Tag Archives: RLtube

39 Pictures Showing How London Constantly Keeps Changing

Earlier this month I became the first person to walk the entire new (2015) tube map, in support of Bowel Cancer UK.

During 39 walks between August 2012 and August 2015, I took thousands of photos and noticed that I tended to focus on things that had changed, were likely to change or oddly have not yet changed.

This could include anything from buildings under construction to abandoned (ghost) stations to anachronisms to important international events. London is a unique place where you can to see change unfold right before your eyes.

Below I've featured 39 photos, one photo from each walk, that mostly look at some aspect of change in London that I observed during the past 3 years.

These are not necessarily my best photos or even good photos, but each of them tells a small London story that I find interesting. I hope you do too.

Walk 1 - Blackfriars Station - Waterloo and City Line

Date Taken: August 19, 2012
Walk 1: Waterloo & City line, Waterloo to Bank

About the photo: Blackfriars Station. This photo of was taken between the end of the 2012 Summer Olympics (25 July to 12 August 2012) and the start of the 2012 Summer Paralympics (29 August to 9 September 2012). Just a small reminder of how of London was blanketed with signs for London 2012 just a few years ago.

Continue Reading →

New 2015 Tube Map Walked For The First Time!

Ian Wright after finishing tube map walk

Me at Bank after finishing my final walk. This also happened to be where my first walk ended 3 years ago.

On Sunday, August 9th, 2015, I became the first person to walk the entire new 2015 Tube Map. This includes not only the London Underground (completed two years ago) but also the Overground, DLR, TFL Rail and yes the Cable Car (I walked via Woolwich rather than attempt to swim the Thames).

In total, I walked 632.45 miles (1,017.82 km) over the course of 39 walks that collectively took 229 hours and 47 mins of my life. I also managed to raise £1,803.43 for Bowel Cancer UK.

Below are a few stats from my various walks, followed by a few random thoughts on the whole journey and finally a complete summary of my walks if you'd like to follow in my footsteps:

Continue Reading →

Walking The London Overground: Done, and I Think I’m The First!

Kentish Town West

Photos of Kentish Town West taken 10 hours and 59 minutes apart on my final walk

On Sunday September 14th, 2014 I completed walking the London Overground as part of my ongoing attempt at walking the Tube (done), Overground and DLR. I believe I'm the first and, at this point, only person to have walked all of the London Overground (unless of course anyone knows of anyone else).

In a slight shift of focus, I'm now aiming to be the first person to walk the entire Standard Tube Map, which means I'll also have to add the Emirates Airline into the mix (and more Overground if I don't finish before the end of this year). Fortunately, mainline trains and the tram network don't make it onto the map, which saves me walking them.

Overground Walk Stats

Total distance walked: 109.45 miles (176.14km) - 27% of the Tube's distance
Time spent walking: 34 hours and 52 minutes - 23% of the time spent walking the Tube
Total number of walks: 5 (although I did walk the former East London Line as part of my Tube walks)

Shortest walk: New Cross Gate to West Croydon via Crystal Palace - 13.32 miles (21.44km)
Longest walk: Walking the Overground Circle from Kentish Town West to Kentish Town West - 34.48 miles (55.49 km) - Will be the longest walk of this whole adventure

Average walking speed: 3.14 miles/hr - 20% faster than walking the Tube
Average walk length: 21.89 miles (35.23 km) - 28% longer than the average Tube walk
Average walk time: 6 hours 58 minutes - 6% longer than the average Tube walk

Grand total distance walked to date (Tube + Overground): 503.75 miles (810.7 km)

Fundraising Reminder

Just a reminder that I'm doing the walks to help support Bowel Caner UK. So far I've raised £1,773.43 but am aiming to raise £16,013 - so please donate here

Blog Post Updates

You may have noticed that while this blog has been relatively active lately, there have been few posts about the Overground walks and none from my past Tube walks. The reason is that those posts take a long time to compile and I don't really have a lot of free time.

However, my goal is still to publish photos from each of my Tube walks, just without the long winded prose to go along with them. So look out for those and photos from the rest of my Overground walks (and upcoming DLR walks) here soon.

You can read more about my Tube Challenge here.

Done! I’m Now The First Canadian To Have Walked The Entire London Underground

Done

At 2:19 pm today (August 24th, 2013) I completed my final walk of the London Underground, walking from North Acton to Bank with my wife and my father. As far as I know I am now the first Canadian to have walked the entire Tube above ground and will claim that title unless someone can prove otherwise.

I've also manged to raise £1,145.07 for Bowel Cancer UK, which while a great start is still far below my initial goal of £16,013. As I continue to post more detailed updates of my walks I'll continue to ask for donations to support this very worthy cause.

This completes a journey that started just over a year ago (August 19th, 2012) with a short half hour long walk along the Waterloo & City Line.

Since then I've walked beyond the borders of London and the M25 to the mythical Zone 9. I've walked east, west, north but only rarely south. I've walked through some rain, but have on the whole had incredible luck with the weather. I've mostly walked it alone, but finished on a high-note completing the last two legs with my father and the last with my wife as well.

It's been a journey that's taken up a huge portion of my life to the extent that it still feels a little surreal that it's all over. During the same time period I also manged to visit all 270 tube stations separately, just because the Tube is really cool and it would have been a shame not to visit the stations I was walking past.

Over the next 6 months I'll post detailed accounts of all my walks (and station visits), but in the meantime I thought I'd post just a few quick stats about what I've done.

Total distance walked: 394.3 miles (634.56 km) - almost the distance from London to Edinburgh
Time spent walking: 151 hours 16 minutes - almost 1 full week
Number of lines walked: 12 (11 current lines + former East London Line)

Total number of walks: 23
Shortest walk: Waterloo & City line: Waterloo to Bank - 1.6 miles (2.6 km)
Longest walk: Central line walk #3: Epping to Leytonstone to Woodford via Hainault - 27.97 miles (45.01 km)

Average walking speed: 2.61 miles/hr
Average walk length: 17.14 miles (27.58 km)
Average walk time: 6 hours 34 minutes

Unique stations visited: 270
Total stations visited: 381 (multiple vists to stations where more than 1 line goes through them)

Favourite walk (besides last ones): Metropolitan Line day 3 (Watford to Moor Park to Amersham and Chesham) - great weather & scenery.
Least favourite walk: Jubilee line day 2 (Waterloo to Stanmore) - constant rain for several hours while walking through suburban London.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me during this journey. I hope you stick around to read the full account. If you'd like to know any other stats just ask in the comments section below:

Hammersmith & City Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

068 - Platforms at Baker Street Station
The best set of platforms on the entire network? I think so.

While the Hammersmith & City (H&C) line operates along the entire original section of the London Underground, it has only been shown as a separate line on the tube map since 1990. This means that it's technically London's newest tube line, although no new track or stations were built when the route was transferred from the Metropolitan line.

With the extension of the Circle line all the way to Hammersmith in 2009, the Hammersmith & City line no longer has any unique stations. Nevertheless, here are some photos, facts and my impressions of each of the 29 stations that currently make up the line:

Continue Reading →

Bakerloo Line Walk – From Harrow & Wealdstone to Elephant & Castle

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

Red Telephone Box at Queen's Park
Red Telephone Box Seen at Queen's Park

My overall impression of the Bakerloo line was not altogether favourable when I visited the stations, and initially, walking it does little to improve this. However, this is due as much to mistakes on my part as anything else.

I'm walking the Bakerloo line from Harrow & Wealdstone in far north-west London to Elephant & Castle in the south-east. It's a cool, overcast day in October when I begin – the perfect weather for walking. Nevertheless, things begin to go wrong almost immediately.

A Shaky Beginning

First of all, I'm sleepy because I stayed out late at a work party the night before, which means I am slightly hungover as well. Far worse is the realisation that the internet on my phone is no longer working. For most experienced and/or prepared walkers this wouldn't be a problem, but for me it is.

While I don't have the best phone, it's perfectly sufficient to run Google Maps. Within a very short period of time, I've become wholly dependent on it to navigate London's streets. Why use an A to Z when you have a map with GPS right in your pocket?

Continue Reading →

Bakerloo Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

Closed Assistance and tickets booth at South Kenton
Closed Assistance and ticket office at South Kenton. Miles away from Oxford Circus.

The Bakerloo line is the third London Underground line I'm tackling as part of my Randomly London V. The Tube Challenge. Heading from south of the Thames at Elephant & Castle to the suburban edges of north-west London up at Harrow & Wealdstone, the line - like almost all Underground lines - connects some very diverse parts of London together.

However, the line feels like the forgotten middle child of the London Underground. It doesn't go the furthest north or south and it isn't the newest or oldest, longest or shortest. In fact, it's the third least used line it terms of total passenger volume, although if you look at passengers per mile of track, it's actually the fourth most used.

The line even went into massive retreat between 1979 and 1982 when it lost the Stanmore branch to the Jubilee line and had services withdrawn so Stonebridge Park became the line's northern terminus. Nevertheless, the forgotten middle child of lines has come back a bit since then and has some interesting stations.

Here's a brief summary of my impressions of each of the 25 stations that currently make up the Bakerloo Line.

Elephant & Castle

Elephant & Castle Bakerloo Exit a classic Leslie Green station
Elephant & Castle Bakerloo line exit - classic Leslie Green.

Impressions: Elephant & Castle is one of those parts of London that will never look good, no matter what scheme the council, developers or mayor's office devise. The roundabout is designed only for cars and pedestrians are left as an afterthought.

Once you accept these facts, then the area isn't so bad. Murals in the subways brighten up what would otherwise be very drab concrete walls. The Strata building is interesting and impressive.

And, the Bakerloo platforms are best accessed through a classic Leslie Green red brick entrance. Thus, if you're a glass half-full kind of person there are some good points to the area that go at least partly mitigate the glaring negatives.

Random Fact: In 1924, the first recorded birth on the London Underground occurred at Elephant & Castle. There has been only 1 other since then. Tweet This

Tube Nerd Fact: The furthest south of Leslie Green's Tube stations. Tweet This

Continue Reading →

All Souls Church, Langham Place

All Souls Church

All Souls Church, Langham Place is one of London's more iconic churches. Completed in December 1823 and designed by John Nash, it's rather unique design did not meet with universal approval when it opened. The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction said it was "... one of the most miserable structures in the metropolis..."

However, it would be difficult to imagine this part of London without it today. It can be found just in front of BBC Broadcasting House.

To learn more about the church visit their website.

This photo was taken during my Victoria Line Walk, in support of Bowel Cancer UK to see more photos from the walk you can visit my Flickr page.

The Many of Faces Of BBC Broadcasting House

Modern Front BBC Broadcasting House
Current modern entrance to BBC Broadcasting House

Broadcasting House is the BBC's headquarters. The original building opened in 1934 designed by George Val Myer in collaboration with M T Tudsbery. Designed in impressive Art Deco style the original front of the building is still visible see below:

BBC Broadcasting House Art Deco Front
Original Art Deco Front

However, the original building was not up to the task of providing space for the world's largest broadcaster in the 21st century. Thus, added to the old building are the Egton Wing (or John Peel Wing) and the glass entrance seen at the top of this post. However, not all views of the building are quite so impressive.

Modern Side (Egton Wing) of BBC Broadcasting House
The modern Egton Wing/Peel Wing from Langham Street, not quite so impressive.

You can find Broadcasting House by going north along Regent's Street from Oxford Circus. Don't worry the area around it is usually much quieter than the area just a few blocks south.

This photo was taken during my Victoria Line Walk, in support of Bowel Cancer UK to see more photos from the walk you can visit my Flickr page.

Beautiful Former Victorian Public Toilet In Fitzrovia

Old Public Toilet Outside The Crown And Sceptre Pub

Scattered across London are former public toilets that are no longer accessible. Some have been repurposed into anything from bars to homes. Others have tried to map the remaining ones open for the public to use.

However, the vast majority these old Victoria era toilets have been closed, too expensive to operate and maintain. Too bad when you consider how intricate the ironwork is. A really shame that more of these are not put to better use. This one can be found on Foley Street, outside The Crown And Sceptre Pub in Fitzrovia.

Edit: Seems this former loo has been turned into The Attendant, a so-called lavatory cafe.