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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How well do Londoners know tourist Tube Stops?

Readers of this blog probably pride themselves in knowing where the nearest London Underground stations are to major tourists attractions. However, apparently other Londoners aren't so Tube savvy.

Holmes06 by Scott Monty
Photo by Scott Monty from The Baker Street Blog

Over the Bank Holiday weekend Dave Hill from The Guardian's London blog said "The creator of the Tube Map app has put three searching questions to 2,628 frequent users of the London Underground. What is the nearest station to noted London landmarks Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Madame Tussauds? The answers were intriguing."

Almost half didn't know that Tower Hill was the closest stop to the Tower of London, despite there being a pretty obvious clue in the station's name. 56% knew that Baker Street was the closet to Tussauds, although 14% thought Piccadilly Circus was closest.

Buckingham Palace was also puzzling to some. 15% thought High Street Kensington was the nearest Tube stop.

Many will say that surveys like this are just designed to be publicity seeking, and yes of course they are. Not much point in a commercial organisation doing them otherwise. But over 2,600 commuters isn't a bad sample size and certainly shows that most Londoners don't really visit popular tourist attractions (especially not as adults). I think I was 12 last time I went to Madame Tussauds. I've never been inside Buckingham Palace, nor had a desire to really and of the three it's probably the most likely one for people not to know the very nearest stop, as there's a lot of Tube stops that serve it very well (not High Street Kensington though).

Similarly with The Tower of London, I was probably only nine the last time I went inside the grounds.

What are your thoughts on the survey & the results? Are there any other tourist attractions where Londoners might have trouble naming the nearest Tube Station? For example London Zoo, Big Ben, Downing Street.


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