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13/08/2017

Hidden London: Highgate wilderness walkabout

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the London Underground. To be clear, I don't consider myself a true anorak as I can't tell you the exact diameter of the wheels on an S Stock Car or the top speed of a fully laden A stock train, but I have an appreciation of the infrastructure and history of the Underground.

Having attended Hidden London tours of Aldwych, Euston and riding the Metropolitan No. 1 steam locomotive between Watford and Chesham, I grabbed some tickets for the newly announced 'Hidden London: Highgate wilderness walkabout' tour as soon as they were released.

My wife and I attended the tour today and both left a little disappointed, primarily due to the cost of the event - £31.50 each. Perhaps we had misguided expectations, however in comparison to Euston and Aldwych (£36.50) and the steam train (£20.00) which were all all fantastic experiences, the pricing seems a little ambitious.



If you plan on going on the tour and don't want any spoilers, stop reading here! However if you're not planning on going or are now having second thoughts and want to know a little more about our experience, read on.




The reality of it is, that even in their heyday, the current over ground platforms at Highgate weren't particularly inspiring. The architect Charles Holden famous for designing 55 Broadway had some grand plans, but the onset of World War II resulted in a stripped down budget version consisting of a very utilitarian brick and concrete construction.

Some of my poor quality photos are below. I should buy a decent camera sometime...



After spending some time on the platforms and learning a little about this history you move onto the tunnels at the end of the platform. Unfortunately as they are home to 3 different species of Bat, they are inaccessible to the public. I didn't take any photos of the tunnel entrances as at this point it felt a little rushed.

Overall it was an interesting experience and another disused station ticked off the list, however at £63 between the two of us for the privilege of standing on a concrete platform, it seemed very over priced.

If you want to see some more pictures and information on the tour, I highly recommend IanVisits' blog post on the subject.

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