The London Underground & Its Most Iconic Stations: 150 Years Strong.
Hi guys and welcome back to the official travel blog of EA Tours!
In continuation with yesterday’s post, today I’ll be covering five of London’s most popular Underground stations along with fun things to do nearby.
Shall we get started?
First up is London Victoria!
Opened in 1862, London’s Victoria station boasts a wide array of architectural styles from various additions. One can find red brick and stone in one section while another showcases Edwardian flourishes in white stone. More than 115 million passengers and visitors pass through the station each year. An interesting fact is that in 1991, an IRA bomb exploded in a trash bin killing one and injuring forty others. Since then, there have been no trash bins at any of London’s stations. If you’re looking for some educational activities to do nearby, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and St. James’s Park can all be found in the vicinity.
The next station is Piccadilly Circus!
This popular station is something of an irregularity on the Underground network. It’s completely underground without any attached buildings aboveground. Opened in 1906, the station moved underground in the 1920s to make room for the ever-growing number of travelers. Located directly above the station is the extremely popular Piccadilly Circus. This well-known circle was constructed in 1819, and is the Times Square of England if you ask me. Situated in the middle is the Shaftesbury Memorial topped with a statue of Eros, the Greek god of love. A point of interest is that in the 17th century, tailor Robert Baker crafted “piccadils,” popular frilly collars, in the area. His home was called Pickadilly Hall, and Piccadilly Circus was later constructed upon land that once housed his home. When Shaftesbury Avenue was built in 1886, Piccadilly lost its circular shape. Piccadilly Circus is a great place to visit on an educational tour because you can really get a feel for the city. Not to mention there are some great things to do nearby. Take some time to visit the Royal Academy of Arts, National Portrait Gallery, Fortnum and Mason, or stop at one of London’s famous theaters in the West End.
Continuing on is Paddington Station!
Opening its doors in 1854, it connects southwest England and south Wales to London. Paddington Station is also a major stop on the Underground and transports passengers who take the Heathrow Express to and from the airport. This gorgeous station was designed by architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and sits beneath wrought iron and steel coverings clad in glass. Inside you will find a bronze statue of Paddington the Bear by sculptor Marcus Cornish. Some fun things to do in the area include experiencing Regent’s Canal by boat, exploring Kensington Palace and Gardens, Serpentine Gallery, or taking in a play in the open air theatre.
Our next stop is Liverpool Street!
Opened in 1874, Liverpool Street Station is located in some of London’s most exciting and hippest neighborhoods. 123 million passengers pass under its stunning roof to access the Underground and rail services to and from Norwich, Cambridge, and Stansted airport. A fun fact is that this station sits on the site of the original Bethlem Royal Hospital, which treated mentally ill patients in the 14th century. While on your student tour, stop by London’s Spitalfields Market which boasts a wonderful assortment of restaurants and shops.
The final stop on our Underground adventure is London Waterloo!
Serving as the largest of all the United Kingdom’s stations, London Waterloo covers a staggering 24.5 acres. Originally opened in 1848, it went under construction between 1900 and 1922. Seeing as the station is largest it only makes sense that it’s also the busiest. The station bustles with activity at all times of the day with more than 91 million passengers passing through annually. London Waterloo may look familiar because it played a fundamental role in the film The Bourne Ultimatum. It was also the site where ABBA posed in 1974 to promote their song “Waterloo.” If you’re looking for something to do on your free day of your educational tour try visiting the Garden Museum, the popular London Eye, or the Old Vic Theatre.
Well that’s it! I hope you enjoyed learning about some of London’s most iconic Underground stations. If you happen to be in London this year, why not stop at one of these stations and post a picture on EA Tours’ Facebook. We’d love to see them!
Have a great day!