Much like Strawberry Hill, Berrylands doesn’t live up to its juicy title. The name comes from a combination of words for land on a hill or tumult in Old English and Old Norse. It first opened on 16 October 1933, to coincide with the opening of a new housing estate in the area.
According to Wikipedia, 90% of the station’s cost was financed by the estate’s developers in order to make the housing more attractive to commuters. Interestingly, the station is currently a stop on the proposed Crossrail 2, a line which many have called ‘a housing scheme with a railway thrown in.’ Showing once again how things end up going in circles, the Government is trying to encourage significant contributions from developers to get that project off the ground.
The station building is a non-descript end of ’60s prefab hut. These structures were given the unappealing acronym CLASP, which stood for Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme. It is the same design as the building which was demolished at Hampton Wick.
The Berrylands, 107 Chiltern Drive, KT5 8LS
The pub is a quick two minute walk south from the station, located on Chiltern Drive. The building has a 1930s look to it, so I imagine it was built at the same time as the housing development which led to the construction of the station.
It’s a big, cavernous pub inside, split into three rooms at slightly different levels. The area at the very front of The Berrylands seemed to be the bar area, where people were watching the football on TV and seemed quite lively. The other two rooms had a more chilled atmosphere and were set out more for people coming here to eat. Each area is decorated in the different way. We were sat in the room at the lower end of the pub which has light coloured walls with various colourful paintings of flowers, still lives and the like.
It had three ales on tap when we dropped in, Youngs Bitter, Old Golden Hen and Trumans Swift. The food here is reasonably priced with a burger for less than a tenner. At that price I couldn’t resist and am happy to confirm that it was very tasty and a good sized portion too. They even throw in a couple of onion rings too.The rest of the menu is decently priced pub grub, with a couple of chillis and cajun chicken thrown in too.
The Berrylands also has a fair sized front patio area with seats, backing onto Chiltern Drive. On the Tuesday evening we visited there were a fair few people here but because the pub is so big, it didn’t really feel too busy. There is a quiz night here on Thursdays and they also have a quiz machine too(will it accept the new £1?!) although it was in amongst the football fans so we didn’t have a go on it as I didn’t want to obstruct anyone’s view of the game!
I enjoyed our visit to The Berrylands. It’s always good to see a suburban pub like this still going strong. Too often on my travels I’ve seen these kind of buildings converted into a Sainsburys Local or Tesco Extra. As Berrylands is only served by two trains an hour, this is perfectly suitated for a quick pint if you find yourself with a near 30min wait for the next train…
(The pub has no website)