South of Tower Bridge Trip
11th June 1996
This trip takes in Rotherhithe and Bermondsey and ends up near Tower Bridge. If the weather is kind it is a pleasant walk along the waterfront. If not, well we can still enjoy the pubs. Our first pub is in Rotherhithe. The only way I know of getting there by public transport (although no doubt there are many others) is to catch the East London line replacement bus service which starts at Aldgate and calls at Tower Hill by the Royal Mint. Please note that you need a valid ticket before using the service and it only stops at tube stations. Get off at Rotherhithe station and turn left by the Adam and Eve down Swan Street and then right into Rotherhithe Street. We did not call in the Adam and Eve on the trial and at one stage it did not sell real ale. May be worth a visit if you have time. Anyway the first pub is down Rotherhithe Street on the left:
1. Spice Island (18.45)
Brakspear, London Pride, Wadworth 6X, Old Speckled Hen, Flowers, Spring Hop and Boddingtons
A large modern pub on the banks of the Thames directly opposite the Prospect of Whitby on the other bank. Feels a bit like a warehouse and has a yuppie clientele. Still it has a good selection of ale and has plenty of room both inside and out. Does food and there is a restaurant upstairs. Good views of the river if the weather is good.
Turn right out of the pub and walk and the next pub is a 10 minute walk away. Basically keep as near to the river as the paths allow all the way on this trip.
2. Mayflower (19.30)
Greene King IPA, Abbot and Sorcerer
Old historic riverside pub from which the pilgrim fathers apparently set sail (yes, another place - it's a wonder they ever reached their final destination!). Small pub with one bar. Has the feel of an old seafaring pub.
Again turn right out of the pub and follow the river! A five minute walk away is:
3. Angel (20.15)
Directors, Worthington E
Another historic pub where Judge Jefferies is alleged to have watched hangings on Execution Dock. The pub has survived the blitz and has an island bar and a nautical flavour. Across from the pub are the, somewhat minimal, remains of Edward III's manor house. Must have been a Barratt home judging by what is left.
Turn right out of the pub and head towards Tower Bridge. There are short cuts if you know the way, especially by the Design Centre. If not, follow the crowd.
Close to Tower Bridge on Horselydown Lane is:
4. Anchor Tap
Sam Smiths OBB
A classic old pub with numerous small rooms, which has been superbly renovated and maintained. Once was the nearby Courage brewery tap. Beer is only £1.48 a pint which is excellent value considering the location and is still available on handpumps unlike some Sam Smiths pubs in London.
That's the end of the trip. There are other pubs along the way and in the finishing area you might like to try. Unfortunately the Bridge tavern, which once brewed its own beer was closed at the time of the trial. The Bridge Tandoori is well worth a visit if you fancy an Indian meal. London Bridge station is not far away and Tower Hill tube and Fenchurch Street are the other side of the Bridge.
Trial. A very windy and cold 9 May 1996. Geoff Wilson and Reg Wright.
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