FILM buffs in London might not know it, but there’s a hidden slice of Hollywood history right beneath their feet.
A disused underground station platform that has appeared in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including Paddington, London has Fallen and Skyfall.
Charing Cross, near Trafalgar Square, is one of London’s busiest tube stations, but what people might not know is that it’s also the go-to location for any tube-based scenes for films.
The station has an old Jubilee line platform that hasn’t been used by travellers since 1999.
The Jubilee line travelled through Charing Cross until November 1999, but then it was diverted away – from Green Park to Westminster instead.
Now the old Jubilee platform acts as a purpose built film set, with the likes of Daniel Craig, Idris Elba and even Paddington Bear filming scenes there.
Siddy Holloway, Engagement Manager for London Transport Museum’s Hidden London, told Sun Online Travel why it is a perfect location to film any underground scenes.
She said: “Charing Cross is where we marry up underground history with pop culture because it is used extensively as a film set for Hollywood blockbusters.
“Skyfall was filmed there, Paddington, Thor, the Bourne Ultimatum, Luther, Sherlock Holmes and others.
“It’s the old Jubilee Line concourse that closed in 1999 and so they can authentically create the atmosphere of the underground without disturbing passengers on the actual underground.”
However, the abandoned platform isn’t exclusively reserved for A-listers, with members of the public able to book tours of the hidden former Charing Cross platform, as well as several other disused stations in the city.
Siddy said that the film set is one of the highlights of the Hidden London tours.
Hidden London tours have been run by London Transport Museum since 2015 and offer people access to secret locations across the capital’s Underground network that are usually off limits.
She added: “It’s a really fun one for film buffs to come and experience because you get to actually stand in the spaces where Daniel Craig is sliding down the escalator, or where Hugh Bonneville is chasing after Paddington because he’s gone the wrong way.
“It’s really fun for people to experience that and take those photos as well.”
While the disused Charing Cross platform has been given a new future, a lot of other stations also have fascinating pasts.
Some were particularly important during World War 2, as their locations deep underground made them the perfect places to take care of both people and important items.
Siddy said: “These stations that are disused simply had to be changed around in order to fit in modern equipment, such as the escalator, and to improve passenger flow.
“Piccadilly Circus actually operated as both the public bomb shelter and as a valuable art store for the London museums.
“That blows my mind that you can go through Piccadilly Circus hundreds, if not thousands of times in your life and never would you imagine that some of the most precious artefacts of either the Museum of London or the Tate galleries, were stored in a corridor just off where you could wait as a passenger today.
“Clapham South, with the deep level shelter that we have, is one of my favourite places on our program because it is essentially an air raid shelter underneath Clapham South Station.
“It comprises of over a mile of tunnel and could have housed 8000 people to shelter away from the bombs raining from above.”
A new series of tickets for the tours are now on sale. The tours will take place from January 4 until February 19.
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