South Oxfordshire branch has very kindly offered to organise our annual Central Southern Regional Pub Crawl of London. Here are the details….
Central Southern Region Pub Tour
Click on “View larger map” (top right) to see pub names.
St Pancras area of London Saturday 11th February 2023
This circular crawl OK then, tour, starts from King’s Cross Station, moves down to Euston Station area, then meanders back through the quiet streets of St Pancras to finish back close to King’s Cross. The tour covers a range of pub styles, some serving notable nationally-available beers, others focussing on local beers from small London breweries. The distance between most pubs averages around 300m with the single longest stretch being about 1.1km. Because of the relatively short distances involved, seven pubs are included on this crawl.
Some pubs are well-known and have no doubt featured on previous Regional pub tours, but we believe others are less-frequented side street boozers. All pubs are in the 2023 Good Beer Guide. We have scheduled the smaller pubs for later in the tour, when we are likely to be a bit more stretched out and less likely to descend on the pub en masse.
Meet from 12.00 at first pub and moving on at approx. hourly intervals.
Parcel Yard, King’s Cross Railway Station, Euston Road, N1C 4AH
A large and spacious multi-roomed pub (thus a good one to start at), located in the former station parcel office. It is at the rear of the concourse near Platform 9 (and the fantastical Platform 93⁄4). Slightly shabby with plenty of railway paraphernalia. A Fuller’s pub with the usual range of cask ales, but also looks to have one guest ale on. A bit of a pricey one, with Hophead £6 a pint on our visit.
Next, we head down the Euston Road towards Euston Station. This is the longest walk between pubs, at just over 1km, but take the tube or a bus if you don’t fancy the walk.
Euston Tap, 25 West & East Lodges, 190 Euston Road, NW1 2EF
Another well-known watering hole, located in one of the Grade II listed Portland stone lodges at the front of the station. The bar areas downstairs and also upstairs, via the wrought iron staircase, are quite small, but there is a large outside covered and heated drinking area, which should accommodate us comfortably. Up to 7 cask ales on, including many from smaller London breweries. Redemption, Howling Hops and Hackney were featured on our visit. A much more acceptable £4.60 – £5.00 a pint.
A short walk around the corner to the west of the station, brings us to our next stop, which is right next to the ongoing HS2 works.
Exmouth Arms, 1 Starcross Street, NW1 2HR
Narrowly escaping demolition for the HS2 works, this is a cosmopolitan, busy beer bar, majoring on 10+ keg lines, but with up to 5 cask ales possible. Titanic Plum Porter is the one regular ale, and was the only one ready to serve when we visited. The changing ales look to be from London’s smaller breweries. Nice, dark ambience, and a great place for a food stop, with excellent quality and priced burgers and tapas from the Burger Craft implant. Around £6 for the Plum Porter, but was it was in great condition.
We then double-back along the Euston Road, past the Tap, continue forwards and then turn off right after 500m or so down Judd Street to find the next pub.
Skinners Arms, 114 Judd Street, St Pancras, WC1H 9NT
Traditional London corner pub from late Victorian/Edwardian times, named after the City livery company. Now converted into one large bar, but still retaining plenty of stained glass and other original features. It looks like a Greene King pub, and as well as the usual suspects had Landlord, and Tribute. It also usually has a guest ale from a smaller local brewery, but this had just finished when we visited. Beers priced at £5.30 a pint, but the Landlord and Tribute were just a bit average though. Nice enough pub, but if you are a bit short of time and need to miss out on one pub, this would be it!
Just a short hop around the corner and along a couple of streets and we’re at the next pub.
McGlynn’s, 1-5 Whidmore Street, St Pancras, WC1H 8ET
A good old-fashioned boozer in a quiet side street, that has the look and feel of a pub from the 1970s. Plenty of room inside and with a noticeable Irish decoration, but not in a theme- pub sort of way. Friendly staff, with the landlord very pleased to be in the GBG after 10 years of trying! Three pumps usually serving Southwark Brewery beers. Beers in great condition and reasonably priced at £4.70 a pint.
Continue a short distance along Argyle Street and drop down Gray’s Inn Road one junction to Acton Street.
Queen’s Head, 66 Acton Street, St Pancras, WC1X 9NB
Late-Georgian-era building, a medium-sized one bar pub, that is very popular with the local, young, beer-drinking crowd. Three cask ales, with Redemption Trinity a regular and two decent changing ales. Also, a cider on handpump. Good-looking sharing snack platters (inc pork pies) make this another possible food stop! Nice buzzing atmosphere. North London CAMRA Pub of the Year 2022.
Next, head up Gray’s Inn Road towards King’s Cross. Go slightly right at the fork and head up Caledonian Road. Our final stop, at around 6.00pm, is a hundred metres or so off on the right-hand side.
King Charles I, 55-57 Northdown Street, Pentonville, N1 9BL
Delightful, small and cosy drinkers pub, in a Georgian building in a side street near King’s Cross station. Important 1930’s interior with lots of artefacts and real fires. Can get very busy. Probably a rare example of a community-owned pub in central London, with a 20- year lease owned by local residents and regulars alike since 2015. Four cask ales and a cask cider on when we visited, including Siren Memento and Twickenham Naked Ladies, at a reasonable £4.70 a pint. Runner up in North London CAMRA Pub of the Year 2022. A great final pub on the tour and not to be missed.