Shepherd’s Bush Station opened on 30th July 1900 as the western terminus of the new Central London Railway, London’s second deep level tube line, which opened that day between here and Bank. The line was renamed the Central London Line in 1933, which in turn became known as the Central Line in 1937.
The station was comprehensively rebuilt in 2007/2008 in order to cope with all the extra passengers generated by the opening of the £1.6billion Westfield London, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, which is right by the station. The new ticket hall does somewhat have the feel of a scaled down airport terminal building. It’s clean, functional and airy, but does feel somewhat impersonal. It certainly looks a world apart from the pre-Westfield station.
It was also at this time they took the opportunity to clear up the longstanding confusion by renaming the other Shepherd’s Bush station to Shepherds Bush Market.
The Pub: The Bull, Unit 1033, Westfield Shopping Centre, W12 7SL
Given the close proximity of the two stations here finding a pub closer to here, rather than Shepherd’s Bush Market which I have already visited, was tricky. In the end we ended up going to one located within the Westfield Complex itself, The Bull.
The pub is effectively in one of the ‘retail units’ of the complex. Like the mall itself, it has only been open since 2008 and obviously feels very modern as a result. The pub is set over a number of floors with the main bar being downstairs. There were a couple of TVs dotted around, showing the BBC’s Final Score show. At 5pm on a Saturday afternoon, the place seemed to be filling up with plenty of people enjoying a drink after a hard day’s consumerism. On the ale front, The Bull serves up the ever reliable Youngs Bitter.
The upstairs floor feels more dedicated to those here for something to eat. Just adjacent to that is an area advertised as a ‘games room’. It had me surprised, I didn’t expect this to be somewhere with a dart board or pool table. Turns out they primarily mean games as in board games as there is a healthy stock of these on the bookshelf on the first floor. To be fair, at the very back of the room, there is a pool table. The pub also has a balcony terrace, which looms out over the shopping centre below.
I’ll have to admit, as someone who isn’t a massive fan of traditional shopping centres at the best of times, I’m not likely to be voyaging to the Westfield very often. That said, if you do find yourself in the mall and the retail hedonism is getting too much for you, you could do far worse than seek out the safe haven of The Bull and have a quiet pint of ale. It’s much better than the murky White Horse I visited for Shepherd’s Bush Market. Plus, they even have Cluedo..