Blame the plague for making your commute longer between Knightsbridge and South Kensington, where the tube is forced to bypass an ancient burial pit. Go from St James’s Park to Westminster and you’re not so lucky – there are bodies on either side of you. On the Central line, look out between Holborn and Tottenham Court Road for the (haunted) British Museum station. Or better yet, don’t.
Death and decapitation are rife on the underground – perhaps proof that its construction aroused the devil (a Victorian preacher’s theory). But new life flourishes too. Jerry Springer claims it’s where he was born. There are species of mosquito and mouse unique to the Underground. And, in 1927, Tabitha Ursula Beatrice Eugene (aka Miss T.U.B.E) was born at Piccadilly Circus.
After 149 years in action, the tube has spawned thousands of surprising facts, many of which you’ll learn on one of tour company Insider London’s fascinating journeys through the Underground. Tours run for two hours and end at London’s deepest station. You’ll have to go to find out which one that is. Or just Google it. Kate Enright
To learn more about the tour, or to book tickets, head to insider-london.co.uk.