Reasons why I hate the London Underground

With a recent trip to the Big Smoke under my belt, I realised that whilst it’s a necessity, I really do hate the London Underground with a passion. Here’s why:

London Underground

The smells:

If it’s not McDonalds/KFC/Burger King it’s the stale alcohol from the drunk guy sat in the corner, only masked by the stronger scent of his BO and urine. And let’s not forget the farts. OH. MY. GOD. You can all smell it and you’re all subtly looking around trying to work out who the culprit is but all you really care about is just how offensive the smell is. You look at a woman in a suit and think ‘you’re too classy to be this smelly’ but you damn well know it’s her and you’re trapped; you have no choice but to burn your nostrils as you breath until you get off the train by which point you’re ready to either pass out or throw up. Disgusting.


One minute you’re walking into the station with a huge jacket, gloves, hat and scarf on unable to feel any extremities because you’re so cold and the next thing you’re taking your clothes off quicker than Tiger Woods could get his 9iron out of his pants it’s so hot. The gusts of wind aren’t fun either and I’m not referring to the farts I mentioned earlier but the huge blows of wind you get when a train flies passed. Depending on how hot or cold you are you’ll either be thankful or hateful of the wind tunnels but you’re never going to reach a happy medium I’m afraid.


I’m pretty sure that the reason the London Underground is called ‘public transport’ is because it’s supposed to do the transportation bit for you. And yet, by the time you’ve entered/exited the station, tackled the escalators and changed lines, you’ve probably walked a couple of miles yourself. I’m tempted to ask for a discount on my fare. How women do this in heels I just don’t know.


If you can get prime standing space then you’re lucky but if you can get a seat then you’ve just won the lottery though you’ll probably be sat with a penis in your face the entire time. Though standing with your face shoved in a guys armpit isn’t much better either. Meh, you lose some and you lose some more.  And that’s all if you even get on to the train in the first place because let’s face it, it’s a struggle just to get on the damn thing in rush hour or when you’re passing through a station where there’s a sporting event such as Wimbledon or a Chelsea football match. Oh and that’s all whilst bypassing the tourists that haven’t pre-planned the journey and just stop in the middle of the ‘through traffic’ looking gaumlessly at each other wondering what they hell they’re doing.

Tanoy announcements:

You can all hear them but just what in the hell are they staying? It’s ‘meh nom nom nom swhincppoijwef Shepherd’s Bush blah blah hipoadeolniqe’ and suddenly panic sets in. ‘What about Shepherd’s Bush?’ ‘Is there a problem with the line?’ ‘Is the station closed’ TELLLLL MEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! Of course, this panic only sets in internally, outwardly you’re still trying to work out who stunk up the carriage.

Tube Map:

You can stare it for as long as you like but unless you live in London and you know your route, the map is just going to look like someone threw up a bag of Skittles.  And that’s even before you have to try and work out which stations connect to each other and which colour you need to take before jumping on to another colour.  I swear, by the time you’ve done your route and got to your destination, you’ve been on more colours than a a Picasso painting could make.

Have I missed anything out?  Why do YOU hate the London Underground?

Leave a Reply


  1. Jen

    The people who stop RIGHT in front of the escalator at the top/botom to find their ticket… I WILL trip over you with my case and hurt us both. fuckwit. x

  2. Jen – haha yes!! That’s so annoying – especially when the station is busy or you’re in a hurry!

  3. I think most of these seem to apply to subways in general. The “walking” segment reminded me of our last trip to Paris. The walk to change trains in Les Halles station seemed to be forever…I’m certain we covered 3/4 of the distance to our hotel just walking in the tunnel…

  4. Deej – yes, exactly! By the time you’ve changed lines and caught the next tube, you might as well have walked it above ground haha

  5. Spencer

    This post highlights one of the main reasons why I moved to Australia! I used the underground every work day for 10 years and it got too much.

  6. Spencer – 10 years using the Underground?! yikes!!

  7. I always get really claustrophobic on the London Underground, and there’s always some weirdo staring or somebody with their armpit in your face. It’s also like dog eat dog when you see people pushing past to get off the train. Not nice.

  8. Lucie

    People who never say “excuse-me, I would like to get off” and just kick you! Asking for something is less stressful for everyboby. People who keep pushing even though it’s more than completely full 🙂 Hate the tube! I come from the French countryside, so you can imagine the difference! Love your blog btw!

  9. Alison – SO true! I’m not normally claustrophobic but boy oh boy are there lots of people trying to get through and a big ‘yes’ to the nasty armpit scenario :s

  10. Lucie – Oh definitely; it costs nothing to be polite and ask someone to move instead of pushing you out of the way…that always put me in a bad mood! haha yes, I can imagine that’s a huge bit of ‘culture shock’ if you’re from the French countryside :S And woo to loving my blog; merci beaucoup 😀

  11. Haha, I didn’t think I minded the Underground until I read your post!! With each point I thought “oh yeah, that’s true” or “hmm, maybe that DOES bother me too”! I’m the girl who once had to get on at Victoria with a suitcase to head to Heathrow…at rush hour. The carriages were absolutely packed and I somehow managed to get me and my bag on. I’m sure I received a few dirty looks, and it was SO hot with our winter coats on that it was a tad smelly. Oh the joys of public transport!

  12. Heather – I don’t think there’s a sane person on the planet that enjoys the Underground haha. You took rush hour on with a suitcase?! Yikes! Well done 😀

  13. I know this is really weird – but reading this has made me realise that I love the underground. I love the fact that it’s all cosy and warm and I love people watching. I also love the tube on a Thursday night when everyone has gone for after work drinks and you have tipsy conversations with random strangers that you wouldn’t have even made eye contact with if you were sober!

  14. Mon – I say this with all the love in the world hun but you’re a freak and you’ve just announced it to the world 😉 HOW can you like the Underground? Oh lord it’s hideous lol. ‘cosy and warm’? It’s sweatier than a dog on heat with more BO! haha Hats off to you girlie 😀

  15. Will - My Spanish Adventure

    I didn’t know that women were capable of farting before reading this. Quite the eye-opener indeed!

    You also forgot to mention the hideous cost of all this torture! Over 6 quid for a day ticket. Someone’s having a laugh and it’s not the passengers…

  16. Will – yes unfortunately, we still have butts capable of it 😀 Oh yeah, the cost totally sucks!! Definitely not a cheap way to get around the city haha

  17. Seriously, how does it take people 15 minutes to top up £10 their oyster card? Its the same sequence of on screen options each time. The top up process doesnt increase in difficulty as you top up again and again. If you cant work the ticket machines you probably shouldnt be allowed to travel long distances by rail. Rant over, sorry about that.

    Just spent the last 36 minutes of my working day reading several of your posts. I should probably have been doing something a little more productive at work, but they’ve been 36 minutes I’ve really enjoyed, thanks.

  18. Neil – It takes 15 minutes because they’re stupid or foreign…it’s even worse when they’re both! lol. Rant away my friend, rant away =)

    36 minutes?! Wow – I’m honoured! 🙂 Glad your time on my site was fun…here’s hoping you waste many more minutes at work…I’ll be wasting them with you lol

  19. Oh how i miss the tube !

    having done 12 years in london i truly feel for any commuters !

    My worst experience was on the northern line, when between London Bridge and Bank the train stopped mid tunnel and promptly filled with thick smoke, we sat there for what seemed like eternity, i actually thought at one point we were going to die !

    Best experience – meeting a rather cute South African girl on the DLR when i lived in docklands – so cute in fact that i married her ! (in hindsight maybe i should have caught the bus 🙂

    Loved this post

    thats why we included it in the World First Wander

    The World First Wander

    have a look and tell us what you think


  20. Tristan – You’ve definitely experienced the highs and lows of the Tube but wow to finding your wife on there! 🙂 And thank you for including me in the World First Wander; I always appreciate your support!

  21. Alex


    I love reading your blog (only came across it a week ago or less!) but here I disagree so I’m weird too because I love the underground! I’m a Londoner currently living abroad, but when I lived and worked there it was my territory. I knew every short cut, route, and train type and could get around practically with my eyes closed!
    I know it’s not perfect (smelly/hot/cold/windy/packed/expensive/delayed etc) but it’s witnessd/been part of my life growing up so I kind of get nostalgic about it…;-)

  22. Alex – welcome…lovely to have you here 🙂 haha you deserve a round of applause for liking it! I can see what you would get nostalgic about it it’s been part of your life for so long but I definitely can’t be like that 🙂 It would be nice to be like you in the sense of knowing the short cuts etc instead of having to stand there along with the rest of the tourists and plan my route!! 🙂