You never forget your first time. Your first time on the London Underground.

Rude at rush hour, rowdy at night, reliably grumpy in the morning, using “The Tube” to navigate your way across London as either a resident or a visitor is a rite of passage.

It’s one of the things I love to miss now that I no longer live in London. Of course, when I actually lived in London, I loved to hate the London Underground, like all good Londoners do. Back then, I begrudged having to commit an hour of my time each day in the nook of a stranger’s armpit while thundering from West to East on the Central Line, one of the deepest and busiest lines. Now I am more sentimental and I’m grateful to @MissUnderground aka Jess McDonald for letting me indulge in plenty of nostalgia as she captures the underworld that is one of t the world’s oldest underground transport networks with just her Smartphone and the Instagram app. Despite what the seemingly organised Tube Map shows us, the London Underground is really a spaghetti arrangement of subterranean tunnels, snaking and zig-zagging across London’s huge sprawl and its potential for exploration often feels infinite. I’m glad someone with Jess’ eye is doing just this.

Minimalist, symmetry-driven and always cleanly composed, Jess’ photos have a way of capturing London Underground that is both eerie and exciting. The fact that most of her photos are void of people – empty platforms, lonely escalators, long silver tunnels without a soul ambling down them – adds a little mystery to her photos as this is the Underground as we rarely see it. It’s no surprise Instagram recently featured her on their blog and so we too want to celebrate Jess and her striking Instagram feed for sharing the peculiar beauty of the London Underground with us. You can find more information about Jess and her photos on her website.

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P.S. For more Instagram inspiration be sure to follow our Travelettes Instagram feed and I can be found @bushbirdie. Happy Gramming under and over ground!


This post was written by Frankie Thompson who was a Travelette from 2012 – 2015. Originally from London, UK, Frankie was nomadic for several years before settling in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she lives with her Australian partner and baby boy. She spends her time buying vintage dresses, riding a rusty old bike around the canals and writing books inspired by her travels. Frankie blogs about travel, writing and motherhood at As the Bird flies blog.