London's East End: Historic Pubs & Rebels Private Walking TourPrivate Tour

Explore London's vibrant East End, and visit some of the oldest taverns and historic pubs while you learn about its bloody history too!
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Total

Things to know

Duration:

3 hrs

Suitable for:

Couples, Culture Vulture, Friends, History Buffs

Private Tour:

You and our own professional guide. 100% exclusive

Transport Mode:

Walking tour: no transportation is included

Tickets:

  • - English Speaking Guide

Other inclusions:

  • - Gratuities optional
    - Food and  extra drink are not included
    - Hotel pick-up and drop-off are not included
Meeting points: Your guide will meet you outside The Castle Pub, 34-35 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6DB, United Kingdom

What makes this tour special

Enjoy a pub tour of some of the oldest pubs and taverns in London's vibrant East End, see where Handel and Hogarth liked to drink, while also learning about the bloodcurdling history of Smithfield, and the fate of miscreants, drunks and political rebels. 

On your private pub tour you will: 

Looking to quench your thirst whilst taking in London’s past? On this fantastic tour, you will have the pleasure of visiting some of the most historic drinking spots in the City of London. Enjoy some excellent locally-brewed craft beer whilst exploring the dark and chequered history of the Smithfield area. 

The central meat market for London, Smithfields has been in continuous operation for more than 800 years. Undoubtedly the most gruesome location in the capital, this ancient marketplace has long been a site of gory traditions: from the cattle that were slaughtered in its streets to the presence of countless heretic witches, public executions (of the likes of Sir William "Braveheart" Wallace) and the slaying of Wat Tyler during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. 

Murder and mystery define the district, which is often referenced by London’s literary legends – the nearby St Bartholomew Hospital, more commonly known as St. Barts, is where Sherlock Holmes first meets Dr Watson. Once described by Dickens in Oliver Twist as “the armpit of London, where animal excrement and entrails created a sea of filth”, today Smithfield thankfully operates in beautiful ornate Victorian halls - no entrails in sight!

As you venture through these labyrinthine streets with your expert local guide, you will be going off the beaten track, journeying back in time as you explore some of Smithfield's most interesting pubs and breweries. 

One establishment you might venture into, The Hand and Shears, dates as far back as the Middle Ages – the Lord Mayor used to open the famed St. Bartholomew's fair from outside its doors. Another, the Viaduct Tavern, lies opposite the notorious old Newgate Prison.

Its cellars are rumoured to have once been cells, though you’d never guess as you sit comfortably inside this former ‘Gin Palace’, which boasts a beautiful Victorian interior of ornate wooden screens and engraved glass panels. 

As you make yourself at home in these traditional watering holes, your guide will regale you with tales of the city, whilst you sample a variety of authentic British ales, stouts and ciders.

What you'll see

Book with Travel Curious, an exceptional experience guaranteed

Putting People and Planet First

Prioritising Your Safety

Flexible cancellation

Do not worry, we have you covered with our flexible cancellation terms.

Avoid the crowds

Travel like a VIP, avoid crowds, and unnecessary queues.

Authentic Experiences

Bespoke local tours handcrafted for you by our global travel specialists

Professional Guides

All guides are handpicked, trained and licensed to ensure you are immersed in the local culture

Carbon offset for

kg CO2e

Carbon Footprint

kg CO2e

Carbon Offset

Forestry Conserved

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FAQ

QWill there be other people on the tour or is it just us?
AAll of our tours are 100% private and exclusive, which means that it will just be you, your group and your guide on the tour.
Your tour will be completely tailored to your needs and we will make sure to find a guide that best suits your group.
QAre entrance tickets and transport included in the cost of the tour?
AIn the ‘Things to Know’ section at the top of this page you will find details of whatever entrance tickets and transport are included in the tour. If you have any questions about this, then you can either use the chat button in the bottom right hand corner, send an email to or call 1-212-710-1322 (US) or +44 20 3009 2392 (UK).
QWhat is your cancellation policy?
AOn tours cancelled more than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time, we are happy to offer our customers a full refund - minus a 5% credit card fee and the cost of any tickets that have been purchased.
For tours cancelled less than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time, we are unfortunately unable to offer refunds. If you would like to reschedule a tour, this is usually possible if we are given enough notice, but we cannot guarantee the same guide.
Changes made to bookings may be subject to rebooking fees to cover the cost of tickets purchased, transport, guide rescheduling and administration.
To cancel or change your booking, please contact us at or call 1-212-710-1322 (US) or +44 20 3009 2392 (UK).
QWho do I contact if I have any questions about this tour or if I want to make changes to my tour?
AAt Travel Curious, we provide a free concierge service to help you plan your time abroad and they will be able to answer any questions you may have about this tour or any other tours. We are normally able to customise or personalise tours to suit your needs.
Please do get in touch by either using the chat button in the bottom right hand corner, sending an email to or calling 1-212-710-1322 (US) or +44 20 3009 2392 (UK).
QAm I able to book more than one tour?
AAbsolutely, you can book as many tours as you like! You can add them to your cart by clicking the ‘Book Now’ button or you can get in touch and we can put together an itinerary for you. To get in touch, you can either use the chat button in the bottom right hand corner, send an email to or call 1-212-710-1322 (US) or +44 20 3009 2392 (UK).
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