London Transport Museum awarded ‘Best Hidden Gem in the World’

London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum’s exclusive Hidden London Tours of disused Underground stations and secret subterranean spaces in the capital have been named ‘Best Hidden Gem in the World’ at the Tiqets Remarkable Venue Awards 2022. The Best Hidden Gem category highlights the best lesser-known and more niche attractions to travellers worldwide. Hidden London had previously been named Best Hidden Gem in the UK in October 2022, following a review of its entry by a panel of industry experts.

Hidden London was made Global Winner by public vote, beating the eight other regional winners from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the UAE, and the US. It is the only UK attraction among the seven global winners of the different categories named yesterday.

Introduced in 2015, Hidden London is a popular series of tours run by London Transport Museum that grant ticketholders exclusive access to fascinating secret locations across the capital’s Underground network that are usually off limits to the public.

Written by historical experts from London Transport Museum, the tours feature exclusive content drawn from the Museum’s extensive archive and collection. They are a unique opportunity for Londoners and visitors alike to discover little known historical facts about the capital, its history and its transport network.

Visitors can explore a world of disused stations and secret sites, including Down Street station’s warren of narrow tunnels where Winston Churchill was covertly sheltered during the Blitz, west London’s Shepherd’s Bush station and its original Central line design features, and disused Aldwych station, which provided shelter to Londoners during the Blitz and is used for film and TV shoots today.

There is also a series of 90-minute live stream virtual tours hosted on Zoom, to welcome visitors who are unable to visit in person, and to explore stations that are otherwise inaccessible to the public. These include a behind-the-scenes look at the Liverpool Street and Tottenham Court Road stations on the newly opened Elizabeth line. Also available is a two-hour overground walking tour to discover the history of the area around Covent Garden, Kingsway, and Victoria Embankment.

The success of Hidden London also led to the creation of a regular video series hosted on YouTube in 2020, the Hidden London Hangouts, in which London Transport Museum team members Chris Nix, Siddy Holloway and Laura Brown are joined by broadcaster and self-confessed Tube geek Alex Grundon to explore various parts of the London transport system. Episodes are free and released weekly on the Museum’s YouTube channel.

Talking about being named Best Hidden Gem in the World, Sam Mullins OBE, London Transport Museum’s Director said, “We are so proud to see Hidden London named Best Hidden Gem in the World. Winning by public vote is a testament to just how well our unique tours behind London’s familiar facade have been received by visitors; and this is recognition of the team’s original research, authentic content, inspired storytelling, passion, dedication and hard work.

“Hidden London forms an integral part of London Transport Museum’s mission to engage the public with the fascinating story of London, its transport network and how its growth has shaped life here. Being able to take guests out into the city – both in person and virtually – to show them its hidden history first hand is a unique opportunity. I am really looking forward to see Hidden London grow, to see more stories brought to light and to welcome even more visitors in the future.”

Alex Williams, TfL’s Interim Chief Customer and Strategy Officer also said, “We are delighted to see London Transport Museum’s Hidden London tours recognised as a global hidden gem in a public vote. These tours give people the opportunity to learn about the hidden history of our transport network and see how these disused stations were used by Londoners in years gone by. This award is testament to the great work our colleagues at London Transport Museum do every day to remind us all of how transport has been an integral part of London’s past and continues to shape its future.”

Tickets for tours taking place up until the end of December 2022 are currently on sale. These include tours at Shepherd’s Bush, Euston and Aldwych stations.

Tickets for tours starting in 2023 will be released in the coming months. Visitors can sign up to London Transport Museum’s newsletter to get early booking access when tickets are released.