Getting Around London

  • London Underground
    London Underground
    by Twan
  • easyjet on the way to London
    easyjet on the way to London
    by mindcrime
  • ticket machines of National Express
    ticket machines of National Express
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Most Viewed Transportation in London

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    I'm glad I did it - but only once

    by planxty Updated Dec 1, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As part of the whole hype surrounding the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, those of us who live in London were treated to a new mode of transport which was slightly unusual for a non-mountain location and notable for several reasons. It is the Emirates Airline, and herein lies the first interesting fact. It is the first portion of the Transport for London (TfL) portfolio that is commercially sponsored, this time obviously by Emirates Airlines. Prior to this the only time any TfL, formerly London Regional Transport (LRT) station or route had been named for a brand was many, many years ago. If you are ever at Arseenal Station on the Underground, have a look at the platforms on the walls. The delightful tiling clearly states Gillespie Road but the station name was changed to reflect the proximity of Arsenal Football Club who now play at what is the Emirates Stadium. Seems Emirates have some pull in this city.

    To the Air Line itself. It is effectively a cable car running across the Thames from North Greenwich, close to the O2 arena to the Docklands area of Royal Docks in the East End. Before we go on, I should tell you that I do not like exposed heights and the concept of hanging suspended on a wire high above certain death is not high on my lists of things to do. So how did I end up there? Well, thanks to VT actually. During the weekend of the annual VT Treasure Hunt in 2012, myself and the other members of the London-Calling VT group had decided not to be very prescriptive about the events for Sunday and a few of the members had decided to meet up at North Greenwich at lunchtime after the actual Treasure Hunt on the Saturday.

    Perhaps I just was not paying attention as usual, which seems likely, but I really wasn't aware of what the plans were. I know London pretty well, I had got to the start point quite happily on the Tube and I was merely there in a capacity of having a little knowledge of the capital. I had nothing planned for the day, and wherever the visiting members wanted to go I was pretty sure I could get them to and show them round. The concept of a very large and terrifying cable car ride really didn't enter my mind. We all met up and I got some nice photos of the nearby O2, formerly the white elephant known as the Millenium Dome (which I am still paying for from my taxes, thanks Mr. B. Liar (not a typo)). So far, so good.

    At that point Lesley, VT member Roam, casually mentioned that the plan was to cross the river on the Air Line. Hmm. I had looked at it and already thought, "I don't fancy that much". However, the Air Line is all too easy to get on, especially if you have an Oyster card as I and most Londoners do. It actually works out cheaper using one rather than paying at the kiosk so before you knew it I had touched in (you place your electronic card on a reader and it debits you the fare), and was standing in what didn't even amount to a queue waiting to get onto an extremely frail looking gondola that was going to take me "high over London" (to borrow a phrase from a Jimi Hendrix song).

    High over London is indeed the phrase to employ here. After the efficient and friendly operator had seen us into the car, made a joke about not closing the door (which, at that point, I found about as funny as root canal work) and we were off. No turning back now. Initially, the car just goes up. Up, up and always further up. I have subsequently found out that it rises (dependent on tides) no less than 177 feet above the river. This, frankly, is far higher than I like. Let's be honest, I get a nosebleed climbing a stepladder. The fact that some of the members were moving about to get good photos and making the thing sway ever so slightly did nothing to alleviate my natural disinclination to be that high. I know Lesley has a wonderful photo of me sitting looking absolutely petrified, and I was.

    In fairness, the views are nothing short of specatacular. To the rear (crossing as we did South to North) you have a magnificent overview of the O2, the whole of Greenwich and down to the Thames Barrier. In front of you, the Olympic Park, Docklands, Canary Wharf etc. are all clearly visible. Thankfully, it was a very clear autumnal day when we were there. I did not take a lot of photographs. Sheer, blind terror kept me immobile and rooted to my seat most of the time. However, for those of you not cursed with my fear of heights, it really would be a superb experience, and relatively inexpensive, and I would certainly recommend it. If you compare it to the London Eye, which I think is horribly overpriced and overhyped (yes, I was talked into that folly as well), it is a wonderful experience with lots of wonderful photo opportunities. The staff are excellent, friendly and well turned out (TfL take note) and it really should be on everyone's list of London "things to do". Unless of course, you don't like heights, in which case, get the Tube!

    To the practicalities now, and I would direct you to the attached website for this, it is rather comprehensive. Walk-up prices are a little steep at £4:30 single (£2:20 child) but with the Oyster Card it is £3:20 single and £1:60 child. As I have mentioned, this is a monumental saving on the London Eye and will give you a great view of an area of London less-visited but well worth looking at. Despite my personal nightmare, I really would recommend it, just don't ask me to go and get some more photos!

    Emirates Air Line, London, UK. Emirates Air Line, London, UK. Emirates Air Line, London, UK. Emirates Air Line, London, UK. Emirates Air Line, London, UK.
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  • planxty's Profile Photo

    It's a bit different.

    by planxty Updated Apr 19, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Update April 2014.

    Readers of my pages will know that I like to keep them as up to date as possible and so I offer the following nformation. Following a fire on one of the vehicles in late September 2013, the company is temporarily offering land-only tours whilst the relevant authorities conduct investigations. Fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt but a number of people were taken to hospital as a precaution.

    The attached website is suggesting a possible return to river service as of 8th May 2014 but without the river element, the whole mainstay of this attraction seems to have been removed. Certainly, it is a novel way to travel round central London but I don't think it justifies the expense for a journey you oculd do with the same results on a hop-on hop-off bus, cheaper still normal public buses or cheapest of all walking which is my preferred option for seeing central London anyway. I shall attempt to keep this tip up to date as things progress.

    Original Tip.

    This has to be one of the more obscure modes of transport amongst the many to be found in London. They are converted DUKW landing craft, as used in the Second World War, and are some sort of weird hybrid of road vehicle and boat.

    The tour lasts about 70 minutes, starting at Chicheley St. Waterloo (behind the London Eye). They take in such sites as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Tate Gallery, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey before taking to the water and finally ending up back at the start point.

    It has to be said, it's not cheap at £17:50 for adults and £12:00 for children, but it has to be one of the more unusual ways of seeing the sights.

    Duck vehicle, London.
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    MINICABS

    by davidjo Written Nov 29, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    MINICABS are cheaper than taxis but bookings must be made by telephone as they are not allowed to pick passengers up from the street like a regular London Taxi. The fare is a greed in advance and a record is kept. You could be putting yourself in danger if approached by an unregulated car on the street, and it would also be illegal. Most pubs, hotels restaurants deal with a certain minicab company and will be pleased to order one for you. It is normal for these establishments to get commission from the minicab companies.

    minicab office

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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    BIG BUS TOURS

    by davidjo Written Nov 18, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Big Bus Tours offer an ideal way to see the London sites, as you can hop on or off at 50 different stops. During the tour you can have live commentary or recorded commentary as well as 4 walking tours and a trip on the river Thames, and vouchers for restaurants and shops. Tickets are a hefty £29 and £12 for children.

    open top bus tour

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    the new Emirates cable car from Excel to O2 venues

    by angiebabe Written Sep 8, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Opened in time for the 2012 Olympics here in London this is an exciting new tourist attraction providing another opportunity for great views over London and the Thames.

    The cable car links the major venues of the Excel centre and the O2. The Excel centre is accessed by the DLR lines with the closest stations being Custom House, Prince Regent and West Silvertown - which is a lovely walk around the waters of the docklands to the cable car station.

    Payment is best using Oyster card which gives a discounted fare 'of £3.20 for adults and £1.60 for children as opposed to paying by cash at £4.30 and £2.20. There is also a reduced rate for multiple journeys.

    cable car over the O2/millenium dome view from West Silvertown DLR station
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  • fabric_letters's Profile Photo

    Walk where you can....

    by fabric_letters Written May 26, 2012

    Judge you distances, Some of the time it takes longer to get the tube from once place to the other and theres alot of walking up and down. Walking from one land mark to the other will give you chance to see alot more of the city and round every corner there will be something of interest.

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  • PeterVancouver's Profile Photo

    Thames Fast Ferries

    by PeterVancouver Updated Apr 16, 2012

    An excellent way to get around in London especially if your hotel is out in the East of the City is by way of Thames Clippers.

    Outside of rush hour there is a huge amount of room to move about in with food and drinks on offer during the day.

    They are part of the Oyster card programme so you dont even have to use credit cards or buy tickets before boarding.

    We were staying at a Holiday Inn Express Hotel out not far from the Docklands and the City Airport so picked up a ferry each day from the O2 pier to get us into the City and directly to attractions such as the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Greenwich all for a relativly inexpensive fare

    o2 pier Thames clipper Ferry Under Tower Bridge Traitors Gate tower of London Passing HMS Belfast tourist attraction
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  • Robin020's Profile Photo

    Stanstede Airport

    by Robin020 Updated Jun 14, 2011

    you can travel from Stanstede airport to London by either bus or train.
    you can take national express buses costs around 10 pounds
    www.nationalexpress.com
    or by easy bus can cost ONLY 2 pounds 1 way.
    or by stanstede express train costs around 20 pounds 1 way.

    Related to:
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  • cochinjew's Profile Photo

    Lay over at Heathrow for a few hours

    by cochinjew Updated Jun 3, 2011

    even though it says 11, it is more like 7 or 8 hours, to go through immigration and coming back through security check. depending upon the termianl you are using, the queues can be long or short, also the time of departure or arrival. Most of the flights from North America (most of them) arrive in the morning.
    15 minutes to Central London
    you can have a nice meal and get back to Heathrow on time

    near Paddington station is the Middle Eastern Area and you can get excellent Lebanese persian iraqi kurdish cuisine. of course so easy to get a good north indian meal. there are pubs every where..

    i would go to london and enjoy a few hours in that marvellous city..

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Day trip to Sissinghurst Gardens and Castle

    by rexvaughan Written Apr 26, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Access from London by train is about an hour from Charing Cross to Staplehurst and fare is about 17GBP round-trip. As on some trains cars are divided off between London and Staplehurst, be sure you are on one that in fact goes to Staplehurst. From the Staplehurst Station you can walk a short distance out the front of the station and cross the street to catch a bus to Sissinghurst village. It is the Arriva #5 (£ 4.40 for a round-trip ticket) and takes about 15 minutes and the buses run only hourly. From Sissinghurst village you walk about 1.25 miles and some of the path is not well designed for pedestrian traffic. Given this, we took a taxi back to Staplehurst from Sissinghurst at a cost of about 14 GBP. We considered it worth the extra cost to skip the walk and wait on a bus.

    Coach #4 does go to Staplehurst on this train Schedules are posted at bus stops Can be an hour's wait if you miss one of the buses

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  • Cruiseone2003's Profile Photo

    Dutch Flyer, Rail/Ferry from London to Amsterdam

    by Cruiseone2003 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you're looking for an inexpensive way to travel between London and Amsterdam try the Stenna Line Ferry from Harwich, UK to Hook of Holland, Netherlands. In just over 3hours from port to port you'll be across the channel. The ferry holds about 1500 persons, has a theater to see movies, restaurants, duty free (over priced) casino, and a business center. There was a special for GBP25 one way which included the rail portion from Liverpool station to Harwich, Ferry to Holland, then the train into Amsterdam; you can't beat that price even with Europe's discounted airlines.

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Budget Travel

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    A Unique Travel Experience in London

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Based on a Rick S. video, I decided to take a trip to Greenwich on the Docklands Light Rail and come back by boat.

    Apparently London Rail has decided to make the rail/boat trip that we took to Greenwich into a special ticket. I don't know if you can do rail and boat as we did, or if you have to do the boat ride first. This is what their website says about it.

    "Our Rail and River Tour shows you London's landmarks from two completely different perspectives. Take a City Cruises river boat along the Thames from Westminster, Waterloo, Tower or Greenwich pier and soak up London's colourful history. Then change to DLR's fully automated trains on elevated track and enter tomorrow's world. Compare the stunning modern architecture of Canary Wharf to the historic dockside warehouses. Tour Guides provide a free lively commentary on selected trains from Tower Gateway at weekends."

    "A Rail and River Rover ticket gives you the flexibility of a full day's unlimited travel on Docklands Light Railway and City Cruises, providing an unbeatable way to see London. Hop on and off as much as you like to get the full benefit of the ticket."

    Ticket Prices
    Adult
    £8.80
    Child
    £4.50

    Family
    £23.00

    Family ticket is valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children under 16. Under 5's go free.
    10% discount for groups of 10+ (except for Family tickets)
    Alternatively, Travelcards are valid on Docklands Light Railway.

    Adult, child, family and group tickets can be purchased from City Cruises ticket offices at Westminster, Waterloo, Tower or Greenwich piers and Sweet Express at Tower Gateway station.

    Adult and child tickets can also be purchased from Docklands Light Railway ticket machines at all stations with the exception of Bank and Canning Town. For further information and advance bookings, please contact DLR Customer Services seven days in advance of travel.

    River Thames
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    • Cruise
    • Trains

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  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    Transportation

    by Carmela71 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    London has a quick and efficient underground, and the famous red 'double-decker' buses.

    The tube is quicker, especially at rush hours. But you will see more of London from a bus!

    The famous London black taxis 'cabs' are a must do!

    After 09.30 am, you can buy the One-Day off-peak Travelcard, it covers you for travel on underground trains and most London buses all day after 09.30 Mondays to Fridays, or anytime weekends and public holidays.

    There is also the One-Day Capital Card, which covers London buses, tube trains, and British Rail trains.

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  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    transporte

    by Carmela71 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    El mejor medio para moverse por Londres es, sin duda, el metro.

    Es la línea metropolitana más antigua del mundo.

    Lo más cómodo y barato es comprarse una Travel Card, sirve para el metro y también para el autobús.

    Hay Travel cards diarios, de fin de semana, semanales y mensuales, y su precio varía según el numero de zonas por las que uno quiera moverse.

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    IF YOU HIT A RAILWAY BRIDGE

    by DAO Updated Feb 20, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    You have to report it! Actually if you see anyone, or anything, hit a bridge, please report it. Why? Because it can cause structural damage. Would you like a train full of people and several tonnes of bricks coming down on your head? The people at Network Rail make it really easy. You simply dial 999 - the general emergence number - from any phone and read out the information on the sign.

    Last year 1300 bridges were struck and I have actually seen a lorry hit one. Not everyone is going to stick around due to insurance reasons. If you report it, they will come check out the damage to the bridge.

    This is true throughout the UK.

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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Comments (5)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2014 at 2:46 AM

    Transport for London has announced its fares for 2015. Traditionally prices rise every January, but this year there is some good news. If you are using an Oyster or the new contactless system the daily price cap is actually coming down! In zones 1-2, where most visitors spend most of their time, the daily cap will reduce from £8.40 to £6.40, meaning that you would never spend more than that in a day, no matter how many tubes and buses you catch. I haven't yet done the maths but I think this will make Oyster by far the best option for most visitors. See here for more info, including caps for other zones: londonist.com/2014/11/2015-t...

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Nov 16, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      good idea to get a guidebook such as the Lonely Planet for Europe which is an excellent resource to have for the long term

    • LakshyaR's Profile Photo
      Nov 16, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      i apperiate ur advise

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2014 at 2:28 AM

    Transport for London is planning to move to a new payment system. Oyster will be phased out and you will be bale to use contactless debit cards instead, though I think there will be a period of overlap when both can be used (as at present on the buses). The Londonist has produced a useful article on how this is expected to work: londonist.com/2014/08/contac...

    But I'm not at all clear yet what the position will be for visitors from abroad who maybe don't have a contactless debit card. I'll keep monitoring the situation and post again if I find out.

    • angiebabe's Profile Photo
      Nov 16, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      my normal debit card, supplied from about 18 months ago, works in the contactless machines at Marks and Spencers and Sainsburys near me....got quite a shock as ive not received any online info that this was coming in while ive been away but they say 20 pounds max makes not requiring a pin or signature okay!?

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Nov 17, 2014 at 1:02 AM

      Any card with the contactless logo (looks like wifi waves) on it should work, but as you say there is a £20 limit (it started off as just £10 if I remember rightly)

  • HackneyBird's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    As from 6th July 2014 there will be NO cash fares accepted on London buses. For more information go to www.tfl.gov.uk/

    • RavensWing's Profile Photo
      Apr 27, 2014 at 4:29 AM

      Well I only plan to fly into LHR and then find the way to where ever Stonehenge is and head there right away. I might not even need one for him.

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Apr 27, 2014 at 5:45 AM

      You can just use the Tube from LHR if you need to get into London, or the National Express buses. Stonehenge is near Salisbury so you'll need to take the train from London Waterloo www.nationalrail.co.uk or the bus from either Heathrow or Victoria coach station. www.nationalexpress.com Then you'll need bus or taxi from Salisbury to the stones themselves. The ordinary bus service which used to exist has now turned into a hoho, unfortunately: http://www.thestonehengetour.info/

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    Apr 19, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    Temporary notice 19th April, 2014.

    The RMT Union has just announced that they are to hold another two of their strikes from 2100 hours on Monday 28th April for 48 hours and from 2100 hours on Monday 5th May for 72 hours. As always, these are designed to cause maximum disruption by being during the working week and will affect both Londoners and visitors alike. There will be a huge strain on other forms of public transport so travellers are advised to plan well ahead if they are visiting during these periods.

    I shall attempt to keep this information as current as possible should there be any changes.

    planxty (fergy).

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I have just heard on the BBC News in London that Tube (Underground / Metro) workers are going on strike for 24 hours on Boxing Day (26th December, 2012). Members of the ASLEF Union have today voted in favour of this action which will seriously disrupt transportation in London on this public holiday. They have also voted for industrial action on the 18th January, 2013 and 25th January, 2013. Here is a link.

    bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20...

    I shall update this if there is any change in the situation.

London Transportation

planxty's Profile Photo

Think of London and one of the first things you probably think of is the traditional red double-decker bus and possibly the black taxicab or even the Underground / subway / Metro, known to...

Map of London