Stretching all the way from Brixton to Walthamstow, the Victoria line is supposedly the one we use the most based on average number of journeys per mile. Here we take you on a cultural (and slightly tipsy) journey along the pale blue line, stopping at every single station within zones 1 and 2. We’d take you further out, but there’s not a lot to do in Tottenham Hale or Walthamstow. Apart from an IKEA, actually. So if ever you need a new shelf or some meatballs…
(We’re only kidding about that last point… Walthamstow is actually pretty cool. Read number 13.)
1. Finsbury Park
Rowan’s Tenpin Bowl
If you’re not an Arsenal fan, you might not see any reason to visit Finsbury Park. But there’s more to N4 than drunken footy fans, let us tell you. Rowan’s Bowl is the place of dreams — try your hand at bowling, order pizza directly to your lane, and do your very best Beyonce impression in your very own karaoke booth. What more could you possibly want from an evening?
10 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2DF
2. Highbury and Islington
Set up by two sisters after discovering a mutual love of roast chicken, LeCoq is the friendly neighbourhood rotisserie restaurant with a simple, delicious and relatively affordable menu. On Sundays, their chicken is joined on the spit by wild salmon, crispy pork belly and delicious lamb shoulder. Not to mention their raved about rotisserie potatoes — cooked in the dripping juices and fat of the chickens. Mmmm! They also deliver if you’re feeling particularly lazy, but that wouldn’t be in the spirit of Victoria line adventuring now, would it?
292-294 St Paul’s Road, N1 2LH
3. Kings Cross St Pancras
The obvious advice to give you at this point would be to visit Platform 9 ¾, but if you’ve ever heard of Harry Potter—which of course you have—then you will already know this or have done it. Instead, why not test your friendship by voluntarily locking yourself in a room with your mates for an hour? No really… you can actually pay to do that. It’s a lot more fun than it seems and it doesn’t always end up all Lord of the Fliesy – just put your heads together to solve puzzles and mysteries in order to escape within the hour. Easy.
72-76 Eversholt St, London NW1 1BY
Unlike your typical boozer, the Euston Tap is actually an old station lodge building, making it a very unique spot for a tipple. Despite its slightly cramped interior, The Tap boasts a huge selection of the finest quality beers from around the world (so if you’re a Fosters kind of guy/gal, then you might be disappointed). If beer is not your thing, pop over the road (quite literally) to London’s only dedicated Cider bar, The Cider Tap.
190 Euston Rd, London NW1 2EF
5. Warren Street
Steak and Lobster
Steak or lobster. Lobster or steak. A tricky and ridiculously middle class decision. Their menu couldn’t be more basic but they insist it boosts the quality of their food; simply choose between meat or fish (or the veggie option if you’re dragged there by your carnivorous friends) and get stuck in.
6-7 Warren St, Nr Fitzrovia, London W1T 5LB
6. Oxford Circus
The Photographer’s Gallery
Whatever you do, don’t go shopping. Especially not to Topshop and especially not on a Saturday (but, of course you know this). Instead, step away from the crowds and head to the Photographer’s Gallery, the largest gallery in London dedicated entirely to photography – guaranteed to be much more culturally fulfilling than the sweaty human dodgeball court that is Oxford Street.
The Photographers’ Gallery, 16 – 18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW
7. Green Park
The Royal Academy
Go and see the Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy. It’s the world’s largest open submission art show, and there’s everything from architectural sculptures to Monet style watercolour paintings. Harry Hill has submitted his own artwork a few times, and this year it’s a portrait of David Beckham as ‘an icon of Britishness’. If that’s not enough of a reason to go then we don’t know what is! (See more art exhibitions in London.)
Oh and once you’ve done that, see if the Queen’s available for cup of tea. She’s just across the park…
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
Go on a day trip!
Sometimes the hustle and bustle of London life can get a bit too much and you find yourself needing a little trip away to forget about it all. Pack your bags and get on a coach from Victoria coach station…. Fancy a trip to Oxford perhaps? Brighton? Sunderland? (No, us neither).
164 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 9TP
The Tate Britain
There are a lot of opportunities to be artsy and cultured along the Victoria line, and the Tate Britain is a fantastic example. The museum hosts a whole range of exhibitions, including a bunch of free collections for us broke young Londoners to see (including Duchamp’s famous “Fountain”. It’s a urinal, mate. Let’s not glorify it…)
Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG
Vauxhall Street Food Garden
Just a stone’s throw away from the station, Vauxhall Street Food Garden is a great location for a spot of summer lunching (or dinnering). Plus it’s happy hour between 5-7pm, so er…. see you there?
6A S Lambeth Pl, London SW8 1SP
Try some Portuguese food
Often referred to as Little Portugal because of its huge Portuguese population, where better to try out some authentic Portuguese cuisine?
O Cantinho de Portugal – 137 Stockwell Rd, London SW9 9TN
A Toca Restaurant – 343 Wandsworth Rd, London SW8 2JH
Prince of Wales
“…rock down to Electric Avenue”. Actually don’t. Unless you want to visit a butcher or a fish monger, and we’re pretty sure you don’t. Instead, rock down to Brixton Road and head to the Prince of Wales, or POW as they like to call themselves. If you’re after a roof terrace (and let’s face it, everyone is) then POW is your place.
467- 469 Brixton Rd, London SW9 8HH
Inside an old tube carriage, Basement Galley are cooking up a hybrid of classic French brasserie and Skandinavian flavours by Chef Alex Cooper. Alex initially started out this venture with his flatmate, Tom Fothergill – they used to serve up dinners to people in their own Brixton flat. Now they’ve taken things underground… to a 1969 London Underground carriage in Walthamstow, to be precise. All diners receive a cocktail on arrival, before indulging in the food. The basic price is £45, but spaces book up well in advance. Check for availability here.