About The Spaniards Inn
Located on the edge of Hampstead Heath in North London, The Spaniard’s Inn is a Grade II listed 16th century building which is bursting with history.
History of The Spaniards Inn
One of the oldest pubs in London, the Spaniards Inn dates back to 1585 and is legendary for having hosted some of the world’s most famous literary names. Byron, Keats, and Dickens have all lurked around the dark wooden panelled dining room of the Hampstead-set tavern and literature fans will be kept busy exploring its truly heavy hitting history.
Not only was it immortalized in Charles Dickens’ ‘The Pickwick Papers’, it makes an appearance in Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula‘, whilst its humble garden is said to the be where John Keats sat and penned ‘Ode to a Nightingale’.
Due to its countryside setting, it became a popular resting point for local highwaymen of the time, who used the pub as a refreshing respite point between robbing wealthy travellers on their way out of London. It is also often referred to be birthplace of road robber Dick Turpin whose father was the landlord and who, according to bar staff, still makes an occasional appearance in the form of a ghost.
The Spaniards Inn Today
Drinkers and diners today can peruse through the pub’s cabinets, which showcase the inn’s heritage with Dickensian literature and Turpin memorabilia.
The pub offers a broad range of cask ales, craft beers, fine wines, and artisan spirits. It’s also fantastic food-wise, being ranked in The Guardian as serving the UK’s fourth best pub roast.
Getting to The Spaniards Inn
The closest bus to The Spaniards Inn is conveniently named The Spaniards Inn, and stops directly outside. From Kings Cross tube station, The Spaniards Inn is reachable in around half an hour to 40 minutes by taking the northern line to Hampstead Station, and then walking 20 minutes or so through scenic Hampstead Heath. Alternatively, from Kings Cross, take the Northern line to Golders Green, then walk around half an hour across Hampstead Heath to reach the pub.
Explore the great British tradition of popping in for a pint at the local and discover history along the way at these illustrious old boozers.
Whilst London is packed with historic landmarks, a trip to the local pub also serves as a surprisingly informative way of exploring the capital’s unique past. The oldest pubs in London offer a rather refreshing way to explore local history whilst enjoying another old custom – drinking a pint.
From fires to wars, body snatchers to pirates, these quaint taverns have seen a lot throughout the centuries. London literary legends such as Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Samuel Pepys often used the bohemian atmosphere and raucous behaviour of the local clientele as a source of creative inspiration for their writings. So step back in time with a visit to five of the best old boozers in London which all have a place in English history.