Gipsy hill is named after a gipsy encampment which stood in a then inaccessible part of the Great North Wood. This survived for several hundred years until the Enclosure Acts in the early 19th century. The area is now more commonly called Crystal Palace although the "Palace" burnt down on the 30th November 1936 and all that remains is the ancient TV mast of the Victorian druids.
Trains run from Victoria at 1711 and 1723 arriving at 1732 and 1744 respectively. Alternatively trains start from London Bridge at 1708 and 1738 arriving at 1729 and 1759, or for those wishing more of an adventure can catch the 16.45 or 17.17 from Elephant and Castle changing at Tulse Hill and arriving at 17.29 and 1759.
1. GIPSY HILL TAVERN - 79 Gipsy Hill [18.30]
Beers: Courage Best & Directors
Large turn-of-the-century pub close to Gipsy Hill Station and a good resting place for the climb (mountaineering equipment will be provided at a small cost). A large horse shoe bar serves three seperate drinking areas and there appeared to be an abundance of seats. Please note the psuedo real fire. There was a very good possibility of food such as pies, sausages etc.
On leaving the Gipsy Hill Tavern cross the road and turn up the hill on the left you will find Cawnpore Street and the our next resting point is the Railway bell which is just on the right.
2. RAILWAY BELL - 14 Cawnpore Street [19.15]
Beers: Youngs Bitter and Special Bitter
This pub was once voted Evening Standard's pub of the year and was notable for its railway memorabilia, but that was 1981 and the pub was going through refurbishment to hopefully bring it up to it's formal glory. No food but plenty of seats (you can always nibble on a seat if you get hungry)..
On leaving the Railway bell turn back into Gipsy Hill and continue up the hill when you reach the summit(I hear Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing used this as a training run for Everest). Turn left into Westow Hill (don't worry every other establishment we will visit is on the top of this hill so you can relax at..
3. QUEEN'S ARMS - 23 Westow Hill [20.00]
Beers: Adnams, Southwold, Everard Tiger, Ruddles County and Best.
The range-of beers appears somewhat changeable as the South London Beer Guide doesn't agree at all with the above. Anyway this is a large single bar public house that has a very mixed clientele which makes it a little noisy, but there are plenty of padded seats(or was that the walls). On the trial run we were treated to crisps peanuts etc as the Lord Mayor was coming but this is unlikely to happen again. I am happy to report that the trialists did their duty and formed the famous flying locust formation vacuuming all before them.
Continuing along Westow hill but on the right side of the road you will find a pleasant corner pub called...
4. CAMBRIDGE - 2 Church Road [20.45]
Beers: Courage Best and Directors
This is s large 2 bar pub with lots of seats available and emergency lighting. Look out for the Rugby rosettes and the pictures of the afore mentioned palace before and after the afore mentioned fire. This pub also has an interesting collection of brass nick-nacks.
Back tracking along Westow Hill you will see....
5. ROYAL ALBERT - 42 Westow Hill [21.30]
Beers: Charrington IPA and Bass
2 bar local which boasts an extensive collection of jugs. Plenty of seats in both bars, Although the public is small and a bit basic. This pub is a regular entry in the GBG.
Continuing back along Westow Hill you will find the....
6. HOLLY BUSH - 2 Westow Hill [22.15]
Beers: Websters Yorkshire Bitter
To be honest none of the trial team remember much about this establishment but apparently (according to the South London Beer Guide) it is full of sporting memorabilia and also selling good beer.
Well thats it Gipsy Hill Station is about ten minutes walk away (all down hill) and after you have handed in your crampons I suggest you catch the 2230 to Victoria arriving at 2250 or more probably the 2234 to Blackfriars arriving at 2254 this train also calls at Kings Cross.
Original map used on tripBack to 1989 Trips