South Kenton marks another milestone on my blog -its the first full tube line I’ve completed(not counting the two stop Waterloo and City Line!) and its the Bakerloo.
The station first opened on 13th July 1933. Presently, it is served by both the Bakerloo as well as London Overground rail services. Virgin’s West Coast trains also blast past here on the high speed tracks that flank the station. Architecturally there’s not too much going on here – the platform shelter/ticket hall is a nice enough curved structure although it was being done up on our visit so I couldn’t really look around. There are no buildings at street level bar the entrances to the underpass. The narrow width of this route also means this is one of the very few tube stations without ticket barriers, so don’t forget to touch in and out!
South Kenton has long been a memorable station for me. Many years ago, a friend of mine who will remain nameless and was not totally au fait with the Underground was trying to get to South Kensington. Changing in Central London, he saw South Ken on the front of a tube and took his chances. This is where he ended up…
The Pub: The Windermere, Windermere Avenue, HA9 8QT
Look across from the platforms here and you’ll see the tall imposing structure that is the Windermere and its bold declaration to ‘TAKE COURAGE.’ To reach it, just follow the underpass out onto the Windermere Grove exit and you’ll be right beside it.
For reasons unknown to man, we couldn’t seem to get in the front door so had to take the side entrance by the back garden. Inside, its a pretty spacious pub. The back room, was fairly empty and had both a dart board and snooker table. The front room was far busier as it had a big screen showing the Sunday afternoon football. The Windermere has Sky/BT Sports, there was also a couple of smaller TVs in the back room. Decor wise, its fairly traditional in decent condition with a tartan carpet, old seats and wooden tables, while the pub’s wood panelling is listed.
There were two ales available here, one obviously being Courage and the other London Pride. I didn’t see any signs of food here, although one of the chalk boards inside suggested there were barbeques over the summer. The back garden here is pretty large and facing across to the railway line. There were also some rather basic children’s play equipment in the garden including a very small slide – I hope they take it in over winter otherwise I think it could be blown away.
I enjoyed visiting The Windermere. It’s reassuring to see a large, traditional pub like this still going strong. If you ever find yourself in South Kenton(intentionally or otherwise), it’s a decent place for a pint.