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In early August 2009 my partner and I decided to take a very hectic break in London taking in as many sights as possible in 3 days.
Although we took the London sightseeing tour much of our travel time was spent on the London Ungerground.
We used a number of lines - Circle, District, Northern, Central, Piccadilly, Bakerloo and Jubilee with our hotel at West Cromwell Road very near Earls Court. We used the district line predominantly to leave and return to the hotel each day.
There is no better method to move around London, but it comes at a cost, trains are often cramped and it can be extremely clostrophobic onboard despite most trains having windows open. Air circulation on board is extremely poor. In addition, whenever I visit London there are always a number of stations closed, on this occasion Blackfriars was one of them.
The other factor that no-one predicts or feels comfortable with is the unexpected - which unfortunately happened at Victoria during the Tuesday of our visit. Another unexpected event was to arrive at Earls Court to find a train being held up full of passengers and for another one to arrive (which we got on) and depart before it only to find 4 stops from our destination that it was terminating and we all had to get off - to get on the train that had been held up! (How weird is that?!).
Journey times are quite short, but apart from the stuffyness of the trains our main critism is that the entire network is not beneficial to disabled passengers and there are many stations having a number of sets of stairs to climb.
There are a number of ticket choices available and there are ticket offices and machines at all stations we visited and many machines take credit/debit cards. Many Londoners prefer to use Oyster Cards which can be topped up and mean that unless you are doing a lot of individual journeys they are the cheapest method of travel. My personal choice was the off-peak zone card (1-2) which gave us access to all the areas we were trying to visit during our stay. Another method is the single ticket.
Although both tickets can also be used on buses, we didn't attempt to use them as we were wary of the congestion, especially after using the London Sightseeing Bus.
In our opinion there is no quicker method, nor a cheaper one to travel around central London than the Underground (or tube), but it is certainly not the most comfortable.
With roots dating back over 150 years, London Underground has a long and fascinating ... more
history and is ever changing. Starting at Paddington (ends at Westminster station), learn all about how this extensive underground network was hand built over a century ago, catch a rare glimpse of a secret disused ghost station which was abandoned over 50 years ago and much more. Bring your Oyster card and whether you wish to discover more about design and engineering or architecture aspects, this tour offers something for everyone. Then a tasty two-course lunch at a Classic Inn Pub in Mayfair (choose a starter and main course, or go for main meal followed by dessert) with a glass of beer, wine or soft drink. A winning combination!
Tube: Station to Station on the London Underground, written by Oliver Green and published ... more
by Shire Publications, provides historical background to Londonâs present day Underground network and then takes you on seven guided tours to observe the influence of architects such as Charles Holden, designer of many stations built in 1920s and 1930s, or Sir Norman Foster.This pocket-size book first charts the expansion of the Underground system from its beginnings in 1860 to the present day work on Crossrail, and then provides descriptions of journeys (Inner Circle, Pioneer Tubes, Bringing Chicago to London, Metro-Land, Northern Heights, Piccadilly Progress, and Heading South and East: DRL and JLR) with best examples of old and new buildings, platform decorations, etc.Illustrated throughout by numerous photos, the book will provide much new interesting information both to every day tube users and to visitors to London.
London`s Underground is associated with a multitude of ghostly stories and sightings, ... more
particularly on stations and abandoned lines, many of which are in close proximity to burial sites from centuries ago. This chilling book reveals well-known and hitherto unpublished tales of spirits, spectres and other spooky occurrences on one of the oldest railway networks in the world. The stories of sightings include the ghost of an actress regularly witnessed on Aldywch Station and the `Black Nun` at Bank Station. Eerie noises, such as the cries of thirteen-year-old Anne Naylor, who was murdered in 1758 near to the site of what is now Farringdon Station, and the screams of children who were in an accident at Bethnal Green Station during Second World War, are still heard echoing. These and many more ghostly accounts are recorded in fascinating detail in this book, which is a must-read for anyone interested in the mysterious and murky history of London`s Underground.