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ARSENAL (Piccadilly line) A LONDON TUBE RAMBLE  
Only about a mile actual walking in the streets, but you may want to spend time visiting the Emirates Football Stadium or Gillespie Nature Reserve

This station was originally called Gillespie Road but was renamed Arsenal in 1932, as it served the Highbury ground. Arsenal is still regarded in South East London as a local club, since it started off life as Dial Square, a workshop in Woolwich Arsenal. The club moved from Woolwich to Highbury in 1913 largely because their ground in Plumstead was awkward for away fans to reach, which resulted in financial difficulties. The move improved attendances and the rest is history. Incidentally the old name is still visible on tiles inside the station.

Directions: From the station, turn left down Gillespie Road. You may be surprised tdiscover along the way that the turf of the Emirates stadium inot the only green space round here.
Gillespie Nature Reserve is a 9 acre snippet of countryside (actually ex railway siding) kept fairly wild - a pleasant place to potter round. To discover what's there, walk through the brick archway and over a set of delightful mosaics, then bear left towards the Ecology Centre.
From here a path leads upwards to what looks remarkably like a country lane, though high-speed trains can be heard nearby. To explore more of the reserve, walk right, then pass through a gate. Alternatively, going left will bring you to a short raised woodland trail and Drayton Road. Here turn left, noticing a cleverly designed house jammed into the junction with Gillespie Road. Now retrace your steps past the Tube station and the entrance used to access the nature reserve, then go right down Avenell Road


Before getting to the new stadium you will see the facade of the old Highbury stadium (first photo) - now redeveloped as flats. Some of these follow the shape of the old terrace (see left). Continue down the road until Aubert Park, then turn right and wander down the hill for the Gunners' massive Emirates Stadium. Right again into Drayton Road where the main entrance is situated. Want a closer look at the stadium? You can get match-fit by climbing the (many) steps and crossing a bridge*. The guns on show at the Queensland Road end are on loan from The Royal Artillery Museum. They were made at Woolwich Arsenal in 1859, and are a reminder of how The Gunners got their name.


To get back to the Tube station, return to Drayton Road, go left, then bear right into Gillespie Road again.

*Disabled access is available, though sadly Arsenal Tube station itself has no provision for wheelchairs.

Warning: there may be serious congestion problems when the stadium is in use, so it is best to avoid the entire area then. In any case, the Nature Reserve is closed on match days. Check on the Arsenal website for fixture dates.
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www.londontuberambles.co.uk
This is just one route from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings to be found in the area covered by the outer London Underground stations. Usually the discoveries are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to click on the link above and see the other destinations explored. It's amazing what's out there!

©DR