West Ruislip first opened on the Central Line on 21st November 1948 after the construction of additional lines to allow the service to operate onwards from Greenford, its previous terminus. At this stage the station was called West Ruislip(for Ickenham) before losing the suffix in the early 1960s.
The station building is a rather non-descript box dating from the ’60s. Rail services, which predating the opening of the Central Line here, still operate from West Ruislip on the Chiltern Line route from Marylebone to Gerrards Cross.
The Pub: The Soldiers Return, 65 High Road, UB10 8LG
The pub is about three minutes walk from the station. Cross the High Road and head west along it where you’ll find the pub a couple of minutes down the road. The Soldiers Return is a John Barras pub, another one of the pub chains that I’ve come across on London’s outer fringes.
It pub was fairly quiet on our mid-week visit with most of the punters sat towards the back of the pub. We sat at the front by the bar. There are a couple of tables out the front which back onto the busy high road so it might not be the nicest place for a drink in the sun! The walls are decorated in a fairly plain fashion. There are old black and white photos of football matches at (I assume) Wembley, given Ruislip isn’t too far away from the national stadium.
Carrying on with the sporting theme, the pub also has a dart board, the case of which has ‘Bully’ – the mascot of the ’80s darts based gameshow Bullseye, drawn on it. No sign of Jim Bowen though. They have a sports licence here and a good few TVs, all showing Sky Sports News.
There were three ales here – Greene King IPA, Courage and London Glory, but only the IPA was on when we dropped in. Food wise, it’s pub grub at very cheap prices with Sausage and Mash only £4.49 – I’ve had pints in Central London that cost more than that! Burgers are only a little more expensive with a cheese and bacon burger just £6.49.
I’d describe The Soldiers Return as a solid, no nonsense pub. There isn’t really anything here to warrant coming out of your way to visit it, but if you live within the Ruislip/Ickenham area, it’s fine to have a pint here!