Three London Wetherspoons have been named among England’s best

The number-one spot went to a pub 150 miles from the capital

wetherspoons in London
Photograph: Andriy Blokhin /

We Londoners love a good pub. They’re very much part of the fabric of our city, a crucial element of our history and our culture. And you know what that also means? We also dig a good list of pubs: we love to rank them from best to worst, considering very crucial criteria like fireside nook, pub garden, dog action, even crisp options. 

It’s no surprise that recent rankings abound, including Time Out’s definitive list of the 50 best London boozers (lovingly researched by our tireless food and drink editor Leonie Cooper). But it seems that others are in on the action and in a recent list of the best UK Wetherspoons compiled by The Daily Express from customer reviews on TripAdvisor, no fewer than three of the top ten are in London.

So, given that pub chain ’Spoons is a byword for value and manages to thrive when other pub chains are struggling – as our recent story about the brand-new £3 million Wetherspoons boozer at the O2 Arena reveals – what is it about these London pubs in particular that has captured hearts and minds?

The highest ranking, at number two in England, is south-east London’s The Brockley Barge. Despite its distinct lack of water nowadays, Brockley was once the site of a section of the Croydon Canal, hence the name, and the pub has reference to its history, both in its boaty curved frontage and interior decor. Boasting real ales and a friendly vibe, it fits right in with the café and dining culture of leafy SE4. 

Next up is The Liberty Bounds, which is located in a prime spot to observe the mass selfie-taking of tourists on Tower Bridge, as oppose to the scaffolds of yesteryear. Situated Tower Hill next to Tower Hill station, it’s so called as it’s just outside the boundary of the City of London and therefore free of the City controls. Today it’s a large, cavernous but still cosy pub attracting both city types and tourists.

Finally, there is Goodman’s Field, slightly north-east of Tower Hill, which is named after Roland Goodman, who tended to the original land here for a nearby convent. It’s large, has picture windows and great views of the city while you chow on your full english.

So there you have it. Here are the top ten Wetherspoons in England, according to The Daily Express:
  1. The Imperial, Exeter
  2. The Brockley Barge, London
  3. The Liberty Bounds, London
  4. Goodmans Field, London
  5. The Port Jackson, Bishops Stortford
  6. The Peter Cushing, Whitstable
  7. The Admiral Collingwood, Ilfracombe
  8. The Velvet Coaster, Blackpool
  9. The Winter Gardens, Harrogate
  10. The Punch Bowl, York

Scotland’s top five:

  1. The Standing Order, Edinburgh
  2. The Caley Picture House, Edinburgh
  3. The Society Room, Glasgow 
  4. The Wheatsheaf Inn, Kilmarnock
  5. The Prestwick Pioneer, Prestwick

And Wales’s top five:

  1. The Central Hotel, Shotton
  2. The Elihu Yale, Wrexham
  3. The Godfrey Morgan, Newport
  4. The John Wallace Linton, Newport
  5. The Malcolm Uphill, Caerphilly
In more pub news, Tulse Hill is due to get its own slice of the action from legendary boozer The Prince of Peckham.
Watch your bag while you’re there! Bag thefts in pubs are on the up.

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