Neasden

Neasden may only be in Zone 3 but it certainly felt like we were deep in suburbia here.  The station first opened as Kingsbury and Neasden in 1880 on the Metropolitan Railway.  In 1910, Neasden got top billing as the names were reversed to ‘Neasden and Kingsbury’, until the latter vanished in 1932 when Kingsbury’s own station opened.

Like the rest of the Stanmore branch, it was transferred to the Bakerloo Line in 1939 and then the Jubilee Line in 1979.

The station itself felt rather bleak during our visit there, that may have been due to it being boxed it on either side by rather grey office blocks and an industrial estate just across the road.  Wembley’s impressive arch also looms large on the horizon.

The Pub: Charlies, 240-242 Neasden Lane, NW10 0AA

When we first looked at coming to Neasden, I was initially at a loss to where we’d go because there seemed to be a dearth of pubs in the area. After asking the station newsagent where the nearest was, we began heading up from the station towards the north circular.

After a fruitless search for a Wetherspoons that is now a Tesco and dodging a few Irish bars which looked far from welcoming, we ended up at Charlies by the Neasden roundabout.   It was another Irish bar but distinctly lighter than the gloomier venues we had passed before it.

Inside, it’s quite a basic place but in decent enough nick.  There weren’t really any ales on offer so we went for Kronenburg.   The bar staff was friendly and the place itself was quite quiet.  We sat in the side room which was pleasant enough.  The bar’s exterior is covered in vines so I’m not sure if it’s called Charlies Place or Charlies Bar.

Given my expectations were very low for this stop,   Charlies was somewhere we could enjoy our pint without glares from the locals.  I doubt I’ll be back in Neasden in a hurry but I had no complaints with this place.

Neasden, or at least the area we passed through, sadly suffers from the fact it has the North Circular cutting right through it.  It was also a little bit of a walkway maze to get back from the pub to the station. We took a walkway that we thought was heading in the right direction but instead took us to the ‘Neasden Grange Nature Reserve’, located in the middle of the roundabout.

As you’ll see from the dusty sign at one point it apparently boasted a mallard but the pond has now dried up.  There were no crossing points from this green spot,  meaning the only way back was across the walkway.   As much as I welcome the spirit of it, it did strike me as a touch bizarre having a walkway across a busy road that merely led to a forlorn nature reserve.

(No website or Twitter for this pub)

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