This post was prompted by an official TFL post on this topic (here) which was missing large amounts of stuff, including basically the whole Charing Cross branch. Having linked to the bits they did cover I will now go through some of what they missed.
MORDEN TO KENNINGTON
South Wimbledon: this station is only a few minutes walk from the main Wimbledon station, and Wimbledon Common, which starts not very beyond that station is well worth a visit. I used to pick blackberries there many years ago, and there is plenty to see.
Tooting Bec: if you exit via the building which sits between Tooting Bec and Stapleton Roads the beginning of Tooting Bec Common is only a few minutes away, and next to a bridge over a railway you will find Tooting Bec Lido. On the other side of Tooting Bec Road is Tooting Graveney Common, which also has an athletics track.
Oval: the station that serves one of the most famous cricket grounds in the world.
Kennington: The Imperial War Museum is here.
CHARING CROSS BRANCH
Waterloo: home of the South Bank Centre and the London Eye, possible starting point for a walk along the Thames.
Embankment: Cleopatra’s Needle is here.
Charing Cross: Serves Trafalgar Square, which is flanked by the National Gallery.
Tottenham Court Road: One of several stations within easy walking distance of the British Museum.
Warren Street: home of the BT Tower, a very famous building.
Camden Town: The local station for London Zoo.
London Bridge: local station for The London Dungeon and HMS Belfast.
Moorgate: There is an entrance to the Barbican Centre directly opposite this station, and within a few minutes walk is The Museum of London.
King’s Cross St Pancras: King’s Cross railway station features the sign for Platform 9 3/4, of Hogwarts Express fame.
NORTH OF CAMDEN TOWN
Only one really significant location was missed on the Edgware branch – Colindale, home of the RAF Museum. Archway on the High Barnet branch was mentioned, but not the presence there of the alleged point at which Dick Whittington turned back towards London.
WRAPPING IT UP
If you have looked at the TFL post I linked to in the introduction you will see that they missed rather more than they found (putting it politely). That is what led me to create this post, which I conclude with a map showing the entirety of the Northern line:
The inspiration for this post came from a post on estersblog, which I link to by way of one of her splendid pictures at the end of this introduction. I will briefly mention by name all the stations that are within walking distance of Greenwich proper (North Greenwich, in spite of the second part of it’s name does not count), then I will provide links to some of the main sites that Greenwich has to offer, and I will conclude by describing a hypothetical day trip from King’s Lynn, where I now live to Greenwich.
When the Docklands Light Railway first opened its southern terminus was Island Gardens, thought it has subsequently been extended south, via a new station at Cutty Sark to Lewisham. In addition to Island Gardens and Cutty Sark there are two mainline railway stations which are within walking distance of these attractions, Greenwich and Maze Hill. Having paid lip service to all four stations, and acknowledging the value of Cutty Sark station for those whose mobility is restricted, I serve notice that only two of these stations will receive further mention.
The whole area deserves to be explored properly, but here are four places particularly worthy of mention:
The Cutty Sark – how many ships get to have a station named in their honour? This tea clipper well repays a visit and is a good starting point. For more about this attraction click on the image below to visit the official website.
The Gipsy Moth pub. Right by the Cutty Sark is a high quality pub where you can take refreshment before heading off to the other attractions. Click the picture below to find out more at their website:
The National Maritime Museum – set in a lovely area of parkland that also includes my final attraction, this museum has added many new exhibits since my last visit. Click on the image below to visit their website:
Last but by no means least of the Greenwich fab four is the Royal Observatory which also now houses the London Planetarium (and if the latter is as good as it was in its Baker Street days you are in for a real treat). Click on the image below, which I took as part of my paid employment while imaging an old album that will be going under the hammer in James and Sons’ April auction, to visit the website:
A HYPOTHETICAL DAY TRIP FROM KING’S LYNN TO GREENWICH
While there is little to be done about the King’s Lynn to London and back element of the journey except hope that there are not too many disruptions, there are lots of public transport options for getting to and from Greenwich, and this section of the post gives a route with a couple of variations that involves no going back the way we came.
Alighting at King’s Cross, I would head down to the Northern line platforms and get a southbound train to Bank, where I would change to the Docklands Light Railway and travel to Island Gardens (not Cutty Sark), from where I would start the pedestrian section of my journey. Alighting at Island Gardens, no longer satisfactory as in the days of the original elevated terminus, I would pass under the Thames, by way of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to arrive at my first attraction, the Cutty Sark.
Once I had finished looking round the Cutty Sark I would head to the nearby Gipsy Moth pub for a pint of something decent before heading to the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory in that order. If possible I would sample the Planetarium while there.
For the journey back to King’s Cross I would head to Greenwich railway station, take a train to London Bridge, where I would head for the Jubilee line and catch a train heading in the direction of Stanmore. There are three possibilities for completing the circuit to King’s Cross from here:
The quickest option, but also the one I would be least likely to take, would be to change at Green Park to the Victoria line (the interchange is long and often unpleasantly crowded, as is the equally possible interchange to the Piccadilly line at this same station) and travel north to King’s Cross.
The middle option, and the one that I would be likeliest to take, is to travel along the Jubilee line as far as Baker Street and then ascend the escalator to the Metropolitan/ Circle/ Hammersmith and City line platforms, travelling east from there to King’s Cross.
If time allowed and I was feeling so inclined I might stay on the Jubilee line until Finchley Road and make the cross-platform interchange to the Metropolitan line there.
The good folk at the Museum of London, easily walkable from St Pauls (Central line) and Moorgate (Northern, Circle, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitanand mainline railways) are running an exhibition on the the archaeology of the Elizabeth line, which is built on an East-West axis through London and because of its depth also cuts vertically through millennia of fascinating history. As an introduction to this new exhibition they have produced a spectacular…
A FINAL LINK
For more about this fascinating new exhibition and about tunnel archaeology please visit the appropriate page on the Museum ofLondon’s website by clicking here.
This post was inspired by a number of lots that will be featuring in James and Sons’ next auction (20th – 22nd February, 1st two days at James and Sons’ premises in Fakenham, third day at The Maids Head Hotel, Norwich).
THE GIGANTIC WHEEL, EARLS COURT
This structure, from the top of which Windsor Castle was visible on a good day, was open between 1895 and 1906 (hence the green coloured heading – it closed before the Piccadilly line opened,m meaning that the only public transport link would have been the District line). More about this wheel can be found here.
Lots 1286-90 inclusive and also lots 1294-5 in the auction are tokens/ medallions from this wheel’s period of operation…
If this gallery has tickled your fancy, a click on the image of lot 1286 reproduced below will take you to a full auctuion catalogue:
The nearest experience to this you can enjoy in the capital today is on the London Eye, which is near Waterloo, and hence can be reached on the Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines, as well as mainline, national and international railways and by boat.
For more on today’s version of a gigantic wheel visit the official website.
I spotted this book in King’s Lynn library and of course had to take it out. Here is the front cover:
The book is crammed with interesting information, and covers every line in detail as well as going over the history and some of pre-history of London Underground. I am very glad that I did borrow it, and have enjoyed dipping into it on a regular basis while it is in my possession. However, I have some…
I am going to start with the coverage of the East London line (which was still part of London Underground when the book was published although it is not now). In covering this line Mr Halliday states tat the Brunel tunnel under the Thames is the oldest object on the system having opened as a pedestrian tunnel in 1843. I have no quibble with his dating of the tunnel, but the stations that now form the northern end of the High Barnet branch of the Northern line opened as main-line railway in 1842, one year earlier than the pedestrian tunnel.
When covering the Central line Mr Halliday fails to mention that original eastern extension of that line beyond Liverpool Street did not end as it does today at Epping, but continued to Ongar (this is another former main line railway incorporated into London Underground, and opened in that guise in 1856). This leads me to another minor area of disappointment:
In talking about the early history of the Metropolitan Mr Halliday mentions the Brill branch and the envisaged extension of this branch to Oxford but does not seem to consider that by opening up connections at both ends this could actually have boosted the use of the line. Similarly, when mentioning the former Aldwych branch of the Piccadilly line he does not consider the possible use of this under-used branch as a starting point for an extension into southeast London and west Kent. As mentioned above I regard the failure to even mention the stations beyind Epping on the Central line as inexcusable, and this too could be a discussion point – in my own post on the Central line I have advocated an extension to Chelmsford and another connection to mainline railways. Nevertheless, for all these issues I conclude this post (apart from some more pictures) by restating that this is a very useful and interesting little book.
I used this station on my way back from an event I attended at Student Central, Malet Street, London this Saturday (click here for more details).
PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Tottenham Court Road station opened as part of the Central London Railway, now the Central line, in 1900. In 1907 the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway, now the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line, opened a station called Oxford Street, which was renamed Tottenham Court Road to match the CLR station in 1908. The site has been the subject of extensive building works as part of the creation of what will now be called the Elizabeth line, but which was originally known as East-West Crossrail in its planning stages and then as Crossrail.
This will be a link route, approaching London from the direction of Reading, with a tunnel section through central London and then taking over the existing TFL route to Shenfield, from where trains will be able to run to various destinations in further flung parts of the East of England (and mutatis mutandis for the Reading end of the plan and Western England and Wales).
A scheme that started life three decades ago as a plan for new tube line between Hackney and Chelsea will in due time become a second cross-rail scheme linking the southwestern main line railways with those to the northeast of the capital.
As part of all these goings on Tottenham Court Road now has two smart and futuristic new surface buildings.
To finish this post here are a couple of map sections…
This post features a London landmark which is particularly well served by public transport. There will be links to several other posts in appropriate places, and I have a couple of satellite maps to share as well.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
Although it was independent for a long time, the Institute of Education is now part of University College London’s (UCL) seemingly ever expanding empire (UCL owned/ run buildings nowadays occupy a significant proportion of Bloomsbury). More information about what is generally available at this particular site can be found here. Although I visited the institute a few times in connection with an autism research project for which I was a subject my main involvement with the place has been by way of the Marxism Festivalwhich has made use of this building for all save a few of the years since I first attended it (in 1995, when I was on the team). Back then we used only three venues in the building for meetings, the Logan, Jeffery and Elvin halls. This year, when the institute was one of only two buildings used for the festival (the other bieng the Royal National Hotel, across Bedford Way) these venues were augmented as meeting rooms by Clarke Hall, Nunn Hall, and various rooms on the upper floors (including one set aside as a designated quiet space). For more about the most recent incarnation of this festival click here.
THE TRANSPORT CONNECTIONS
While the closest station by some margin is Russell Squareon the Piccadilly line, Euston and Euston Square are both also within ten minutes walk (Northern, Victoria, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines, London Overground and National Rail between them), with Warren Street (Northern and Victoria) and Goodge Street (Northern) also near at hand, and King’s Cross comfortably walkable (as I can confirm from experience). In addition to the above, Euston station has out front what is effectively a bus station, and buses travel from there to most parts of London.
TWO SATELLITE VIEWS
To end this post here are two satellite views obatined by use of google maps, first one showing the transport connections in the close vicinity of the building:
And a closer view shwoing the building in more detail:
The institute numbers its floors (or levels as they call them), starting at 1 and ascending. Bedford Way adjoins level three, while the courtyard on the other side gives access to level four.
I was in London last Saturday for a conference at the National Autistic Society’s HQ and made use of London Underground after the conference, travelling on Northern and Metropolitan line trains. The rest of this post will largely be pictures showing this.
THE NORTHERN LINE
Catching a Northern line train at Angel means using the longest escalator in London (bear in mind that when I took the photo below I was already a few steps down):
Aboard the train at Angel I took this picture of the on-train route map of the Northern line…
Changing trains at Moorgate I got this enamel map of the relevant parts of the Northern Line…
At Moorgate (and elsewhere between Liverpool Street and Great Portland Street) the Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith and City lines share a set of tracks, hence this enamelled route map:
The Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines all now have new rolling stock which is articulated rather than comprising old style carriages. The difference between the two types of stock is that the stock used on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines has a lot of doors and comparatively little seating space owing to the fact that it is mainly used for short journeys within central London, while the Metropolitan line stock, to be suitable for longer journeys over less densely used track has much more seating and fewer doors.
Here is the internal route map from this same train:
I was inspired to create this post by reading a wonderful piece about a walk in Roman St Albans by Debbie Smyth on travelwithintent, of which much more later. Walking will bulk quite large throughout this post.
TWO VERY DIFFERENT STATIONS
St Albans station is a reasonably major station just beyond the official boundary of Greater London. Services to this station are fast and fairly frequent – a non-stop service from St Pancras takes approximately 20 minutes to reach St Albans.
St Albans Abbey station is at the end of a small branch line with not very frequent services (I have travelled it more than once). The other end of the line is at Watford Junction, and there is at present no through connection. Here are some maps for your assistance…
I have made mention of St Albans and its potentialities for greater public transport integration in a number of previous posts:
In “The Great Anomaly“, my post on the Metropolitan line, I mentioned it in explaining my idea for the using the Amersham and Watford branches (which would cease to be part of the Metropolitan) as part of an envisaged London Orbital Railway.
In my post on the Bakerloo Line I wrote about re-extending the Bakerloo to Watford Junction and then having it take over the St Albans Abbey shuttle service, with a through connection being established at Watford Junction.
In my post on theCentral Line I explained in detail my envisaged London Orbital Railway and its connections.
In “London Underground’s Worst Bodge Job“, my post on the Northern line, I suggested splitting the line into two halves, with the Edgware/ Charing Cross half being extended north from Edgware as to Luton Airport Parkway, following the mainline from Elstree & Borehamwood on, and south from Kennington to Gatwick Airport.
Tying all these together my future for St Albans’ public transport connections involves:
The Metropolitan’s current Watford scheme (extending to Watford Junction from Croxley, abandoning the current terminus) would be subsumed within the Orbital Railway, which would also make use of an adaptation of the plan outlined in Colne Valley Transit Proposal shown below:
In my version of the scheme, which sees it become part of the London Orbital Railway, the Met keeps its Chesham terminus, and the new scheme runs service through Amersham.
The Bakerloo takes over the St Albans Abbey branch, running services straight through to St Albans. As will be revealed later in this post I have an idea for a further possible extension in St Albans to increase integration.
The Northern line Edgware and Charing Cross branches become the nucleus of a line running from Gatwick Airport to Luton Airport Parkway.
TWO GREAT WALKS
WALK 1: ROMAN ST ALBANS (DEBBIE SMYTH)
I start this section with the walk Debbie Smyth talks about in “A Roamin’ Walk through Roman St Albans“. To encourage you to read and comment on Debbie’s splendid post I offer you two pictures and the opening paragraph…
St Alban’s is first recorded as a Celtic British Iron Age settlement, known as Verlamion. After the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, it grew into Verlamium, the third largest town in Roman Britain…
The original of the above picture can be viewed here.
To view the full post (and I reiterate my encouragement of you to do so) click here.
WALK 2: ST ALBANS – WATFORD
(FROM COUNTRY WALKS AROUND LONDON)
This walk, which I did many years ago when I still lived in London is also well worth a look. I have the route map, a picture showing the whole walk, and individual shots of each double page it occupies…
THE VERULAMIUM MUSEUM
Mention has already been made of St Albans’ significance in Roman times, and this final section adds to that by pointing to the Verulamium Museum as an establishment comfortably walkable from both stations at which you can find out more about this history. Here are some maps showing the walking routes…
To view the original of this map and written instructions, click here.
To view the original of this map and written instructions, click here.
The plan that occurred to me based on these maps (and it would need to very sensitively devised if it were to go ahead) was for an extension from St Albans Abbey to a dedicated station for the Verulamium Museum and then a new terminus at St Albans for an interchange to the main station.
I hope that you have all enjoyed this look at St Albans, a fascinating and historic town on London’s doorstep.
This post features a hub station which is also close to numerous attractions.
Like all of London’s major railway stations this one has its origins in the mid 19th century. This map shows London Bridge and its connections in 1897…
In 1900 The City & South London Railway, the world’s first deep level ‘tube’ railway abandoned its badly sited King William Street terminus and opened three new stations at its northern end, London Bridge, Bank and Moorgate (for more about the subsequent history of this railway and what it became click here. In 1999, delayed and warped out of recognition by the greed and vanity of successive governments, the Jubilee line opened its long-awaited extension, one of the new stations on which was London Bridge. London Bridge was until recently part of the Thameslink route but is no longer so. These days there is an interchange available to Transport for London’s Riverboat Service as well.
There are two major attractions served by London Bridge. HMS Belfast is a historic warship, which for many years has been a floating museum (I visited several times as a child) and is now run under the aegis of the Imperial War Museum. The second attraction is the London Dungeon, which occupies what was once the notorious Clink Street Prison (from which the phrase ‘in the clink’ for ‘in prison’ comes) and styles itself London’s most frightening place.
London Bridge is ideally placed as a starting and/or finishing point for walks along the Thames. Westward as far as Waterloo is all good walking, while eastward lie Maritime Greenwich and, for the seriously energetic, Woolwich. This, from 100 Walks in Greater London, is a recommneded walk featuring some of what I have just mentioned…
Note that the Museum of the Moving Image has closed down since this book was produced.
AN AUCTION LOT
This, conveniently tallying with the theme of this post, is lot 604 in James and Sons‘ March Auction (two day sale, 30th and 31st March at Fakenham Racecourse – this item will be going under the hammer early in the second day)…
A FEW MAPS
I conclude this post with two map pictures, one from the Diagrammatic History and one from a modern London Connections Map…