London is full of abandoned tube stations and I recently found some old photos from the time I got to go and explore one. The disused tube station at Aldwych in London was a potential event venue for a client I was working with, and going underground to see it was such a fun, yet eerie experience. This abandoned tube station went out of commission back in the 1990s and was even used by the British Museum during the Second World War to store precious artefacts. The idea of mummies being down there, all silent and quiet seriously gave me the creeps. Anyway. Come and have a look around! Apologies for less than great image quality but these were taken on an ancient iPhone when the camera was a lot less high tech than it is now!
It closed in 1994 and seemed so dated, it had some lovely features though and really felt quite spooky and very special to get to see it. Abandoned tube stations are like frozen moments in time, and exploring them is like travelling back and wandering around a memory.
We had to be let in by a member of staff who unlocked these huge gates, in front of quite a few curious passers-by and tourists. It felt very special and exclusive, although I was also a bit apprehensive!
Then came the exciting bit…the descent down the (many) stairs to see the platforms and tunnels. One of the platforms shut in 1994 when the main station closed but platform 2 was closed in 1917 and is seriously eerie. Both are used in films but platform 2 was also used by the British Museum to store their artefacts during World War II to keep them safe.
There were lots of secret tunnels and staircases which we wandered around, luckily with a guide as I didn’t fancy getting lost. We had been considering holding a dinner on the larger platform, all by candlelight and I can imagine it would have been incredibly atmospheric. London has so many hidden gems like this, it's a shame more people don't get to see them.
I really wanted to go down the tunnel itself but wasn’t allowed, although to be honest I probably would have been scared as soon as it got dark in case I came across a train (or a ghost).
The only downside to this abandoned tube station was having to climb back up the stairs as the lift is no longer operational but it was worth it. And that is the reason why we couldn't hold the event there as well as capacity issues; exit routes. You need to have fire exits and it just would not have been possible.
So it never worked out as our venue but it was so cool to get to explore one of London's abandoned tube stations. Definitely a major job perk! Want to see more? Check out TFL's list of disused tube stations.