Chessington South brings to a close my short journey on the Chessington branch line – it is also my second to last station on South West Trains – that all went quickly! The station opened in May 1939, again designed by James Robb Scott, like the other three stops on the branch. However in this instance you take steps down to the platforms, rather than up as is the case with the other stops.
Chessington South was never intended to be the terminus of the line, the original intention was it to continue on to Leatherhead. Construction halted with the start of the Second World War and the project was never completed. There is a second platform here, complete with art deco curved shelter, intended for trains returning from Leatherhead. As a result, this has never been used by passengers and the station now operates with just one active platform.
Beefeater (Monkey Puzzle), Leatherhead Road, KT9 2NE
Chessington South is the stop you’re after if you want the World Of Adventures. The only pub in the vicinity is just past the theme park. It’s a fair walk, over 15 minutes from the station south down Leatherhead Road.
Having read the only pub round here was a Beefeater based right by a theme park, my hopes weren’t high. These feelings were only heightened when I realised it was connected to the theme park’s Premier Inn. Online it is listed as being called ‘Monkey Puzzle’ but the only branding I could see outside simply said Beefeater. Inside it’s spacious pub a feeling reinforced by the very high ceiling in its main area. As you might expect, the decor is fairly neutral with the unpainted brick walls decorated with prints of plants and flowers. The exposed piping(ventilation I assume?) gives it a bit of a warehouse look. It also has some outside seating, backing onto Leatherhead Road.
To its credit, there were two ales on tap, London Pride and Hobgoblin. The food isn’t as cheap as I thought it would be, it was £11.99 for a Cheese and Bacon Burger and £12,29 for Fish and Chips. That’s what comes from being attached to both a theme park and a Premier Inn, neither of which are known for cheap food.
Having expected the worse, we actually found it wasn’t too bad in here. My worst fears were a soulless pub filled with a mixture of overtired and hyper kids after a day at Chessingtons. In reality, it was more chilled and less manic than that. There was a family sat near us celebrating an 80th birthday, although that did have me wondering who would come here who hadn’t been to the theme park. I guess that illustrates how few options there are round here.
In short, the pub wasn’t as bad as I had initially anticipated, and certainly better than the couple of Beefeaters I visited out in the sticks for the tube leg of the blog. That said, it still remains a pub by a theme park, over 15 minutes walk from a station at the end of a branch line served by only two trains an hour…