Imagine you’re in a situation where someone has you at gunpoint. They set you a challenge: Talk uninterrupted for one hour about a topic of your choosing, if you falter – BAM – brains on the floor. Most people would pick something pedestrian like the weather or their own boring lives, but for Londoners, there is only one obvious answer: The London Underground.
Truthfully, the Tube – it’s stations, trains, the setting covers, the clientele, is the backbone of any given discussion in the capital. “Oh isn’t it annoying that the Northern line is shut between Bank and Kennington until May,” they’ll say, before asking: “What’s your favourite Tube station?”
Perhaps you’ll say London Bridge (combination of the best two lines and access to railway services), maybe Elephant & Castle (great bus links, that one), or maybe Stepney Green (just to be obtuse). Well this very debate raged this week on a dedicated Reddit forum and let’s just say the takes were pretty spicy.
Cleary in the mood to start some discourse, one Redditor wrote: “What is your favourite Underground station? I am a Londoner living in the Home Counties now but I would have to say Tottenham Court Road. I remember the days I would travel from Mile End up on the Central line with a friend to do some shopping, pre-Amazon days! Fond memories!!”
How adorable, and sure enough Londoners jumped into the frey to offer their opinions, presumably because they had literally nothing better to do.
One user responded: “Westminster is quite cool, like venturing into a bond villain’s underground lair, kind of appropriate for where it is. Gants hill and Arnos Grove architecturally v interesting. I have a soft spot for Aldgate east for some unknown reason.”
Another said: “Aldgate East always fascinated me, I found it crazy when I heard how they lowered the train line to make space for the ticket hall. Worth a Google search if you don’t know what I’m talking about.”
A third commented: “I like Warren Street because it’s a quick station to enter/exit if you’re going to the West End when the alternative is Euston, Oxford Street or Green Park.”
The discourse continued to pour into the thread like sweaty commuters into Liverpool Street on a hot summer’s day. One Redditor wrote: “Highbury & Islington – check out the now not so creepy platforms on the Northern City Line! The cross-platform interchange between the Victoria and NCL is also quite clever, a good example of a useful one (like at Mile End).
“When the Victoria Line was built, they converted the old northbound NCL platform to be the southbound platform for the Victoria Line, and then built a separate northbound platform pair for both lines, giving some direction to cross-platform interchange between the Victoria Line and NCL. Handy for those living in Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill etc. to get to the West End.
Another wrote: “Unironically, Mornington Crescent. This was actually the first tube station I ever used after moving from abroad to London (a childhood dream of mine). This happened to be the closest station to our temp accommodation and I absolutely fell in love with it.”
A third said: “It never gets mentioned, probably because not many people here will use it, but Hillingdon is up there for me. It has a long cool tall bridge with a glass roof going from the road entrance to the elevated ticket hall, the bridge is like part of a queue in a big theme park. Then the ticket hall has a massive glass canopy that covers the entire ticket hall and the rooms/buildings inside the ticket hall. Then when you go down to the platforms there’s the same large canopy right over half of those too including the tracks.”