Can you drink the tap water in London? A visitor’s guide

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No matter which country you’re visiting London from, it’s important to know about the tap water in London so you know if you can drink London tap water or if you need to buy bottled water.

There are plenty of places in the world where you don’t want to drink the tap water – for instance, I got some major poisoning for drinking tap, unfiltered water in the Cook Islands, but as someone who has lived in London for over 10 years, I can tell you that the answer to “is tap water safe in London?” is yes, with some caveats!

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Where can you drink the tap water in London?

If you want to find drinking water in London, you should know that any kitchen-style tap is going to be absolutely, 100% fine.

This means if your AirBnb has a kitchen, or if your hotel has a kitchenette with a kitchen-style sink, then go ahead and drink the tap water.

You can also ask for tap water in London from any restaurant or pub and have no issues.

They will fill up your reusable water bottle as well if you want it.

If you encounter a mixer tap with one hot and one cold, you’ll want to drink from the cold tap – the hot water tap may not have the same filtration system as the cold one.

Where should you not drink the tap water in London?

In general, depending on the Victorian plumbing, it’s not always a great idea to get water in London from a bathroom sink.

You will probably be absolutely fine, but sometimes homes have a water tank in the loft area that feeds the bathroom tap system, which can get dust, dead animals, or other not-so-nice things in it.

You may also be advised by an older hotel to not drink the tap water if they have old pipes.

There are in very specific circumstances, though, and just something to mention rather than a general rule.

Typically, yes, tap water is safe in London no matter where you get it from as there are excellent water filtration systems built in and most Brits will drink any and all tap water in London without thinking twice.

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