As one of the oldest lines on the London Underground, the Circle Line links east and west in the centre of the city and gives access to a number of sights that are well worth seeing. Popular at weekends with stag and hen parties, you will often see almost as much colour on the Tube as you’ll see off it, with brightly costumed men and women making their way around the line with a pub at each station.
While some of the stops are not worth the fare, there are plenty of things to be seen on the line that make a beep on your Oyster card very worthwhile.
Getting out of the Tube station at Embankment will bring you face-to-face within the London Eye on the opposite side of the Thames. It’s a spectacular sight, and one that shouldn’t be missed on any trip to London.
Once you’ve seen your fill of the Eye, take a walk along the Embankment towards our next stop on the tour – Westminster. Along the way, you’ll pass the Battle of Britain Monument that commemorates the servicemen who took part in the battle during World War II. The monument was opened in 2005 and features a number of panels of high-relief bronze sculpture depicting airmen scrambling to their aircraft during the battle. The monument also lists the names of all the airmen who took part in the Battle on the Allied side.
At the top of Embankment, you can’t miss one of the sights that is instantly evocative of London. Queen Elizabeth Clock Tower, better known as Big Ben, stands on the corner and marks the start of the Palace of Westminster.
In addition to the Palace, containing the Houses of Parliament and Lords, Westminster has its abbey, which was the venue for the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Catherine in 2011. Outside the abbey and in front of the Houses of Parliament is a small green where you can usually see protesters with placards trying to attract the eye of passing MPs.
Jump back onto the Tube at Westminster and out again at Paddington Station. While there isn’t all that much to see outside the station, as a commuter hub with just a few restaurants and bars to serve weary travellers, inside there is a lovely bronze statue that’s worth a look.
Most Brits will be familiar with Paddington Bear, the character from the Michael Bond books who later made it into his own televised cartoon. As the unofficial patron of Paddington Station, the bear has a bronze statue where he sits on his suitcase and waits with travellers pausing before their train.
As a key interchange on the Circle Line for commuters to switch to the Jubilee, Bakerloo, Metropolitan and Hammersmith and City lines, Baker Street is a workhorse on the Tube system. However, that isn’t the main reason why Baker Street is famous.
The most well-known inhabitant of Baker Street was the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Having seen many incarnations in books, films and on television, Holmes has been a staple in drama across the world. Although 221b Baker Street didn’t exist at the time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was writing his novels and short stories, it has now been created and is the home of the Official Sherlock Holmes Museum.
The Circle Line has a great many attractions along its length that are worth a visit on your trip to London. Take a step into some of Britain’s military, parliamentary and military history with some of the stops on the way.