Under the bright lights of one of London’s busiest squares with its famous statue of Eros, visitors can uncover the secrets of Piccadilly Circus disused station with London Transport Museum’s latest Hidden London tour which kicks off from 21 August until 27 September 2019.
Opened in 1906, visitors will be able to experience the original areas of the station no longer accessible to the public, as well as uncovering the history behind this grade II listed building designed by celebrated architect Charles Holden. Expert guides will lead guests behind secret doors to eerie passageways and disused lift shafts as they listen to stories of wartime-sheltering and the confidential storage of priceless museum artefacts.
In addition to the new Piccadilly Circus tour the Hidden London programme offers a range of tours for all tastes, from deserted platforms at Aldwych station, to movie magic at Charing Cross where blockbuster films have been made. The Euston tour allows a glimpse of quiet and spooky passageways below bustling Euston station whilst the Highgate – Wilderness Walkabout tour brings visitors closer to nature and the great out-doors. Windrush and war time sheltering are brought to life at the Clapham South Subterranean shelter. Art Deco style is explored at 55 Broadway, which was London’s tallest skyscraper in 1929. Speedy bookers can still snap up the last remaining Charing Cross and afternoon tea tickets. This delicious spread will be served at the Amba Hotel above the station. For more detail on each tour see the The Tours section below.
Hidden London – The Exhibition opens on Friday 11 October and will take people on an immersive journey of some of London’s most secret spaces belonging to the oldest subterranean railway in the world. These ‘forgotten’ parts of the Tube network have incredible stories to tell about Britain’s wartime past such as the Plessey aircraft underground factory which had 2,000 members of staff, mostly women, working in the two 2.5 mile-long tunnels on the eastern section of the Central line during the Second World War.
During their visit to the exhibition inquisitive adults will be able to discover how Winston Churchilll took refuge in the Railway Executive Committee’s bomb-proof headquarters deep underground at Down Street station in Mayfair. London Transport Museum has recreated the dining-room used by Britain’s great wartime leader with replica tables, chairs, wine bottles, menu cards and ashtrays like those Churchill would have used.
Party-people can join the Museum at a special Friday Late event on the opening night of the exhibition. Guests can meet the people behind the Hidden London tour programme and gain unique behind-the-scenes insights from experienced tour guides and researchers, all in a relaxed and fun-filled Friday night atmosphere.
Those wishing to take a bit of disused station history home can treat themselves to a new illustrated Hidden London book (Hardback, £25) published by Yale University Press which will be on sale from 10 September at London Transport Museum’s shop in Covent Garden, online at www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk and other stores nationwide.
Tickets for a new season of Hidden London tours of disused stations and other secret locations will go on public sale on Friday 19 July at 10:00. Organised by London Transport Museum the new season of autumn/winter tours runs from 11 October to 15 December 2019. A few tickets for summer dates remain for the Highgate tour and the Charing Cross tour, with the option of afternoon tea at the Amba hotel in Charing Cross.
The new programme of Hidden London tours includes the following locations:
- Piccadilly Circus – The heart of London (brand new tour)
- Aldwych – The end of the line
- Aldwych – Tour & complimentary Darkest Hour screening
- Charing Cross – Access all areas (a few summer tickets remain)
- Charing Cross – Tour and afternoon tea (a few summer tickets remain)
- 55 Broadway – London’s first skyscraper
- Clapham South – Subterranean shelter
- Clapham South – Subterranean shelter tour & film clip
- Down Street – Churchill’s secret station
- Down Street – Tour and cocktail
- Euston – The lost tunnels
- Highgate – Wilderness walkabout (a few summer tickets remain)