Have you ever wondered just how confusing London appears? Nothing functions as it should or is where you think it is.
For instance, despite its name, the Circle Line is not exactly circular. Queensway Station is in Bayswater while Bayswater Station is to be found in, you guessed it, Queensway. Harrods isn’t in Knightsbridge and the immoveable Greenwich Meridian Line has well moved.
How about Green Lanes, which isn’t named after a green lane and is only spoken of in the plural, even though it’s just one very long road.
There are two Finsburys which are in different places, with very different house prices.
Take the Thames, which meanders so much that in places the North side is further South than the South side.
For The Knowledge boy, there are the hospitals that need to be found which aren’t where they’re supposed to be. Hammersmith’s is in White City, Charing Cross’s is in Hammersmith and the Chelsea is nowhere near – you get the idea.
Let’s get off the road and go Underground. To go south into the West End from King’s Cross you have to go north to Euston, except that Euston is actually West. Blackfriars is the only station that’s on both sides of the river. Oh, and its trains are only half the length of the station platform so you could miss it even when you’re on time to catch it because you’re at the wrong end.
Try Baker Street underground instead; to exit the station you have to go down to another platform going in a different direction, then back up and along yet another tunnel – and it’s really badly signposted, so you’ll probably end up somewhere else. Mind you I was once called a crook by a customer asking for Baker Street when she wanted the Sherlock Holmes Hotel and I dropped her off outside the station.
Until not long ago, a cab could drive right onto the platform at Paddington station, but now there’s no parking anywhere and they’ve separated rail and tube lines so that connections are a nightmare.
Some tube stations are so close together that it’s faster to walk. Others, like the one in Westminster, are ten minutes from the next station.
Tourists get very confused by London; apparently, the most common mistakes are not standing on the right on escalators, mixing London Bridge with Tower Bridge and the Museum of London with the British Museum, and err… public drinking in the street.
The national dish is curry, in London we have things like pop-up urinals and Belisha beacons denote pedestrian crossings.
No Londoner has ever eaten in an Angus Steak House or been to The Mousetrap.
Streets that continue across their ends and the house numbers that alternate except when new buildings have changed the numbering systems or numbers which run sequentially or alternately.
So come to London and – in the nicest possible way – get lost.