While above-ground London is bustling with history, architecture, fashion and really great food, there is actually a whole new world beneath the city streets that is just dying to be discovered.
So if you are planning a trip to London this year or are currently residing there, why not plan out an underground adventure for yourself?
Getting started on planning out this epic underground adventure is easier than you may think. That is why we have put together 15 key tips to follow so that you can spend all day exploring the fascinating underground scene of London.
- Ditch the bags
Going underground means that space will be limited and you certainly won’t want to lug around your bags for the day. So once you plot out where you want to go to discover London’s underground scene, you will want to make sure that you are able to explore hands-free. If you have just arrived in the city and are trying to squeeze in some sightseeing, look for some luggage storage London services that are conveniently located around the city, book advance online and know your bags will be well looked after while you are underground.
- Check out the postal railway
Back in the day, London got creative with their mail problem. Because the city was so populated, it made delivering mail really slow. So they solved that by going underground and setting up a unique underground railway system that could actually blast mail carts from point A to point B. While the system is no longer in use to deliver mail, it is open to the public and you can take a 15-minute ride through the tunnel as part of the Postal Museum experience.
- Explore the catacombs
While Paris is most well known for their catacombs, the ones that London has is equally impressive. In fact, it was because of Paris’s overpopulation that London build seven catacombs to house up to 250,000 perished souls each. Make sure to book a tour in advance so you can learn all the history of the famous people buried there and haunting stories that will make you shiver.
- See a ghost station
While there are not actually ghosts at these stations, you can see abandoned underground stations. To do so, book a guided tour through the Transport museum. A highlight will be seeing the bunker where Winston Churchill hid during WWII.
- Admire the art scene
While the art galleries above ground are impressive, the underground tunnels of London will have you feeling like you are in another world. With immersive art features throughout a whole network of tunnels, it is easily one of the most unique art exhibits to ever witness.
- See a river in a basement
Yes, it is true. Visiting a historical home known as Gray’s Antiques will lead you to their basement, where part of the Tyburn river gushes through.
- Walk under a river
You can also walk underneath the Thames river itself, thanks to the underground footpath that goes beneath it. Having been around for over a century, it is a must-do experience in London.
- Visit a WWII bunker
London still has plenty of its old WWII bunkers throughout the city. Sign up for a guided tour and learn about what went on in these rooms during some of the scariest days of the war—with many remaining exactly as they were all those years ago.
- Pick and choose your spots
The underground world of London is massive. So don’t expect to be able to do it all in one day. Pick and choose the places you want to see the most and commit to those spots so you can spend ample time exploring them.
- Get a guide when you can
There is so much history to the underground world of London. That is why getting a guide will help you appreciate it more and discover things you would likely not have noticed otherwise.
- The London Tube does not count
As impressive as the London tube is (aka the underground transportation system of the city), it does not compare to the WWII stations, buried artefacts and hubs and even catacombs full of historical and influential people who also once called London home. So this doesn’t count as exploring the underground world of London.
- Book in advance
The underground world can feel cramped and crowded, so make sure to book your experiences in advance so you can avoid the lines and enjoy your time exploring the sites.
- Bring a good camera
Make sure to figure out your lighting on your camera in advance so you can get quality pics of the dark underground world of London.
- Bring an open mind
The underground world can be weird. So come with an open mind.
- Have fun
As dark as the underground world can be, it is important to have fun and appreciate the quirkier side of London.
Where will you be headed underground first?