What you want for a group trip at this time of year is for it not to be outside. No, no, no. It’s all very well visiting the great outdoors in the sunny sunshine but when it’s more than likely to be grey, cold, rainy and grim, you want to be as far under cover as possible. Maybe even underground…
Because it’s not just the Tube that runs beneath the streets of London you know, the earth is full of sewers, lost rivers, wartime bunkers, catacombs, foot tunnels, ghost stations and a one hundred year old Post Office railway. It’s a wonder any of the buildings stand up.
It’s a great group trip that’s unnerving, exciting, atmospheric and full of filmic moments, and not just for the Instagrammers. It’s a good bet, for instance, that any film scene set in an Underground station recently was filmed in a ghost station. Remember when 007 slips through a secret door by Westminster Bridge into the secret underground HQ in ‘Skyfall’? Ghost station.
Now though, you can see all this for yourself. London Transport Museum is opening its Hidden London Tour to group bookings. The tour takes in those ghost stations, tunnels and secret spaces that were once busy with commuters and trains – some dating back to the foundation of the network in 1863!
You’ll be guided along unseen passageways, through concealed chambers, and hear stories about war-time shelters, amazing engineering and top-secret hideaways.
Which do you fancy? Aldwych – the end of the Line, Down Street – Churchill’s secret station, Euston – the lost tunnels, Moorgate – the metropolitan maze, or Piccadilly Circus – the heart of London. Each tour has a maximum number of people in each tour slot so if you’re getting everybody in the office down there, you’ll need to split across more than one tour.
You could combine this experience with a trip on the excellent Mail Rail, a miniature train running deep below Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant sorting office, for a properly underground adventure – more on that later…