How do you go about planning a walk along a huge network like the Tube? You start off with some research, and here are the books and maps I found most useful when planning my tubewalk.
The good old Tube map is an obvious place to begin, though as far as maps are concerned, the London A-Z is the best option – see my article on maps for more about that. Second, I picked up a copy of Christian Wolmar's The Subterranean Railway, a very readable history of the Tube that's particularly good on the very early days of the Metropolitan and District lines, as well as the development of Metro-land along the further reaches of the Metropolitan. I finished the book feeling rather fond of the old Tube, which was a good sign.
Third, I wanted a map of central London showing points of interest and walking opportunities, and I found an excellent one by Andrew Duncan, author of a number of popular walking guides to the capital. His London Walks Map details loads of walks in and around London, all on one handy map, and where his route and mine coincided, I doffed my hat and followed him with gratitude.
Along the way I picked up a number of other books, some of which were invaluable, and some of which were probably not worth the effort. Here's a complete list of the books I used, along with links to Amazon UK:
The Subterranean Railway by Christian Wolmar
Buy this; it's quite superb if you're at all interested in the history of the Tube.
London Walks Map by Andrew Duncan
An excellent map from the king of London walking, showing 30 walks around London from the City to the suburbs.
London's Underground by John Glover
A detailed reference book on the Tube that's not as readable as The Subterranean Railway, but which is crammed with useful facts.
City Secrets: London by Tim Adams
This guidebook contains a number of relatively unknown attractions throughout the capital, some of which I visited on my walk.
Secret London by Andrew Duncan
This contains a few walking routes, but as it's mostly text, it proved less useful than the same author's excellent London Walks Map.
What's in a Name? by Cyril M. Harris
This thin tome explains the origin of each Tube station's name, which is more interesting than it might sound.
One Stop Short of Barking by Mecca Ibrahim
A humorous look at the Tube, unfortunately written with a sense of humour that is incompatible with mine. Still, it makes for a good toilet book.
All of these books and maps are available through Amazon, and I can particularly recommend The Subterranean Railway and the London Walks Map. I owe them a considerable debt.