15 July 2014

London Underground's Strangest Tales

Commuting mostly sucks, let's keep things real here. Hours of your life stuck in a speeding tin can, whistling the length and breadth of London and her neighbouring counties. At worst a journey of delays, armpits and inconsiderate commuters, but, when working well, the Tube is the lifeblood of England's capital city.
 
As with anything 150 years old, there are the layers of history that can be found on the myriad lines making up the cantankerous London Underground, with a hidden folklore, mystery and cheeky artwork underlying the most boring commute. You just have to look for them in the right places.
 

People want to buy undies with the 'Mind the Gap' message, eat their underground gourmet dinners on it, make journeys in order to discover secret clocks and fake houses, and endless books and blogs are written espousing the design quirks of many stations.
 
 
From ghost stories to weird items left behind on trains (more mannequins than you can shake a stick at), London Underground's Strangest Tales is a light read, an easily dip in and out collection loosely charting the history - real and urban fiction - of the Tube. We've used it as a reference book a few the times that we've been stuck out at an obscure train stop in order to entertain ourselves, and as a guide whilst traipsing around London.
 
And, FYI, this in no way means you're anorak. Just curious about life.
 
 
Ironic, no?
 
 
And if you aren't a reader, check out the Geoff Marshall's Secrets of the Underground YouTube video series. Heck, check out them both - you're probably on the Tube right now!
 
 

See, I told you commuting could be fun - you don't even have to tell anybody. I can be our little secret. (For a few tips & tricks, check out How to be London Transport Ninja.)

Have you seen any Tube quirks on your travels? Monkeys on floor tiles, poles painted the colour of local football teams or roundel clocks?

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3 comments :

  1. I love and hate the underground in equal measure! I hate it when it is busy and I hate it when it smells of urine, but the rest of the time I find it so exciting to be so far beneath London!

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  2. I LOVED the Underground! Maybe I'm in the minority there, but I loved travelling via the train. I come from Trinidad. Never stepped foot on a train in my life and Trinidad is notorious for having the worst traffic EVER. So imagine me moving to London and coming face to face with a real train that I could use to get around the city with...I was like a kid on Christmas Day. It never got old. And I miss it lots. :)

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  3. Very nice sharing my friend! I am amazed to see London underground tales. I have been visited through the train numerous time in my every tour I like to prefer through this. I have visited London before my new york day trip. I love to visit the Underground.

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