How to get to the first pub
This pub is not very near any tube stations, but the Old Kent Road is served by quite a number of buses.
From Elephant & Castle we’ll take either the 453, 171 or 53 from stop J. We’ll get off at stop BL for the 192 Café (192 Old Kent Road). From there its further up Old Kent Road on the 53or 453 to stop EE for the Lord Nelson pub (on the other side of the road.
|The Lord Nelson||1|
|Old Kent Road|
|This is pub number one so no fannying about. We need to be in and out as the next pub is a bit of a schlep.|
From the pub take the number 78 bus (same side of the road as the pub), from stop WJ to Tower Hill. After crossing Tower Bridge, get off the bus and carry round to the left along side The Tower. Cross the road where safe and follow the sign for Fenchurch St. Station.
|The Raven Bar||2|
|Fenchurch Street Station|
|There seems to have been some improvement in the bars that inhabit BR stations these days. This small little one will be quiet when we are there, but the windows have an interesting view of some of the modern architecture of the City of London. We’ll pass over the beer, but then your taste buds may not be working yet… Hopefully Fenchurch street station will be open this time, unlike before!|
Leave the pub and pop round the corner to the Minories (it’s a road not a shopping centre) and see a tiny substitute Vine Street (the real one isn’t much bigger). This is our biggest cheat – the real one is the stinky back of a hotel, and the nearest bar, Bentleys, is a wine and oyster bar. General consensus during the dry run – run!
So we drink at:
|Emergency Vine Street Bar||3|
|In, drink and out.|
Leave the pub, walk back down to Tower Hill Station, and take the District Line to Whitechapel Road. Exit the station and turn to the right and walk town a couple of blocks to the Black Bull (on the same side of the road).
|The Black Bull||4|
|This is a new addition to the list so there are no crib notes! Looked okay!|
There’s a short walk now. Exit the pub to the right, and walk down Whitechapel Road, to Osborn Street on the right. Walk up, and the road becomes Brick lane. Just at this point, turn left down White Row, then Artillery Row and Middlesex Road. Cross Bishopsgate and come to Liverpool Street Station. The pub is to the left of the white awning (by the escalators). Our next stop is:
|The Hamilton Hall||5|
|Liverpool Street Station|
|The ex-ballroom at the Great Eastern hotel has been turned into a vast beer hall by the Wetherspoons organisation. We’ll be staying here a little longer than most of the pubs to enable those who didn’t get breakfast to order some food (always available here). Also it’ll be a good rendezvous point for the folks who didn’t make it out of bed on time! The rest of us will read the books scattered around on the shelves….|
Back out of the bar and left along the gallery of the station past McDonald’s (eat here if you must). Go to the bus station, stop C, were we get the number 214 or 153 to The Angel, Islington. Alight just before the main road junction (by the green clock in the road). Cross the road to the:
|Again, a new addition to this list so comments to be added on the day!|
Out of the pub (front door), Right, up to junction, turn left along Pentonville Road. Just 100 yards along, over on the same side of the road is:
|Very unprepossessing outside but cosy inside. You can get a toasty here if you’re getting hungry, but we probably won’t spend long here.|
Leave pub, cross Pentonville road and go to the next bus stop (stop G). Any bus leaving from here will take us to King’s Cross Station (numbers 30/70/214). Alight from the bus outside and go into the station. Right alongside platform 8 is:
|Duke of York||
|Kings Cross Station|
|Newly refurbished and looking suspiciously like the “Coopers” on Waterloo station. It’ll probably be quite busy due to it’s proximity to the platform, but we won’t be staying long! Out of the railway stops this one feels most like a train-spotters refuge. Watch the Intercity trains leaving for the North East of England and that foreign land North of the Border.|
Leave the station by the side entrance, cross the road towards St. Pancras station, and walk about 150 yards along Euston Road. You’ll reach:
|The Euston Flyer||9|
|Another chance to catch your breath, and those who did make breakfast may feel like eating here. This pub has not improved despite, or maybe because of, doubling in size. The Allied breweries ownership of the Flyer brand has not done much for it, other than multiply the numbers of pubs carrying it. Still, it’s not too bad and every now and the beer can be good. Probably best to avoid the Dog bolter, though.|
Exit the pub and from stop B we’ll take the 205 (direct to Marylebone) and 30 (to bake street so a short walk) to Marylebone Station. Into the station, and on the far left end of the concourse:
|The Victoria & Albert||10|
|Large but with a cosy feel. You may prefer to get a coffee from the many catering outlets at the station by this time. Since the next pub is some distance, we’ll try to be as quick as possible here.|
We’ll take the tube from Marylebone station (tucked away by the ticket office) and take a couple of stops on the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus. At Oxford Circus leave via exit 8 to Argyll Street, and turn left. At the bottom of the road you’ll see Liberty’s department store. Diagonally opposite, to the left, you’ll see the O’Neill’s pub:
|Marvellous mock Oirish pub. They’re crap and we’ll try to spend as little time here as possible!|
Exit the pub and carry on straight by the side of Liberty’s. Cross Regent Street, down Hanover Street, then cross over Hanover Square to Tenterdon Street. Left to Derring Street and we’ll visit Bonds
|Quite snazzy looking pub. Hope they don’t refuse us entry! We’ll always look into the Duke of York (our second of the day) if looking unfriendly.|
Exit the pub and walk diagonally across down Derring St. to Blenheim St. Then on to Woodstock Street for the Spread Eagle
Half Way Pub!
|Suggestive title – I’m assured this is not a gentleman’s club. If we’re feeling a little sheepish then opposite is the Woodstock…|
Walk up Woodstock road to Oxford Street, and cross immediately. Turn left and walk past Selfridges to Orchard Street, stop BA. Bus carries on down Oxford street and turns down Park Lane. Carry on for 5-6 mins, almost to the end of the road, and get off the bus at the Hilton Hotel. Across the mini roundabout and down Old Park Lane to the end, to the Rose & Crown (hidden behind the scaffold).
|Rose & Crown||14|
|We walked past this and the food smelled lovely! If we find ourselves ahead of time then tuck in, otherwise we’ll have to enjoy the aroma only!|
From the R&C turn left onto Piccadilly, then left again up White Horse Street, to Shepherd Market where we’ll drink at:
|Shepherd’s Market, Mayfair|
|A lovely little pub in the heart of Shepherd Market. If it’s a nice day we’ll be able to sit outside and watch the world passing by in this traditionally slightly down at heel place that has become a little oasis. If you’re inside you can see the hunting trophies, deer heads, grouse, fish, plus guns etc. Chances are you won’t have time.|
Leave the Grapes, walking down White Horse Street. When you get to Piccadilly, turn left (if you don’t get sidetracked by the paintings on the railings of Green Park opposite). Carry on along Piccadilly for about 200 yards to Henry’s Bar
|If this is the same as the two Henry’s in Covent Garden and Leicester Square then we’ll be in for a winner… this place has happy hours, and maybe someone will want one of their cocktails… aarg!|
Cross down St James’ and through Crown Passage and to LHS will be the Red Lion
|On the dry run this was the first pub we sat down and actually had a half in. It was a lovely tiny quite pub (how little they know what’s in store! A bit out of the way but one to tuck away in the top pocket when next in the area!|
This next pub is a bit of a walk – there are no buses down Pall Mall, so we have to walk the length and return to Trafalgar Square. Walk clockwise round the square passing in front of the National Gallery. At St Martin’s Church bear left and ahead will be the Chandos.
|We’ll all know this pub of old – a favourite in the area, with very comfy sofas upstairs if you’re early and lucky. A free house, this serves only beer no-one has heard of!|
We’ll exit the pub and carry on round clockwise, passing in front of St Martins Church and crossing both Strand, and Northumberland as we seek Whitehall. Turn left and about 100 yds down on the left side we’ll find
|The Silver Cross||19|
|Another pub we sampled on the increasingly less-dry run. This sprawling gastro pub is nice enough if you can wade past all the Yank tourists to the bar, and was one of the few we felt confident would house all of us at once!|
Out of this pub again and back up to Trafalgar Square. Back round anti clock to Northumberland Avenue (confusingly signposted as Charring Cross) Down the road and cross over, about 200yds you’ll see the:
|The Sherlock Homes||
|Northumberland Street||Sherlock Holmes Ale (really),|
|This is another place that’s wall-to-wall with Americans! Yes, it is corny, but this is still a worthwhile pub. If you can ignore the stuffed bloodhound and all theHolmesian stuff on the walls (and Mrs. Hudson’s Pantry) you’ll find this a congenial place to quaff a pint or two (but maybe not today!).|
We come out of the pubs and cut up Craven Passage, and bear left onto Craven Street, and emerge onto the Strand. We should cross over straight away and take bus from stop F (numbers 11, 15,23 all go). Alight just after the Old Bailey and fabulous illuminated Royal Courts of Justice, and walk up a block on the same side to :
|Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese||21|
|A very famous old pub, “rebuilt in 1667”, with a maze of little bars and small snugs. They probably won’t all be open when we visit but the “front” bar, which you enter from the passage, will be quiet and welcoming.|
Back out on to Fleet Street, turn right and continue walking back. We may get lucky and hop on a bus, but it’s an interesting walk, past the Royal Courts of Justice, Bush House home of the BBC World Service, and the church on an island in the middle of the road. Just past Waterloo Bridge we enter The Strand and just on the left is the next pub.
|This was another tardis-like pub tucked away that I’d never noticed, but was huge inside!|
|The Marques of Anglesey||23|
|A third dry run watering hole, and another alternative to Leicester Sq etc was discovered! Friendly staff and a bustling atmosphere leads us to believe that it’ll be busy on the day.|
Exit the Anglesey and carry on up past the back of the Royal Opera House. At the top of the road turn left onto Long acre and head down to Leicester Square. Once there, diagonally cross the central square and head for All Bar One:
|All Bar One||24|
|Another soulless chain pub, but ironically the best that Leicester sq could offer as far as we could see – plenty just off the square but we wanted to keep it real!|
|Oxenden Street, Coventry Street|
|A large dark pub with walls covered in show-biz memorabilia. You may fall asleep in here unless their music night is running (in the downstairs bar). Likely to be fairly busy. The alternative, the Tom Cribb, had “COUPLES ONLY” on the door, so we thought better of it.|
Last pub in sight!
Exit the pub to the left and back up to Coventry street. Turn left again follow the lights to Piccadilly Circus. Cross over and walk 100yds up Regent street (on right side) and enter Cheers
|This place turns into a club and goes till 3am. Phew, we made it!|
We’ve ended up close to both Piccadilly (Bakerloo and Piccadilly Lines ) and Leicester Square (Northern Line) stations, so transport shouldn’t be a problem. A lot of buses going in many directions pass Oxford Street or Trafalgar Square and these may take you to somewhere more convenient for you to finish your journey.
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