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Flying Scotsman, Caledonian Road

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user reviews of the Flying Scotsman, Caledonian Road

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

A fine traditional pub still catering for drinkers as opposed to eaters with enough real ales on to suit everyone I would have thought. Handy for Kings Cross, nice decor though no memorabilia or photos on the wall of its previous life!
ESCAMRA - 28 Mar 2018 16:15
They do say you should never meet 'legends' as you'll only be disappointed - mind you nowhere as disappointed as I was with my pint in this place and the reaction from the ignorant and clueless barman on Friday afternoon. The other staff have always been pleasant and tend to change pints. The character in question obviously had no understanding of ale and was severely lacking any customer service skills. All most of us want is a decent pint in reasonable surroundings it just seems to becoming increasingly difficult to find that.
Snarling_Mallard - 11 Feb 2018 13:30
Interesting to have missed the legendary Snarling Mallard by a day - and interesting too that another cove had a similar complaint about a pint overturned by the barman. My own experience was much more positive with a smoked porter going down a treat and it was a decent stop off near to the main station and not too busy despite there being egg chasing on the telly.
BoehmBawerk - 11 Feb 2018 12:08
Caught it on a bad day today - the barman was too engrossed in some Scotch a bloke at the bar was giving them to try to give a shit about customer issues. I bought a pint of West Berkshire's Good Old Boy which was murky as the Thames. All I got from the know it all barman was bullshit about it being an unfiltered barrel. Well why not tell people as I expected a nice clear pint (as do the people who brew it - West Berskhire brewery confirmed that Good Old Boy should be served clear).

No wonder this place is usually empty - if you like ale this this place a very wide berth.
Snarling_Mallard - 9 Feb 2018 18:45
Was an institution that got to a point that the strippers had to use plastic 'glasses' (a la possible fight issues) instead of the traditional pint pot they used to use but now it is The Scottish Stores trying hard to be an ale pub. Sometimes it succeeds and sometimes it doesn't - have taken back or changed as many pints as I've drank in the place. Still you might catch it on a good day.
Snarling_Mallard - 1 Feb 2018 18:21
Its like turning Sweeny Todd's Barber Shop into a Starbucks.... The Scotsman was from the more unsavoury under-belly of London and a regular "Weirdo" hangout, but it was totally 70s/80s London. The Scottish Stores is just another wine-bar/pub in a sea of similar tat. I for one miss the Scotsman, where you could tell the quality of the girls by where they kept all their needle marks.
Selly - 22 Dec 2016 20:01
First visit in it's reincarnation as a proper pub! Very impressed with the decor and the beer range. Worth a quick detour on the way back to the station.
Aztecgoat - 9 Dec 2016 10:56
Rainlght is spot on with his review. Have been popping in over last couple of months for great beer choice and friendly service. This pub is gem.
canarly - 10 Jul 2016 11:06
Rainlght is spot on with his review. Have been popping I over last couple of months for great beer choice and friendly service. This pub I a gem.
canarly - 10 Jul 2016 11:05
Now the Scottish Stores, several beers on and a friendly welcome at time of visit from the lovely Taylor who does the barmaid thing with style. Landlord is a gent also as are the customers.
rainlight - 9 Jul 2016 20:26
This pub goes from strength to strength. Devastated to miss the Basqueland tap takeover tonight, but enjoyed my local Hammerton anyway before my train. With the King Charles and the Queen's Head Kings Cross is becoming a destination pub area.
dryriserinlet - 22 Jun 2016 15:13
Went here for the first time after the Lords test last week on the way back to the station and having time to kill.
Wondered why I hadn't seen it before but after chatting to the barman I understood it had undergone a fundamental change which involved more than just a name change!
Was impressed with the range of beers available and with the decor as well.
Sadly we only had time for the one pint but I will add this pub to the list of those handy for the railway station!
outtamehead - 18 Jun 2016 12:35
Now returned to the original name, the Scottish Stores. No longer a strippers' pub with blanked out windows and weirdos hanging around the entrance. There are 7 real ales and 6 on keg; also Weston's Old Rosie.

A very good pint from friendly and efficient staff, but at a price: £4.40. There's a very nice interior which is Grade II listed, this is also on CAMRA's London Regional inventory of pubs with interiors of special historic interest; a great interior with wood panelling, inlaid with coloured painted panels of some sort; there's some some etched glass too.

Certainly worth a trip and now definitely the best real ale pub in King's Cross.

Oasthouse - 7 Jan 2016 21:32
Went in last night; 8:55pm one of the strippers, around 5 5" asked me for a pound as I waited at the main bar to get served...., to go round to the stage area to the right to see her performance.....she said....'seeeeee the show' in a Spain or Eastern accent. I put a pound in her glass, moved round to the stage area to see the show. The same girl approached me,' A pound pleeeeas'
'I just gave you one , 25 seconds ago!' I said. No you didn't, wasn't me she said, giving a very wide grin.....a pound please?
I left, disgusted at the scam, which is good, because customers do no get a receipt.... I had no proof she was lying and was so would have been asked to leave if I did not give her another £1
punter6 - 9 May 2014 09:59
I'm the sad bugger who went in to look at the interior as this is listed in CAMRA's Inventory of Classic London pubs (even though it doesn't sell real ales). You can see what it must have looked like years agao even though it is dark and pretty dingy inside. How boring is that - but yes I did chip in my quid and watch a pleasant little girl take her clothes off!!
mcroyal - 4 Mar 2012 10:51
Agree this place is an institution and jewel in Londons Crown. A last chance saloon for the weary traveller, long may it continue. Had couple of beers in here after a long train journey south, pleasantly surprised
scarr - 12 Feb 2012 13:15
Last time I passed by in a taxi, it looked like it had closed down. As the taxi waited at the traffic lights at the Caledonian/Pentonville Rd jn, I noticed the pub name scrawled on a blackboard in chalk! I was then pleasantly surprised to see a patron take his leave via a side exit....the pub was still open!!
Through the doorway, I could just make out the dirtiest stripping music of all time - aka the 'Grange Hill' TV theme. Then the lights changed to green and I was brought back to an unwelcome reality.
senberbex - 27 Jan 2012 17:08
A jewel in the crown among the pubs of its kind.
It is what it is and god forbid it ever changes.
Don't going expecting fine ales and a seat, but do go for some harmless entertainment and a swift pint of lager.......get your pound coins at the ready!
drinker73 - 20 Nov 2011 20:21
Still as grotty as ever. Every beer tastes of fairy liquid. You can see needle tracks on half the girls. The bog is just plain scary. Like a timewarp back to the 70,e Expect to bump into Afur Dailey or the Sweeny at any moment. Brill hope it never changes!! (zero rating for the beer, plus four for old memories)
Selly - 3 Apr 2011 23:30
Great Strippers!
twobladders - 26 Nov 2010 16:00
Timely visit to this splendid hostelry a few days back and great to see it hasn't changed a bit since my last visit. Worthington Creamflow on terrific form. Must visit more often!
Newton_Lad - 10 Oct 2010 12:20
This pub is featured in a new book, London Heritage Pubs (published by CAMRA), which gives details of all the pubs in the capital which are of historical importance because they have retained some of their original interior features.

The exterior of THE FLYING SCOTSMAN is rather bland, all windows having been boarded up. This, I am sure, is done by a conscientious owner who is concerned that the original etched Victorian windows need to be protected from breakage.

I entered the rather dim interior and was greeted by a pretty dark-haired young lady, who seemed to be wearing rather less than one would normally expect of a bar-maid.

Ive come to admire your interior, I said.

In response she smiled happily and held up a pint glass, already full of coins and encouraged me to give her a pound. So I gathered that this place charges pub enthusiasts a small amount to view the historical dcor. Its a small contribution and not unreasonable if it goes towards the upkeep of a pub of such national importance.

Spotting some old woodwork to my right, I said to the young lady, You have a wonderful partition. She smiled appreciatively, clearly proud to be working in a pub still containing so much history.

It was quite a humid day, which probably explains why the young lady then proceeded to remove items of her clothing one by one. She clearly shared my interest in pub dcor and at every opportunity she made a point of trying to catch my eye. Meanwhile, I walked around the pub, doing a full circuit of the small island bar and admiring the three-quarter-height wood panelling on the walls, the intricately carved bar-back and the ornate ceiling. By the time I had returned to my original spot a few minutes later, the young lady, who perhaps had felt a chilly draught, had replaced her clothing.

Thank you for letting me see everything I said. Its all very well preserved.

If you give me another pound, she replied, you can see it all again.

No, I said to this rather odd suggestion, I think Ive seen all I want to, thank you. And so I left the pub, having enjoyed a most instructive visit.


karloff - 6 Sep 2008 14:20
Sad news, a little birdy tells me that plans are afoot for this great institution to be refurbished :(

If it's true then I'll be disappointed.
ndb - 3 Sep 2008 15:08
Shake your moneymaker baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaby,
When The Regent wants to take a walk on the wild side, this is the place I come to with my fellow lieg men. If you come here for the beer, you are sadly deluded, brother. Good old fashioned striptease, none of that Americanised pole/lap dancing which is about as erotic as the thought of Hilda Ogden decked out in Agent Provactuer lingerie, not a nice thought. The Flying Scotsman says want it does on the tin, keep up the good work. 5/10 for the pub 10/10 for the jack the rippers (strippers)
theregent - 10 May 2008 17:27
No shy girls though.....100% on that.
poshpplhater - 5 Apr 2008 01:42
Well, shit beer one side but go next door and wa-hey!!!
You see EVERYTHING although some girls are better than others(like life).
poshpplhater - 5 Apr 2008 01:41
Ah, the Flying Scotsman, a Kings Cross institution and long may it remain so, however much the area is developed and sanitised for the hoards of tourists everyone seems to be expecting to arrive on Eurostar. Every couple of years I check it out expecting to see it closed and whilst it always looks boarded up the door to Londons seedy side is always open. Its a truly appalling pub of course but as so much of Kings Cross seems intent on rushing headlong into a brave new world the Flying Scotsman reminds us of its ignoble past.

Millay - 20 Jan 2008 18:10
Hey this pub is spoton for getting what you want -a pint and and some girls getting their kit off for a quid in the old pint pot-some are quite fit really and hey its a quid!!
If you dont like the beer then have strongbow!
Its perfect for that pre football visit-enjoy
bpots - 22 Nov 2007 23:00
Just being nosey, but what were you trying to phone the scotsman for?? I dont think they do parties...
Selly - 8 Oct 2007 17:39
The phone no. given here is incorrect and his a private house!
g.brandwood - 8 Oct 2007 11:03
methinks anonymous should be going to Spearmint Rhino. What do you expect ? This is the cross after all this is the real deal a lowdown and dirty, bump and grind type place this is a little bit of Tijuana transported to the most unglamourous and miserable area of London. who on earth goes to this place for the quality of the beer, keep your eye on the stage and enjoy the show.
anonymous - 16 Sep 2007 14:17
Tis pub should be demolished. Staff delibrately short change customers to make up for the fact they are underpaid. The landlady has been known to sell dodgy cigarettes from downstairs. And half the dancers are illegal immigrants. Toilets? Well guess they could be called that. If beer and woman are your thing there are a lot better pubs in London than this.
anonymous - 12 Sep 2007 09:28

Great pub...

Beer and Birds with their snatches out

What more do you want?
Lappageotel - 7 Sep 2007 12:26
BADA BING !
anonymous - 5 Sep 2007 23:07
After a gruelling 3hr rail journey from Durham, the Scotsman provides a welcome I'm sure you can't get in any other part of our wonderful capital. The smell of stale pi$$ (might be the beer..probably both) wafts through the door, anticipation mounts as you walk around to the 'stage' to see which lovely is performing and then you are sucked into a lovely vortex of sleaze. Go again when you are hammered and it takes on a sort of homely, welcoming atmosphere. My next homecoming is 6th October at roughly 12:30pm..look forward to seeing you then girls.
Cowvahlo - 22 Aug 2007 13:05
All the fun of the fair. Can get expensive if you stay too long. Gaby is my favourite, class.
hitmanstud - 17 Jul 2007 15:55
This place is one of my favourites when I'm in London on my todd - couple of pints, something nice to gawp at on the stage, no frills. Bar staff are a bit miserable, specially the young woman on this evening. And some of the entertainers are a bit pushy - but if you like spit and sawdust and have a pocket full of 50pences, give it a go!
bananaman - 15 Mar 2007 21:55
Believe it or not the pub is in fact very much something to talk about. It is a listed building and is one of the only pubs in the area with the interior, pretty much intact. (Tear your eyes away from the stage and you will see a lot of original features!)

However that's not really what its all about. It's a pub that pulls no punches and is a down to earth , value for money place. (And those of us who go there regularly just love it!)
anonymous - 8 Feb 2007 14:55
I'm not sure what to say about the Scotsman. From the outside it looks like a dump, inside it's just as bad. The pub itself is nowt to talk about - expensive fizzy lager and no where to sit unless you bag one of the seats at the bar which seem to be claimed as soon as the place opens its doors. Really this gaff is somewhere to take your mates from out of town - to show them the sleazy side of London. As for the strippers well it's the kind of gaff you wouldn't be shocked to see them get up with a mars bar wrapper stuck to their arse. The plastic pint pot that gets brought around is tiresom after a while but then I'm not one of the poor mares who has to work there. I read somewhere the bog was the inspiration for the 'worst toilet in Scotland' but maybe that's just legend?
anonymous - 3 Feb 2007 14:32
The Flying Scotsman is to Spearmint Rhino what the Ford Capri is to an Aston Martin DB9.

But Capris are bloody good fun - in spite of their faults.

And the Scotsman is great fun too. I'd love to know how they audition the dancers; I don't think the phrase "Sorry love, you're not quite what we're looking for" has ever been uttered.

Think of it as "Readers Wives - The Musical".

I can't stay away!
heap2000 - 31 Jan 2007 13:53
First went in this place in the early 90's and didn't really know what I was letting myself in for. I haven't felt threatened or uneasy but that doesn't mean it can't happen in that part of town esp. I lost a few wallets over the years around there. I first knew the stunning 'Thereza' - a black angel who for some reasons liked my talk and we got on. Apart from the obvious she was kind and considerate and I had a liking for her. The beers average, prices not cheap and the place could do with a full clean and start again but you get what you get and the regulars seem to continue. HELLO 'THEREZA; IF YOU'RE OUT THERE.
Mcloj - 29 Jan 2007 13:21
I have been in there in a suit and tie carrying a laptop, and again in jeans and a rugby top and get treated exactly the same no matter what I look like. I can also say i have never felt threatened there either unlike some other places i could think of. I agree with the other reviewer.. you get what is on the tin. And that said unless you know from word of mouth what it is like you are not likely to wander in by mistake. As a hint though.. if you are planning a couple of drinks make sure you have a pocket full of 50p pieces! And leave the other half at home!
Jacobite - 21 Nov 2006 20:05
An altogether fine and noble establishment. Has no pretentions and does exactly what it says on the tin.

I can not say I have ever felt threatened in there and the beer is ok if a little on the steep side. Still what with 50p in the jug you can't grumble.
anonymous - 21 Sep 2006 16:21
Cabaret expert I meant. I think my eyes are going.
Ziggy66 - 2 Aug 2006 21:49
As something as a cabaret excellent not that impressed. The Queen Anne in Vauxhall is much more friendly. Beer was ok but the vibe meant I wouldnt stay for a 2nd pint.
Ziggy66 - 2 Aug 2006 21:48
So the German police want to know how to keep the peace at the World Cup? They should look no further than The Flying Scotsman.

Every match day, at about 6pm, fans of northern clubs converge on this place, waiting for return train. They're completely inebriated, have likely suffered a drubbing, and are most likely from Leeds/Luton/Hull or Sheffield - not exactly the best of friends.

Yet for the brief time they're in here there's not a hint of trouble.

So what unites the lot? The pleasure of seeing women so desperate for money, they'll show you everything for 50p. Perhaps next time violence breaks out in a place showing the match, rather than switching it off to a blank screen, they should put some p*rno on. It seems to do the trick.
topdog_andy - 14 Jun 2006 11:58
Being in the Flying Scotsman is like paradise!
anonymous - 27 May 2006 12:50

Big Ben, Tower Bridge, The Flying Scotman, what a wonderful city.
I want to spend the rest of my life at The Flying Scotsman!
anonymous - 20 May 2006 12:20
Fantastic! It's a bargain! It doesn't get more sleazy than this. Old fat men use to position them selves with their mobilephone cameras to get a pic of the girls.(Not allowed anymore).That was worth 50p on it's own! They have never asked me to pay, a bit of a disapointment since i probably enjoy it most. in my own domestic way. It could be that, if i do pop in to the pub, im in male company (also im stright).
Maja - 5 May 2006 15:50
Ummm.....Try the White Horse in Shoreditch the women actually look like beautiful women and are worth every 1 coin.
anonymous - 15 Apr 2006 23:59
A classly establishment! Pricey but a good laugh. Not the best looking girls and the growler is often unkempt!
dribbling_ak - 23 Feb 2006 14:26
No its wrong. very wrong...... 50p is too much
Geordie_McFishcake - 12 Jan 2006 15:22
Fantastic, most beautiful honeys in london

vera_shaw - 24 Nov 2005 16:49
You wouldn't believe this if you saw it in a movie. It's the closest you'll get to Jack the Ripper. Excellent. And yes chuck 'em a pound.
TuftUno - 3 Aug 2005 13:51
Only ever come in here to look at naked women. The beer is not good nor cheap and the bogs smell.

Please give the girls A POUND (even if some of them are not as beautiful as they should be) it's how they earn their living.

This is the grottiest strip pub in London!!!!


Baron_Freddie - 6 Jul 2005 17:10
quality!!!
strippers for 50p in the pot (20p if you can get away with it!), drink bottles tho.
a place for a visit and laugh with yer mates, not for a night out.
badger13 - 10 Jun 2005 14:01
I've only ever been here when Quite drunk. Its recently been painted on the outside, the inside is Very Bare. Most of the girls on stage are local, some have the tell tail signs of needle useage. Its ok for a laugh, i wouldent make a night out of it though.
joshbosh - 21 May 2005 21:43
Good for a laugh. Drink the bottled beer at all times. Trust me. The smell of sweat and piss doesn't really do it for me, but it's an experience nonetheless.
keep_it_green - 26 Apr 2005 16:12
BuckPalace, Big Ben & The Flying Scotsman. This is what London is all about. Hoping this place will stay as seedy and dodgy looking as it is now, and not go the way of Browns. A real experience.
Selly - 5 Apr 2005 13:55
You just have to go here at least once!

Down market, sleazy, dirty, hosltery that has blacked out windows, no furniture and women stripping on a makeshift stage, collecting 50p's from punters who want to watch.

Brilliant!!!!

Contrary to reports the women werent all bad.
In fact of the 10 we say, only 2 were dogs.

Had it's share of old perv's but they were harmless.

Advice - drink bottled beer!

I will have to go again!!!

Glaws_Eagle - 15 Feb 2005 08:01
Initially I went for a laugh with some mates but now I can't get enough! There aren't enough 50p's in the Bank of England to satisfy my addiction to the Flying Scottie. Love those Eastern Europeans.
PompeyBoy - 11 Nov 2004 14:47
This larely unknown pub should be an institution, and is definitely worth a visit. Seedy, small, and good for the best laugh anyone has had in recent months! Strippers so unattractive they are unique, and also others who are beautiful. Sawdust on floor, gents W.C. with miniature urinals (Did they receive the wrong shipment, or was this simply to save cost?), and now for some reason plywood on its windows!
Tom from Putney - 9 Oct 2004 11:36
Ohhhh Yesss, Not bad for fifty pence a go, you can look till your hearts content, Ideal for an after work look at some naked women. Beers ok as well.
Enjoy
St Pancras Steel Erectors! - 22 Sep 2004 18:32
if yu like beaver on show for 50p - what a pub.
Paulo - 17 Sep 2004 16:39
THE FLYING SCOTSMAN IS WITHOUT DOUBT THE MOST HONEST PUB IN LONDON! CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THAT ROMANIAN FLAP! SEE YOU SOON GIRLS!
HONEST BEAV - 12 Sep 2004 13:43
The perfect place to start a trip to London. Just minutes from King's Cross and you can be fully immersed in the seedy underbelly of the capital.

Despite it's initial appearance it has a non-threatening atmosphere atmosphere, where you can enjoy a pint and the strippers. I say strippers, but to be fair they don't have a lot on to start with and then proceed to give you the sort of view only a gynaecologist usually gets!
Abers - 15 Jul 2004 10:29
A great pub to start off in when your having a few beers in the capital, it is seedy - granted and the interior is grim but who cares, your only in there to have a few beers and take a look at the strippers (close up).
I don't recommend a long stay though just enough to get you in the mood before you go to Soho.
Pike - 15 Jul 2004 09:01
...an experience to savour. We've been before and were coming back for more. Remember the 1 coins and the old get out line "..It's OK luv' were going after this one.."

Marvellous. See you on Saturday.
Thameslink Taverners - 15 Jul 2004 08:56
By far the best pub in London - if you like that sort of think. Its a matter of time before Las Vagas and Disney catches on and there will be all singing, all dancing Scotsman theme parks in its honour! WARNING: dont stand still or you will stick to the floor; the saw dust is no more.
Nik - 14 Jun 2004 18:06
Anon 23 Dec has just about got it right in terms of the decor - and that why we love it. The strippers when I have been have always been OK with some stunners. Drinks are OK too.
Nelster - 18 May 2004 17:05
poor beer
very poor ambience, and don't drink too much, cos you might need the loo, and you really, really don't want to go there.
but the strippers are usually friendly. The place is a bit grim, but not threatening... just stick to bottles, and tip the girls well. (the indian/bangladeshi girl I saw today was so gorgeous.)
mike - 6 May 2004 23:42
For all it's a 'dive' I quite enjoyed my short spell in this pub - the strippers weren't too rough either, I'd have done both of them :)

Good 'craic' as well, reasonably friendly towards us northern 'monkey's' :thup:
Pez - 23 Apr 2004 01:22
Visited for the first time in over a decade. Still seedy but this is part of the attraction. Some of the girls are really nice, atmosphere friendly and your get to see all the intimate body jewellery close up.
Fritz Fielding - 24 Feb 2004 23:52
Love it - wicket ladies getting there kit off
Fraz - 5 Feb 2004 20:21
Possibly the dirtiest and seediest pub in London.Strippers collect coins in a used plastic glass. The lager and cider are awful,the strippers ugly, the toilet is basically a bucket. Popular with football hooligans on match days
Anon - 23 Dec 2003 12:20
Possibly the worst pub in the entire city? Certainly.

An experience? Absolutely.

An absolutely great larf? Definately.

To be fair, its many things but not remotely threatening or scary. You might get lucky and have at least one passable stripper on in an evening too.

I say go now to experience it before the 'Regent Quarter' and general gentrification of this traditionally interesting area goes too far.
anonymous - 18 Nov 2003 16:54
Possibly the worst place I have ever been since my time in London(thats saying a lot). The most seedy, dodgy, nasty dive. Desparate unattractive strippers at one side of the bar collecting 50p pieces in plastic pint glasses. This place put me off my dinner, but was an experience.
anonymous - 1 Oct 2003 20:11

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