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Navigating the London Underground

The city of London is one of the busiest, cities in terms of people travelling from one part of the city to the other. Every day millions of Londoners, visitors and tourists use its public transport facilities to reach their destinations. When it comes to public transportation, London has one of the best developed transport infrastructures in Europe. Getting around the city is never a problem with its vast rail and bus network.

Whether a visitor needs to travel from any of the London Premier Kensington hotels to any part of the city or the airport, there always is public transport available. There is excellent connectivity to all parts of the city 24/7 all through the year. With London being such a popular tourist destination it becomes essential to have convenient transport available, and there is nothing better than the London Underground to travel in comfort and speed. It is one of the oldest underground rail networks on the planet and probably the most used.

One of the best ways to travel in the city is to get a map of the London Underground and locate the stations nearest to the destinations on one’s travel itinerary. This will save both time to travel to the places you want to see, as well as save money on fares.

Some of the most central locations with stations are Charring Cross and Westminster, which are best to travel from to the major attractions in the city, like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament etc. A short distance away there is Pall Mall, the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square.  A short distance away the Monument tube station is to be found which offers excellent access to the iconic Tower of London, and Tower Bridge. A little further up there is Waterloo station from where getting to the London Eye would be convenient along with other attractions like the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

For those who have an interest in museums, the South Kensington Tube Station is the right location to set off and explore the Science Museum, the V&A and the Natural History Museum. Another important station when on a tour of museums is Lambeth North that offers convenient access to the Florence Nightingale Museum and the Imperial War Museum. To travel to the John Sloane Museum and the British Museum the station at Tottenham Court Road is the best.

Moving further up for tourists who are interested in travelling to Kensington Palace and Gardens, Notting Hill and Portobello Road the tube station at High St Kensington is the best place to get off.  Tourists who want to visit Regents Park, London Zoo and Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks should travel to the Baker St Tube station.

No trip to London would be complete without visiting Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral and the best way to get there would be to hop off either at St. Paul’s Tube station or the Westminster Tube station. The fact is getting around the city is convenient and simple as long as you follow a well planned itinerary and know what stations to get off at. It can be fairly inexpensive too just get a day’s roaming rail ticket and select the stations that are closest to the places you want to visit. This will get you to the best attractions in the city without having to be stuck in traffic or weaving through the crowds on London’s busy streets.

All it takes is planning the journey before you begin. Using the Tube especially during peak hours can be taxing so knowing exactly where one wants to board and get off simplifies the task of travelling in the city of London. Also keep a alternative back-up route if reaching on time is important, in the event that a tube line is not functional for technical reasons.

A few tips when using the London Underground

A useful tool for travellers in London is the Journey Planner available on the transport for London website. It has improved immensely and is the best way to find the shortest possible routes, while keeping the user briefed about any delays or breakdowns. There are advanced options available that assist a traveller to specify the means of transport they intend to use and the time taken to reach there.

When arriving at any station check the travel information on the notice boards. Most of the notice boards can be found close to the ticket machines and they offer up-to-date information about delays and other issues. Check them for the latest information when catching a train.

When travelling in the Tube keep a look out for seats allotted for disabled passengers. During peak hours the Tub gets full and passengers who stand are pushed and jostled a fair bit. If no seats are available and there is a vacant seat for disabled individuals, you could sit there temporarily until a physically challenged person or pregnant woman arrives. Don’t wait to be asked to vacate the seat.

When boarding the tube it is appropriate to let passengers exiting to get off, before jumping on. It is the right thing to do and also is the correct way to board the train.

Ensure that you buy the correct ticket as the Underground is divided into six different travel zones. The ticket pricing is different for each zone with their validity being only for specific zones and of limited time duration. Check that your ticket covers the travel zones that you plan to travel.

Also check the platform you are on is the headed in the right direction. There are stations that have multiple platforms for two or three lines. Acquaint yourself with the platform you are on and read the signs at the station in case of any doubts.

This post was written by

Fergus Brandon – who has written posts on All Here.


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