Well it seems walking tube lines is becoming ever more popular. The video above shows James Borrell and his girlfriend Jess walking the Victoria Line from Brixton to Walthamstow Central. Really brought back a lot of memories for me.
Today will be the last day I make my daily commute from South Kensington to Kentish Town. I suspect (although I can’t confirm) that I may be the only person to make this trip each morning and the reverse trip each evening.
This isn’t a commute I ever planned on doing, just a random combination of events. My wife and I were lucky enough to find discount student accommodation in South Ken., a year and half ago and then I got my current job in Kentish Town about 9 months ago. Over that period, I’ve experimented with a variety of different routes.
However, before I look at them, I should just mention that my office is actually located closer to Kentish Town West Overground station than Kentish Town Underground station. This also means that’s it’s a fairly short walk from Chalk Farm station. Over the past 9 months I’ve tried using all of them.
My normal route is a slight variation from one of TFL’s suggested ones and involves 3 trains, so each morning I have to be sure and double check that there aren’t any service disruptions.
The fastest everyday route is as follows:
Walk to South Ken. (2 minutes)
Travel to Victoria via a District (or better yet Circle) line train. (5-6 minutes)
Change to Victoria line going north. (1 minute)
Travel to Euston. (8 minutes)
Make cross-platform change at Euston to Northern line towards High-Barnet or Mill-Hill East. (15 seconds)
Get off at Kentish Town. (6 minutes)
Finally walk to office. (5 minutes)
If all goes according to plan and I catch each train right away, I can get to the office in just under 30 mins. door-to-door.
This route differs from TFL’s by the fact I change to the Victoria line at Victoria and not Green Park. The reason for this are two fold. One, District and especially Circle line trains at South Ken. are less crowded than Piccadilly line ones in the morning. Two, getting down to the Piccadilly line at South Ken. and then changing to the Victoria line at Green Park take far more time than just using the sub-surface District/Circle line platforms.
Other routes I’ve tried:
South Ken. –> Leicester Square –> Chalk Farm (My original route, slower but only two trains).
South Ken. –> King’s Cross-St. Pancras –> Kentish Town (Still only two trains, but slightly faster).
South Ken –> Green Park –> West Hampstead –> Kentish Town West (3 trains, but avoids some walking at the end, however, have to change between station buildings at West Hampstead).
South Ken. –> Green Park –> Highbury & Islington –> Kentish Town West (3 trains and you can transfer in the same building at Highbury & Islington).
Walk to West Brompton –> Kentish Town West (The only route with only 1 train, can also take district line train to West Brompton from South Ken and do this).
Now all this information is useless. My wife and I have been lucky enough to find a flat in another set of discount student accommodation in Primrose Hill. This means I will be able to walk to work in about 15 mins. door-to-door. It also means I can avoid paying the £116.80 it now costs each month for a zone 1-2 travel card. And thus the end of one of the Tube’s strangest commutes.
Know of any one else with an even stranger commute? Tell me about it in the comment section below:
Buckingham Palace, just one of the sights you can see along the Victoria line.
Amazingly enough the day of my Victoria line walk happens to be another sunny Saturday in September. I’ve decided walk the line in the reverse order from the station visits – Walthamstow Central to Brixton this time. Walking north to south is a deliberate decision; psychologically, it feels like you’re going downhill.
I set off out of the station at full speed along Selborne Road, passing an Asda and a passed out drunk, then walk parallel to Walthamstow High Street, where you can find Walthamstow Market – Europe’s longest daily outdoor market.
Walthamstow Central Station, the start of my walk
I decide against my normal better judgement to cut over to the High Street. Normally I avoid crowds whenever I can. I love living in big cities, except for having to deal with all the other people.
This Victoria line map created by Rentonomy could not have come out at better time. It shows the average weekly rent at each station along the Victoria line. Prices reflect average 2-bed flats near to stations. The overall shape shouldn’t be too surprising for anyone who’s lived in London for more than a month.
The peak is at Green Park (£965 per week), just north of Buckingham Palace and the gateway to Mayfair. I am a little surprised to see that Oxford Circus and Victoria are almost the same price as you couldn’t pay me enough to live in the former. Also, I’m surprised Stockwell is more expensive than Brixton as I’d much rather live in the latter. At the far end of the line, Walthamstow (£193 per week) is by far the cheapest.
You can of course learn more about the Victoria line from my facts, trivia and impression page. Plus, stay tuned for more my post about my Victoria line walk coming soon.
Special thanks to Rentonomy for the use of their map.
Given that London has few sunny and warm weekends, especially in September, most Londoners make the most of them when they do happen. I, on the other hand, chose to ride the tube from Brixton to Walthamstow Central along the Victoria line.
The Victoria line is an interesting one for a few reasons: it was the first deep level underground line to be built across central London since 1907, it is the longest line entirely underground (at least for the travelling public), and almost every station has tiled artwork relating to the station itself, or the surrounding area.
I visited each of the 16 stations on the line over the course of approximately 3 hours on the very sunny 8th of September. Here are my impressions and a random fact about each station:
Huge London Underground roundel at Brixton station and tiled artwork at platform level playing on the “brick” part of the name.
Impressions: Brixton is among the more interesting areas of London. It has reputation for being somewhat dodgy and dangerous, but in my opinion this view is increasingly outdated. While Brixton remains at present a mixed area, all signs point to rapid gentrification. The most noticeable feature about Brixton station, to my mind, is the huge London Underground roundel over the entrance. It was also extremely busy on the day I visited.
Random Fact: Brixton station opened in 1971, 3 years after the first section of the Victoria line. Tweet This
The entrance to Stockwell Station and the bizarre dazzle inspired tiled artwork at platform level.
Impressions: If Brixton is one of the most interesting areas of London, Stockwell feels like one of the most bland. Stockwell station is one of the ugliest stations on the whole network. The view is not much improved once you leave, as you’re immediately thrust onto busy Clapham Road. The one interesting thing I did notice about the station is that there is no up escalator from the northbound Victoria line platform. I guess not many people go from Brixton to Stockwell by tube. It was also far less busy than Brixton.