The unloved, rarely mentioned, least used, brown line. Serving my neck of the woods – Elephant and Castle, Lambeth, Embankment – not the prettiest, but maybe the most polite? It has to have something going for it, and that’s all I could come up with.
Maybe I’m being too judgemental there, but I’ve never had a good time on the Bakerloo Line – although I would struggle to tell you which line is more enjoyable. It does have nice old carriages though… and some pretty stations.
Elephant and Castle/Lambeth
A bit of a soft spot for me. I grew up here, I’ve watched the gentrification slowly seep from street to street and the coffee shops emerge from underneath the pavement and knock all the market stalls, independent shops and character out of the place. Having said that, you can usually find a good pop up in the area – most recently the Artworks (now moved to Peckham for most part). Or a real gem of a road is Lower Marsh – around the corner from Lambeth North.
The vintage shop Radio Days is a relic and well worth going to have a look in. It’s the Alladin’s cave of retro, by gone gems. Not to mention the many restaurants and (begrudgingly) really nice coffee shops in the area. One of the best bars I know is on the end of Lower Marsh, just next to Waterloo Station; Cubana. Unfortunately, this restaurant by day Latin dance bar by night is soon to become a Mcdonalds. It’s one of the biggest crimes of the 21st Century that. Right opposiote the Mcdolnalds that already exists (!) you’ve also got a swanky rooftop bar called Bar Elba. Check that out during Happy hour.
Two great pubs – the Crown and Cushion and the Walrus that doubles up as a hostel, are brilliant, not far from the horse and stables and a short walk to Kennington that has a host of lovely restaurants, cafes and bars. Less so my cup of tea, but if you’re into roof terraces, posh beers to take a punt on, and over priced food – the Tankard is a great pub! Check that one out for sure.
Elephant and castle was once a hot bed, it’s now more of a warm matress, but is always weeks away from a massive investment and overhaul. The university there is a fantastic one and offers up great shows from time to time and keeps the area lively with an injection of student culture and Wetherspoons pub nearby probably has a lot to thank them for. If you’re visiting London, this is real South London – probably not for much longer, but I’ll be honest – you can’t spend a day here. You’ll find cheaper accommodation here and a great couple of pubs and lovely walk (did I mention the Imperial War Museum?).
Oxford Circus, Regent’s Park and Baker Street.
All served by other lines, but the Bakerloo doesn’t give me much opportunity to wax lyrical about it.
These stations are all quite close together, offer up a host of brilliant London things and will not be such a squeeze if you travel to them on the brown line we all know and love. The Bakerloo is one of the quieter lines and you’re far less likely to be engulfed by an armpit or face stroked by a newspaper while travelling on it.
Make sure you get off at these stops and check out Madame Tussauds, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, all of the parks and as many of the sights as you can wrap your eyes round.
And the rest..
This line goes right down to Kenton and Harrow & Wealdstone, these places aren’t really London at all. Again, cheap accommodation for the traveller and easy access to central London. But on the way from the big smoke to the small steam of South Kenton and places beyond Wembley you hit great spots like Kilburn and Maida Vale.
It really depends what you’re after form your visit to London, but there are some lovely bars in Kilburn and places to eat tend to appear where you least expect them.
NB I was going to add a photo of Kilburn, but all google returns is crime scenes and a primark. You’ve been warned.