Next month, people will be able to see parts of Baker Street station that have rarely been seen before, as the station joins the Hidden London series of tours run by the London Transport Museum.

Baker Street is famous as much for a fictional detective as it is for being one of the stations that opened along the world’s first underground railway, but it has expanded haphazardly ever since and there’s a surprising amount of hidden spaces to see in the station.

It’s also a station with spaces with strange names such as Riffle Range, the Cathedral and Bakers Corridor, all of which will be explained on the tour.

While most of the other Hidden London tours tend to take in one large section that was sealed off when stations were rebuilt, Baker Street is more a cluster of spaces that involve unlocking a lot of doors that you had no idea concealed such spaces.

One locked door takes you into a very dank musty space, and you won’t be too surprised to learn it’s the former men’s toilets, and you might get to hear about how the toilets were emptied. Maybe visit on an empty stomach. Another reveals a disused footbridge over the original Met line platforms, and look carefully and you might spy the small gap in the wall where you can see the trains arriving beneath your feet

Off to the “Cathedral”, a vast empty space that seems just too large to exist in a tube station, and was created as part of the rebuilding of the station in 1911-13, which supports the Chiltern Court block of flats above the station. Poking through a concrete shield are mysterious outcrops of white brickwork in the grey gloom not unlike Roman ruins – a legacy from the original station. Snaking around vast arrays of cables for the power and signalling feed the Metropolitan line, and throughout the tour, the sound of the underground trains rumbling past and the occasional tannoy message echoing through the dark corridors.

More locked doors leading off public corridors where passengers hurry past are unlocked revealing more hidden spaces.

You’ll get to see the Bakerloo line platform’s original lift shafts, and you’ll just about be able to see under the cables and grime the richly decorated doorway frames. The lifts were taken out of use when escalators replaced them in 1936, but the lifts weren’t removed. That unexpectedly turned out to be very useful when there was a huge parade in London to mark the end of WWII, and the lifts helped with congestion in the station. In use for just one day, they were then finally removed.

Today, as elsewhere, the old lift shafts are used to suck cool air down into the station platforms, and you’ll see a strange looking round door in the middle of the old corridor, which you’ll learn more about. And yes, there are some old posters down here from just before the lifts closed to the public originally.

A mysterious dark metal door will be opened, and time it right and you’ll peer into the Jubilee line platforms below, where passengers are unaware they’re being watched from the other side of the metal grills. That’s much of the fun of the tours, to pass through the locked doors into spaces rarely seen and to occasionally peer out at the unsuspecting public on the other side in the bright corridors as you hide in the darkness.

Of all the tours run by the LT Museum now, this is the newest addition, and also thanks to the layout of the station, it’s the most varied tour, ranging from staff areas still in active use to disused tunnels hardly ever used.

The Hidden London tours of Baker Street station start next month, and tickets are now on sale from here.

Tickets cost £44 per person – concessions are £39

There’s a minimum age of 14 on these tours.

An additional note – tours of Down Street will not be possible from the end of this September for a couple of years due to works being carried out in the station by TfL — so if you haven’t been yet, you have just a few weeks to go.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with: , ,

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

One comment
  1. JP says:

    Great photos, especially of the evocative old bridge stretching off into the distance. Oh! and of the engaging Siddy too.

    I was trying to think what would be the equivalent of the
    “huge parade in London to mark the end of WWII”
    ~ VE day in fact ~
    to make TfL dust off retired equipment.

    Obviously the miles-long queues for to file past Her Majesty the Queen’s catafalque as well as the occasion of Her son and heir’s Coronation come to mind. I don’t think anything was rejigged though. Anybody know?

    Apart from health and safety concerns and fixations, it most probably wouldn’t have been allowed in our present-day rather greyly governed atmosphere.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Home >> News >> London Ticket Alert