Now I’ve finished off all the South West Trains stations in Greater London, I thought it was a good time for a quick look back at my highs and lows along the way There were 40 stations in total, starting at Waterloo – the busiest rail station in the entire UK – and ending in Worcester Park. In truth, it was a good route to start off with because the vast bulk of the places I visited were decent and I was really impressed by the caliber of pubs in these parts. I kept expecting to come across more duds but in truth I can count the ones to avoid on one hand.
In terms of particular highlights, I’ll pick out a few here. The Mitre in North Sheen was a great find. It was hidden down a quiet residential street, had twelve ales on tap and a friendly pub dog called Rudi! The Express Tavern by Kew Bridge was also excellent; it had real character and another extensive ale selection. The Sussex Arms in Strawberry Hill stood out for me for similar reasons, it was buzzing on our visit and had a dozen ales on tap. Other top spots along the way included The Vauxhall Griffin(no prizes for guessing where), The Ailsa Tavern in St.Margarets and Woodies Freehouse in Malden Manor.
Perhaps it should have been no surprise I found so many good places – this part of town has a strong pub history behind it. Youngs brewery was based in Wandsworth until 2006 while Fullers Brewery is still going strong in Chiswick today; both were well represented in these opening stages of the blog. Fullers even provided me with a decent pub in Hounslow in The Cross Lances, a big improvement on what I endured for the three tube stops there.
Thankfully there were only a couple of pubs I’d give a ‘steer clear’ warning on. The Broadway Bar in Tolworth was the worst – as I said at the time, it had all the character of an airport lounge. I also didn’t enjoy The Red Lion in Isleworth partly stemming from its Marie Celeste atmosphere and the fact the bar was deserted when we first arrived. Another Red Lion, this time in Feltham was also a bit forlorn, but at least it had a manager trying to pick the place up.
All in all, the lucky folk of South West London have plenty of excellent pubs at their disposal. I thoroughly enjoyed my travels through that neck of the woods – now it’s time to shift eastwards and head on over to Victoria, kicking off my travels on Southern Rail.