South East London offers plenty of options for a game of darts. From Peckham to Brixton to Croydon, plenty of pubs can be found for a game.
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.
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.
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.
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
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...
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.
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