Charing Cross station has a grand frontage with its hotel, Eleanor Cross, and courtyard, but there’s also another entrance that’s far less well known.
As trains pull in, people rush to the front of the platforms to get out, but a clever few stay at the rear because in the mornings, the fire escape at the back of the station is opened up as an additional exit for anyone to use. It’s not that much use if you want to head to Strand or the West End, but for people heading towards the Embankment, it can save a lot of time walking around the station, not to mention the crush at the ticket barriers at the front of the station.
From the platform, it looks like a fire escape, but if you look closely, there’s a small sign telling you that it can be used as an exit during weekday mornings between 7:30am and 9:30am. Oh, and you might notice people more familiar with this exit hurrying up and just decide to follow them.
Over the footbridge to the left, and then there’s a staircase down to the Embankment.
Inside, it looks fairly utilitarian, but the exit at the bottom has a bit of architectural flair to match the rest of the building.
It’s one of those little quirks that most people will never have a need to use, but in a way, that’s why people who are in the area early one morning should make a beeline to have a look at it.
Oh, and you get very good views from the footbridge of the railway tracks leading to the station.