Leicester Square London Underground
Leicester Square is located in Central London
Leicester Square
Leicester Square
Location of Leicester Square in Central London
LocationTheatreland and Chinatown
Local authorityCity of Westminster
Managed byLondon Underground
Number of platforms4
Fare zone1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2017Decrease 36.73 million[1]
2018Decrease 35.07 million[2]
2019Decrease 34.56 million[3]
2020Decrease 3.95 million[4]
2021Increase 16.35 million[5]
Railway companies
Original companyGreat Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway
Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway
Key dates
15 December 1906GNP&B station opened
22 June 1907CCE&H station opened
Other information
External links
WGS8451°30′41″N 0°07′41″W / 51.51139°N 0.12806°W / 51.51139; -0.12806
 London transport portal

Leicester Square is a London Underground station in the West End of London, within walking distance of Theatreland and Chinatown. It is located on Charing Cross Road, a short distance to the east of Leicester Square itself.

The station is on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line between Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross stations, and on the Piccadilly line, between Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden stations. It is in Travelcard Zone 1.


On early Tube plans, the station was listed as Cranbourn Street, but the present name was used by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway when the station opened on 15 December 1906.[6]

Like other stations on the original sections of the Piccadilly and Northern lines, the station was originally constructed with lifts providing access to the platforms. The increase in passenger numbers in the 1920s as the Northern line was extended north (to Edgware) and south (to Morden) and the expected further increase from the 1930s extensions of the Piccadilly line led to the reconstruction of the station below ground in the early 1930s. New station entrances were constructed to a new sub-surface ticket hall. As with the similar sub-surface ticket hall previously built at Piccadilly Circus, this was excavated partially under the roadway. From there banks of escalators were provided down to both sets of platforms. The redundant lifts were removed but the lift shaft remains in use as a ventilation shaft hidden behind a small door on the first landing of the Cranbourn Street entrance stairs. The redeveloped station opened in 1935.[7]

The escalators down to the Piccadilly line (the longest in the world when opened in 1935) [8] were the longest on the entire Underground network, being 54 m (177 ft) in length, until the rebuilding and reopening of Angel in 1992, which overtook Leicester Square with its 60 m (197 ft) escalators.[9]

Offices above the red terracotta station building on the east side of Charing Cross Road were once occupied by the Northern line management staff but now have other functions in addition to the Northern line management, with Piccadilly line management and support functions on the first floor including a training centre. The building, known as Transad House, was occupied in its early years by the publishers of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and an image of cricket stumps appears above a doorway.

Film sprocket design on the Leicester Square tube platform.
Film sprocket design on the Leicester Square tube platform.

On all four platforms, film sprockets are painted down the entire length and on the top and bottom of the display area (blue on the Piccadilly line platforms, and black on the Northern line platforms), in reference to the four premiere cinemas in Leicester Square.


London Buses routes 24, 29, 176 and night routes N5, N20, N29, N41 and N279 serve the station.[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures (2007–2017)". London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. January 2018. Archived from the original (XLSX) on 31 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Station Usage Data" (CSV). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2018. Transport for London. 21 August 2019. Archived from the original on 22 May 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2019. Transport for London. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2020. Transport for London. 16 April 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2021. Transport for London. 12 July 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  6. ^ Follenfant, H. G. (1975). Reconstructing London's underground. London Transport Executive. p. 45. ISBN 9780853290391.
  7. ^ "Underground Journeys: Leicester Square". Royal Institute of British Architects. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011.
  8. ^ Lee, Charles (1973). The Piccadilly Line. London: London Regional Transport. p. 23. ISBN 0853290423.
  9. ^ "Underground Journeys: Escalators". Royal Institute of British Architects. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Buses from Leicester Square" (PDF). TfL. June 2022. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  11. ^ "Night buses from Leicester Square" (PDF). TfL. June 2022. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
Preceding station Underground (no text).svg London Underground Following station
Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly line Covent Garden
Tottenham Court Road Northern line
Charing Cross Branch
Charing Cross