Of all the places in the world… things I’ve seen… experiences… adventures… the one thing that I love the most is the London Underground. People who have been to London always have a great Tube story.
There is an element of Choose Your Own Adventure when you ride the trains; you can pick your route based on your goal for the day. I choose the clunky, old, loud above ground trains for meandering weekends. Then the fast direct routes for business trips. I love how you can get to the same place in multiple ways; and, I especially love how London as city revolves around the underground, rather than the underground adapting to the city.
The very first thing I’ll do when I arrive at Heathrow is hop on the tube. This gets me ready for the pace of the city. And, before arriving I’ll charge my oyster card to avoid standing in the charging machine lines, which make me angry to the point of frustrated insanity.
During my last trip to London I rented a room next to Paddington station so I’d have access to the District, Circle, Hammersmith and Bakerloo Lines. I looked for the famous Paddington the Bear but it was hidden behind construction.
Technically, Paddington is two stations: an above ground terminus that serves destinations outside of London via the Great Western Railway (1838) and an underground tube station that is part of the London Tube network (1863).
This is also the destination of the Heathrow Express — a high-speed train that runs between the airport and central London.
St. Pancras is another station that serves destinations outside London, including mainland Europe (1868). The Eurostar frequently runs out of St. Pancras.
It’s King’s Cross station that is featured in the Harry Potter books, but in the movie they showed the outside of St. Pancras because the Victorian design was more impressive.
It has the largest single-span roof in the world.
Under the station clock, is the Meeting Place by Paul Day. It depicts the romance of travel by showing a couple locked in a loving embrace.
Located at the junction of Baker Street and Marylebone Road, this is the Baker Street from the Sherlock Holmes novels (Holmes lived at 221B Baker Street). A plaque at the station reads: These two platforms were part of the world’s first underground railway which opened in 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon.