South

Find out where to play darts in South London. From London Bridge to Croydon there are plenty of options below the Thames for a cheeky game of arrows.

Clifton Arms - Norwood Junction

Darts pub in Norwood, a stone's throw from Selhurst Park. Back of the net! but no seriously it's quite rough. As the closest pub to Crystal Palace's stadium this is the sort of place that is rammed on a Saturday and deserted throughout the week. Go in on a Friday and there's plenty of room, a decent atmosphere and a lovely big dartboard on the wall behind the bar. On a match day the pub's only available to fans with a home season ticket and can get a bit rowdy, especially if Palace win, or if palace lose. Pray for a draw. The board's a little battered, but in plenty of space and the screens around show the sport in the evenings and bargain hunt during the days. Drinks are cheap, just don't visit on Saturday.

The Libertine - Southwark

Buzzy pub with elevated darts stage and magnificent artwork, between Borough and Southwark. It's easy to get distracted playing darts in some pubs. Your eye might get caught by the football on tv, the drinks at the quiz machine or even the barmaid ("Lads! Lads! Lads!"). The Libertine suffers from this issuer oi but for none of the aforementioned reasons. Instead, it's the bloody massive medieval tapestry-style artwork on the wall. Located right beside the dartboard, it catches your eye as soon as you walk in, and throughout a game you'll find yourself absent-mindedly browsing the depictions of heaven, purgatory and hell. But enough about the painting, this pub is an excellent place to play darts in South London. The board is located on a little stage beside the bar, with plenty of space to throw and little chance of non-players obstructing your game. No electronic scoreboard available but a nice clean chalkboard and darts available behind the bar.

The Horseshoe Inn - London Bridge

Lively pub in the shadow of the Shard, overshadowed by better darts venues in the area. Just 3 minutes from London Bridge station, this bar has an enviable location, and is permanently crowded with locals and South London workers. Inside the pub, to the right of the bar stands the darts board, slightly battered and unloved but with a rare clear space in the pub. Far enough inside that on a warm summer's day punters ignore the space in favour of cooler areas. Much to the sunlight-avoiding darts lover's delight. The space is unfortunately on the route to the gents, so games can be interrupted by the steady flow of lads. The pub can get a little too crowded and rowdy for darts to be an enjoyable experience, and with the dual boards of the Sheaf nearby in London Bridge this isn't the pick of venues for a game of arrows in the area.

The Globe - London Bridge

A final resort, saved by its great location. There's one massive factor in the positives column for the Globe: It's position in London. Situated on Berdale street, it is the closest pub to London Bridge station containing a darts board, and given the mass of commuters and tourists travelling through London Bridge each day, this is a very useful place to be. Adding to this, it's right on the edge of Borough Market. The perfect stop-off after a morning feasting yourself on cured meats and scallops (or whatever). In the Negatives column is the fact that this, simply, is not a darts pub. The board survives here for now, but it can't be too long before it is dispensed with altogether. Positioned to the left of the bar as you walk in, would be the perfect place, but for the tables and chairs placed directly beneath it. Given the popularity of the pub afforded by the aforementioned location, this table is highly likely to be occupied. Meaning darts is off the cards for another evening, unless you feel like charming some punters out of their seats.

The Wheatsheaf - London Bridge

Double board fun, close to London Bridge London Bridge is an area filled with great (and not so great) Darts Pubs, not least the nearby Prince Albert, so it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. The Sheaf does a decent job in this respect, offering an alternative experience to the more relaxed settings of its many rivals. Located underground in the vaults of the Hop exchange on Southwark street, walking in feels like heading down to a dodgy student bar, god knows what WKD-fuelled atrocties await. In reality you come upon a large open space, filled with office workers, TVs blarign out Eurosport and a disappointing lack of 'Pound-a-pint Night!' posters. On your left after you walk in is a little alcove hosting side-by-side dartsboards. The proximity of the boards and the separation from the rest of the pub accomodates a decent atmosphere for darts players, although the space is a little too small for many more than 4 players. Given the large groups filing in at 6pm on weekdays, the best time for a game can come later in the evening once the crowd has dispersed. The boards the,selves are in good nick, and accompanied by a slightly bizarre long thin chalk board, positioned in the line of flight, disrupting the flow for quick throwers.

The Royal Standard - Croydon

A wander away from the busy, beaten track of Croydon High Street brings you to this overpass-adjacent drinking establishment. You can't miss the darts board when you walk in. Its electronic scoreboard and regular availability are immediate bonuses, and it's a five-metre wander to the bar: you can pretty much order a beer while throwing 180 (we wish). Prone to a few bounce outs and if you bring a big party of friends or darters, it's a bit of a tight squeeze around the ochre mind.

The Stag & Hounds - Croydon

Cracking electronic scoreboard. That’s about all it's got going for it. One board, and it’s a bit of a shocker. This shabby board looks like it hasn’t been replaced since the pub opened, so it’s a bit of an ‘experience’ playing on it. The red bullseye has turned yellow and the green bull a fetching creamy number. “It’s like the board‘s wearing its away kit” my opponent commented. The cork is worn down heavily, and bounce-outs frequent. One redeeming feature is found in the electronic scoreboard, which while not particularly modern, is always a welcome addition. The board is placed in a shortcut to the beer garden, so expect unassuming punters to wander through games, risking blindness from yours darts of fury. But at least there’s plenty of shelves for resting your drink during games. Pulled it back at the end there, Stag & Hounds!

The Prince Albert - Southwark

This could be the one. The best darts pub in London. If it just had a few more boards, then this gem of a boozer could take top honours There's only one darts board. But what a board. In this nice spacious pub, it stands, tucked around a corner, complete with lots of chalkboards, electronic scoreboard and plenty of spare darts. The location means that there’s very little interruption from other drinkers/bar staff/wrong-uns, and there are tables all around for placing your ale/lager/cherry lambrini during play

Railway Telegraph - Thornton Heath

A peach of a pub in South East London. Thornton Heath can be a little intimidating when looking for a quiet place for a drink. Plenty of slightly rugged looking pubs, and particularly before a matchday at Sehurst park, plenty of rowdy lads. With that in mind, the Railway Telegraph benefits from being located in the opposite direction to the Crystal Palace stadium from Thornton Heath station. Once inside the Railway Telegraph impresses again, with a modern layout, good selection of drinks, and of course a dartboard in the corner. Towards the back of the pub on a slightly raised stage you'll find the board, with a small chalkboard to the side. The area itself is a good size, with no danger of non-playing drinkers occupying the space. The only issue comes from the big screen TV placed just above the stage, which means that if other customers are trying to watch the sport then a darts match might be an unwelcome addition. So a great pub to play darts, but probably not before a big match.

Hand and Marigold, Bermondsey

A bitch to get to, but a friendly pub full of Millwall fans. It's not often we'll recommend a pub filled with regulars from the Den on these pages, indeed this may be the only occasion. The Hand and Marigold justifies this recommendation through a combination of top darts environment, friendly bar staff and sport on the big screens. Outside the pub is a large poster advertising the dartboard inside, a feature usually only admitted under duress. Enter the pub and to the right of the bar is a marked out oche, new dartboard and electronic scoreboard. The darts area is a clearly a draw for the pub, and the board was in action throughout a sunny Thursday evening. The toilets are located through the darts area so games can be interrupted , but the locals will apologie profusely while doing so. Just don't mention that Palace are currently two division above the Lions. Not appreciated.

Hollydale Tavern - Peckham

Large backstreet Victorian pub with darts and pool. Sometimes a pub is great because it's got a fantastic atmosphere, sometimes it's great because its got multiple dartboards, and sometimes a pub is great because it's got Keith from hit BBC sitcom The Office (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkYUDQCYGHA). The Hollydale tavern falls into the final category. The meeting with the big man transformed a good evening into a memorable one as he wistfully informed us that he did not know of any other pubs in the area with dartboards (always in character!). Truly it was an encounter of which to tell the grandkids. Anyway, the pub itself is a very enjoyable place to play darts with a raised platform to the left of the bar hosting the darts area, a pool table and an old jukebox. When the pool table is in use this can occasionally obstruct the arrows, so its best to make friends with the pool players before it descends into violence. There's no electronic scoreboard but a nice big chalkboard perfect for those never-ending 501 chases.

Selhurst Railway Club

Crystal Palace supporters members club opposite Selhurst station. Appearing slightly intimidating from the outside is this member's club on the walk from Selhurst station to Selhurst Park stadium. On matchdays it will be filled with Crystal Palace fans bemoaning Alan Pardew's latest ridiculous tactical innovation. On the day we visited a couple of Leicester fans had also braved the pub ahead of their glorious title premier league title victory/humiliating English batting-style late collapse (delete as applicable). Pay your £1 entry fee for non-members and then towards the back of the bar you'll find a decent condition dartboard with circular rubber outer ring. There's plenty of space to throw, an oche marked out and cheap drinks. If you can stand the Crystal palace fans and vague sense of threat (http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Club-boss-locked-armed-raiders/story-11370427-detail/story.html) then it's well worth a visit

The Sun of Camberwell - Denmark Hill

A hidden dartboard provides one of Camberwell's few boards. Having lived in Camberwell for nearly a year I had been desperately searching for my local dartsboard without much luck. Peckham and Clapham seemed to offer the closest options, despite several recommendations that the Camberwell Sun could answer my prayers. I'd made numerous trips to the sun of Camberwell, a lovely pub in it's own right, but on each had failed to spot the board right in front of me. Right in front of me, but hidden behind the wooden flaps. Upon entering the pub, the board is on a wall to the right, usually hidden behind the wooden flaps of the scoreboard. It's a reasonable home for the board in the room, but bizarrely the owners have placed a large sofa and table directly under the board, in the line of throw. So to enjoy a game of darts, you need to first hope that nobody has snapped up this prime spot in the pub, secondly lug the table out of the way, and finally lean over the sofas to retrieve your darts. It's almost as if the board is just decoration, and was never intended to be used. Still, it's a board in Camberwell, can't be too picky...

Canavans - Peckham

As Peckham's gentrification spreads Canavan's remains one of the few darts options in the area. We ended up in Canavan's on a Friday night having intially planned to spend the evening throwing arrows in the Prince Albert on Bellenden Road. Reliably informed by the website that the Prince Albert boasted a pool table and darts board we left disappointed that gentrification had robbed Peckham of another darts pub, replaced by the financial lure of dining tables. We headed on to the White Horse by Peckham Rye, but were once again thwarted, this time by Karaoke night. A much more reasonable excuse, you'll agree. Which left us walking back up Rye Lane, and so we came to canavan's pool club. A large chalk sign outside reliably informed us that we could play darts inside. So in we headed. It doesn't feel like heading into a darts pub. It feels like walking into a backyard DVD sale, and once you're through the corridor it's like being at a school disco before anyone turns up. A little smoky, in a large empty room, with the pool hall through double doors at the far end. The board is on the wall opposite the bar, beside posters advertising the club night for Neoal. Very battered, a little difficult to see even with the overhead lamp on, but undeniably a playable board. Multiple Oches on the floor and no chalk behind the bar, so it's not the best game of darts you'll play. But it''l do. It'll do.

The Surrey Cricketers - Croydon

A secluded old pub off the beaten track in Croydon, lively atmosphere, friendly locals. On the corner of Lower Coombe Street and West Street in South Croydon you'll find The Surrey Cricketers, a pub you're unlikely to find unless you know to look for it, but one that offers an accomodating darts experience for anyone lucky enough to stumble through its doors. Upon entering the premises visitors are greeted with a long bar, to the left of which lies the 'games' area of the pub. In a little room adjoining the bar hangs a darts board in reasonable condition and a pool tbale - useful for breaking up a long session of darts (should the arrows not be flying smoothly). The pool table isn't often in use but when this does occur it can be a little obstructive to the darts game

Marquis of Lorne - Brixton

Dog stops play! But fetch your darts for a game at this traditional Irish pub. Darts pubs in Brixton are sorely lacking, so this is a very handy find, situated at the mid-point between Stockwell, Clapham North and Brixton tube stations. Make your way down the backstreets to a road that looks very unlikely to host a pub. Here you'll find the Marquis of Lorne, a delightfully old-school bar, resolutely resisting the gentrification of South London. Enter the pub to find a long bar adorned by sullen locals. Opposite the bar is a slightly battered dartboard and well used chalkboard. The throwing area is roughly a metre away from the bar so any bounce-outs or stray throws are a threat to the peace in the pub, a situation that hit code-red when the pub dog came bounding across the oche to watch the game from beneath our feet. The sweat dripped down our faces as we carefully aimed away from the wires, an act that would have absolutely zero impact on the final position of the dart. Happily we finished our round without incident and Boxer lived to fight another day. Pool table Fuzzy champions league

The Melbourne - Wallington

The best place to play darts in rapidly-gentrifying Wallington. Just across the road the Wallington Arms shows the pace of gentrification in Wallington as craft beers take over from lagers and tables are filled by couples playing Mouse Trap. Not for me, Jeff. Ok, sometimes for me, but not when I'm in the mood for darts, Jeff. So, the Melbourne is a welcome alternative. A little rough around the edges, but two dartboards in a bar where traditional pub games are still the main attraction. Turn right once you enter the pub from the high street and you'll find the first board. On both occasions we've visited this has been obstructed by tables, so better to stick to the board to the back of the pub. Usefully out of the way, and not obstructing anyone's view of the screen this is the perfect place to play darts. Plenty of room, with a location where you can keep an eye on the sports. Plus you can get 3 drinks for under a tenner. Sold.

Effra Social - Brixton

A bit like playing darts in a village hall i.e.g loads of fun From the outside Effra Social doesn't even look like a pub let alone a darts pub. More like some students have stolen some benches and perched them ostentatiously outside their digs. Step inside and this vibe doesn't really change. Narrow corridors lead to two wood-panelled rooms, one of which is filled with student union classics: table tennis, pinball machines and table football. The other room closer to the entrance is where you'll find a slightly battered dartboard, hidden around the corner. Plenty of space to play and never too busy, with cheap drinks it's a fun place to play darts, even if it does feel like you're throwing arrows at the town hall.

Robin Hood - Sutton

Great Young's bar takes title of best darts pub in Sutton. When the competition for best darts pub in Sutton consists of 'the murder pub' (so named because someone was murdered there), it doesn't take a long to claim the crown. Fortunately the Robin Hood has plenty to offer besides the absence of murder. Walk through the front doors and to your left is a little nook with a modern dartboard and chalkboards all around. No electric scoreboard disappointingly but a clear oche, good lighting, and separated enough from the rest of the pub that the locals won't lean over and criticise your technique mid-throw (haha what no this never happens we're very competent). All in all, a very pleasant place to play darts, with absolutely no threat of being killed.

The Nightingale - Balham

The perfect darts pub, the standard against which all others shall be measured. As our local for three years, the Nightingale holds a special place in our hearts. This pub got us through some tough times, it saw blood, sweat and tears, and we both grew together, us and the pub. But it's not just history that keeps us fond of the Nightingale. It's also a mighty fine place to play darts. Situated on a side road between Clapham and Balham, the pub isn't completely off the beaten track, but given the multitude of bars on the high street, it's unlikely many drinkers find themselves there by chance. Once inside the pub the darts board is found to the right of the bar in an open space perfect for throwing. The area is far enough out of the way that you're not interrupted by punters walking past, but the area is large enough to chalk up and rest your drinks. The board is replaced frequently and the chalkboard is clean. Lack of an electronic scoreboard the only black mark against it's name. In the beer garden behind the pub you can find a second board, which truth be told is very much the back-up option. hidden away around a corner (with the outdoor stockroom) the board is slightly too high and the area too cramped for comfort. Not too mention the withering looks from the young families enjoying the sunshine. And the fact that outdoors boards just aren't the same, wind turning your 180s into 26s

The Bobbin - Clapham Common

A fantastic classy pub in the heart of Clapham old town. Central Clapham can be a tricky place to find a board for a quick game of darts. To the south you'll find the always excellent Nightingale, and to the North there's options in Brixton and an abundance in London Bridge. Yet the area around Clapham common is a little under-served. Which makes The Bobbin all the more of a gem. Situated a little away from the hustle and bustle of Clapham high street, down a residential street, you're unlikely to stumble upon The Bobbin by chance, but it's well worth seeking out. Upon entry you're presented with the long bar. To the left a seating area, and to the right a decent sized nook with a darts board and one table. The board itself isn't in the best condition, could do with replacing, and is flanked by chalkboard on the doors, although not particularly massive chalkboard. Darts available on request behind the bar.

The Grosvenor Arms - Earlsfield

Serviceable location for an afternoon's darts, but head elsewhere in Earlsfield once the game's over. We ended up in the Grosvenor by accident one Sunday after the nearby Country House promised a darts board on it's website but left us cruelly disappointed. Luckily the Grosvenor Arms delivered, the afternoon was not wasted. The pub consists of 3 separate rooms arranged around a central bar. To the left of the bar once you walk in is the darts room, complete with 2 extra tables and standard-issue old time photo-montage of regulars getting shitfaced. The board, it's safe to say, has seen better days, with the wires protruding far from the cork. That said, bounceouts were few and far between. Beside the board is an electronic scoreboard, missing but a few of the original buttons. The chalk board similarly was in need of a good clean, difficult to make out who was closer to finishing over the scrawled "DART BANDIT" message.

The Trinity Arms - Brixton

A fantastic pub for a drink in trendy Brixton, not so perfect for a quick game of darts. Lambeth is not an area blessed with great darts pubs. Rumours that the council had banned dartsboards in drinking premises proved unfounded, yet still you've got a very tough job on your hands to find an adequate darts pub in this corner of South West London. The Trinity Arms then, stands out amongst the large number of drinking holes in Brixton as a very nice pub which happens to also allow a cheeky game of Arrows. Yet still we wouldn't recommend it. To be honest the dartsboard here feels like it's on its last legs. Not in terms of quality of the board. More in the sense that it feels out of place in a smart pub, filled with a buzzing crowd, who simply aren't interested in the sport of kings (what do you mean its not the....nevermind). With its proximity to Brixton academy, many times we'd visited this pub before a gig, and yet I was disbelieving when informed that it actually housed a board. Not once had I seen the board in use, and obviously this is the first thing that should be clocked when walking into a bar. And yet there the board is, tucked away in a corner outside, empty once again. Outside board are not to everyone's taste, wind often playing havoc with the flight of the darts, and really only a valid option for 3 or 4 months of the British summer.