I’ve made no secret of the fact that there are sections of the metro network that are not my usual stomping ground and the South Shields section is no exception. It’s an area that doesn’t get a lot of particularly great press (and that’s just from the people I know who live there!) However we’re yet to find a pub where we have genuinely felt unsafe or uncomfortable.


The Chichester Arms which is located a mere stone’s throw away from the metro station on the left as you leave the station may well be contender for ‘nicest surprise’ on the whole tour. I’ll admit that I wasn’t holding out much hope for this visit (which I’d been mispronouncing with a soft ‘I’ the whole time – like the town of Chichester) but we were greeted with a very festive, very warm welcome when you visited one very cold early evening in late November.


As you walk in the side entrance from the metro station you walk straight into the lounge area with a bar area ahead of you which has darts and a pool table. Judging by the notice board by the bar it seems like a pub with lots going on as it advertised various different quiz nights, live music and food specials .


From the outside it looks like your average north earner corner boozer but inside is a lot more inviting – perhaps it was the early instalment of some Christmas decorations but it certainly struck me a pub you can have a good session in – the 80s tunes on the jukebox certainly gained it some extra points in my eyes. Beer wise there isn’t much on offer, just your standard Carling, Fosters, John Smiths etc but price wise it came in at just over £12 for 2 pints, a class of wine and a gin and tonic.

Don’t get me wrong it’s unlikely that the Chi Arms will blow your socks off but it’s absolutely not the worse establishment we’ve seen so far and definitely somewhere to stay for more than one drink. And afterall, who only ever goes out and has one drink?!


335 Laygate, South Shields NE33
Tel: 07741 471606


Find out where else we’ve been on our metro adventure here

South Shields

South Shields is a funny one because depending on which mode of transport you arrive by, depends on which pub you’ll find first. If for example you arrive on the Shields Ferry (which is also operated by Nexus and accepts metro tickets) the first pub you’ll come across will be Alum Ale House, which is immediately on the left as you come off the boat.


However keeping in the spirit of the guide and assuming most people following us will be using the metro that’s what we’ve gone with. As South Shields station is the end of the line you can only get off and on from one platform. So as you come out the station and turn right down South Shields high street the first pub you come to  is grade II listed building; The Scotia on the corner on your left.


It’s a long, thin pub which you’d actually be forgiven for missing if you weren’t looking out for it  and if you go in from the pain street level you’ll find a small lounge area to your right with the main bar up some stairs straight in front of you. We ordered two pints, a medium glass of wine and a gin & tonic and it came to around £14 – not earth shatteringly cheap but not extortionate either and as most people seemed to be sitting around the  bar area we sat down in the lounge


Despite appearances from the outside suggesting that it may not be the most salubrious of establishments, I thought he décor inside was actually quite modern and trendy and wouldn’t be misplaced in a fancy overpriced gin bar in town. The seats were plush velvet all signs pointed to it having been given a bit of a face lift in recent times. It’s difficult in places like South Shields where there’s so much competition servicing one station; here’s a Wetherspoons practically next door and a large Gin Bar just round the corner so I wouldn’t be surprised if The Scotia was often overlooked. However for me, when it comes to pubs its quantity not quality that’s important so who says there isn’t enough of my wine money to go round?!


1 Mile End Road, South Shields, NE33 1TA

Find out where else we’ve been on our metro adventure here