Anyone who has used Victoria Underground Station will not be surprised it is the second busiest on the network. It is not uncommon on rush hour mornings to hear a rather ominous alarm sound and the shutters go down because it is too congested.
It first opened on 24th December 1868 on the Metropolitan District Railway. It gained the line to which it lends its name(and much of its overcrowding!) in 1969 for which it served as a brief terminus until the extension to Brixton opened in It is connected to Victoria Railway Station, the second busiest in the UK and destination for thousands of commuters from the Kent and Sussex Coasts every morning. As a native Brightonian, arriving at Victoria Station always feels like the start of a journey home.
In light of the major overcrowding problems, the Underground station is undergoing major upgrade works to build a much needed additional ticket hall. As a result there is significant disruption at street level and various pedestrian diversions if you’re trying to reach the rail station, one of which involves navigating past the hoards of people waiting to see ‘Wicked’ nearby.
The Pub: The Colonies, 25 Wilfred Street, SW1E 6PR
Like many business/commuter districts, I’d say the area round Victoria isn’t blessed with brilliant pubs. Dodging the building works and musicals(Billy Elliott) is also nearby, we visited The Colonies on Wilfred Street which is off Palace Street if you’re heading north on Victoria Street towards Westminster.
The pub itself is a fairly standard central London chain offering. It’s fairly spacious with a front room and back seating area. It also boasts a ‘garden’ although it seemed more like a yard to me. But if the sun’s out, it’s still an outdoor area to enjoy a pint.
To give the pub its dues, they had a selection of ales I hadn’t tried before – I went for the ‘Star’ ale that went down very smoothly. There was also a quiz machine, which is always a big plus point for me.
I’ve popped into The Colonies before, often to have an ill-advised ‘one for the road’ before heading home. It’s a perfectly pleasant pub but I wouldn’t go out of your way to see it.