District Line

Victoria to Embankment, featuring boozy politicians and secret glimpses of Tube trains

Big Ben

This walk takes us along a stretch of the Tube's second-oldest line.

Starting at Victoria, we'll encounter a statue of the woman after whom the pavlova was named (and find out why she herself refused to look at it) ... discover a tower that gives you one of the best views of London ... hear whose is the only tomb you're not allowed to walk over in Westminster Abbey ... and learn who is the only person allowed to drink alcohol in the House of Commons chamber.

I'll also show you a place from where you can see the District Line trains passing below - it's so secret that even confirmed Tube nerds don't know about it ...

There's no need to pre-book - just turn up. Meet in Lower Grosvenor Gardens, by the statue of Marshal Foch. The gardens are opposite Victoria station on Buckingham Palace Road (directly opposite The Shakespeare pub). Click on the link at bottom right for a map.

 

 



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Content

Rubik's Cube

A Rubik’s cube has more combinations than light travels inches in a century. This is my favourite illustration of how a very small number of factors can produce an absurdly complicated situation. A silly little toy, with only three squares in each of its three dimensions. How can that get complicated? Well, as anyone who's ever tried to solve one just by guessing will tell you, it gets very complicated. The number of possible combinations is 43,252,003,274,489,856,000. Forget billions - that's 43 quintillion and change. (In fact the cube's manufacturers just said ‘billions' in their advertising, figuring that no one would know what a quintillion was. It's a billion billion.) The number of inches light travels in a century, meanwhile, is a mere 37,165,049,856,000,000,000. Or thereabouts.