Terminus Treasures

We’re all familiar with the tourist hotspots that draw crowds to Central London for a day out, but there are plenty of exciting experiences to be had in the postcodes on the outskirts of our capital. 

A new study by CIA Landlords has set out to discover the best-rated attractions on TripAdvisor at the end of tube lines - as well as at the end of commuter routes - based on a variety of metrics including top-rated pubs and activities, as well as travel time to and from Central London in an effort to explore the hidden gems often overlooked further away from the city.

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Bakerloo line

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The Bakerloo line is serving with the oldest (1972) rolling stock (trains) on the system and has two end stations on the line. These have remained unchanged since the 1930s; Elephant & Castle in the South and Harrow in the North.

Whilst yoga has been gaining popularity, you may be interested in a more unique version of this popular form of exercise at Salty Yoga in Elephant & Castle. The four-star reviewed activity in the south of London is a combination of yoga and a sauna where participants practice in a heated room for a variety of health benefits.

If you’re more interested in a day of learning and delving into some history, head to the other end of the line for Harrow’s Headstone Manor & Museum which is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars. The open-air site allows visitors to explore the many centuries of the regions' history. If you fancy a pint after, head to Castle Pub - the best-rated pub in Harrow.

Central line

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Not only is the Central line the longest line in London, stretching a total of 46 miles from west to east, it’s also where the Tube got its name for as this set of tracks was once nicknamed “the tube”. 

The Central line terminates in three different locations, including Ealing. If you’re a fan of music, this west end terminus might have the perfect activity for you: The Musical Museum. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, the museum offers a range of musical instruments on display, as well as detailed accounts of the important figures that have shaped music over the centuries.

If heading out for some fresh air is of more interest to you, Epping is home to the biggest outdoor space in London at just over 6,000 acres - Epping Forest.

Circle line

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Until 2009 commuters were able to actually travel this line in a full circle. Today however, the Circle line terminates at Edgeware Road and extends all the way to Hammersmith in the West. 

At Edgeware Road, you’ll find Rani Thai Spa. The 5 out of 5 rated activity offers an extensive menu of options to wind down and relax including a variety of massages and spa treatments.

On the other end at Hammersmith, where you can get from Central London in 32 minutes, you’ll find the top-rated experience Instant Laughs, a comedy club ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

District line

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The District line is home to the most stations on the network and connects with every other line, except for the Metropolitan.

Due to its length and multiple branches, this line terminates in six different postcodes. Head to Richmond for a visit to The London Stand-Up Paddle Company, or the area's best-rated pub The White Cross.

Wimbledon is of course known for its famous tennis club. In line with this, the top-ranked activity here is the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. This is the biggest tennis museum in the world, with exhibits sharing the history of tennis and the traditions of the championships held there since 1877.

Hammersmith & City line

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Although the Hammersmith & City is the newest line on the tube network (2009), part of it runs along the entire original section of track which opened back in 1864. The name of the line comes from the initial concept of linking Hammersmith to the City of London, where this line originally terminated. 

Now stretching all the way to Barking, commuters can head down the far east side of the line to pay a visit to The Broadway. This entertainment venue serves as a host for all kinds of performance arts including musicals, concerts, and comedy shows. You’ll also find the cheapest pint here out of all terminus towns for just £1.99 a pop.

The other end of the line terminates, of course, in Hammersmith. The top-rated activity one can experience here is Instant Laughs, a comedy club ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars, or head to the Andover Arms to get a taste of Hammersmith's best pub.

Metropolitan line

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Not only was the Metropolitan line the first metro line in London, but it was also the first in the world with engineers pioneering a system that over time has been adopted worldwide. From being founded in 1863 and stretching only from Paddington to Farrington Street, the line has since grown out to become one of London’s longest lines.

Uxbridge is one of the west-end termini where the St. Margaret’s Church is labelled as the best activity at 4.5 stars. Special themed services are held once a month. 

Even further west, the Met terminates in Chesham. You can get here from Central London in just over an hour in order to visit Chesham’s top-rated activity the Elgiva Theatre. The venue hosts a range of different acts such as dancers, films, shows and comedians.

Northern line

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Otherwise known as the ‘black’ line, the Northern line was the first deep-level part of the tube system to be built back in 1890. This second-busiest line on the network serves some of the most popular destinations in the city but also terminates in four different locations, all of which have their own hidden gems to offer.

Head up north to High Barnet for some mind- and body-balancing aerobics at Twisted Yoga, or a below London average priced pint for £3.30. If you’d prefer a day out to soak up some history in the North of the city, the Royal Air Force Museum in Mill Hill East may be the one for you. Located in an old aerodrome, an in-depth history of British aviation is on display.

Jubilee line

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The most useful fact to know about the Jubilee line, originally named the “Fleet Line” is that it connects every other line. It also happens to be the youngest, deepest and only line that has 4G with a terminus east and west.

The top-rated activity in Stanmore is the Bentley Priory Museum, a century stately home and deer park dating back to the 18th and 19th century.

For a more culinary excursion, head to Stratford to try out Roof East. Named London’s best rooftop bar by critics is rated 4 out of 5 stars and offers guests a wide range of entertainment from midget-golf to an outdoor cinema and street food stalls, all on their roof terrace overlooking the city.

Piccadilly line

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With the opening of the stretch of Piccadilly line to Heathrow, London became home to the first tube line to connect a city to an airport. But this end of the line offers more than a port of departure. At this west end terminus, you can find XScream Escapes; a 5 out of 5 star rated activity with multiple escape rooms offering a variety of themes and storylines. 

Up north at the second of three terminus ends you’ll find the station with arguably the funniest name on the network: Cockfosters. The top-rated activity in this area, ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars, is Trent Park with a multitude of trails along with historic features, ponds, and wildlife-spotting locations.

Victoria line

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The Victoria line, which was nearly named “The Viking Line”, is the only line that runs entirely underground. Travel the entirety of the line in just 32 minutes in order to pay a visit to Brixton Village on the south end of the line in Brixton for street food, quaint goods, and events. 

On the north end in Walthamstow, the best-ranked activity is E18 Yoga, rated 5 out of 5 stars. Head up here for some stretching and relaxing, or unwind in Walthamstow’s favourite pub for a pint or two at The Chequers. 

Waterloo & City line

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Also known as “The Drain” by locals, the Waterloo & City line serves just two stations only 1.47 miles apart; taking commuters from Waterloo to the City of London in just four minutes. 

Get off at Waterloo on London’s south bank for a unique experience at Alice’s Underground Adventures for what previous visitors describe as “the best theatre experience you will ever have”, rated 5 out of 5 stars.

On the other end of the line at Bank, you’ll find the London Troops War Memorial; a commemoration to the fallen soldiers from both World Wars. 

Overground

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With 112 stations and 12 terminus ends, the overground, nicknamed the ginger line, connects a multitude of postcodes to the city. One of those terminus towns is Cheshunt. Consider going down this part of the track if outdoor activities are your thing for a visit to Herts Young Mariners Base. Here you can experience a variety of activities including swimming, canoeing, and raft building.

If the weather won’t allow it or calm, indoor entertainment is more likely to tickle your fancy, visit The Forties Museum in Watford Junction. This 40's themed museum, like the name suggests, is located in a wartime USAAF base with a wide display of wartime pieces and live music once a month. 

For a more unique and theatrical experience, head to Euston where you’ll find the Magic Circle. The self-proclaimed magic society hosts a variety of art-related events such as plays, exhibitions, and even a library.

Docklands Light Railway

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Whilst the DLR might seem like a small part of the network with it only covering the east side of the city, in reality it’s just as big as any other tube line running 24 miles of track with a total of 45 stations, including six different termini. 

One of those is Lewisham, where you’ll find the Migration Museum; an exhibition showcasing the movement of people across Britain over the centuries. A couple of stops further up at Tower Gateway you’ll find Silent Sounds, a disco where all visitors wear individual headphones with different types of music.

If you’d rather have an old-school immersive music experience, head to Woolwich Arsenal for Brick Lane Music Hall; a 5 out of 5 rated and lavishly decorated music venue offering daily lunchtime shows and afternoon tea.

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Thameslink

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Thameslink is one of the biggest railway tracks connecting commuter towns to London with a total of 68 stations and 140 miles of track running in all directions. 

A 57-minute journey from central London will take you to one of the multitude of terminus stations, Milton Keynes. The top-rated activity here is Snozone, an indoor complex where you can ski and snowboard year-round. They also offer lessons for first-timers and kids.

At the heart of the network is London King’s Cross. Not only rated as a 4.5 stars activity but also one of the more well-known stops on a tourist itinerary is the 9 ¾ platform. Stop by for some childhood nostalgia, extra Instagram content or a visit to the Harry Potter-themed souvenir shop.

Greater Anglia

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Calling at 170 stations all across Central and East London is the network of Greater Anglia with 13 terminating ends. The longest journey you can take on this line is from Charing Cross to Sheringham lasting 173 minutes. Rated 4.5 out of 5 is an activity that fits perfectly; the Nord Norfolk Railway. A 5 ¼ long heritage railway line with a fully operating steam train, the perfect day out for any train enthusiast.

More central and a much shorter journey from Charing Cross takes you to London Liverpool Street. Head to the Astronomer as the best-rated pub in the area, or try out Dinerama Street Feast for an extensive food and drink experience with ten different bars and an array of international cuisines spread out over two levels with both indoor and outdoor spaces.

In the south, Greater Anglia tracks terminate at Southend Victoria. Adventure Island is the best-rated activity that can be found in this seaside terminus town. Said to be the number one theme park in the region, the pier boasts a wide range of entertainment such as attractions, sealife, and indoor adventures. 

South Western Railway

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South Western Railways has the widest reach around London for commuters, serving 200 stations across eight different lines heading out of the city for journeys as long as 221 minutes. 

This two-and-a-half-hour train ride takes you to Weymouth, a seaside town in Dorset where its sandy beaches are said to be the top activity. For a pint after a day catching fresh air on the coast, head to Bridge Inn for another top-rated experience.

Methodology & sources

We’ve indexed all terminus stations on railway lines in and around London which were then paired with the best-rated activities on Tripadvisor in those postcodes, as well as the best-rated pubs on Yelp. 

Using route planners from the relevant operators, we determined the travel time from Charing Cross, London’s most central point, as well as the price of a one-way ticket from this starting point.