Ruislip Station first opened on 4th July 1904 on then newly opened Metropolitan Railway branch line between Harrow on the Hill and Uxbridge. The numerous intermediate stops on this branch did not follow until later. In 1910, District Line services began calling at the station which in turn transferred to the Piccadilly Line in 1933.
The Edwardian station building is still in place and is Grade II listed. The original cast-iron columns supporting the platform canopies are still in place. Along with the traditional footbridge linking the two platforms, these all help create the air of a rural railway station.
The Pub: The Duck House, High Street, Ruislip, HA4 7AR
It’s a little bit of a stroll from the station to The Duck House – walk up Station Approach to reach the High Street and then head north along there till you reach a roundabout and you’ll spot The Duck House.
I initially thought the building might be a shop, as one of the windows has a distinct shop frontage look to it. According to the sign, it dates back to 1640. For me, the name The Duck House is intrinsically linked to the MPs expenses scandal, something that came back into public consciousness earlier this year thanks to the play of the same name. The pub sign is rather nice with a duck emerging from its house.
It bills itself as ‘Ruislip’s Original Village Bar & Grill’ and it is indeed mainly restaurant, rather than pub. There is however an area where you can sit and have a drink so we perched ourselves there. Doombar is available on tap, as well as some bottled beers such as Meantime Pale Ale which has grown on me recently. Bar snacks are also available for those not wanting to go the whole hog. The menu itself is traditional English staples such as roasted lamb, sirloin steak and other old favourites.
Even it is now predominantly set up as a restaurant, it still feels like a classic country pub due to the low, wood-beamed roof. The walls are decorated with old photos of Ruislip, as well as lots of small mirrors. There is also a selection of board games, including ‘Outburst’, which I admit I’ve never heard of before. There is also a ‘courtyard garden’, again for those eating at the restaurant.
The Duck House was a very enjoyable place to have a pint. I strongly recommend it to anyone living in those outer western fringes of London!