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virgin queen, best pubs in london
Andy Parsons

9 awesome London pubs open over Christmas


One of the best things about London over Christmas is that it becomes a bit of a ghost town. As the capital sees an exodus and as those staying put close the curtains for a bit of R&R, the ones willing to venture out (into what feels a bit like that scene in ‘28 Days Later’) could be handsomely rewarded for the effort – with a seat at the bar of one of the capital's best pubs. 

Not all of them are open on Christmas Day, but we’ve plucked out our favourites from the ones that are to save you the trouble of ringing around. Gather friends and families for a festive jar at our following fave London pubs. 


Photograph: The Mayflower


The Mayflower

The wicked Wapping watering hole is set down a cobbled street and is a creaking relic of a pub – so it’s great for a bit of that Dickens vibe this Christmas. 

Christmas Eve, noon-9pm

Xmas Day, noon-3pm

(Closed on Boxing Day)


The Marksman

Although much of the lunch and dinner services at this Hackney gastro pub are already fully booked, the ever-charming bar will be serving throughout the festive period. 

Christmas Eve, 11-midnight

Christmas Day, 1-6pm 

Boxing Day, noon-9pm 


Bricklayer’s Arms

It’s business as usual at the Bricky on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, and a reduced afternoon service on Christmas Day. Get in that real ale. 

Christmas Eve, noon-11pm

Christmas Day, noon-2am

Boxing Day, noon-11pm


ivy house

Photograph: Andy Parsons


 The Ivy House

Nunhead’s cooperative is run by the community so stop by for a feel-good bevvy with friends on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day. 

Christmas Eve, noon-midnight

Christmas Day noon-2pm

Boxing Day, noon-6pm


The Virgin Queen 

The backstreet Hackney boozer is throwing open its doors on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for a short spell of craft beers and bants. 

Christmas Eve, 4pm-9pm

Christmas Day, noon-2pm

(Closed on Boxing Day) 


Royal Oak 

The Royal Oak is a good old-fashioned boozer pouring top-notch ales between the snob screens. Grab an area for a full-day’s sesh on Christmas Eve or a short tipple on the big day.

Christmas Eve, 11am-11pm

Christmas Day, noon-2pm

(Closed on Boxing Day) 


Hare and billet

Photograph: Hare & Billet

 Hare & Billet

Walk off that roast around Blackheath common and then head for the pub. The H&B brings the countryside vibes to the capital. 

Christmas Eve, noon-11pm

Christmas Day, noon-5pm

Boxing Day, noon-10.30pm


City Barge

Take in the icy river views from this cracking Chiswick vantage point – the City Barge is full of winter charm and open throughout the week.   

Christmas Eve, noon-10.30pm

Christmas Day, noon-5pm

Boxing Day, noon-10.30pm


The White Horse

Giddy up for drinks in Parsons Green at this famous boozer, serving punters steadily throughout Christmas. 

Christmas Eve, noon-10.30pm

Christmas Day, noon-6pm

Boxing Day, noon-11pm


Find more festive fun in our guide to Christmas in London.

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