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Oxford Circus Underground Station
You may be wondering why I have chosen to review an underground station and in particular Oxford Circus Underground Station, well have now read quite a few travel related reviews it seems to me that Dooyoo is significantly lacking on basic information and tips with regard to many places. I have therefore decided to start with s guide to my favourite city of the all, London (said in a Michael McIntyre accent, if you don't get the joke move on!)
In my opinion the only way to travel around London at a decent speed is on the London Underground, it is generally reliable, efficient and although cramped it will get you from A to B. Buses within the city are frequent but often don't seem to run to any timescale at all due to the ever increasing traffic jams which I don't believe have been cured by the congestion charge. Using a bus can also be a disorientating experience for anyone not used to regular travel in the city as unlike in may cities in the UK it can be compulsory to pay in a machine at the bus stop. Cycling has become more common over the last few years but remains a pursuit only for the brave, personally I find the prospect of sharing my route with large, angry London buses a bit intimidating. Cars are becoming evermore expensive and when you factor in the parking costs which although the can vary enormously, over a year it will undoubtedly come to several hundred pounds for a regular commute. The congestion charge will is unavoidable for the vast majority and will eat money every time that you turn the engine on within central London. This leaves you with very few options, walking can be done if you live very close to your destination but for the vast majority of us it is the London underground.
Oxford Circus station lies at the heart of the city of London and is ideally located for many of the attractions such as the London Palladium which is only a short walk from the exit to the station. For those visiting London who are unfamiliar with its road network the underground represents an idea way to get to the Palladium as parking spaces are few and far between around the area. I would suggest leaving the car outside of central London in a secure car park and then riding in on the underground. Due to the fact that Oxford Circus Underground station is served by three separate lines, the Central line (red on all underground maps), the Bakerloo line (brown on all underground maps) and the Victoria line (light blue on all underground maps), this means that many journeys in from the outskirts of London do not require you to change trains, on the odd occasion that this is necessary then it will always be a maximum of one change of lines required. As the name of the station would suggest is in a central location for access to all of the lavish Oxford Street shops such as the flagships stores for large chain retailers such as Debenhams, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Selfridges. A seasonal attraction that is worth a mention is the turning on of the Oxford Street lights at Christmas time, previous stars to do the honours have included Richard Branson, The Sugababes, Westlife and Cliff Richard.
You may have began to think that I have forgotten about the actual station itself but I can assure you I haven't! The station features are typical of those for most of the stations on the London Underground network with a ticket hall, several cash machines, ticket gates, payphones and a help point which can be useful for additional travel advice and route planning. Staff are easy to find and there are usually plenty of them particularly at the busiest times although when delays are in operation of indeed that dreaded scenario of a line being closed totally the help points become swamped very quickly. Naturally with the city centre location, a car park is not linked to the station. A surprising facility that is not accessible at the station is toilets, this is worth baring in mind for parents travelling with children. The ticket office operates typical London Underground hours of 7:30 - midnight on weekdays and 8:30 - midnight on Saturday. Although reduced services operate on all London underground lines at the weekend the ticket office is operational on a Sunday from 9:30 - 23:15, these are very good in my opinion and it is another point of human contact which is also an advantage. Oxford Circus underground station should be on the list of stations to avoid for wheelchair users as there are no lifts from the tracks to ground level which is almost certainly due to the age of the station which originally opened in 1900, although is quite different today, not that I was around back then! The lines are all accessible using escalators and the individual lines are clearly noticeable and signposted. The station is under a crossroads where Regent Street crosses with Oxford Street which means that rather confusingly the station has four entrances and exits, one on all four corners of the crossroads. The travel card zone is number one for those who use an Oyster Card to travel around London.
Theoretically it is possible to go anywhere in London from Oxford Circus although you are limited on where you can go on direct trains. The Central Line (red) goes from east to west or vice versa and goes straight across London, trains going eastbound will generally display Epping on the front of them while those going westbound will display either Ealing Broadway or West Ruislip due to the fact that the line splits after North Acton so be sure to consult a map before choosing which train to board. The Victoria Line (light blue) goes from north to south or vice versa although it actually finishes in north-east London. Trains going northbound will display Walthamstow Central on them while those heading south will display Brixton as their final destination. The last line to go through Oxford Circus is the Bakerloo line (brown) which goes from north-east to the south. Trains heading northbound will display Harrow & Wealdstone while their counterparts heading south will display Elephant & Castle as the termination point.
Overall, Oxford Circus is not the easiest of all of the stations on the London underground to get used to, it can at times be one of the more intimidating stations to go through at busy times but unfortunately this is the reality of how busy the beating heart of London can be these days! I believe that it is worth venturing through the station just for a walk up the world famous Oxford Street.
The address of the station is as follows:
Oxford Circus Station
London Underground Ltd.
This review may also be published on Ciao under the username chrisbriers567.