We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Drinking water in London?

Black Lick, PA
Level Contributor
375 posts
231 reviews
Drinking water in London?

Can we drink the water? We are from the US and did not know if we had to purchase bottled water? Any suggestions?

Dunfermline, United...
Level Contributor
13,776 posts
43 reviews
1. Re: Drinking water in London?

So long as you remove all the dead fish and supermarket trolleys first the water is quite refreshing :-)

Seriously, the drinking water in London was voted 3rd best in the world behind somewhere in New Zealand and Switzerland I think.

The water may be different to what you drink in the US but it will be perfectly safe.

Level Contributor
1,922 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Drinking water in London?

The water in the UK and most of Western Europe is perfectly safe to drink. As water in different parts of the world (and even in different parts of the same country) may have a different mineral content it can seem strange at first, and even make some people feel a little queezy the first time they drink it (the same thing happens to me when I go to the US), but after a day or so you won't notice the difference.

West London
Level Contributor
10,128 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Drinking water in London?

You'll be absolutely fine. Personally, I always fill a bottle from the tap before leaving home.

By the way, as Philadelphians I hope you'll be visiting Benjamin Franklin's house while you are in London. It's just off Trafalgar Square and although there's an admission charge, you can get leaflets offering reduced prices at the Sherlock Holmes pub almost next door.

Black Lick, PA
Level Contributor
375 posts
231 reviews
4. Re: Drinking water in London?

Thanks... We will give it a try. Our group wants to eat in Pubs so we will try that one for lunch.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3,974 posts
13 reviews
5. Re: Drinking water in London?

I apologise in advance for being terse/annoyed, but, heavens, get a grip! We are talking about LONDON here, not some 3rd world country. I rarely drink bottled water here (unless I'm out for the day and want a drink and don't want soft drink), if I was in America I'd be drinking the tap water and it's never crossed my mind to question the quality of London's water (or indeed the water in the UK generally).

OK, rant over.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,609 posts
12 reviews
6. Re: Drinking water in London?

The quality of the council pop in London has improved dramatically over the last 25 years I've found.

If you're from a city with soft water the London product will taste different, but you'll get used to it quickly. I like it chilled withtout ice, and find it tastier than some store brand bottled waters.

Concord, California
Level Contributor
1,268 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: Drinking water in London?

did someone actually tell you to not drink the water in London? never had a problem with it. I do drink bottled water in Turkey,but only because it is better tasting than tap water,and not for any worry about germs.

San Francisco
Level Contributor
36,628 posts
26 reviews
8. Re: Drinking water in London?

You've taken a bit of a beating here.

Actually, even in the US I drink bottled water outside my immediate area. It's certainly *not* because the water is "bad" (I'm sure you have great tap water in PA) but most local water systems have various little "things" that locals gets used to.

Although the water in SF is probably about the best you can get in the US (it comes directly from Sierra snowfall), I would still recommend that a visitor drink bottled. It's just a matter of what your system is used to. Why ruin your vacation because of a so-so stomach?

Level Contributor
117 posts
3 reviews
9. Re: Drinking water in London?

I'm not sure the op meant they were worried about the safety of the water. I know I think the tap water from different parts of the US tastes much worse to me as I'm used to the delicious water here in CO. It's good to hear that London has awards for great water though because I hate buying bottled water (so bad for the environment!).

Level Contributor
2,095 posts
38 reviews
10. Re: Drinking water in London?

Since all the posts firmly averred that tap water in London is safe, I felt bad about reporting my experience, until I came to RamblinSal's post.

Our family generally drank filtered water (filled from tap into a jug with filter) while we were in London and we generally used to be fine, except for me whenever I returned after a long vacation in India (yes - India of all places).

The reason I feel was because firstly I have quite a sensitive tummy and in India we stick to home boiled water and are very careful. As RamblinSal has stated, it is a question of what the system is used to.

The rest of the family used to be fine and I too could have tap water after a few days. My brother too has boiled or bottled water when travelling to the UK or US from India because he has experienced a poor tummy several times from drinking tap water.

I guess we fall into a very small minority, but this has indeed been my experience and if you have a sensitive tummy...

P.S. I am someone who tries to avoid bottled water as much as possible (I carry a bottle of water from home around with me) for environmental reasons.