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What is better than an ice-cold beer in a Hammersmith pub? A beer in one of the numerous Hammersmith pubs on the river!
Hammersmith is particularly blessed with some of the best riverside pubs in the whole of London.
Having lived in the area for over a decade, we spent many a weekend looking out across the Thames in a Hammersmith riverside pub – the perks of being a local! Plus better still, most of these West London pubs have views of historic Hammersmith Bridge.
Hammersmith has a mixture of historic pubs on the river plus modern riverside bars. From the ‘world’s smallest bar’ to skittle alleys and starring roles in Hollywood movies, here is our guide to the best pubs on the river in Hammersmith, West London:
Table of Contents
Best Hammersmith Pubs on the River Map
Best Hammersmith Riverside Pubs
1. The Dove
Perhaps the most well known pub on the river in Hammersmith, The Dove in Hammersmith has a lot going for it (although it may take you a while to get served at the bar).
Not only does The Dove have an outdoor terrace and dining deck directly overlooking the River Thames, but its wooden panelled walls oozes history at every corner.
The Dove in Hammersmith also reckons it has the world’s smallest bar room – they even have an (old) Guinness Book of Records certificate on the wall as proof. The ‘world’s smallest bar’ is located at the front to the right hand side as you first enter – around two or three drinkers can fit in it any one time.
The Dove is operated by Fullers Brewery (located a few minutes walk away in Chiswick along the Thames Path). The historic Dove has been a Hammersmith riverside pub of some sorts since the 17th century.
Charles II is said to have carried on his illicit encounter with Nell Gwyn at the Dove (Dove Love?) and the poet James Thompson wrote ‘Rule Britannia’ whilst at The Dove, looking out over the river Thames.
Although The Dove is easily one of the best pubs on the river in Hammersmith, the only downside to this accolade is that it is very well liked by both tourists and locals, so it can be quite a tight squeeze getting in. Persevere as it is is worth it or book a table for dining well in advance.
Address: The Dove, 19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, London W6 9TA
2. The Rutland Arms, Hammersmith
Literally right on the River Thames (you could touch the water if it were not for the tidal wall), the Rutland Arms is Hammersmith pub on the river to relish.
Talk about a perfect pub setting. The Rutland Arms has a large outdoor beer garden on the Thames path and is always popular, no matter what time of day.
Run by the Greene King Brewery, the Rutland Arms started live as the Rutland Hotel in the late 1840s and has been rebuilt several times, including after being bombed during the Blitz.
With ample seating outside (dog friendly) and a hearty British pub grub menu, the Rutland Arms also has an upstairs dining and pub area, with incredible views of Hammersmith Bridge – great too if the British weather is being its typical self.
Popular weekly events at Hammersmith Rutland Arms include a pub quiz and karaoke – with its well stocked bar and proximity to the Thames, you’d be best singing ‘Rolling down the River’ after a big night out.
You may also have a sense of deja vu when visiting the The Rutland Arms as it appears in a the latest James Bond movie No Time to Die (where Bond meets M on the River) and as the pub where Queen meet their new manager in Bohemian Rhapsody.
Address: The Rutland Arms, Hammersmith, 15 Lower Mall, London W6 9DJ
3. The Old Ship Hammersmith
A prime riverside location, the Old Ship Hammersmith has a lot going for it.
Although you are spoilt for choice with pubs on the river in Hammersmith, The Old Ship probably has one of the better outdoor terraces on the Thames path (purpose built) with an upstairs balcony area offering unparallel views of the River Thames.
As it is close to the local sailing and yacht club, you’ll also likely be treated to a sailing scene as you sup your cider or sauv at the Old Ship Hammersmith. It is also one of the best spots to watch the The Boat Race (Cambridge vs Oxford) every year on the river Thames.
With a huge indoor bar and a little side room conservatory for events like the weekly pub quiz and live sports, there is also an outdoor beer garden on the lower deck – this is one perfectly positioned pub on the river in Hammersmith.
A Young’s pub, the Old Ship Hammersmith is a quintessential classic English bar with sublime views to match.
Address: The Old Ship Hammersmith, 25 Upper Mall, London W6 9TD
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4. The Blue Anchor, Hammersmith
Located along Hammesmiths’s Lower Mall and next door to The Rutland Arms, The Blue Anchor bar is equally well ‘served’ with top Thames River views.
The Blue Anchor has been around in the 1720s and hasn’t changed all that much over the years – it even had a starring role in the hit movie Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
As well as being one of the most popular pubs on the river in Hammersmith, the Blue Anchor is known for its food menu which includes huge juicy steaks and sublime sharing platters.
Cute and charming (a bit like Gwyneth), inside the Blue Anchor you can drink away in upstairs River Room (great pub views of the river) and downstairs, there is a wood-panelled snug and fine looking bar.
For us though, The Blue Anchor in Hammersmith is all about alfresco drinking with beers on the Thames path and sunset evenings. A lovely spot to end in after a day of shopping in Chiswick or nearby Richmond.
Address: The Blue Anchor, Hammersmith, 13 Lower Mall, London W6 9DJ
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5. The Black Lion, Hammersmith / Chiswick
As far as we know, this is the only Hammersmith pub on the river that has its own Skittles alley (the bowling game, not the luminous sugary sweets).
The Black Lion is one of the oldest riverside pubs in Hammersmith and given its location, is easily accessible from the river Thames if you are walking from Chiswick or Hammersmith.
Heard about the ghostly goings on in Hammersmith? Legend has it that the Black Lion in Hammersmith is haunted (we put it down to the ‘spirits’ behind the bar)
The Black Lion pub also has a nice beer garden, with views of the River Thames. They often have marquees and caterers in for special events like the annual Boat Race too.
Address: The Black Lion, 2 S Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith, London W6 9TJ
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6. The Old City Arms, Hammersmith
Hammersmith Bridge has been having a hard time of it lately, what with ongoing closure and fighting over the funds on who will pay for the upgrade works.
Thankfully one upside is that it has allowed The Old City Arms to create an impromptu beer garden out front right next to the main entrance to Hammersmith Bridge – now that is one landmark beer terrace.
The Old City Arms is easy to spot – it is the bright red Hammersmith pub on the river right in front of the Hammersmith Bridge.
We also really like The Old City Arms as it does tasty Thai food, on par with Latymers in Hammersmith and the Old Pack Horse in Chiswick (we love how many West London pubs have Thai kitchens!)
The Old City Arms is also a good place to start a riverside pub crawl smack bang in the middle of the The Blue Boat and nearby Blue Anchor.
Address: The Old City Arms, 107 Hammersmith Bridge Road, London W6 9DA
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7. The Blue Boat, Hammersmith / Fulham Reach
The newest of the pubs on the river in Hammersmith, The Blue Boat is a gastropub located at Fulham Reach, the modern riverside apartment complex on the Hammersmith / Fulham border.
A fine looking Fullers brewery pub, this is one of the best bars in Hammersmith to enjoy the afternoon sun with an ale or too (as it is a Fullers pub, London Pride is always on tap).
Riverside dining and drinking at its best, the decor and theming at The Blue Boat is nautical but nice.
They also pride themselves on their food offerings, specialising in big grilled plates, hearty pub grub plus sumptuous Sunday roasts. They even promise bottomless gravy boats at the Blue Boat – please, take our money now!
Regular riverside pub events at the Blue Boat include pub quizzes every Wine night every Tuesday (20% off wine) plus weekly quizzes (as at March 2023).
Address: The Blue Boat, Fulham Reach, Distillery Wharf, Parr’s Way, London W6 9GD
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Our final ‘pubs on the river in Hammersmith…’
8. The Crabtree
OK, so whilst not strictly in Hammersmith (it is more towards Fulham), the Crabtree riverside pub is just a 8 minute walk (or 2 minute cycle) away from The Blue Boat pub, all along the River Thames path.
As regular pub quiz attendees here when we worked in Fulham, we can wholeheartedly say The Crabtree is one of the best riverside pubs in London, especially if you are a pub quiz fan.
The Crabtree is probably the best known riverside pub in Fulham. It has a huge beer garden that also has its own mini bar and BBQ kitchen outside – this means it is incredibly popular with families and doggos too.
Best of all and hidden away at the back, The Crabtree pub has a small riverside terrace directly looking out over the River Thames and on the Thames path – you’re most welcome!
Whilst nearby, also check out Fulham Palace, one of the finest riverside palaces in London and free to visit.
Address: The Crabtree, Rainville Road, Fulham, London SW6 6TY
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