A London tube enthusiast has visited his 270th pub – one for every stop on the London Undergound network – in a challenge that has taken three years to complete.
Sam Cullen. Credit: Sam Cullen
Sam Cullen, 28, set out on his mission to visit one pub at all 270 underground stations in March 2013, starting at The Fountains Abbey at Paddington Station. This is where the first train on what is now the London Underground departed on 9 January 1863.
His journey progressed around a further 269 stations, visited in the order that they were opened, with Cullen reaching the end of his journey this week at The Defector’s Weld near Wood Lane station after three years.
The parliamentary researcher embarked on the mammoth pub crawl as a way of marking the London Underground’s 150th anniversary, documenting his experience via his blog called the INNside Track. Cullen, who now lives in Battersea, even kept up the challenge after moving to Brighton for a year.
Speaking to The Standard he said: “It’s strange to have finished because if you’ve been doing something for the best part of three years it’s hard to think ‘it’s done now’. I’ve moved around a lot and changed jobs in that time but this has been a constant.
“I’d like to give myself at least a month off but I don’t know what’s next. The Overground is getting more and more sprawling so I’m not sure that lends itself to the next one.”
The pub crawl was not just about boozing, but a chance to explore the history of London’s pubs, says Cullen, who discovered many gems over his three years of riding the tube.
Highlights included the Old Mitre in High Barnet and the beer gardens at pubs along District Line. However his favourite of the 270 pubs visited was The Atlas in West Brompton, on the District Lone.
“It was just a very nice day when I went and it’s such a cosy pub”, he said of the pub.
Travelling out towards Heathrow, where the noise of air traffic is commonplace, Cullen discovered a pub called the Green Man which dates back to the 1700s.
“It was like an old country pub and you think ‘what on earth is this doing 10 minutes from Heathrow?’”.
Cullen plans to turn his experience in a book.