Here’s an amusing trick you can play on people from Newfoundland or Lincolnshire. Take them to Bank Station and tell them to make their way to Mansion House. Using Beck’s map—which even people from Newfoundland can understand in a moment—they will gamely take a Central Line train to Liverpool Street, change to a Circle Line train heading east and travel five more stops. When eventually they get to Mansion House they will emerge to find they have arrived at a point 200 feet further down the same street, and that you have had a nice breakfast and done a little shopping since you last saw them.

Bill Bryson, Notes From A Small Island

No more will you be able to play that trick. London Transport have now added walking times to their map to help you figure out if it’s quicker to go above ground.

It’s not just foreigners who get caught out like this. I used to visit a certain pub with a friend quite regularly. I’d get the tube from Victoria to Oxford Circus, meet up, then then walk up Regent Street or carry on on the underground, then walk the last few meters to the pub. One day she was late so I walked a little bit in the other direction to see what’s there, as random walking in London is always full of surprises.

I didn’t expect this surprise: there was the pub! Literally round the corner.

We’ve become so reliant on the Underground, we’ve forgotten how London is really laid out.

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