Take an underground journey with a difference at the London Transport museum
Over a hundred years ago, the first trains travelled underground across London. Now the city is crisscrossed by a network of tunnels, much of which is hidden from view even when you are taking a journey on the underground. Enjoy a fun trip to London underground as a tourist, make sure to book a stay at Regency House Hotel London for easy access.
The secrets of that hidden world have been brought to life by the London Transport Museum in a fascinating new exhibition – Hidden London.
On display are countless items, archive photographs, and vintage the story of this amazing form of transport. Find out what it was like for those first travelers, and how smoky and dirty were the journeys. What was life like for the people who operated the underground railway? Discover why all distances on the underground are measured from Ongar – a station closed for 25 years!
Equally fascinating are the stories about the stations which are no longer open to the public. Some were only in use for a very short time. Take the King William Station near the Bank of England – it was abandoned very soon after it opened due to an unfortunate engineering mistake! Aldwych on the Strand had a much longer lifespan, lasting until late in the twentieth century. The station is still well used although not for its original purpose – film companies use it as a very atmospheric location for filming deep underground.
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Down Street Station is another forgotten station close to the center of Mayfair. Most people don’t even know it exists. Opened late in the 1930s, the onset of war resulted in a decision to turn it into a very secret bunker often used by Winston Churchill and military personnel as they directed the course of the war.
There are tunnels too which have lain unused for many years such as that at Highgate, which is now a protected home to bats. Others provide storage facilities or even used to grow food.
Several of the rooms from Down Street Station have been recreated as part of the Hidden London exhibition, allowing visitors to discover what life was like for people working in this bunker. You can even take part in a hands-on activity within the bunker’s telephone exchange learning what it was like working as a wartime telephone operator. Connecting incoming callers with government departments was much harder than it might seem!
Hidden London is at the London Transport Museum between October 11, 2019 – January 2020. Book your stay at any of the most popular hotels near Oxford Street in London for easy access to major London underground stations.