Ring around the Underground

Uxbridge Tube station, the end of the Metropolitan Line.

302km — completed 2020-21

Go to the outermost end of a Tube line. Make for the next extremity clockwise. Repeat until you are back where you started, without crossing the public Tube lines in any place.

No great problem there — Stanmore to Edgware, or Amersham to Chesham for a bit of rurality. But there’s also Epping to Upminster (28km; may be split at Havering-atte-Bower or at Noak Hill), and the biggest of all, the 44km between Upminster and Brixton (which splits almost evenly at Woolwich, where you take a different kind of tube — the Woolwich Foot Tunnel). There is a higher percentage of streetwork in this circuit when compared with the London Summits Walk or the Coal Tax Circuit, but there are still lots of parks and paths, and some outright fields and forests. Of course, there are lots of public transport options with which to tailor your days. There are two large diversions from an orderly progression round the suburbs: a deep gash between Morden and Wimbledon will take in Battersea Power Station station (yes, that is its official title, even if the Google Maps algorithm fails miserably), and though you can almost see Uxbridge from Heathrow Terminal 5, there’s the small matter of rounding up Ealing Broadway on the way. In addition, the northern traverse dips inward to pick up Walthamstow Central between Cockfosters and Epping.

You are advised to read the introduction to the route first: this will help with context and conventions.

Note that it is only the termini which protrude from the rest of the network which qualify, so no Kensington Olympia, and neither Elephant and Castle nor Stratford qualify, because the Northern and Central Lines respectively make the station non-terminal.

The circuit total comes out at a little over 300km; with little diversions for sustenance and such, you will push towards 320km in total. The ascent total is about 2680m, so you’ll be doing the equivalent of two ascents of Ben Nevis from sea level at Fort William.

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