After recent visits to reasonably tidy and improved grounds itâ€™s off to Barnet for a dose of 60â€™s non-league nostalgia. Thankfully for us the horrors of Underhill are to be experienced on a late summer afternoon and not a freezing Tuesday night in January.
Apparently the social club no longer admits away fans, but in-case this has changed it can be found on the south face of the slope upon which the ground was constructed.
Happily, ground apart Barnet is one of the more friendly away trips that we will encounter this season and several of the pubs around the ground are worth a look.
Ordinarily anyone travelling by train would be better advised getting another service train to New Barnet station from Kings Cross, which is one tube stop or a short walk from Euston (left then follow the main Road) rather than slog it out on the tube. London-based Saddler Tim Wilkes informs that there is a replacement bus on the tube this weekend, so this advice is even more pertinent.
Another advantage of getting the train is that once at New Barnet station there are several pubs en-route to the ground. Wetherspoons is directly opposite the station (if you like that sort of thing), and just a little further down East Barnet Road there is the excellent Railway Tavern which does proper food, has real ale (Charles Wells), and a large screen. A much better bet than â€˜Spoons in my book. Itâ€™s only about 10-15 minutes walk to the ground from here.
At the ground the obvious choice is the â€œno frillsâ€ Old Red Lion which is situated down an ally on Underhill on the opposite side of the ground to the social club. This is also the nearest pub to the tube station on Barnet Hill so itâ€™s logical not to bother walking into the town centre which is in the opposite direction. Very much geared up for match-days due its proximity to the ground, this pub is operated by Hertfordshireâ€™s independent brewers McMullenâ€™s who brought the world Country Best Bitter, bless them!
If anyone finds themselves further down Barnet Hill in the vicinity of Great North Road, then try The Weavers bar which is quite atmospheric having been converted from an old shop. It boasts hand-pulled beer and is a bit quieter if you have the family in tow.
Personally Iâ€™m not a big fan of The Queens (also at the bottom of Barnet Hill), or The Avenue on The High St in the town centre. However, should anyone venture into the town most other bars are ok, recommendations being The After Office Hours (especially for food), and The Mitre, both of which are also on The High Street.