As London emerges from its winter hibernation and the temperature begins to rise, thoughts inevitably turn to sunny afternoons in a pub beer garden.
And where better to enjoy those fleeting months of sunshine than down by the river? London has a fantastic array of riverside watering holes, from the leafy suburbs of Kingston and Teddington to the historic sailors’ haunts of Greenwich and Woolwich. Here is our pick of the best baby friendly riverside pubs in London, travelling from west to east…
The Boaters Inn is intimately connected to the Thames, situated right next to Kingston Rowing Club with a riverside beer garden that looks out towards the little island of Steven’s Eyot. The pub is certified by CAMRA, so there’s always a great selection of ales available, and the arrival of summer means it’s time to fire up the garden barbecue. It’s a very family friendly pub, with games, colouring books, crayons, a kids’ menu, highchairs and unisex baby changing facilities.
Eyebrows were raised in 2021 when The Times named Teddington the ‘best place to live in London’, not least by those who had never heard of the place, but this riverside neighbourhood on the western edge of the city has much to recommend it. One very good reason to visit Teddington is The Anglers, a sprawling pub right on the Thames Path with a huge riverside beer garden. The pub is owned by Fuller’s, and family friendly touches include a kids’ menu, plenty of high chairs and unisex baby changing facilities.
The City Barge is a historic 14th-century pub situated in the picturesque Chiswick neighbourhood of Strand on the Green, just along the Thames from Kew Bridge. The riverside beer garden has plenty of seating, with shade in the summer and outdoor heaters for the winter months. The pub interior is full of character, with quirky features including a reclaimed 19th-century bar and a collection of unusual taxidermied birds. Families are very welcome here, with highchairs provided and unisex baby changing facilities.
The Crabtree is a real gem, a cosy and welcoming pub on a quiet stretch of the Thames between Putney Bridge and Hammersmith Bridge. It’s a great place for al fresco drinking and dining during the summer, with a large beer garden overlooking the river, but it’s also lovely indoors too, with a classic Victorian interior. Families are very welcome, with a small kids’ menu, highchairs available and unisex baby changing facilities.
The Duke’s Head is situated just a short stroll from Putney Bridge, making it a popular choice for watching the annual Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge. It’s a beautiful Grade II-listed Victorian pub, with a fine selection of ales and great food. There are also a number of different rooms available for private hire, including The Rowing Club on the lower ground floor, with its lovely riverside terrace. Family friendly touches include a kids’ menu, highchairs and unisex baby changing facilities.
Visitors to London (and even some Londoners) are often surprised to learn that the Thames is not the only river to wind its way across the capital. The city is criss-crossed by a network of brooks, streams, canals and full-blown rivers, such as the lovely River Lea. The Lea flows from the Chiltern Hills down through Hertfordshire, Essex and East London before joining the Thames at Bow Creek, and The Princess of Wales is situated on one of the prettiest stretches of the river, amongst the idyllic surroundings of Walthamstow Marshes. This friendly riverside pub does great food and it’s a popular spot for families, with highchairs provided and unisex baby changing facilities.
The evocative streets of maritime Greenwich transport you back in time to the days when the Thames bustled with sailing ships bringing plunder back from the four corners of the globe, and this handsome old Georgian pub, named after the famous tea clipper moored just along the river, is full of character and history. The fish and chips at The Cutty Sark are particularly highly rated, and the pub has great views across the river. Kids are very welcome, with a ‘Little Sailors’ children’s menu, highchairs and unisex baby changing facilities.
A little bit further along the Thames is another great Greenwich pub, Enderby House, a carefully restored Grade II-listed building which originally belonged to the Enderby family, who made their fortune in the whaling industry. The rooftop terrace enjoys fabulous views across the river, perfect for a sunny afternoon, and the pub is very family friendly, with a kids’ menu, highchairs and unisex baby changing facilities.
The Thames at Woolwich is perhaps not the prettiest stretch of the river, though you can take in the impressive sight of the Thames Flood Barrier, watch planes taking off and landing at City Airport across the river, and soak up the history of the Royal Arsenal, where armaments and ammunition were once manufactured for the British armed forces. This is also where Arsenal Football Club was first established! The area has undergone significant regeneration in recent years, and Dial Arch, set back slightly from the Thames, is a characterful pub set within a beautifully restored 18th-century armoury, opening onto a large cobbled beer garden. Little ones are very welcome, with a kids’ menu, highchairs and unisex baby changing.
What do you think of our list – are there any great London riverside pubs that we’ve missed? Leave us a comment and let us know!