Walking the Tube is easier with TfL’s handy maps.
There’s never been a better time to walk in London, for two reasons. One, January is around the corner, which means you’re possibly planning another health kick (unless 2020 has finally killed off that futile desire). And two, Tier 4 means we’re being asked to avoid using public transport and walk or cycle wherever possible, meaning that it’s high time to get those pins pumping and walk the streets of London. And for just such a purpose, TfL have a set of London Underground maps showing just how many steps and how many minutes it takes to walk between each station.
Nifty, isn’t it? The maps were designed to encourage you to skip the needless Tube journeys, reduce overcrowded trains (perhaps less of an issue these days), and encourage Londoners to be more active and healthy. Naturally, it’ll also help you save money, especially vital given the bus and Tube fare rises that are coming in the spring. So, which journeys are ripe for tackling on two feet?
Prime candidates for walking include Leicester Square to Covent Garden; at a mere 400 steps, it’s officially the most pointless Tube journey in London. Anyone’s who’s hopped on the stuffy Central line will know it’s best avoided, so Marble Arch-Bond Street (7 minutes/700 steps), Bond Street-Oxford Circus (7/700), Tottenham Court Road-Holborn (10/1000), Holborn-Chancery Lane (8/800), and St Pauls-Bank (9/900) are all routes to consider. Scenic routes such as Waterloo-Embankment (6/600), or past the shops from Hyde Park Corner to Knightsbridge (7/700), are also good options in Central London.
Of course, the reverse is also true, as the maps reveal which Tube journeys you’re better off not walking. For instance, despite being next to one another on the Tube map, it’ll take you some 89 minutes and 8900 steps to get from Canada Water to Canary Wharf, owing to the lack of river crossings around that part of town. (This also explains the Herculean 104 minutes and 10,400 steps between North Greenwich and Canning Town.) There are also, of course, often better routes than following the Tube line; rather than spending 31 minutes and over 3000 steps following it from Camden Town to Kings Cross, one could instead follow the Regent’s Canal towpath from Camden Market down to Granary Square for a prettier and likely quicker route.
Still, the maps are helpful for a healthier, richer, and hopefully happier you, so do check out the step count map here, and the walking times map here. Alternatively, we’ve rounded up eight journeys you’re much better off making by foot, which you can see here!