Epping marks the Eastern end of the Central Line and indeed my final stop on this particularly expansive line. It is also one of the few Underground station outside the M25 boundary. It became part of the Central Line on 25 September 1949, serving as its Eastern terminus until 1957 when the short stretch of line from Epping to Ongar was electrified and passed over from British Railways to London Underground.
The Epping to Ongar service typically ran as a shuttle so passengers from those easterly destinations had to change at Epping to continue into Central London, as you can see from this tube map from 1986. The service was withdrawn by London Underground at the end of September 1994 – a heritage railway now operates over the route.
Architecturally, the station is very similar to Theydon Bois and others on this section of line where the original station buildings from their initial period as railway stations have been preserved.
The Pub: The George and Dragon, 208 High Street, Epping, CM16 4AQ
It’s just over a 10minute walk from the tube to the pub. From the main station exit, head onto Station Road and walk up here until turning right onto Epping High Street where after a few minutes walk, you’ll come across The George and Dragon.
Inside, it felt very busy for a Monday evening! It’s a contemporary, brightly lit gastropub which has retained some original features such as the decorative stained glass windows at the front. There seemed to be a divide between the front which felt more ‘pubby’ and a back area which was laid out for those eating. As the pub bit was pretty full, we ended up going in the dining area which was pretty empty as the kitchen was near closing time. To their credit nobody said we could only sit there if eating so I guess it can function as an overflow seating area when required. There is also a small back garden area.
There were a few ales on tap, Adnam’s Southwold Bitter, Bombardier’s Glorious Bitter and Doombar – sadly the latter was off the night we dropped in. It’s managed by the same company that also ran the King William IV in Chigwell, so the menu is very similar to there – a mixture of traditional British dishes like Fish and Chips and then more restaurant-esque fare like Linguine and the the grandiose sounding ‘Roasted Salmon Supreme.’
The George and Dragon is a decent place which in places feels like a restaurant but still retains enough of a pub atmosphere to make it feel ok just to come here for a pint. It’s a solid bet if you find yourself at the end of the line.