As a continuation in what I’ve now begun casually calling “London Week” for this blog, thought I’d look closer at a couple of places we found interesting when we visited London a few years ago. Today, I’m posting about the tube station for Baker Street. We’ve all heard about Sherlock Holmes’s residence at 221B Baker Street, but there’s a whole world underneath. And this station has a lot of history. First opened in January 1863, the station was almost 25 years old when the first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet was published in 1887. The station has had extensions and renovations completed several times in the early 1900s, and an additional southbound platform and connecting tube tunnels between Baker Street and Finchley Road stations in late-November, 1939. They even had a bomb scare in 1973, but the device was luckily defused in time.
Instead of listing all the trains that come and go out of this station, and sounding like some kind of school tour guide, let me explain why I’m blogging on this station today. This was probably the most complex station we found in London. Maybe it was just us, maybe it was all those different renovations I discussed in the opening paragraph, but this was a station that kept us hopping to simply find which way we really needed to go at all times.
Here are just a few of the notes I made after trying to get back to our flat after one day’s wanderings. I’d scribbled the musings as I rode the return train to my family’s vacation home-away-from-home stop, as I didn’t want to forget my impressions of this station.
Arriving from Jubilee line from Bond Street, then crossing to Hammersmith (line) to return to Ladbroke Grove (where our flat was located). Begin at one end of the station and take the Way Out (exit) to Hammersmith. Take a flight of stairs up after finding must go to Platform 6. At top of those stairs, however, it is Platform 4, and another sign directs us up another flight of stairs to Platform 6–so remember to never believe first instructions 🙂 At the top of these stairs, walk a long hallway that is actually a bridge over both sets of Hammersmith tracks. Find Platform 6 is the Eastbound–and farthest–platform. At the end of this hallway, a set of steps lead down to the Platform 6 area to catch the Eastbound train.
I took some photos from the boarding level on Platform 6, showing some of the upper balcony and different halls. While the iconic sign at above right is full light for a good shot with the Baker Street name, I took the more underground shots with a fast film and no flash, in an effort to give it that late-1890s to early-1920s time frame feel for when contemporary Sherlock fans would have been reading the newly published stories and using the station whose name was made famous by the books.
Tomorrow I’ll post on another London site. Have any memories of traveling in London or England that you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment.