London is one of the largest cities in Europe and to accommodate the commuters, locals and visitors such as those from the Montcalm Royal London City, it has amassed a great many train stations. These serve some of the busiest parts of the city as well as areas that are less central, but key to reaching vital areas.
Many of these train stations have specific remits when it comes to which parts of the country - or world - that they serve. Guests of hotel packages in London visiting for the first time will find their journeys more efficient with this rundown of the city’s most useful, historic and important stations.
London Victoria, the namesake of Queen Victoria, was opened in 1860 to provide a railway service between London and Brighton. This historic South Downs line still runs today, although it has been somewhat modernised since the days of coal power. Located in the Belgravia area of Westminster, London Victoria station also serves a range of south and southeastern services, including the Gatwick Express to European air travel hub Gatwick Airport. Tube lines that serve Victoria Station include the titular Victoria Line and the District and Circle Lines. Victoria Coach Station is just a five minute walk from the station and provides coach and bus services to many parts of England and Great Britain.
The recently renovated Kings Cross is a regular connection for many tube lines including the Victoria, Northern, Piccadilly, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, providing easy access to many parts of London. Furthermore, Kings Cross has national rail lines to Edinburgh, Peterborough, Leeds, Newcastle, Durham and a range of other towns and cities in the northeast of England.
Even if you’re not planning on using one of the train services at Kings Cross, guests of the spa hotels in London who are Harry Potter fans may want to check out the wall submerged trolley sculpture here. This landmark was built in memory of the Harry Potter books, which feature a magic Platform 9 and ¾ from which the Hogwarts Express travels to the famous wizarding school of the same name. You can find this landmark, naturally, at the wall between platforms 9 and 10. The recently redesigned Coal Drops Yard lies behind Kings Cross and offers a variety of high end shopping options too.
St Pancras International
Home to the Eurostar, St Pancras International is the well travelled sister station to Kings Cross but was originally the terminal for Midlands railway lines back in the late 19th century. Named after the historic St Pancras Church nearby, this station is separated from Kings Cross by Pancras Road and serves Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels and Lille. National trains running from this station include Thameslink services to Bedford via Brighton and Luton Airport. St Pancras also operates trains to Kentish destinations too.
Often mistaken for Tower Bridge, the namesake for this Central London commuter station is actually not much to look at, but provides a vital river crossing and is in fact home to the oldest station in London. London Bridge was opened in the 1830s and connects southeast London, Kent and Sussex to the city centre and provides connections to Waterloo, Charing Cross and a range of other stations. No wonder it brings in more than 50 million travellers a year!
London Bridge Underground has a confusing amount of entrances and exits, but is a vital tube transport hub on the Northern and Jubilee Lines. In 2017, London Bridge underwent a makeover and it is now an incredibly sleek, shop and bar adorned station in the heart of Southwark.
Made famous by Paddington Bear, Paddington Station is one of the best known in London. Located close to Little Venice and Hyde park, Paddington Station is the main transport terminus for West London and connects visitors to western cities and towns such as Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Oxford. Furthermore, the Heathrow Express train runs between the northwestern airport to Paddington Station every 15 minutes.
Fans of Paddington Bear will find a bronze statue close to Platform one, as well as a shop in the station dedicated to Michael Bond’s famous creation. Paddington Station is also one of the oldest in London, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunell in 1854, the same architect who designed the Thames Tunnel and the famous Great Eastern steam ship.
Waterloo Station is the busiest station in London thanks to its location right on the southern banks of the River Thames and close to Bank, Southwark and Westminster, all key business areas in London. With 24 platforms, it’s the largest in London and provides routes out of the city and into Surrey, Hampshire, Exeter, Southampton and Portsmouth. Waterloo Station is on the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City Line. The latter is a single stop tube line that connects commuters from Waterloo to the business hub at Bank.
London Euston is situated in the borough of Camden and close to the British Library and Regent’s Park Euston Station also provides routes to Scotland via the Caledonian Sleeper train and to Birmingham via Virgin branded routes. Euston Station is connected on the Underground via the Northern and the Victoria Lines.
Trafalgar Square’s closest station, Charing Cross, is actually the point from which all distance to London is measured. Its centrality sees it within walking distance of Covent Garden, the West End and Piccadilly. Southeastern Trains from Charing Cross travel to Kentish destinations like Ashford, Folkestone and Dover, making it a great connection into the city for those travelling into the city by ferry.
Liverpool Street operates Greater Anglia Services to Suffolk, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex, capitalising on the East London station’s location in the financial district of the City of London. With Central and Circle Line Underground stations travelling through it, the surrounding area is teeming with nightlife in Shoreditch, cultural attractions and Finsbury Square restaurants. It's unsurprising then, that Liverpool Street Station sees more than 60 million passengers a year and is one of the busiest stations in the city.