The best way to approach Woolwich is from the north. Take the pedestrian underpass one way, and come back on the free ferry. The river crossing is one of the things that make London quite good, and it won’t be there forever. Nothing will.

North Woolwich’s best closed pub

I’m a big fan of North Woolwich, whose charms Deserter describes here.  The famed Royal Standard remains unvisited; perhaps Mrs RM will act as my bodyguard drinking companion on a visit ?  Alan Winfield wished to make it clear he’s never been in that institution either.

The other half of Woolwich is a different kettle of fish.  Wide open spaces around the barracks, steep walks up to Shooter’s Hill, and proper underpass graffiti.


It’s top urban walking, just lacking great pubs since the Rose slipped a bit, or out of the Guide anyway.  The new housing developments behind the giant Tesco are so gorgeous I can forgive that.

To use Beer Guide language, the centre is a “cultural melting pot“, which means you get a proper street market with bowls of bananas you can’t carry home, and a trendy Eritrean café. Bradford might have the shiny shops and water features to match, but it doesn’t have a top Eritrean café yet (does it ?).

Of course, the sure sign of gentrification is an Antic, and the Woolwich Equitable is as clearly an Antic as any Wetherspoons, from the moment you step in.  It looks a bit like a Spoons bank conversion, using furniture from the 1950s.  Which I think is OK, though I’m sure some will think it the work of the devil.


Typically good Antic beer from Voldens (NBSS 3.5) which seems to be their house brew now. And I do like fresh flowers on tables now I’m getting old.

You can see from the photos how closely the Equitable reflects the cultural diversity of the town. Compare and contrast with the “vibrant” Wetherspoons across the square.

Anyway, for ten points, name the tune. For twenty points, sing it.


Plenty of pubs, but not much troubling the Guide recently, bar a drab Youngs restaurant in the Royal Arsenal.  I suspect I might be returning for the Hop Stuff Taproom at some point though.


  1. I did a large pub crawl round Woolwich and Plumstead Heath,which i think is an area of London nobody goes to apart from me,anyway back to Woolwich still a good amount of pubs to do i went in the Woolwich Equitable just after opening and thought why would you want to sit in a cinema seat while out for a drink.
    The Youngs pub is massive and you can easily find a seat out of the way of diners,also did the Rose on the same day,seemed alright to me.
    I must get round to doing North Woolwich and see its wonders,shame there is only two pubs to do there now.


  2. It is a fun decision deciding when to cross the river when visiting Woolwich. I believe at some point I made some form of bet that involves crossing on a pedalo when I lose. I can’t remember how I lose. Knowing me, it will either be rigged or I will have another method of cheating.

    The Antic still looks like a bank. It is the work of the devil as it isn’t still a bank. There are many factors to blame for that. Those using interweb banking for one.

    I have sung the tune. Points please.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Martin, I think it would be physically possible to walk over the Thames Barrier. However, I suspect it would be difficult to gain access and it would be likely that one would be shot by the rozzers half was across.

        Liked by 1 person

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