Looking for pubs to rent in London? Here’s what you need to know…

Inner London pubsThe idea of renting or buying a pub in London will appeal to those seeking the hustle and bustle of a venue in the big city.

In the prime areas of London, competition will be fierce, rent prices will be sky-high, and potential customers will be plentiful. That is why you have to get your pub marketing strategy right if you do decide to rent in London.

However, as with any major capital city, there is a huge disparity in the levels of prosperity between – and within – different boroughs.

In this special feature we will focus on the market and lifestyle conditions for running a pub in the 12 boroughs that make up inner London.

Here’s what you’ll get from this article:

  1. A guide to general market conditions for running a pub in inner London.
  2. A district-by-district guide to the 12 boroughs.
  3. The latest listings for pubs to rent in London.

Inner London Map

Current market conditions for establishing a pub in inner London

While the inner city covers a smaller area than outer city London, it also has a higher population density.

And this population has some serious money. It’s officially the wealthiest area in Europe. This means it’s possible to find pubs to rent in London where customers have serious money to spend.

However, this comes at a cost. London has one of the highest rates for renting and buying property in the world, so it’s worth exercising caution when proposing to establish a pub in the area.

It should come as no surprise that the UK’s capital and financial powerhouse is performing well economically.

Evidence of this can be seen from the following:

  • A steady increase in employment rate – current rate at 55.1%
  • Housing and property prices continuing to go up (though this has a downside)
  • Consumer confidence continuing to remain positive
  • Unemployment claimants continuing to decrease
  • The billions of pounds put into various regeneration schemes over the last several years renovating several parts of London bringing in thousands of new homes and jobs

Find out more about London’s positive outlook in the latest GLA projections report.

The above factors do indicate that the current state of London’s economy, as a whole, is stable and improving each year.

With this positive news, let’s delve into the details of the 12 districts listed below.

A borough-by-borough guide to renting a pub in central London

Inner city London is made up of the following 12 boroughs:

The following are brief summaries of each borough, each supported by a link to a detailed economic report. These in-depth reports are well worth accessing in order to gain vital information regarding the prosperity and general economic outlook of specific areas within each borough.

1. Camden

The borough of Camden tends to draw a younger crowd consisting of both locals and tourists.

Known for its outdoor markets and artistic events, Camden could be the ideal place to start looking for pubs to rent in London.

The latest statistics show that unemployment percentages continue to go down and that Camden has achieved a higher than average employment growth rate at 13%.

One drawback is that those claiming employment support have risen slightly above other parts of London.

Read the most recent economic report for Camden here.

2. Greenwich

Famous for the Prime Meridian, the O² and the place where much of the London 2012 Olympics were held, Greenwich offers many benefits to a business entrepreneur.

There is a regeneration project centred in Woolwich to create 1000 new jobs and 1500 new homes over the next 5 years. Another 2700 homes, shops and leisure areas will be built at the Royal Arsenal.

You can ready a weighty report detailing plans for the future of Royal Greenwich here.

3. Hackney

Considered to be one of the greenest boroughs of London with 62 parks and open spaces, Hackney’s rich history draws both affluent and middle class locals.

However, though well served by green spaces, there are highly dense population areas – and some with high levels of worklessness.


Hackney has four town centres currently under regeneration: Dalston, Hackney Central, Hackney Wick and Shoreditch. Over 2760 homes are planned under the regeneration scheme. This offers current businesses the chance to build foot traffic with an influx of several thousand more residents.

Take a look at Hackney’s core strategy for 2010-2025 for more information. Page 17 onwards will provide you with useful insights into ongoing challenges and opportunities in specific areas.

4. Hammersmith and Fulham

The Westfield Shopping Centre, which is the largest shopping centre in London is found in the Hammersmith and Fulham Borough.

Thousands of people visit this area daily and so when looking for pubs to rent in London, this borough would seem to be a good place to consider.

One of the largest office parks in London is also being built right next to Westfield which will bring in thousands of new jobs.

After facing difficult times during the recession of 2008, Hammersmith and Fulham is now rated as the fifth most competitive economy in the UK. And it’s the service industry which is leading the way.

Discover more about the economy of Fulham and Hammersmith here.

Or click here for a detailed – and more reader-friendly guide – to the demographic character AND economic status of Hammersmith of Fulham. 

5. Islington

According to the 2011 census, Islington has the highest population density in England and Wales. With two universities, two colleges and several theatre and entertainment venues, Islington is one of the busiest boroughs in London.

With large populations, there is usually a wide disparity in wealth. And so it is in Islington. In fact, it has one of the highest levels of poverty in the London area.

There is a strong push towards economic development by the council, but currently, the area is divided between the rich and poor classes, with a small middle class. One will want to study the available properties and surrounding neighborhoods carefully when contemplating a pub to rent in this London area.

Access the most recent economic data for Islington here.

6. Kensington and Chelsea

Not only is this borough one of the most populated, but also one of the most affluent areas of London. It contains some of the bigger tourist draws with several museums (such as the Natural History Museum), Kensington Palace and Harrods.

There are approximately 18,000 businesses with 120,000 employees. The price property rates in this area are particularly high, even by London standards.

However, if you have the financial resources then Kensington and Chelsea could be the ideal place to look for pubs to rent in London.

For more in-depth information there are a whole range of useful resources on this link.

7. Lambeth

Running along the Thames opposite Westminster, the borough of Lambeth contains the London Eye, the South Bank arts complex, Lambeth palace, and several other historical draws.

With over 300,000 people living in this area, the population is twice as dense as the London average. It is mainly a residential area with a young working class make-up between the ages of 20-44. It also has a large ethnic population: African, Caribbean, and Portuguese representing the ethnic majority.

Statistically speaking, it is about average with the rest of London in employment and salary levels.

Find out more about the young and vibrant borough of Lambeth right here.

8. Lewisham

Lewisham is a middle class neighbourhood bordered by several large office buildings, including the Citibank Tower, and is an important transportation hub for London.

This area is also part of the London Thames Gateway regeneration project intending to provide upwards of 19,000 new homes to this area by 2025. This would raise the population by an additional 64,000 people.

Plans are in effect to make Lewisham a major metropolitan destination with new open spaces and more. With the influx of new business and residents, this area would seem an attractive option when weighing up pubs to rent in London.

There are a whole range of economic and demographic documents to read for more information about Lewisham here. Or click here for business-specific plans and the economic outlook for Lewisham.

9. Southwark

Southwark is home to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, The Shard, Tate Modern and London Bridge. From the Shakespeare buff to the modern art aficionado, this area draws millions of people for its dramatic history and contemporary events.

However, this area also contains some of the more impoverished neighbourhoods in the London area such as Peckham. Southwark has a long history of lagging behind the rest of London in employment and general prosperity.

Yet, the last few years have seen major regeneration projects in this area which have included new homes, a new public park, a new leisure centre and a new business centre at Elephant Park.

With current retraining of the unemployed and projects such as the above, the area may in time become a more desirable place to live and start a business.

A range of documents about the economic health of Southwark and other lifestyle considerations can be access here.

10. Tower Hamlets

The Tower Hamlets borough includes major business centres such as the Docklands and Canary Wharf. It has the highest integration of ethnic minority populations and also includes many of the tallest buildings in London.

In the last few decades, employment levels have increased by 60% giving this area the fifth highest business density in London. However, approximately 47% of residents are on employment benefits in this area.

Regeneration projects have vastly improved its sustainability, but a detailed investigation into the economic status of each neighbourhood would be advised before renting a pub in this area.

The Metropolitan Police have provided an insightful profile of Tower Hamlets. The improving picture in Tower Hamlets can be discovered by a range of reports here.

11. Wandsworth

Wandsworth contains the famous Covent Garden Market and the London Heliport. It also includes Battersea Park which houses the Peace Pagoda and runs alongside a section of the Thames.

The area of Nine Elms on the South Bank is central London’s biggest regeneration project. Several billion pounds have been invested to create 18,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs. It is becoming one of London’s go-to destinations for the younger middle-class working in Central London.

Property values were estimated to increase 140% between 2011 and 2016.

Click here for more in-depth local Government analysis.

12. Westminster

Westminster is not only the heart of London, but also of the tourist industry. Millions of tourists are drawn here annually to visit Westminster chapel, Big Ben, the Parliament building and more.

With 46,000 businesses providing 600,000 jobs and thousands of tourists visiting, it’s also one of the busiest boroughs. It is projected that there will be a 15% increase in employees over the next 20 years.

The rates to rent a pub in this area of London will likely be a great deal higher than in most other boroughs, though, so one must take that into account.

Find out more about Westminster in this economic report.

Latest listings for pubs to rent in London


Image 1 by MorwenCC

Image 2 by Peter Fitzgerald, Open Street MapCC