When it comes to exploring Britain, London is a territory all to itself. It is without a doubt one of the most wonderful yet vast and populated cities in the UK – so you’re going to need some help finding your way.
While buses and the underground are popular choices, they can often be very crowded, unbelievably slow and sometimes face severe delays as a result.
Luckily, there are several other ways to get around in London!
The London transport network is a law unto itself – so don’t be surprised to find situations where you can’t get from A to B without taking in C, D and E first. Sometimes you just need a quicker solution.
Taxis are surely the best option – not only are they faster and can work exclusively on your timetable, but your driver will be a local expert with a wealth of geographical knowledge. New arrivals at St Pancras International, for example, can instantly order cabs rather than joining the throngs of commuters on the buses.
Not sure how to hail a cab? Check out this post : How to Hail a Cab Like a Local.
London’s underground service, the oldest in the the world, carries more Londoners and tourists each day than any other form of transport in the city. Carrying 1.23 billion passengers per year, The Tube serves a large part of Greater London with 270 stations and 11 lines.
The Underground uses a zonal fare system to calculate fares. Travelcards (paper tickets) can be purchases at stations from ticket machines or riders may purchase an Oyster card, a pre-payment smart card that can be repeatedly topped up as needed.
London’s buses are busy, servicing 19,000 stops and carrying 6 million passengers every weekday. You can pay for your journey with cash, a Travel Card or an Oyster Card. However, cash fares are charged at a single flat rate for any length of journey making them considerably higher than paying with an Oyster card. Keep this in mind if you plan to use the buses often.
For more information on buses, including routes, stops and arrival times, visit the TFL website.
There are regular train services connecting to London from all over the UK, making the train one of the easiest ways to get into (and out of) the capital and offer plenty of accessibility. Of course, trains are also ideal for longer journeys and can help you explore some of the outlying regions, such as Kent and Windsor, which can’t be reached easily by bus.
For national rail enquiries, visit NationalRail.co.uk.
When covering the shortest of distances, don’t be afraid of walking! Some underground stations, for example, are often just streets away from each other.
This is particularly true for popular areas such as the Central London, Bond Street or, indeed, anywhere well-served by underground stations. It often simply isn’t worth the time jumping from one station to the next immediate stop – sometimes the overhead route is quicker, especially when you factor in the waiting times to get in and out of underground services.
Some would argue that the tube is only truly beneficial for longer distances in and out of the city. If you want to go inter-city, it might well be better to walk or take a taxi, depending on the exact distance of your journey.
This post is by Minicabster.