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35 fun things you can do by travelling on Crossrail this summer

Date
24 May 2022

Wondering what the Elizabeth line opening will mean for you? Here are some activities that will be incredibly easy to get to now that the line is open.

35 fun things you can do by travelling on Crossrail this summer
The next phase of opening of the Elizabeth line is expected to happen in the autumn of 2022. Image credit: cktravels.com/Shutterstock

Today, Crossrail opened 10 stations on the Elizabeth line.

To celebrate, we’ve pulled together some fun activities you can do close to the new stations, so that you can hop on the train and get there in no time!

Paddington

Paddington Bear statue at the station
You can see a statue of Paddington Bear from Michael Bond's beloved books at the station. Image credit: ChrisDorney/Shutterstock

On landing at Paddington Station, make sure to take a moment to appreciate its design, for it bears the mark of none other than Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

After making a quick stop at the Paddington Bear gift shop, follow the signs towards Paddington Basin and walk around it to reach Merchant Square.

Here, you'll be able to enjoy varied food and drink. If you plan ahead, you might also be able to partake in ‘canal zorbing’ or a dragon boat regatta.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed time, they also do live music and open-air cinema (for free!).

However, you mustn’t leave Merchant Square until you’ve had a chance to admire the Heatherwicks Rolling Bridge and the Fan Bridge, which you can see in action on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12pm.

Bond Street

Car driving on Bond Street
New Bond Street is home to several luxury brands. Image credit: William B/Shutterstock

Leading you straight to Oxford Street, one of the most obvious activities would be to go shopping.

But if you’re interested in some unique experiences, then we suggest you walk down New Bond St to the Royal Institute (Ri).

More specifically, the Faraday Museum, where you can see the first electrical transformer and their magnetic laboratory.

The Ri also hosts interesting talks like Modelling the incomprehensible and Mathematical intelligence: what we have that machines don’t.

On your way down there from the station, don’t forget to say hi to President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at the Allies Statue.

Tottenham Court Road

Coming out of the station, you’ll be greeted by the Dominion Theatre, and indeed, there are many West End shows you could catch around the area.

For a dose of history, don’t forget the British Museum is just around the corner. It’s currently holding an exhibition on the world of Stonehenge.

For some peace and quiet, head to the Phoenix Garden, a community garden and oasis of calm in the middle of the city.

And if you walk down Charing Cross Road then turn into Shaftesbury Avenue, you’ll find yourself at Seven Dials Market, where you can enjoy a wide variety of cuisines.

Farringdon

Heading to East London, when in Farringdon, stop by former monastery the Charterhouse, built in 1348.

Then, head to the London Metropolitan Archive, where you can currently peruse an exhibit on Magnificent Maps of London.

Interested in the Life of the Universe? Don’t miss this lecture at the Museum of London, organised by Gresham College, which has been offering free lectures since 1597.

Find out what other lectures they’re holding.

Liverpool Street

Liverpool Street
Old Spitalfields Market is just a 6 minute walk from Liverpool Street station. Image Credit: I Wei H/Shutterstock

There’s plenty to see near Liverpool Street Station, perhaps most notably the skyscrapers.

Check out 110 Bishopsgate, the Gherkin and Sky Gardens, where you can get a panoramic view of the city.

For a bit of culture and some greenery, head to the Brutalist architecture icon, The Barbican.

Until 29 August 2022, you’ll be able to catch the Our Time on Earth exhibit, an immersive exploration of the way we live.

By walking around the area, you might run into some of Sculptures in the City’s works. Keep an eye out!

If you get hungry, head to Old Spitalfields Market, where you can indulge in some delicious food and shop for vintage items.

Whitechapel

Whitechapel sign
In Whitechapel, you can attend guided walking tours led by the Jack the Ripper Museum. Image credit: Alex Y/Shutterstock

Still close to London icons such as the Tower of London or Tower Bridge (don’t forget to visit the engine rooms), for some Whitechapel-specific sights, make sure to check out the Cable Street mural.

Then head to Whitechapel Gallery to enjoy some paintings as well as seasonal offerings at their restaurant, Townsend.

If you like to be spooked, don’t forget to check out the Jack the Ripper Museum.

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf in London
You'll find plenty to eat, drink and shop at Canary Wharf. Image credit: Sven H/Shutterstock

Stop by the Crossrail Place Roof Garden and relax amid exotic plants that have been planted according to their hemisphere, as the garden sits almost exactly on the Meridian line.

To learn more about the area’s history, head to the Museum of London Docklands and learn how the docks shaped London.

You’ll be spoilt for choice on skyscrapers to admire, One Canada Square among the notable ones.

And if you really want to immerse yourself, take to the river by hiring a boat. In fact, why not take it a step further and hire a hot tub!

Custom House

By taking the Elizabeth line to Custom House, you can pop into the ExCel for any of the interesting exhibits or conferences they’re holding.

For example, you could attend Spark 2022, for those in the energy sector who will shape the future of the energy transition.

And if you’re a fan of car racing, don’t miss the 2022 London E-Prix on 30-31 July 2022.

To get your dose of engineering, walk down to the river to see the Thames Barrier, the largest movable flood barrier in the world.

Woolwich

Woolwich Market sign
The Royal Arsenal Woolwich Farmers' Market takes place every second and last Saturday of the month. Image credit: Chris L/Shutterstock

When you arrive at Woolwich, make sure to check out Woolwich Works where you can enjoy cultural evenings.

If you’re a fan of video games, don’t miss the London Video Game Orchestra, playing on 11 June 2022.

If you plan on heading to the pub, stop by Royal Arsenal. Previously one of the biggest munition factories in the UK, it’s now an open space with cafes and the occasional farmer’s market.

Finally, you can’t miss Charlton House & Gardens. With free entry, discover the long and eventful history of the Jacobean rooms and the beautiful gardens that surround them.

Abbey Wood

If you can’t quite make it to the Peak District for a weekend getaway, hop on the Elizabeth line and head to Abbey Wood where you can hire a tent pitch for as little as £12.60 per night.

If you’re not as in touch with nature, you can also hire a camping pod or even a ‘glamping’ one.

While you’re there, soak in the beauty of Lesnes Abbey woods, the namesake of the train station.

  • Ana Bottle, assistant digital content editor at ICE