Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon September 19 2016

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  • Nick and Dariece | September 19, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Top 5 Hidden Historic Pubs in London

    Top 5 Hidden Historic Pubs in London

    Photos by Goats on the Road unless otherwise indicated

    When planning a visit to London be sure to seek out one of its many historic Public Houses (Pubs) to sample a pint of traditional English Ale and some hearty local food. The humble pub is very much at the center of English life and has been for hundreds of years. So if you really want to mingle with the locals in London and experience some British hospitality, head to the nearest boozer (slang for Pub!).

    pub in london

    Here’s our guide to 5 of the best:

    Ye Old Mitre

    This is definitely the most hidden of the historic pubs, you’ll need a sharp eye to spot the small sign pointing down a narrow alleyway toward it. Built in 1546 for the Bishop of Ely, today you’ll still find the famous cherry tree outside which Queen Elizabeth I was said to have danced around with Sir Christopher Hatton. Inside you’ll find a few very cozy rooms to sit and sip your pint including “The Snug,” the perfect space for a small group. Make sure you try a traditional English pork pie with your pint of real ale and soak up the friendly atmosphere.

    Address: 1 Ely Place, Holborn, London EC1N 6SJ

    Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

    This is probably the most famous of any historic pub in London and features in most guidebooks as a hidden gem, but that doesn't mean you will be able to find it. Hidden halfway along Fleet Street in Central London, the entrance is down a small side alley, which adds to the sense of intrigue as you head inside.

     Photo via Flickr/MYA 

    The pub, which stands here today, was rebuilt quickly after the Great Fire of London and dates from 1667 onwards. The cellars below ground, however, pre-date the fire and are well worth checking out, just watch your head as you descend. The gloomy lighting and crackling fire inside feels like something straight out of a Charles Dickens novel and it is one of the many pubs in London he is said to have frequented. It’s easy to imagine him sitting in the corner, observing the clients and making notes for his next story.

    Address: 45 Fleet St, EC4A 2BU

    READ MORE: Enjoy Expedia's London Time Machine Portal

    The Cockpit

    Tucked away down tiny alleyways close to St Paul’s Cathedral, it would be easy to miss this historic watering hole altogether. A pub has stood on this site since the 16th century, if not earlier, serving the people of the historic City of London area. The name of the pub might make you laugh as you pass by, but the name dates from its past use as a venue for cockfights where two cocks (roosters) are pitted against each other in a barbaric fight to the death.

    St. Paul's Cathedral, London

    Today when you enter the pub you can still see the gallery above the bar where gambling men would have squeezed in to watch the fighting below. It’s a small pub with just a few tables and no matter the weather, you’ll find most people who pop in for a post-work pint standing on the street outside — which just adds to the character. Address: 7, St. Andrew's Hill, EC4V 5BY

    The George Inn

    One of around 23 coaching inns which originally stood along Borough High Street (the main road approaching London Bridge from the south), this is the only surviving inn. Horses and carriages (coaches) would tie up here for the night when arriving at London's outskirts and wait for the gatehouse of London Bridge to open the following day.

    the george inn

    As you stand in the courtyard today you can just about imagine the smells, sights and sounds that would have greeted you as your coach pulled in here 300 or so years ago. The original inn was four times the size of what remains today. It’s an atmospheric spot to sample the famous English Sunday roast or a delicious steak and ale pie.

    Address: 75-77 Borough High Street, SE1 1NH

    The Nell Gwynn

    This pub dates from early 19th Century and hides away in a tiny alleyway just north of the Strand, close to Trafalgar Square. Entering The Nell Gwynn really feels like you’ve found something unique, away from the tourist hotspots close by. The pub is named after the infamous mistress of the former Charles II. Nell Gwynn was born and raised in the area and worked selling fruit at the nearby Covent Garden Market before gaining fame as an actress. The vibe is quite local and it can get packed on evenings and weekends, so arrive early if you want to grab a seat.

    Address: 1-2 Bull Inn Ct, WC2R 0NP

    On your next visit to London be sure to seek out at least one of these hidden gems for a truly English experience!

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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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