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A Student's Best London Tube Stops...


Stephanie W. is a twenty-something New Zealander who's lived in London for five years. As a postgrad student and poverty-stricken traveller she happily has discovered some of the moderately priced treasures that this wonderful city offers. Here are some of Stephanie's favorites all accessible via London's underground system.


Whitechapel or Aldgate (Hammersmith and City line)...

Not only has the Whitechapel/Aldgate area got a rich and interesting history, it's walking distance to some of the best eateries, markets and galleries in east London. It's now mainly a Bengali neighbourhood but it used to be a Jewish neighbourhood. In fact, if you fancy a Jewish snack, the Brick Lane Beigal Bakery (159 Brick Lane) is open 24 hours for a bagel and cream cheese treat. Fancy an Indian curry? This area of London is the place to be. I haven't found a bad curry house there yet, but I'd like to recommend three restaurants in particular -- The Clifton, one of the first in the area to offer Indian and Bangladeshi food ( City Spice (138 Brick Lane) and Cafe Naz (46-48 Brick Lane).

In terms of shopping, you can still find a bargain in Petticoat Lane (the original home of the rag trade) and the other east London markets ( Be aware that these market merchants will try to entice you with all sorts of offers and deals to get you through the door. This is part of the charm so buyer beware. P.S. If you want something badly don't be afraid to haggle with the owners. You might get yourself 'a deal'.

In the evenings, there is a brilliant Jack the Ripper tourist walk which takes people in and out of the twisting lanes with re-enacted stories of murder. You can also do a Charles Dickens literary walk during the day.

Aldgate is just a five minute walk from Tower Hill and the Tower of London and a beautiful walk along the Thames back to central London (about 30min).


Camden Town (Northern Line)...

Camden is one of the most vibrant and exciting parts of London -- will give you listings of everything you need to know about the area. There's always a gig playing if you're into music (check out Timeout magazine, or for listings) Bear in mind it's mostly new rock music, although there are some excellent jazz clubs too.

There are also really great comedy clubs. If you're travelling alone you may be asked to share a table since they get pretty busy, but you can usually ask to be seated with women or near the bar and it's a fun way to enjoy an evening. Watch out for improv nights - the audience participation is great fun. I like to go to Etcetera Theatre (for fringe comedy) as well as Laughing Horse.

In terms of shopping, Camden Markets are legendary and perfect for people watching (and the source of a very cheap and yummy meal during the day). The pubs overlooking the canal are always humming with activity, and the local community is diverse and artistic. If you fancy a nice meal and a relaxing drink, try the Crown & Goose on 100 Arlington Road, the Camden Tup at 2-3 Greenland Place or the Lockside Lounge at 84-87 West Yard Camden Lock Place.


Richmond (District Line)...

This station is in west London, and takes you outside of the busy city to a gentler and slower paced lifestyle. Overlooking the River Thames, Richmond is a beautiful spot for a picnic, and a great place to while away the evening in one of the many restaurants or pubs along the river bank. Some pubs even give you your pint of beer in a plastic cup, so you can walk along the riverside drinking it without having to return your glass. Richmond has some excellent shopping, including some interesring boutiques for women's clothing that you won't find in the high street or shopping malls in central London.

A short bus or train ride from Richmond is Kew Gardens (the National Botanic gardens), Twickenham (home of rugby union) and Hampton Court (the home of Britain's best loved Tudor palace), where you can spend entire days without realising you're still in London. Richmond Park was once a royal hunting enclosure and you can still find deer roaming the park today. If you have time to stop off on your way back to central London (and especially if you have children with you) visit the Barnes Wetland Centre and see amazing wildlife up close in the heart of the city - this center does a sterling job of protecting endangered species of birds and mammals, and encouraging them back to this part of the world.


Canary Wharf (Jubilee/DLR Line)...

It may not have the most compelling of London's tourist attractions, but the rich history and amazing views at Canary Wharf make up for it. Off the beaten track, this financial hub houses some of the richest and most powerful companies in the world. Skyscrapers rise up out of what was once the derelict docklands area, and the DLR (docklands light rail) cris-crosses the landscape with views in all directions. Canary Wharf is a safe area to eat out or drink alone at night because it's all owned by a private company, who have their own security guards in the area. Once you get past the rush of 'men in suits' drinking after work, it's a very relaxing and lovely area in the evening. In addition, it's a temporary home to thousands of people who are staying in hotels or serviced accommodation for work in the financial district, so you often find people eating at 'tables for one'. Canary Wharf is also home to the Museum in Docklands, the history of London's people and ports ( which is well worth the effort if you have the time.

From Canary Wharf you can make quick trips to Greenwich for the National Observatory, and to stand astride the Meridian line in an excellent photo opportunity. To go there grab the DLR south to Cutty Sark (about 15 minutes). P.S. Don't miss the Maritime Museum while you're in Greenwich ( - locals have named it the most under-rated museum in all of London. I saw a gripping exhibition about the slave trade but even when there aren't special exhibits, this museum beautifully illustrates the impact of a maritime life in the UK and around the world.


Stations with women's toilets...

This is a brief and essential list of tube stations that provide women's toilets that are generally clean and safe. Please note that these toilets are usually only open during the day. Carry a 20p piece with you to get through the turnstile, or be prepared to ask a member of staff for access. Tube stations with toilets in London include: Westminster (District/Circle/Jubilee), Old Street (Northern), Acton Town (Piccadilly), Canary Wharf (Jubilee/DLR), Heathrow (Piccadilly), Hammersmith (Piccadilly, Hammersmith&City, District), Liverpool St (Central, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Circle), London Bridge (Northern/Jubilee), Victoria (District/Circle/Victoria), Charing Cross (Northern/Bakerloo), Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly), Waterloo (Waterloo & City/Jubilee/Northern/Bakerloo), North Greenwich (Jubilee).


What's near this station...

The TubeGuru online guide ( allows you to locate hotels, theatres, bars, restaurants and sites of interest near any underground station in the London system. You could choose the station (1) nearest to your hotel, (2) where you think you will be at the end of the day, or (3) just pick a spot in in the city you'd like to try. You can also search by how far you want to walk from the station (great for safety at night), and it shows you a small map of the immediate area so you can find your bearings. This tool is absolutely perfect for a Journeywoman's all important "where shall I eat tonight" research.


We love these London podcasts... has a wonderful selection of downloadable maps and podcasts at their website. In this series of entertaining and informative podcasts, presenters Jim Davis, Paul Sylvester and the expert Blue Badge Guides, walk us through some of London's most fascinating villages. The guides will take you from tranquil Kew and historic Dulwich, to star packed Primrose Hill and buzzing Canary Wharf. You'll find idyllic spots, discover hidden history and sample the lifestyle of these amazing areas of London. We also enjoyed the selection listed under,' Live London Like a Local Podcast.' Enjpy the treats, everybody! See:





More tube stop goodies

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GirlTalk London



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