The London Underground, or the 'Tube' as it is more commonly known, is more than just a transport network- it is an icon of London and the lifeblood of the city; every year, more than 1.3 billion passengers journeys are made across its 270 stations.
Beginning with the construction of the Thames Tunnel in 1843, the world's first tunnel built underneath a river and dubbed 'The Eighth Wonder of the World', the 175-year history of the London Underground is an eventful one full of world-firsts, stories and urban legends.
The tour begins at the historic Baker Street Station, one of the original stops on the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway. During the course of the tour, your expert guide will bring the fascinating history of the London Underground to life as they tell the story of the 'Tube's' evolution, including:
- How trains moved from steam-powered to electrified rails
- How the very first tunnels were dug and built by hand before advancements in technology were made
- The evolving nature of the underground over the years, from the world's most popular tourist attraction to cargo network and public transport system
- Why more than 40 stations have been left abandoned
- The story of the famous 'roundel' underground symbol
With such a long and varied history, there's also something for fans of trivia and fun facts, including:
- Which station lies above the remains of 1000 bodies
- How it was repurposed and used as a refuge over 170,000 people during the Blitz of WWII, as well as an aircraft factory and storage for the treasures of the British Museum
- The variety of animals spotted on the system, including a species that can only be found on the underground
- Who was the first Monarch to ride the 'Tube'
- Which stations are reputed to be haunted by the ghosts of a murdered actor, a Phaorah's daughter and even a nun
Meeting Point and time: 12.45pm at the Lost Property Office at Baker Street Station.
Departure time: 1.00pm. We are unfortunately unable to wait for late comers and there is no opportunity to join the tour at a later point.
Finishing time and end point: The tour will end at approximately 3.00pm at Westminster Underground Station
Transport: Travel cards are not provided. Please purchase a day travel card (Zones 1 – 2) or a topped up Oyster card (please check the TFL website (www.tfl.gov.uk) if you are unsure of the cost of the fare).
Please note: This is a walking tour that includes many steps.