Getting to the ground
There are basically two ways to get to the ground from Kings Cross - via Stockwell and Balham to Thornton Heath or Selhurst, or via London Bridge to Norwood Junction. In either case it's around a 40 minute journey time if you hit it right. There are though only two fast trains an hour from London Bridge (at 10 and 40 minutes past), compared to five an hour from Balham. Norwood Junction is a 10 minute walk from the ground, whereas the other two are 15 minutes away. The cheapest way of getting over there is with an Oyster Card or contactless debit/credit card. Otherwise you'll need a One Day Travelcard zones 1-4. Your best bet is probably to travel out to Thornton Heath for the pubs (see below), then back from Selhurst.
If arriving at Thornton Heath station the pub situation has taken a big turn for the worse since our last visit to Selhurst Park. The main away fans pub, Wetherspoons's Flores Sandes, has shut down and is now a gym! This means the options are now severely limited. The Railway Telegraph, a Youngs outlet, is just 50 yards down from the station and is a cracking pub. It doesn't open until 12 mind. Other than that you're basically looking at the Prince George, although it'll be heaving and they don't do hand-pulled beer. If you want a good pint then the only real option other than the Railway Telegraph is the excellent Pawson's Arms. It is though a hike from the station, and it's a bigger hike to the ground. Again, it doesn't open until 12. It's basically a Palace pub, but they make away fans very welcome. The beer's decent (London Pride and Doom Bar when we were there), and they do sandwiches. Even though it gets busy towards kick-off the service is amazingly quick.
The pubs around Selhurst station are designated home fans only, which is a shame because one of them is a Shepherds Neane pub that gets good reviews. You should though be able to get in Selhurst Railway Club, which is out the 'back' door from the station and along the alleyway a bit. It'll probably cost you a couple of quid to get in, but once inside the beer and food are pretty cheap. I'm not sure about around Norwood Junction, but I suspect they're basically home pubs, and probably nothing special anyway.
Other options are:
- drink in the pubs around Kings Cross; you'd have to leave well before 2 o'clock to make kick-off though
- find a pub around London Bridge (the Old Kings Head would be my suggestion, although there's also Wetherspoon's The Pommelers Rest not too far away), then jump on a late train
- find a pub at Balham (say Wetherspoon's Moon Under Water, the Regent, or Hagen & Hyde), then jump on a late train
Kings Cross pub map
Football Ground Guide