Looking for interesting London Underground Stations
May 13, 2009 12:58 PM   Subscribe

I'm in the middle of my extended vacation in London, and am enjoying the Underground, especially how much personality some of the stations have. Which ones should I not miss while I'm here?

I'm looking more for interesting design elements - things like all the Sherlock Holmeses at Baker Street, the lamps on the escalators at Swiss Cottage, the balloons at Finsbury Park, the elaborate mosaics at Tottenham Court Road, the series of alcove murals on some of the stations along the Victoria line - more than stations of particular historical or architectural interest, but those are OK too.
posted by still_wears_a_hat to Travel & Transportation around London, England (18 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Ghost stations! You only get to look as the train races by, though.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 1:02 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

I seem to remember Baker Street was good. World's first underground station according to a quick Google.

Disclaimer: haven't been there for 20+ years...
posted by BrokenEnglish at 1:06 PM on May 13, 2009

St. Pancras ;-)
posted by jlstitt at 1:09 PM on May 13, 2009

Best answer: There's someone who is more than a bit obsessed with the tiling on the Underground; if you go to this site and click on 'Want to Know More?' you'll get which stations have original Edwardian tiling in place (and which have new stuff).

Also a more comprehensive list of abandoned tube stations. For the visitor the interest is in those that have surviving buildings above ground (such as Down Street).

I love the murals of Eleanor of Castille's funeral at Charing Cross.

You can also visit Mornington Crescent and play Mornington Crescent.
posted by Coobeastie at 1:15 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Platform for Art - project to display art in Tube stations, might interest you. There's usually something in Gloucester Road tube (which I think is atmospheric anyway), and there's a wire elephant if you go down to the Jubilee line at Waterloo from the Waterloo Road entrance. Similarly, going down or up to London Bridge tube, there's a display of some Roman pottery that was found nearby.
posted by featherboa at 1:38 PM on May 13, 2009

Best answer: There are some amazing (and creepy) spiral stair exits from some stations, like Borough, Covent Garden and Bull & Bush... I think. They're a bit of work to haul yourself up, but they're very cool. Some come with warnings on the number of steps you're about to commit yourself too. I love that.

I think there are tours of the abandoned parts of Down Street Station, too, which has not only amazing spiral stairs but some secret passages and rooms used during WWII.
posted by rokusan at 1:50 PM on May 13, 2009

I typed too fast... the spiral stair at Down Street is a spiral stair escalator.
posted by rokusan at 1:51 PM on May 13, 2009

Best answer: Earl's Court District Line (next out from Gloucester Road) platforms are interesting with the old indicator boards and kiosks.

There is a station that has a secret little garden but I can't remember for the life of me where it is. Possibly on the Hammersmith & City Line – Ladbrooke Grove-Royal Oak area?

The new stations on the Jubilee Line extension are pretty good, especially Canary Wharf.

Chesham at the very end of the Metropolitan Line & the most northerly point is worth the trip it seems.

In fact, this group of tube picture galleries might give you some inspiration.
posted by i_cola at 2:23 PM on May 13, 2009

Oh & Band Central Line. Ridiculously curved platforms.
posted by i_cola at 2:24 PM on May 13, 2009

Angel has a particularly huge escalator, supposedly the longest in Europe (though not much else to distinguish it). Maybe not worth a special trip, but if you're passing through you could jump off the train for a quick ride!
posted by penguin pie at 2:30 PM on May 13, 2009

The Jubilee line extension makes me pretend I am in a Sci-Fi film.

I love the escalator going down from Waterloo overground. As a child I was amazed how deep 'underground' it goes.
posted by errspy at 2:56 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think the odd vents, big glass sliding doors and general spaciousness of Westminster are worth a look (Jubilee line)

You might also try walking out of Camden tube at midnight and see how long it takes for someone to offer you drugs. It's one of my favourite games.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 3:05 PM on May 13, 2009

That'll be Bank Central Line with the curved platforms.
posted by i_cola at 3:23 PM on May 13, 2009

Hampstead, and take the stairs rather than the lift!
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 3:29 PM on May 13, 2009

Best answer: Try walking up the stairs at Hampstead - it's the deepest station (I think...), and East Finchley's kind of nice. Southgate sounds kinda interesting, as does Osterley, but man it's far away.

I remember finding Canary Wharf pretty impressive when it first opened, but it's been a looong time since I've been to the tube station. But it'd be a good excuse to ride the DLR (sit at the front!) which every visitor to London should do.
posted by Magnakai at 3:50 PM on May 13, 2009

2nd the Angel escalator. Nothing else there but it is worth riding. Nice antique market just east of the station too, some days.
posted by Rumple at 4:11 PM on May 13, 2009

Tottenham Court Road was remodeled in the past few years, I believe.
posted by bondgirl53001 at 4:19 PM on May 13, 2009

Ooh yes, you should definitely ride the front seat of the DLR if you haven't already. But be quick - everyone wants the front seat! And don't go during the rush hour - too busy to enjoy.
posted by penguin pie at 2:08 PM on May 14, 2009

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