The Central Line, the red line on London Underground maps, runs across central London.
The line starts from Epping in the north-east and terminates at a) Ealing Broadway in the west and b) West Ruislip in the north-west. The Central line covers a distance of 74km (46 miles) and serves 49 tube stations.
Listed below are some of the 49 tube stations that most tourists are likely to use when they visit London.
Stratford station is the stop where the Olympic Village (London Olympics 2012) is located. You need to change here for the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and stop at Pudding Mill Lane (1 stop from Stratford station) where the Olympic Stadium is located.
Liverpool Street station is one of the main railway stations in London. This is the station where visitors take the train to Stanstead Airport.
Other attractions near Liverpool Street station include the Gherkin Building, Toynbee Hall and the Whitechapel Art Gallery.
Bank station is close to several tourist attractions including Mansion House (the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London), the Bank of England, The Royal Exchange, Leadenhall Market and the Lloyd’s Building.
Lloyds Building is the home of the insurance institution, Lloyds of London, the world’s leading insurance market.
St Paul’s station is a short walk to St Paul’s Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in the world after St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.
Other tourist attractions near St Paul’s station include the Museum of London, Millennium Pedestrian Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern. From the Tate Modern you can take a relaxing walk along the river bank and enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds of London.
Near Chancery Lane station are the Inns of Court, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Yeomanry Museum and the London Silver Vaults (the home to the world’s largest retail collection of fine antique silver).
Stop at Holborn station for Lincoln’s Inn, the British Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum, The Hunterian Museum, the London School of Economics and the Royal College of Surgeons.
During the year Law students are required to dine “in Hall” of Lincoln’s Inn a certain number of times before they qualify to be “called to the Bar”.
You get off at Tottenham Court Road station if you are visiting the British Museum, the Dominion Theatre and the Central YMCA. Most of the West End theatres and London Chinatown are located in the south of Tottenham Court Road station.
Tottenham Court Road shops are renowned for the sale of electrical goods like televisions and computers.
Oxford Circus station is the centre of the busiest shopping district in London. This is where Oxford Street (running in east-west direction) meets Regent Street (running in north-south direction). Both Oxford Street and Regent Street are very busy shopping streets and that is why most people prefer to stop at Oxford Circus when they come to the West End to shop.
Bond Street station is one stop west of Oxford Street station. Shops in Bond Street stock elegant and expensive designer clothes and accessories. Celebrities from all over the world are often seen shopping in Bond Street.
New Bond Street and South Moulton Street, both streets renowned for elegant and expensive jewellery and watches, are only a short distance away from Bond Street station.
Selfridges Department Store is just a couple of minutes walk from the station.
Marble Arch station is located at the west end of Oxford Street. Opposite Marble Arch station is Park Lane, famous for its 5 star hotels such as the Dorchester Hotel, InterContinental Hotel and Hilton Park Lane. If you walk halfway down Park Lane, you will see the Animal in War Memorial. This memorial is to commemorate the contributions made by animals that serve alongside troops during the war.
Hyde Park is located to the west of Marble Arch station and the Speakers Corner is only less than 5 minutes walk away.
Lancaster Gate station is where you get off if you are visiting the Hyde Park Italian Gardens, the Serpentine, Diana, Princess of Wales Fountain and the Bayswater Road Artists Gallery.
Queensway station is the stop if you are visiting Kensington Palace. You can also start your “Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Walk” from Kensington Gardens across the station. This is a 7 mile walk across 4 Royal Parks, 3 Royal Palaces and several popular London landmarks. You just follow the Diana Memorial Walk plaques that are embedded along the route.
Fashionable Notting Hill Gate is renowned for the Notting Hill Gate Carnival. This event is held here annually during the August Bank Holiday and is organised by the Caribbean community. This is a very popular event and each year hundreds of thousands of people converge here to join in the celebrations.
Portobello Road Market is also internationally known and is busiest on Saturdays.
Holland Park is a lovely park with its famous Orangery, Kyoto Garden and open air theatre.
Holland House, originally known as Cope Castle, is now a ruin, having been destroyed by bombs during World War II.
Next to Shepherd’s Bush station is the Westfield Shopping Centre with more than 300 shops under one roof and is currently the largest urban shopping complex in Europe.
White City station. Here you can visit the BBC Television Centre and join its tours. Nearby is Loftus Road Stadium, home of Queens Park Rangers Football Club and the London Wasps Rugby Club.
Apart from Stratford station (zone 3) and Holland Park, Shepherd’s Bush and White City stations (zone 2), all the other Central line stations listed above are in zone 1. So if you are not planning to visit these stations, you only need to buy a 1-day Travelcard for zone 1. That will give you unlimited travel for a day in zone 1 by bus as well as by tube.