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Away from the toy-town skyscrapers encroaching from the Wharf, this traditional boozer is a bit of the old East End on Wapping Wall. The Prospect claims to be London’s oldest riverside inn, dating back to 1520; famous customers are said to have included Charles Dickens and Samuel Pepys. The wood-panelled rooms, flagstone floor and pewter-topped bar still give some flavour of the times when smugglers carried out their nefarious activities here. Catch the views across the Thames from the first-floor terrace, with a pint of Taylor Walker 1730 Special Pale Ale, and order some old-school pub nosh: hearty beef and ale pie with a thick, hot-water crust or crisply battered fish & chips, say. Readers praise the “cosy atmosphere” and the “amazing views over Canary Wharf”. A hot prospect for anyone with high-rise fatigue.

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