Clearly visiting a pub for all 270 London Underground stations wasn’t enough for me. Sure it might have taken me three years and seen cold winter evening trips to glamorous hotspots like Debden, Ruislip and Hounslow, but it was great fun and I stumbled upon plenty of excellent pubs along the way.
If truth be told, I’ve missed it. The excuse to go and visit random parts of London for no reason other to find a good pub there – a nice distraction from the rest of the chaos gripping the world this year. What’s more, there’s plenty of London that simply can’t be reached by tube. So I’m going back on the trail. I’ll be keeping my head will be firmly above ground as I take to the rails to visit a pub for every National Rail station in Greater London.
This time around I’ll be visiting the stations on a route by route basis out of each London rail terminus, starting with Waterloo and all the stations on the lines out of it. I will then move anti clockwise across South London and Southern and Southeastern before crossing the river and heading from East to West. My final stops will be in West London out of Paddington. Of course by the time I reach them, Crossrail could well be open which would be a rather fitting route to close out the project on. In terms of picking the pubs, I’m sticking to the same rules as before. While it doesn’t have to be the closest pub to the station, it can’t be closer to any other National Rail stop either. I’m probably even more unfamiliar with the outer reaches of the rail network in Greater London than I was the Tube, so recommendations will again be gratefully received.
The observant among you will have realised a number of stops are served by both National Rail and Tube stations, including my starting spot, Waterloo. At this stage I am working on the principle that where the station has a number of pubs, I’ll visit again and try a new pub there. However for areas in which I’ve visited the only pub around – trust me, there were a few of them – there is little to be gained going back. I think these stops will primarily be in North West London so it will be a fair while until I visit them so I’ll assess that situation closer to the time.
I’ll be spending much more time in South London this time around too as it has over 150 rail stations in comparison to its paltry offering of 27 tube stops. This is also going to be much more about suburbia and where Londoners actually live as only 19 of the rail stations I’ll be visiting are in Zone 1. I look forward to discovering excellent pubs that hopefully inspire people to jump on a train and head out to parts of London they’ve never explored before.
So, here we go again…