. Get in a round of The Duke’s seasonal ale and the meat-based bar snacks – sausage rolls, scotch eggs and scratchings – to really do it in style.
The Ealing Park Tavern is a pretty upmarket location for your rugby viewing. It has big windows, leather seats, a fire, an open kitchen, cutlery and thick napkins, taxidermy and wood panelling. It welcomes dogs and it even serves cocktails. Don't worry though, you can still order in the real ales and keep things traditional.
Halfway down narrow Church Street, parallel to the Thames and the Eel Pie Island of early 1960s music lore, this likeable old Hall & Woodhouse pub is a real rugby haunt. Walls of framed tickets, colour caricatures and signed shirts line the far end of the two-space interior, historic prints of this sleepy neighbourhood the other. Prices are reasonable, helping to keep this place in business when there’s no Six Nations up the road.
Tucked away down a side street off busy Stroud Green Road, this is a dream of a rugby pub. Consequently, it's always busy, despite its hidden location. A front room holds several screens for match days and there's a studenty feel thanks to picnic table seating, perfect for raucous rugby fans. Plus, Thai food served here is great for soaking up celebratory pints - here's hoping.
If you're looking for atmosphere, this pub has it in spades. If you came for a pint here just once a decade, you wouldn’t find that much had changed. History hangs in the air and there's rugby on a large screen downstairs. The permanently crowded pavement out front is ideal for a post-match debrief.
Get down to the ‘Ditch to catch the action on the pitch. The Long Arm Pub & Brewery on Worship Street will have two big screens showing off the sporting action throughout the Six Nations tournament. Not only that, but nervous punters can also secure a space for them and their mates with an advance private booking. Get a band of brothers (or sisters) together.
As the name suggests, the building was a Victorian dairy, which sets the tone both outside (there are some stunning friezes on the exterior walls) and inside. Likely to churn up as much excitement is that the pub – a favourite among locals – typically pulls down two projector screens for big rugby fixtures. If you can't get a foot in the door at the Fullback, this is a great fallback just up the road.
This Richmond boozer draws a civilised crowd of rugby fans, who will be gripped by the big screen during the Six Nations rugby. The pub also serves a hefty ploughman’s, which seems like pretty decent half time fare to us. And despite it being pretty chilly out, the pub will be opening its patio bar and firing up the barbecue on match days, too.
Irish by professed nationality but global by nature, this gleaming and sprawling Covent Garden hostelry is sure to provide a bustling atmosphere for big games. It'll also encourage some healthy rivalry, with all nationalities (not just the Irish) flocking to the central London hotspot.
Although the Princess of Wales has undergone a revamp by Mitchells & Butlers, turning it into a modern bar bright with exotic beer taps, the pub hasn’t quite forgotten its history. In 1871, England players gathered here before the first ever international rugby union match, an event commemorated with a modest alcove of mementoes. You can book a seat for rugby screenings with a spot of history, and enjoy a cracking roast dinner once it's all over.
In summer, you can catch a tan and catch the action in this London Fields pub's outdoor area where screens show all the biggest and best sporting events. Luckily, it's fully heated and covered in winter months too, ideal for the Six Nations sporting action. Fixtures are aired indoors on LED screens though, should you be feeling the chill regardless.
One of Richmond’s most popular pubs screens all the rugger to the area’s loyal, local fanbase. Get a seat and grab some tempting grub. If you’re going all out for the Six Nations, see about booking the secret bar upstairs, Dropkick Jonny’s, which offers a space for private screenings. So you can feel the heat from your own rugby scrum.
This riverside Young's local has a real rugby fan following. There are also three cabins outside under a wooden pergola with their own televisions and heaters, which can be reserved on certain days. Booking a private area means you won't have to embarrass your friends with your rude rugby chants.
Thought Dalston was too cool for rugby? Think again. The Three Compasses just off Ridley Road busts out its projector screen for live action from the biggest sporting events, rugby included. The pub serves cracking match-day grub from regularly rotating street-food residencies in the kitchen.
Right on the river, this capacious barn of a bar makes best use of its prime location. What really brings in the punters is the chance to sink into a chesterfield by the fire, or find a spot to stand on the river-view first-floor veranda, down a pint and talk about the rugby match that’s just played out on the pub’s two screens.
This elegant Edwardian pub in Kentish Town is popular for its civilised Sunday roasts. Throw in a bit of rugger and you've got yourself the quintissential Great British pub experience. But all nations are welcome at screenings for forthcoming Six Nations rugby fixtures, of course.
They screen plenty of sports at this local pub sandwiched between Belsize Park and Hampstead Heath, but the atmosphere at this spot really suits rugby fans looking for a civilised pint and a bit of good grub while they watch England get down and dirty in the scrum.
This Canadian sports bar may be more inclined to showing the ice hockey, but it’s a pretty trusty bet for most rugby matches too. Settle in to watch your team with a bowl of poutine, or with wings, dogs or burgers if you’re not into the cheesy delicacy.