Covent Garden tube station

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Covent Garden London Underground
Covent Garden stn building.JPG
Station entrance
Covent Garden is located in Central London
Covent Garden
Covent Garden
Location of Covent Garden in Central London
Location Covent Garden
Local authority City of Westminster
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 2
Fare zone 1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2010 Increase 19.60 million[1]
2011 Increase 20.28 million[1]
2012 Increase 21.29 million[1]
2013 Decrease 21.17 million[1]
Railway companies
Original company Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway
Key dates
15 December 1906 Line opened
11 April 1907 Station opened
Listed status
Listing grade II
Entry number 1401025[2]
Added to list 20 July 2011
Other information
Lists of stations
London Transport portalCoordinates: 51°30′47″N 0°07′27″W / 51.5130°N 0.1243°W / 51.5130; -0.1243

Covent Garden is a London Underground station in Covent Garden. It is on the Piccadilly line between Leicester Square and Holborn and is in Travelcard Zone 1. The station is a Grade II listed building,[3] on the corner of Long Acre and James Street.


The station was opened by Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway on 11 April 1907, four months after services on the rest of the line began operating on 15 December 1906.

The Station today[edit]


Signage on the platforms

Like the rest of the original GNP&BR stations, the street level station building and platform tiling was designed by Leslie Green. The station building is a classic red 'Oxblood' building which has two elevations fronting onto the end of James Street and Long Acre. The platform wall was tiled with two shades of yellow and white tiling which formed geometric shapes along with three blank spaces to incorporate the station name. As part of Transport for London's investment programme, the ageing tiling dating back from the station's opening was replaced in 2010 in a like-for-like basis, retaining the look and feel of the platforms.

Platform Level Tiling[edit]

A platform on the London Underground.
The distinctive platform level tilework.

The stations along the central part of the Piccadilly line, as well as some sections of the Northern line, were financed by Charles Yerkes,[4] and are famous for the Leslie Green designed red station buildings and distinctive platform tiling. Each station had its own unique tile pattern and colours.


Covent Garden station is one of the few stations in Central London for which platform access is only by lift or stairs[5] and often becomes congested because of the Covent Garden area's popularity with tourists. To control congestion on Saturday afternoons, when the surrounding shopping areas are at their busiest, the station was previously exit-only to avoid the risk of dangerous overcrowding of the platforms, but following replacement of the lifts, this restriction was lifted. There are four lifts that give access to street level, although a final flight of stairs from the lifts to the platforms means that the station is wheelchair-inaccessible. Alternatively, there is an emergency spiral staircase of 193 steps[5] (The equivalent to a 15-storey building).

Station and Lift Announcements[edit]

There is an announcement at the station that warns of the 193 steps to climb if passengers were to use the emergency spiral staircase of 193 steps.[6] During the lift journey a recorded announcement is played asking passengers to have their tickets/passes ready as they exit the lifts and advising where to turn for Covent Garden's market.[citation needed]

Close Proximity to Leicester Square[edit]

The journey between Leicester Square station and Covent Garden takes only about 20 seconds, and measures only 260 metres (0.161 miles), the shortest distance between two adjacent stations on the Underground network.[7] The stations are so close that a pedestrian standing halfway between them on Long Acre can see both tube stations by turning around 180°. The proximity means that London Underground's standard £4.80 single cash fare for the journey between these two stations[8] equates to £29.81 a mile, making the fare for this particular journey more expensive per mile than the Venice Simplon Orient Express.[9] Posters at the station give details of the alternative methods of getting to and from Covent Garden using surrounding stations.

Future Proposals[edit]

Transport for London has made a commitment to ease the congestion at the station, which may involve the creation of a new exit[10] further north along Long Acre (i.e. away from Covent Garden Piazza and nearer the eclectic shopping area that surrounds Neal's Yard), and the provision of escalator access.[citation needed]


London Buses route RV1 serve the station.[11]


It is said that the ghost of actor William Terriss haunts the station. The last reported sighting of William Terriss was in 1972.[12]


External links[edit]

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
Piccadilly line
towards Cockfosters