Watford marks another one of the tube’s final frontiers – at the end of the Met Line branch of the same name. It’s also one of the few stations outside the boundaries of Greater London. It first opened on the Metropolitan Railway on 4th November 1925. The station building looks like a large suburban house and was designed by Charles Walter Clark.
Watford tube station is currently living on borrowed time. Its due to shut in 2018 when the Croxley Rail Link sees the Metropolitan Line diverted over the old British Rail Croxley Branch line into the centre of Watford. The current station is based in a more suburban area of Watford. While bringing the Met line into the centre of Watford is popular, not everyone is happy with plans to shut this station and there were posters in the shops based in the station promoting the ‘Save Watford Station’ campaign.
The Pub: The Horns, 1 Hempstead Road, Watford, WD17 3RL
As I said, Watford station is based in the Hertfordshire town’s leafy suburbs. As a result, its a bit of a walk to the pub. Its a nice one though as you can go through the very pleasant and expansive Cassiobury Park. If you’re looking for a more direct route, turn right from the station onto Cassiobury Park, stay on here until you reach Rickmansworth Road. Stay on the left hand side of the road until you reach the civic offices, then turn left onto a short pedestrianed street where you’ll find The Horns.
From the outside, it appears to be very much a traditional pub. However there’s a twist! It’s a live music venue complete with sizeable stage, lighting and speakers. There’s lots of music memorabilia, predominantly classic rock orientated, hanging on the walls. I spotted gold disks of iconic Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and The Who albums. The Horns has live music on most evenings, ranging from tribute acts to up and coming local bands and charity fundraisers. The rest of the interior is also pretty traditional with wood throughout – I really liked the stained glass Horns on the pubs windows.
On the ale front, four were available on our visit. Doombar, Seafarers, Abbott Ale and Betty Stoggs. They serve food on weekday lunchtimes only and Sunday roasts. In addition, they do pre-match food if Watford are playing at home. As we were here during the evening, we made do with their fine selection of crisps available including a range of Monster Munch flavours. The pub also has a sizeable garden if you want to enjoy your beer in the sun.
I really liked The Horns – its a proper pub with a good atmosphere and vibrant live music scene. Who said Metroland needed to be quiet and retiring?!