Opinion

London's Queues: Ranked From Best To Worst

London's Queues: Ranked From Best To Worst

Queues! If chuckling disingenuously at people making lazy jokes about how the British love queuing was an Olympic sport, then we'd have choked to death on gold medals by now. Here's a definitive/utterly subjective list of London's best and worst queues. Please read this one at a time.

Best: The Wimbledon queue

Wimbledon - where people do things nicely. Image: Shutterstock

If the Wimbledon queue were a former British women's champion born in Paignton in 1956, it'd be Sue Barker. Restrained. Reliable. Genial. Good at middle-brow sports trivia. This is the queue that other queues aspire to be; the queue so renowned that the Beeb covers it with almost the same enthusiasm it covers the mixed double final. Curated with the precision of a Venus Williams forehand; as languid and pleasantly-paced as a Tim Henman testimonial, people would happily get in another queue just to join this one. Lay out the picnic blanket. Crack open a 7am tinnie of Pimm's. Get soaked by the delicious British rain.  

2nd Best: The Platform 9¾ queue

Nice people in a nice queue

It is an enchanted queue indeed, which has people flocking from all over the world just to be part of it. The end game of King's Cross' Harry Potter-themed line is half a trolly jammed into a brick wall, which goes to prove it's about the journey, not the destination. Hell, some people put more effort into dressing up for this queue than they do for Halloween.

3rd Best: The online queue for Fleabag/Fleetwood Mac/Hamilton tickets

Officially the best city in the world*, London naturally hosts the best events in the world. That also means the stress of being 141,785th in line for a laughably diddy batch of tickets. What time do they go on sale? 10.30am on a Friday of course — the exact same time you have that meeting you can't shouldn't miss. Ah well, for better or for worse, the queue will be done within 30 minutes. Later on down the line, someone will give you false hope with mention of some sort of magical ballot. But no one ever wins a ballot.

*Winner: Londonist Best City Award 2004-2019

5th Worst: The latest trendy restaurant queue

It's your Saturday morning, guys. Image: Shutterstock

Being ever-so marginally ahead in global food trends is one of the reasons we're still OK forking out £12,700 a month on London rent. But oh, I'm sorry, is it not good enough to want to eat your trendy Sri Lankan chocolate sushi from your trendy Sri Lankan chocolate sushi restaurant? Do I now have to line up and join this wretched chain of human billboards, some of whom might not even get fed? Hmm. I mean Londonist did give this place four stars... let's give it another hour.

4th Worst: The tourist attraction queue

Eye spy a queue. Image: Shutterstock

It is unfair to lump all tourist queues into one. Westminster Abbey's is a swiftly-shifting line of reverential pilgrims — almost as if they're queuing for the Pearly Gates themselves (clutching their £21 entry fee). But others, like Madame Tussauds's, are endless, writhing people-snakes from hell; where you can't even drift off into a traffic pollution-stepped stupor, because some Italian family keeps trying to slip in front of you. When your prize is coming face to face with a human-sized candle in the shape of Zoella, you have to ask yourself if it was all worth it.

3rd Worst: The new phone queue

NO. Image: Shutterstock

No, it is not cool that this is your idea of 'getting out'. No, it is not cool to be the 15th person in the UK to own something with a very decent camera, but will nonetheless relay your movements directly to Xi Jinping. No, it is not cool that you blew your £12,700 of rent money on it. NO.

2nd Worst: The bus queue

An artist's impression. Image: Shutterstock

And we mean the bus. Queueing on the platform for the tube, Londoners are as chivalrous as a stressed-up troglodyte who's not seen sunlight since September can be. But in the line at the bus stop? You can bet your monthly travel card that as you're about to board, some chancer will barge in front. Then fish about for their card for 45 seconds. Then nick the only double seat left upstairs. To coin a phrase: Lock them up.

Worst: The social housing queue

Image: Shutterstock

Don't think we're being flippant; the statistics on this make for utterly shameful reading, and put all our other queues into poignant perspective. Well, we are supposed to be good at queuing over here.

Last Updated 24 June 2019