Charing Cross Station
Charing Cross Station is a UK National Rail terminus station in central London. It is the starting and end point for a large number of services operated by Southeastern and Southern Train Operating Companies (TOCs). The station is located at the western-most end of The Strand near Trafalgar Square, St. Martins-in-the-Fields, the National Gallery and the Embankment. Also within walking distance of Charing Cross station are Covent Garden, the South Bank, Charing Cross Road, the Houses of Parliament and Parliament Square, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Savoy Hotel, the Inns of Court.
Destinations served from Charing Cross mainline services cover south London suburbs, the Kent, the Weald and other parts of East Sussex and include Dover, Caterbury, Sevenoaks, Maidstone, Chatham, Ashford International, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Hastings. Most services from Charing Cross stop at Waterloo East Station and London Bridge Station.
Charing Cross has a Tube station which has north- and south-bound services on the Northern Line and Bakerloo Line. In addition, it is a short walking distance from Embankment Tube Station, which has Circle and District Line services running east and west. Embankment Tube station is accessible by exiting Charing Cross from the eastern step exit and walking down Villiers Street. The eastern exit from Charing Cross is also the start of a raised overpass that leads from the station, above Villiers Street, past Embankment Station and onto the Hungerford Bridge. The Hungerford foot bridge runs parallel with the train line and takes pedestrians across the river to the South Bank complex: Waterloo Station, the London Eye, Royal Festival Hall etc.
As well as the Tube, Charing Cross station has a taxi rank outside, and a bus stop with services running into the West End, the City (London's financial district), Kensington and Chelsea, and elsewhere. Inside the station, there are four cash machines, and a variety of shops selling food, drink, pharmaceuticals, books and newspapers. There are a number of payphones available on the concourse, and a left luggage office. Above the station is the Charing Cross Hotel.
Charing Cross station was first opened on 11 January 1864, and the hotel was opened on the 15 May 1865. In the forecourt of the station sits an Eleanor Cross - sometimes referred to as "the Charing Cross" - which is dedicated to the memory of Queen Eleanor, wife of King Edward I. It is traditionally the point from which distances from London to other cities is calculated.