November 24th, 2010

London Travel Tips

by Don

London is without doubt one of the busiest and most bustling places you will ever visit. On foot you
will spend much of your time negotiating past oncoming foot passengers avoiding shoulders, elbows
and ghastly brollies if it decides to rain. In the car you will spend a frightful amount of time either at a
standstill or trying not to get bullied off the road by the infinite amount of black cabs and red buses that dominate.

Certainly the most popular and successful way to travel around London is by tube by people who stay
in hotels in London. Anyone who hasn’t had the experience of the tube will find that it is vast and at
times overwhelming. That said, it is one of the most sophisticated and best rapid transit systems in the world and it is certainly intuitive once you can appreciate the colour coded lines and the infrastructure.

The London Underground or ‘tube’ for short is made up of 11 lines, 4 of which make up the
subsurface routes: The Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan Lines, whilst the
Bakerloo, Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria and Waterloo & City Lines make up the deep-
tube routes. In total the underground has 270 stations and combined they will without a doubt get you to where you want to go, quicker and often cheaper than any other transport option in Central London.

The tube uses a simple travel card for its charging system. The underground is clearly divided into 6
zones, with Zone 1 being the most central and Zone 6 being the furthest out. Within each zone are a
certain amount of stations. At any given station you can work out where you are and where you want
to be working with the 11 lines and finding the route you need to take. Once you work out the route
you need to take you will be able to see what zone your destination lies within. From here you can pay for the relevant travel card.

If you are going to be travelling in and around London frequently whilst on your stay then it is
advisable to get an Oyster card. This is essentially a smartcard that has an embedded chip. You’ll be
able to ‘charge’ the Oyster card up with credit and use this to get around the underground. The Oyster card also covers buses, trams, the Dockland Light Railway as well as National Rail services within London. It is a cheaper alternative to cash ticketing and it is the most flexible and easiest way to travel around London.

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