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Railway Bell, Crystal Palace

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user reviews of the Railway Bell, Crystal Palace

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

This is an excellent Youngs Pub, very popular with locals. Not much passing trade, as it's located down the Hill from Crystal Palace (towards Gypsy Hill), sonot the most fun walk back. Always have Youngs Bitter and Special on, bottles of Light Ale and Ram Rod also available.
There's a fish tank around the back, plenty of books to read.
southlondonbeero - 31 Dec 2016 12:22
Great pub with top staff. You'll never wait long to be served and the quality of the ales is spot on. They have several well placed screens for sport plus they still provide two large cheese platters free to one and all during Sunday lunch. Couldn't be better.
drum2000 - 14 Dec 2014 17:10
The Railway Bell is a re-tick for me as I came here on Bank Holiday Monday evening to watch football on the tele with a few pals.

My first visit here in May 2013 was on a Saturday lunchtime when the pub was half empty but what a difference visiting on a busy evening makes, this is a very decent back street Young’s pub, friendly and efficient bar maid, nice atmosphere and more importantly well kept beers.

The 3 of us each enjoyed 3 pints of Young’s ordinary and each pint was good as the last.

I will return again, cracking little pub that just need more customers and a few of my pals.

lezford - 9 May 2014 09:27
This is a great little pub. We too visited, as we'd seen the entry in the 2013 Good Beer Guide. You wouldn't know the pub was here, if you hadn't heard about it. Indeed, the lady behind the bar was surprised to see us shortly after opening at midday yesterday. She inquired as to how we knew about the place. The pub is a proper old fashioned backstreet boozer predominantly used by locals. Very comfortable with everything I'd look for in a pub. The only exception being the ales (a fairly major point)! I've never been a fan of Youngs beers and only the Ordinary and Special were on. Neverthless, I'd encourage a visit here if you can. The service was friendly. The atmosphere, despite being quiet, was spot on and the corned beef and ham rolls served with a locally made chutney (from the tomato plant in the garden) went down a treat. Sorry we only left the cheese ones for any later visitors!
blue_scrumpy - 10 Nov 2013 13:18
First impressions made me think why this pub was in the 2013 beer guide.

Tired looking decor, Young's special and bitter plus Wells Bombardier on pump and a landlord that after taking my money tried to give it to another punter...there were only another 4 people in the bar!!

The walls are adorned with Railway engine pictures, good if you like that sort of thing.

To be honest my experience in here was fine but I have been in much better kept pubs with a better atmosphere that haven't made the guide so I am slightly stumped....still not all the pubs in the guide are there on appearance its about the whole package and maybe I missed that on my 1st and possibly last visit.

lezford - 2 May 2013 13:42
Great traditional pub that is unpretentious and not confused about its identity like so many of the pubs in SE19..

No waist-height to ceiling windows. No gothic effect outside decor. No collection of prams like the starting grid at Brands Hatch preventing you from getting to the bar.

It has curtains. It has characters. It doesn't smell like a restaurant. It doesn't try to charge you 15 quid for a Sunday roast. It sells beer. And peanuts. And pork scratchings. Its a pub.
Hurlock - 27 Feb 2013 16:10
The Bell is a gem of a back street pub I've found off Gipsy Hill, and chuffed to now call my local. Warm cosy and friendly. Real fires in the winter and a beer garden ready for BBQs in summer. And, the beer is supurb!
Fe39 - 14 Jan 2013 21:28
This once great pub - check the old Evening Standard pub of the year award - has fallen on hard times and is now strictly the preserve of drunken locals. If you are keen to enter prepare yourself for a Slaughtered Lamb experience, darts stop in midair and everything halts.
Go to the Tavern instead, much better
Finbar74 - 19 Feb 2009 13:19
The only thing my father-in-law & I agree on is that this is a smashing pub!
Dan137 - 6 Sep 2008 20:41
Drunken boring old geezers can be found in the beer garden.

Beware sometimes they want to talk.

Stay inside even in the sunshine. Get your Vitamin B another way.

The Bell seems to retain a loyalty from its clientele however.


terenced - 8 May 2008 15:23
great pub - the locals are friendly enough, there's a decent range of beers, their quiz night is nicely pitched (not too hard, not too easy either). the place has a real feel of a proper pub, help in no end by the lovely folk running it. good dartboard was great, not fruit machine or jukebox even better, and now they've put a bit of effort into the terrace being smoker friendly they desrve the nobel peace prize! great pub - perfect local gem
anonymous - 19 Sep 2007 17:25
It is been a long time since I visited. So relieved that this was still a wonderful local boozer. Even joined in the karoke - probably a sign that I was enjoying myself too much. Thanks to the locals who let us join in what could have been a private (birthday) party. I hope it is like this every night!
baggydave - 7 May 2007 21:49
A lovely 'drinker' from my days living in the area during 1983-88. Managed by Mick Durose and his wonderful wife. She used to cook up a wonderful Cottage Pie along with other daily hot meals. Mick used to run yearly visits to the Young's Brewery in Wandsworth for the regulars - everyone got wrecked!
Fantastic ambiance, and Mick always kept the 'badderns' out and the regulars in. Most Sunday's was a raffle and the prize was a joint of meat.
Halcyon days!!
andrewgwb - 6 Jan 2007 04:33
Good to see that the Railway Bell is still going strong. one of my favourites when I used to live in this area. The last time I was in there was after CPFC had won the 2nd Division back in 1979. Probably the most crowded it has ever been - like Selhurst Park that evening!
RexRattus - 1 Jan 2007 16:58
Nice old-fashioned unspoilt boozer. Good beer and friendly bar staff.
TheBeerMonkey - 27 Nov 2006 15:41
Not bad. Good beer. There is a bunch of locals who obviously keep the place in business with the result that non regulars can feel like they get a very curt and offhand service from the owner. A lovely little pooch usually runs around at the end of the night called 'chelsea' tho and he's a delight!
anonymous - 25 Nov 2006 01:51
A splendid example of that endangered species: the old-fashioned back-street local.
It's a Young's pub, and there were three real ales available: Ordinary, Special and Charles Wells' Bombardier. I had the Ordinary and I can honestly say it's the best pint of Ordinary I've had in years. It was in top condition. I give this pint the rare accolade of 9 out of 10. It reminds me how the standard of beer in Young's pubs has fallen over the last few years.
There's also a pleasant courtyard - I'll be back in the summer for that.
karloff - 1 Nov 2006 12:19
Great range of Youngs on tap
Nice pub, great Garden and nice function room. Beauty with this place is it makes both a great regulars haunt AND a random place to drop by and feel welcome

Give it a visit if you dont mind the walk
the_original_rawnsleys - 28 Jul 2006 11:03
Goes without saying as a Young's pub, quality beer on tap.
Friendly enough with a pleasant beer garden for the summer.
Plus if you're southbound like I am you can walk off the beer up the rather steep Gypsy Hill.
terenced - 24 Jul 2006 13:38
It was and still is a terrific friendly pub,as it was my parents local pub from the middle 50's until the middle 70's,but the locals were always friendly, where they played darts and cards for competitions
SYLVIACAROL124 - 23 Mar 2006 04:41
The Railway Bell will be just up your street if you're looking for a local boozer which serves well-kept real ale from the Young's range. Very friendly bar staff and a great garden compliment the aforementioned ale - it really is kept and served in great condition.
mrfear - 14 Aug 2005 09:26
Nice backstreet local, fairly typical Young's-style pub with well-kept ales on handpump. Can feel a bit cliquey at times with large numbers of middle-aged regulars clogging up the bar and no one sitting at the tables.
Rich66 - 28 May 2005 21:46
Real nice local boozer. Good ales. Nice beer garden excellent Sunday roast. Recommended. Staff were courteous. bit of a cliquish crowd. But would definitely return.
Paulie.P - 6 May 2005 12:58
A very traditional pub which is a rare thing in London. Theres a blue plack outside claiming Pub of The Year 1981. Youngs beers are served here and their kept well.
The best thing about this pub is the beer garden. Its is simply stunning in the summer. The landlord even enters it in pub garden competitions.
Trivia - apparently the fiirst bomb dropped on London during the 2nd world war was right here on Cawnpore Street.
Well worth a visit - easily the best pub in the Crystal Palce area of for a traditional ambience and real ale.
Gipsykid72 - 15 Dec 2004 11:18

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