Top 10 Reasons to Love the London Underground

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I love the Tube. I love it so much that when I’m in London I ride it even when we don’t have to. It’s such a romantic network of tubes and trains. I get a kick every time – even when it’s a million degrees in the summer during rush hour.

I thought it’d be fun to gush a bit over the Tube and share my top 10 Reasons to Love the London Underground.

1. It goes everywhere

The London Underground is a massive network of 11 train lines that spreads out over 250 miles. One single Tube can take you almost anywhere within London’s metropolitan area. Some of the places have strange names, some have cool names and others are just plain familiar – but get on a Tube train and you can travel to anywhere in London you’d possibly want to go.

2. You Get to See a slice of London life

Riding the Tube is the best way to be like a local – you get to see locals going about their day and it’s the one thing that Londoners have in common no matter their class. The people watching is lovely – you get a peek at current London fashions, what Londoners are reading and what iDevices they prefer. It’s so much fun.

3. The smell

The Tube has this unique smell that I can’t describe but there’s nothing better than when a Tube train is approaching the station in the tunnel and you get the ‘whoosh’ of cool air follow by the smell of the underground network, I just love it.

4. The sounds

From the din of the crowd to the clickity-clack of the trains as they go through the tunnels – the sounds of the Tube are a wonder to behold.

5. The history

London’s Tube network is over 150 years old and some of the stations date back to Victorian times. The tiles, the designs. Every station is different, not one is alike. Even the modern stations are beautiful. When you ride the tube, it’s like riding through living history.

6. Efficiency

Londoners may disagree with this statement but the Tube is very efficient (compared to something like the El in Chicago – trust me it is). There’s always a train a few minutes away and they stop and go with efficiency.

7. Tube Car Announcers

From ‘Mind the Gap’ to station announcements to the call out of the next stop on the trains, there’s a lovely variety of voices guiding you through the Tube network. Most of the voices are female and calming. When I hear ‘and as always, please mind the gap’ – I experience a certain kind of bliss that you can only feel in London.

8. Advertisements

Many people find advertisements annoying and I’ll admit that I do as well but in London the ads provide a unique glimpse into what’s hot in London. Between the boring ads for insurance and loans, you see ads for trips abroad, books, movies and London shows. It’s been much inspiration that enhances our own experiences in London.

9. Amazing Escalators

This is sort of a strange thing to love but the Tube has an amazing array of escalators – some of which go up hundreds of feet in the deep level tunnels. So admire them as amazing engineering creations but always stand on the right!

10. Tube Trains

I’m a bit of a train anorak so I love the Tube rolling stock itself – some are new, some are old. The trains are workhorses that are unique to London. They’re spacious and have unique interiors. I love standing on a train, listening and watching it lull back and forth as it rushes through a tunnel.

Do you love the Tube? What’s your favorite part about the London Underground? Let us know in the comments but try to keep it positive!

Love London? Check out the blog dedicated to London travel and culture – Londontopia.net.

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29 Responses to “Top 10 Reasons to Love the London Underground”

  1. Javier Lorenzo
    February 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    I love the voice of Emma Clark announcing “Mind the gap”. I love her voice, so sweet, so calm.
    I believe that the Advertisements are very effective with me. Some are very funny

    And the best are the staff, always are very friendly and helpful with the tourists.

    I can’t believe how long and tall are Angel Station scalators is.
    The only thing that i hate is… the stairs, too long, too many.

    I love the TUBE, enjoy the ride

  2. Javier Lorenzo
    February 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Very useful is the space to keep the luggage, when you travel to Heathrow airport

  3. Alison Boyle
    February 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Hey Jonathan
    I love your take on our dirty old London tubes! I was in London at the weekend and felt like taking up residence, as I was on them so often.

    We take our underground trains for granted a lot of the time, but your outlook is refreshing! It’s always good to step back!

    Would be good to catch up sometime.

  4. Patrick
    February 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    There’s only one thing I hate about the London Underground: I’m not on it right now! :-(

  5. Adele Maestranzi
    February 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    The iconic signage and Edward Johnson’s wonderful Underground font! I travel on the Boston T (the oldest US subway) and I wish dearly that they would standardize their signage. They did adopt the colored lines map, but the tourists still get lost!

    Adele Maestranzi
    Salem, MA

  6. Werner
    February 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Reading this made me miss the tube all aver again! No matter what they say I always loved riding the tube for the exact 10 reasons mentioned above, it made me smile reading all of them.

  7. Del
    February 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Oh, how I agree with everything you said here! I absolutely adore the Tube! I also love the buskers littered throughout the stations! Some of them are really grand!

  8. bunty
    February 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    i luv underground,the tube,so i luv uk

  9. Novie
    February 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    I Love London so much..lol xoxo

  10. Betty McQueen
    February 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    The very first time my niece and I traveled to London, we rode the Tube from Heathrow to Earl’s Court. It was about 6 am and it had snowed the night before. We knew nothing about traveling in and around London at the time, but I so enjoyed the Tube ride and the adventure that goes along with it. I think it’s the greatest way to travel, I think about it often and watch videos of Tube rides online…I can’t wait to go back!

  11. Pascal Delcambe
    February 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    I like the sounds of the trains and the announcers, it’s the sound of London

  12. John
    February 3, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    I used to like the “Poetry on the Tube”. Jonathan you would have been very at home down the mines. We had trains down there too. Not as comfortable as the tube but better than a 2 mile walk.

  13. London Tube Rambler
    February 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    I love the tiles and mosaics. The wonderful Alfred Hitchcock series at Leytonstone, the hot-air balloons at Finsbury Park, Sherlock Holmes at Baker Street, the medieval woodcuts at Charing Cross – and loads more.

  14. Michael
    February 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    All above reasons are true but not sure if the tube will cope with the upcoming Olympics.Personally I prefer the buses.

  15. LondonLover
    February 4, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    The Tube Map deserves its own mention. Harry Beck revolutionized subway maps worldwide!

  16. Coach tours london
    February 9, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    your sounds of the trains too good.

  17. Melvin
    February 16, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Two reasons to hate it?

    - No elevators or possibilities to take a baby buggy with you! Do they hate kids & families?

    - No trash cans! Where do you leave your trash?

  18. Paul Steele
    February 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    Nice :) Love the positive outlook too! :D

  19. Tash
    February 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    The Tube! Got to love it and hate it, all at once!
    The commute can be hell…but these points you’ve made are pretty amazing!

  20. Laura Porter
    February 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    @Melvin. Some stations have elevators but you do have to plan your journey well with a buggy. I managed for over 3 years, travelling around town on my own (well, with my daughter), so it can be done.

    The no bins is because of terrorist attacks so we take no chances. There are usually clear plastic bag bins in ticket halls but never on the platforms.

  21. Danielle
    February 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    I leave for London on march 5 and I can’t wait to use the tube!!! I’ve been before but I always love it. Definitely an expierence!

  22. El Boqueron Viajero
    February 26, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    We loved the history and cultural diversity which you just don’t see on the Madrid metro.

  23. Rebecca Sams
    March 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    What a lovely positive article! I agree with London Tube Rambler about the tiles and mosaics and I love some of the older architectural features.

  24. Aaron
    March 18, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    As a two-month tourist living in London, my daily Tube journey into the center was one of my favorite parts of the day. Also, I actually enjoyed rush hour mostly because of the great people watching. Also, the fact that a Tube car can be full of many people yet everyone respects the noise protocol by not talking loud and remaning quiet. Fascinating.

  25. I Heart London!
    March 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Thanks for this post. I just left London and fell in love with with the underground transportation system. I agree that it is very efficient. I’m looking for a return plane ticket as I type. Love the culture as well :)

  26. Colin Dale
    April 11, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Hi there,

    Here’s a fun song that includes 22 tube station names in the lyrics…enjoy! Some great clips of the tube too…

    http://youtu.be/bMrZkMh2htI

  27. Toby
    July 24, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Great post.Thought you may be jealous of this chap- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH9a-yJm71c&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  28. Deana Challis
    July 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    I love the font and signage! I lived in London in the late 1980′s and I really loved the old wooden Central line trains. Anyone who loves the Tube should visit the London Transport Museum, too! http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/

  29. Carole
    July 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I love the London Underground. I love Oyster cards and one day passes. I love that the escalators always work (not like NYC). I love that there are lifts in some stations for disabled persons, especially when I’m carrying luggage. I love that the signs tell you how long it will be until the next train comes along. I love that they announce the next station on the loudspeaker so you know when your stop is coming up. And I love how you can get anywhere in London on the Underground. It’s the fastest way to get from one place to another! And last but not least, the employees are so helpful if you are not sure which train to take. They have always answered my questions and been very polite. Let’s hear it for London’s Underground, the best in the world!

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