Caledonian Road continues my journey of opening day stations on the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway. Architecturally it is a well preserved example of a typical station of the time, with both the Leslie Green station building at street level and the tile patterns at the platform level still intact.
It is also another station with lifts, rather than escalators. In surely an accidental piece of future-proofing, these lifts go straight down to the platforms as opposed to a mezzaine level as is the case in other stations. Without knowing it, the Edwardians had brought step free access to Caledonian Road!
I used to live off Caledonian Road while I was at University, so used this station a fair bit. For those not familiar with Cally Road itself, it’s a rather lively mix of shops and takeaways. The road was featured on the BBC documentary ‘The Secret History of Our Streets’ back in 2012, which is worth a watch if you catch it being repeated.
The Pub: The Hemingford Arms, 158 Hemingford Road, N1 1DF
It’s a slightly longer walk than usual for this pub, but it is certainly worth it. If you head out of the station onto Caledonian Road heading South, take the turning off down Roman Way. Walk down this road for several minutes until you reach Offord Road where you will find the Hemmingford Arms. The outside of the pub is covered in hanging baskets and flowers, so you can’t miss it!
It’s hard to know where to start when describing the interior of this pub. It’s a veritable treasure trove of old trinkets and posters, not to mention some items of taxidemery lurking around the place. There is a definite musical theme with trumpets, guitars and even an accordion hanging from the ceiling. The walls have a mixture of old film and theatre posters, interspersed with street signs from days gone by.
The wooden ceiling and old lamps help to give the Hemingford a very cosy feel. On the ale front, Doombar, Greene King IPA and UBU were all on tap on our visit. The food menu is solid traditional fare, with the pub particularly proud of their homemade steak and guinness pie. I didn’t eat here so I can’t verify that personally! There are also a number of tables outside the pub beneath the sea of green.
The Hemingford is a top quality pub and well worth a visit. Finding these hidden gems off the beaten track is precisely the reason I started this blog. Trust me, think of a reason to head over to Caledonian Road and check it out!