USS Dominik @ Croxley

USS stands for underground’s secret search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

Croxley
Croxley

Originally opened as Croxley Green on 2.11’1925. I visited this station on 15.06’2017. The station is in Zone 7, and at first, the only feature I liked was a very spacious toilet with a glass roof. On the way out I saw a few posters with a history of the steam train. Sadly, nothing is interesting about surrounding because area because it is a typical suburbs station with a crap looking shops. The Croxley is maybe dull regarding the architecture except if you like old neglected cottage houses, but Croxley is full of green places to explore.

 

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

I didn’t find anything interesting near the station, but if you walk a few minutes towards Croxley Green, then you can find a place called “Coffee House And Deli” (http://coffeehouseanddeli.co.uk/about-our-coffee/). They have a good but too expensive coffee. Latte cost £3 which is a typically higher price for coffee in the city, but it is too much for suburbs.  While I was there, I saw something heartwarming. Cleaner in this place was a disabled person, and I admire how the staff took great care of him.

They offer some hipster-friendly “fodder”, but I didn’ try it.

Is Good pub nearby?

There are a few pubs but they look like chains. I need to do more research on it.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

There is no good restaurant in this area, but there is a farmhouse pizza that offers decent pizza to take away.

Is interesting places to see nearby?

No.

Interesting walks nearby?

The only reason to come here if you are not live here is many walk options.

  1. Walk around Croxley Common Moor. (http://croxleycommonmoor.org.uk/index.html)
  2. Walk from Croxley to Rickmansworth or Watford via Ebury walk.
  3. There is as well Croxley Green Boundary Walk that hasn’t done yet (but I walk most parts as part of different walks)

Summary

Croxley is a great starting point for some walk around Croxley or goes to Rickmansworth, Watford or even Chesham (via Chess Valley walk).

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

USS Dominik @ Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3,4,5 .. 100

USS stands for underground secret search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

This station was open in 1977. I visited this station on 30.10’2017.

A small airfield was build here in 1929, and then there was a plan to build a military airport, but due to end of the World War II, UK government decided changed their mind and redesign to be a civil airport that was opened as London Airport in 1946 and was renamed Heathrow Airport in 1966. Tube started to arrived here 31 years later.

Any interesting historical events and Trivia

  • This is only place on the London Underground when you can travel for free (Travel between terminals is free).
  • Heathrow is usually in top 5 busiest airport in the world regarding passenger traffic and cargo.
  • Despite Terminal 1 was closed in 2015 ( According to a few taxi drivers gossip due to cock up with the design of new Terminal 2 but I didn’t find any resource to prove that) and removed from TfL map. Piccadilly line still going to “Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3.”
  • If you travel to Terminal 2 or 3 (it is faster to use a train that terminates on Terminal 5 (1,2,3 & 5). Trains that go through terminal 4 usually stop there for few minutes so it will be faster if you use 1,2,3 and 5.

Airport, as you can expect is full of coffee shops, pubs and restaurants but all of them are chains and they only difference is .. they are more expensive. Nothing unique can be found there. If you are here is because you are happy to go somewhere or sad because of you back from somewhere.

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

USS Dominik @ Uxbridge

USS stands for underground’s secret search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

This station was open on 04.07’1904. I visited this station on 06.06’2018

Uxbridge
Uxbridge

Uxbridge station is one of my favourite stations on the London Underground as It shows that concrete buildings can look cool and has lots of little remainings of how station looked in the past. My favourite element is a stained glass panel designed by Erwin Bossanyi. Station has also a cigarette vending machine(??), some odd penny machine and sign to the buffet.

Interesting historical events and Trivia

  1. District line run some services here from 1910 until 1959.
  2. It starts as a terminus for Metropolitan line but the building looks very similar to other Cockfosters station that is terminus station for Piccadilly station because was designed by the same person.

 

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

Sadly , I didn’t discover any good place. I tried a Coffee Break and it is an OK’ish place to go for English breakfast. Coffee is drinkable. Food was OK. The place looks ordinary.  Service has done their job.

Is any Good pub nearby?

So far, no luck.

Is any Good restaurant nearby?

They have a Chinese restaurant called “New oriental kitchen”. It is a worse version of Chill Cool near Euston (one of the last decent Sichuan Restaurant in London). Food was OK’ish without being great BUT Service is friendlier than typical experience for Chinese Restaurants. The restaurant looks quite nice but bit neglected.

Is any compelling places to see nearby?

I want to go to Battle of Britain Bunker which is not too far. More about it can be found here: https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/article/31369/Visiting-the-Battle-of-Britain-Bunker

Is any stunning walks nearby?

You can do walk from here to Rickmansworth via the Grand Union Canal. It is a nice 3-hour idyllic walk. You can stop for a pint in The Coy Carp (Food there is a mixed bag.  Once was disappointing but another time  fish and chips was really good.)

 

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

 

USS Dominik @ Warren Street

USS stands for underground’s secret search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

warren street
warren street

This station was open on 22.06’1907 as Euston Road. I visited this station on 05.06’2018.

This station is small, but corridor seems to be quite long.  I like this station for characterful design.

Some interesting trivia about the station:

  1. The original name was Euston Road. You can still see original station name on tiles on Northen line platform.
  2. On the way out from Victoria line, you can pass corridor that has a display about the history of the London underground. On the day I went, there was the display about Women.
  3. Warren Street with King’s Cross was the first stations to get free WiFi. (http://www.digitalspy.com/tech/internet/news/a385792/london-kings-cross-and-warren-street-tube-stations-get-free-wifi/

 

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

 I went to a place called Coffee, and it was a great experience. They have 3 blends to chose from. My small latte cost 3 pounds which is pricey, but you pay for quality and suitability. Coffee. Cofee looks fantastic at the taste even better. The place itself looks like the classic wooden place for hipsters. Service was good. If you in this area then it is worth pay visit.

Is Good pub nearby?

I saw a few promising places to visit, but I didn’t have time as I was on lunch break.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

I didn’t explore restaurant here yet.

 

Is any compelling places to see nearby?

There is a Fitzroy Square a few minutes away. It is one of few remaining garden squares designed by Humphry Repton and example how green space adds to the beauty of city area.

More about it you can read in my Russel Square post or check the article about the designer of this garden in this article: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/mar/25/humphrey-repton-landscape-gardener-exhibition-london-squares

Another thing is Tottenham court road is full of electronic shops where you can buy lots of interesting electronic gadgets.

Is any stunning walks nearby?

No.

 

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

USS Dominik @ Ruislip Gardens

USS stands for secret underground search, and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

Ruslip Gardens
Ruislip Gardens

This station was open on 9.07.1934. I visited this station on 06.06’2018.

I was shocked with this station. The station looks a bit abandoned by TfL.

IMG_20180606_172758.jpg

I expected to see some gardens nearby, but I found grass field called … Ruislip Gardens. I was walking around and I did not find any interesting independent coffee, pub, restaurant or places. High Street has a depressing selection of boring shops. I think you can walk from here to North Harrow using Yeading Brook tributary.

I guess the only reason why you will get there is to pop into RAF Northolt airport.

Note: All resources I used to gather knowledge I will keep on the introduction page (https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/)

USS Dominik @ Aldgate East

Aldgate East
Aldgate East

I visited this station on 1.09’2017. Aldgate East station was opened on 6.10’1884. It is in the City of London. It quite lovely station with few exciting elements like a clock below:

The clock at Aldgate East
The clock at Aldgate East

It is one of the older stations on the network. These are interesting facts I found:

  • Station was resited and re-opened on 31.10.1938
  • The station has no surface buildings.

I like tiles that you can see on some stations:

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

 

 

I went to Flock. The place has a great ambience. I ordered a Latte Coffee, and its taste is flavoursome. Staff was friendly and even give a bottle of tap water to everybody as it was a rather warm day.

Is Good pub nearby?  

I went to the Hoop & Grapes which is part of Nicholsons pubs chain. The place looks quite unique because according to their website: “The Great Fire of London in 1666 stopped just 50 yards from The Hoop and Grapes and we were lucky to be one of the few timber-framed buildings to survive from this period“. They serve typical beers with typical “city” prices. Service was good.

If you are around I recommended going to this pub.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

I didn’t look for a good restaurant in this area.

Is interesting places to see or walks nearby?

As Aldgate, this area looks quite dull as it lost its character due to re-development that demolish old buildings and replace them with soulless monsters full of concrete and glass. One of the victims was, for example, a Britain’s oldest manufacturing company cast tower bells that were closed down in 2017.

Walk to Whitechapel where are more interesting places.

USS Dominik @ Borough

USS stands for underground secret search and it is about exploring things around London’s underground station. Read more about it in my introduction: https://dominiksymonowicz.com/2017/07/07/uss-dominik-underground-secrets-search-introduction/

Borough Tube Station
Borough Tube Station

The station was opened on 18.12’1890. Sadly current surface building is just small remains of the original station built by City and South London Railway.

You can get access to/from the platform via lifts or 102 steps staircase that as usual for London Underground must be used in the emergencies only.

What I really like about this staircase is they have a lovely bench to sit and rest while you are on your epic adventure to surface/the platform.

 

Borough has very unique mash vibe. There are various styles of buildings that exist next to each but without overall ‘theme’. It looks very confusing but it has one little advantage. If you don’t have time to explore south London then Borough is a great place as will show you various bits and pieces of what you will find in South London.

In my opinion, if you walking around Waterloo and Blackfriars area to visit for example Tate Modern then Borough is a great spot to rest and drink coffee, beverages and eat food.

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

I went to The Watch House (https://www.thewatchhouse.com/)  which an amazing little place with and the building itself has a history. It is in the place was household for the watch (precursor of the Police) to guard churchyard nearby. Latte costs £3 but it is worth price as it tastes flavourful. Service was friendly and engaging.

It is worth noting that The Watch House is cashless.

If you nearby and you are fancy coffee then I highly recommended this place!

Is Good pub nearby?

I went to The Royal Oak ( https://www.harveys.org.uk/pubs/the-royal-oak-london/)  It looks spectacular as this is how I always imagined the look and feel of a traditional British pub.  It has a great selection of unique beers.  Sadly, food was a disappointment. Staff was neutral or as I call: fake friendly.

I recommended seeing this place and try local ale.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

As I ate in The Royal Oak. I didn’t try any restaurant nearby.

Interesting walks nearby?

There is no any known walks nearby.

 

Resources:

Wikipedia
https://thegoodpubguide.co.uk/pub/se1+4ju/royal+oak/
The London Coffee Guide

 

USS Dominik @ Aldgate

Aldgate
Aldgate

Aldgate station was opened on 18.11’1876. It is in the City of London. It is a terminus of Metropolitan Line. This station looks bit unloved and neglected but if TfL put some effort this station could look much better and have a great character.

It is one of the older stations on the network and these are interesting facts I found:

  • Station was built on the site of a plague pit which contains many  ~1,000 bodies.
  • Metropolitan line does not have a direct interchange with District Line but you can see District line trains that are going toward Aldgate East from Aldgate station.

I guess this place must look much better in the past as these days it is full of concrete and glass.Things worth to see are:

  • 3 churches: St. Botolph’s, and St Andrew Undershaft and St Katharine Cree
  • and is the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom.
  • Aldgate tube station

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

I went to Flock. The place has a great ambience. I ordered a Latte Coffee and its taste is flavoursome.

Is Good pub nearby?

TODO: do research and go to one of them

Is Good restaurant nearby?

TODO: I am planning to go to Bavarian Beerhouse ( http://www.bavarian-beerhouse.co.uk/london/ )

Is interesting places to see or walks nearby?

No. Area is quite boring. This is a place full of concrete and glass without any interesting architecture

 

USS Dominik @ Pimlico

cof

Basic info:
Opened. 14.09.1972  and that’s all that I can really say about this area. Pimlico station looks quite ordinary but I managed to find few interesting facts:

  • It is the only station on the Victoria line which does not have an interchange with another Underground/Overground line and/or national rail.
  • It is the least used station on Victoria line.
  • This station was last open on Victoria line.

When I started walking around my first impression was … this place looks dodgy as I saw a few weird people but while I  walk around I discovered that Pimlico has an interesting architectural mix and has few interesting little independent shop with cheese, Italian food and old cameras.

Is Good independent coffee place nearby?

My favourite place for coffee is Gastronomia Italia  (8 Upper Tachbrook St, Pimlico, London SW1V 1SH). It is a small independent place where they sell good Italian food and really decent coffee.

Is Good pub nearby?

My favourite pub in this area is Windsor Castle but it is near Victoria Station. I like architecture and ambience. They selling Samuel Smith beers.

Is Good restaurant nearby?

If you fancy a British breakfast then there is an amazing place called Regency Cafe ( http://regencycafe.co.uk). Customer service is unique as the man shouting at you and you can sit on the table only when you have a

 

USS Dominik : Underground Secrets Search : Introduction

USS Dominik is sort of acronym for Underground Secrets Search by Dominik.

This is a 5 years mission: to explore strange new stations, to seek out new places and new civilizations, to boldly go where I didn’t bother to have gone before … eee … I got a bit too StarTreky. Am I?

This is my idea to explore and discover London. I came across this idea, because near the place where I live. Vibrant local shops disappeared at a scary rate and they are replaced by soulless chains, charity shops, and property management. 

I started on 1 July 2017 and I am planning to complete this quest by 1 July 2022.

 

I want:

  1. Catch what is left before other places will devour by clones of the same.
  2. For each place, I am planning to write a short entry where  I will try find interesting places and facts about it station and surrounding area.
  3. I will look for independent coffee shops, pubs, and unique restaurant (especially from EU but I will include good British and Chinese restaurants).
  4. I will see are they any interesting walks to do nearby.
  5. I will do some pictures of interesting places.

|Lots of things I learnt based on what I heard from various people but I always tried to verify some information by finding resources on the internet. Here is a list of resources:

  1. http://www.beerintheevening.com/
  2. https://tfl.gov.uk/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
  4. Geoff Marshall ( on his youtube  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd18OhMfRmjMjzSHP7Zrzmw and his videos on Londonist.com)
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/mar/25/humphrey-repton-landscape-gardener-exhibition-london-squares
  6. http://hidden-london.com/index/