Monday, August 5, 2013

London Underground Tour

*I received a complimentary tours for the two of us from Insider London for the purposes of review.  

If you've read my blog for any time at all,
you know that I have a Love/Hate relationship with the Tube.
(This particular rant is Exhibit A for Reasons Not to Blog while PMSing. 
Don't even get me started on how hot the Tube has been lately.)

But, the London Underground is a fascinating thing and the primary way to get around London.
It has been an integral part of London for 150 years now and 
you can't really avoid it.  (Well, unless you're a Spice Girl.)

I've been trying really hard to embrace the Tube,
so when Insider London invited Matt and I to join them on one of their tours
we eagerly signed up for the London Underground and Tube Tour.

Insider London Underground Tour

We started above ground.  We met our guide,
Michelle at Paddington Station at 11am on a Friday morning.
Our tour group was just the right size.  There were eight of us so we could 
all keep up and easily duck out of the the way to listen to Michelle.
After a basic introduction, we headed underground for two hour tour and talk about
the London Tube.  

Paddington Station London

Paddington Station London

Michelle is American although she has been in London for many years now.
She is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about history.
She guided us easily from station to station, letting us know what was coming next.
Even on the busy route, she knew the best places to stop for a discussion
so that we never felt stressed or crowded.

London Tube Station

London Tube

London Tube

Michelle was very engaging.  There was a young boy on our tour that was fascinated
with the Tube.  She was very sweet and patient with him,
without ever talking down to him.  He stayed right by her side.

She was also full of fascinating information.
There is just so much history and interesting facts about the Underground
over the past 150 years.  The information fills up books.
But we learned some great facts and certainly enough to peak our interest further.

London Tube Map made from Legos

London Tube Map made from Legos

She also pointed out the little things that we just overlook as we hurry through the stations each day.  For instance, have you noticed this Tube map made of Legos at Piccadilly Circus Station?  There are five of them at various stations to celebrate the 150 year anniversary.   Or have you ever stopped to look at the 1920's World Time Today clock at the same station?  And do you know how to decipher the tile work at the various stations?
It's not just decorative.  It's there to guide you.

The World Time Today Clock in Piccadilly Station London

London Tube Station

We had a great tour with Michelle
and found out that she also does some of the other historical tours with Insider London.

Insider London offers many different tours such as the London Street & Graffiti Art,
Quirky London to name just a few.

Planning your Insider London Underground Walking Tour

First off we have to talk about price.  At £20 per person this tour is not cheap.  (Their various tours range from £18 up to £40.)  You can find good walking tours in London for less or even free.  But...

1.  I believe they're the only one offering Underground Tube Tours (please correct me if I'm wrong).

2.  And according to their website  "All bookings come with a money-back guarantee: if you don’t love it, email us after the tour and we’ll refund the amount of your choice." 

So, if you want a great tour with a reputable company and are willing to pay that amount, then I can definitely recommend them.

‘Join-in’ tours are on Mondays at 11am and 2pm, and Fridays at 11am.  (Private tours  can be arranged on the time and day of your choice.)  The 'Join In' tours require a minimum of 2 people per booking.

All tours must be booked in advance. 

All attendees need to provide their own Oyster card or Travelcard (Zones 1 & 2).

We did not visit any disused stations.
Insider London was friendly, professional and very informative.
I hope we can join them again soon for another tour.
 Do you know any interesting facts about the London Underground?  


   *We received complimentary tours from Insider London.   All photos and opinions are 100% my own.  
As always, I promise to be open, honest and transparent with my readers.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

You can find this review and many others in my
London Attraction Guide.


  1. Hello! :D I was wondering how you started getting requests to visit certain attractions. I'd love to do things like that as well I just never knew how people did it!!

  2. That is an awesome tour, my husband would love it!

  3. Those maps are fantastic!! This might have to be on our list of sites when we head to London!

  4. How cool is that Lego map! Thanks for showing that to us. Sometjing like that could easily go unnoticed among a lot of people.

  5. Oh my goodness! This looks really neat. I am a big fan of the Tube. I have to tell Richard about the Lego maps - he will be on the lookout when he is in London tomorrow.

  6. I think that sounds great, and will keep an eye out for it when I am home next. Amazing the things you walk past every day without noticing. I commuted for over seven years via tube and took it for granted completely!

  7. I had no idea you could do this in London. I did a metro tour in Moscow last year and that was awesome. Now I want to do this one too! Maybe next time we're back in the UK I'll see if we can make it!

  8. Oh excellent! I think G & my Granddad will love doing this when my Grandparents visit in September/October. I'll just take Nan off to Westfields :P

  9. I've heard the Moscow tour is amazing! I would love to visit some of the closed stations in London.

  10. Everyone is moving so fast! It's hard to stop and notice your surroundings. I'm going to try and be on the look out more in the future.

  11. We would love to see you both (and the Baby Bump!) Let me know next time your in London and have some extra time.

  12. Everybody loves Legos! I'm actually trying to figure out a way to go to Legoland without any little ones.

  13. Matt enjoyed it. They are thinking about adding another Tube Tour specifically about the WWI & WWII history when the stations were often used as shelters.

  14. Asia, I've just started asking. The worst they can say is no. And now I'm starting to get approached more and more. Send me an email and I'll send a copy of my pitch letter. Do you have a blog?

  15. Hi Selena! I hopped over here from Found Love, Now What and really enjoy what I've read so far. I've only been to England once, and believe it or not, that trip didn't include London (Leicester and Nottingham, mostly, to visit my husband's family)! Your photos are lovely and until I get to go back, I adore blogs like yours to give me a taste of the UK :) I think I would have loved this tour- and will have to look into something similar in NYC.

  16. THANK YOU so much for posting this! I am always looking for off the beaten path things to do in London. I've only lived here for 4 months now, but I know when winter rolls around, I'll be looking for reasons to get out. I am really interested in the underground and how it was built, and planned, etc. such a puzzle!nthanks again!

  17. Really? I thought it would be way more complicated than that! That's good to hear lol. I don't have a blog right now (seriously considering making one) but I'll definitely email you for the pitch letter. Thanks so much!!

  18. Debbie, Thanks so much for commenting! And welcome to London!! Where did you move from? Are you loving London?? xoxo

  19. You are very welcom, Nino! Thanks so much for reading & commenting. xoxo

  20. Oh, London! So much to see and do, so little time. Thanks for reading and commenting, Annie!! 

  21. Thanks :) Long story short, we moved to London from Aberdeen, Scotland (aka a dark rainy hole on Earth). Before that, we were in New Orleans and before that in Houston! We have been in the UK for just over a year now, and we are loving it... and OF COURSE loving London! I am really terrified for the day we will be told to leave this city :( no greater city in the world!

  22. This is a BRILLIANT post! I learned something new, I totally didn't know there was even and underground tour! I have always tried NOT to think that I'm like 7 miles underground when I'm on the tube.... *Breath in... Breath out*... I do love to see all of the latest book posters on the walls though... weird right?
    I can't wait to read about what you had to say about the East End, I haven't had the time to truly sit down and absorb the posts yet, but I will... The East End is my favorite turf and I know it the best... The people are amazing. So you must be fluent in cockney now?? I kid I kid!!
    I know you've been traveling so I hope you're doing well and all rested up!
    Much love,

  23. Thanks so much, Tammy! I hadn't spend much time in the East End yet. It's wonderful! I want to go back. When are you arriving to London?


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