Being the capital city of Great Britain, London has so much to offer with its many iconic landmarks, museums and eclectic mix of shops and theatres. It spans an incredible 1,572 km², a vast amount of ground to cover if you are visiting this fair city, so many different transport links have been put in place to ensure safe and speedy travel to take you where ever you wanted to go.
Is the Tube the Right Transport for You?
The London underground is one of the most popular ways to travel with 1.23 billion passengers taking to its carriages in a year. It is quick and efficient and it is how most Londoners make their way to work in the mornings. It covers a huge area with 270 stations and has 402 kilometres (250 miles) of track and transports to Greater London and parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. It operates 11 lines: the Bakerloo line, the Circle line, District line; all of which can be found seconds away from the Park Grand London Hyde Park, the Central line, Northern line, Jubilee line, Waterloo and City line, Piccadilly line, Victoria line, Hammersmith and City line and the Metropolitan line, which is the oldest tube line and first began operating in 1863. There are trains every few minutes, so if you miss one there will be one right behind it. It can get incredibly crowded, especially when the city dwellers finish work (more commonly known as ‘Rush Hour’), but if you’re in a hurry then this is the best way to get around.
Iconic Double Decker Bus
The red double decker buses are synonymous with London and have become a national symbol of the United Kingdom. An iconic example, and one that is particularly attributed to London’s ‘Swinging Sixties’ was the Routemaster bus, which worked on the London roads from 1956 until 2005. There are 8,500 London buses on the road and so, as you can imagine, cover a vast area and is the best way to travel if sightseeing was on your agenda. Bus tours are common place throughout the capital city and with over 23 tours to choose from, you are spoilt for choice. They range from the traditional iconic landmark tours, to ghost tours, to party buses and even river tours. You are free to jump on and off the buses if you come to a landmark you want to explore, but not on the river tour, unless you fancy a dip in the Thames.
All Hail the Black Cabs
No London experience would be complete without a ride in the famous Hackney carriage black cabs. These fearless little machines dart through the traffic and are as common place on the roads as the double decker buses. The hackney carriage was first licensed in 1662 with a horse drawn carriage and were used as late as 1947. The cabs we know and love today were introduced in the 20th century and 21,000 have been gracing the roads ever since. You are in safe hands with the drivers as they have to pass a test called The Knowledge, which is a geographical test of London, to be able to become a licensed cabbie so you won’t get lost and if their yellow light is on, simply flag them down and direct them to your Barbican hotel, no need to call and book. It really is an easy and convenient way to get around London.
Fancy a Bit of Exercise?
“Boris Bikes” are available throughout London with more than 10,000 bikes and over 700 bike docking stations. Cost starts from £2 for 24 hours use and allows you to get from A to B through the more scenic parts of London, such as Hyde Park and Regents Park. Not only will this way of travel keep you fighting fit but it will also allow you to explore parts of London that can’t be seen on a tour bus or tube and, who knows, you may discover a hidden gem!
The All-Purpose Travelcard
Now you have the different ways to travel, you just need to get your hands on the Travelcard. Travelcards can be purchased for just one day up to a year and can either be a paper ticket or an Oyster card. An Oyster card is reusable and can be used all over London, all you need to do is keep it topped up and touch your way in and out of stations. A Travelcard allows you constant use of the London Tube, bus services and over-ground trains and the benefits include:
- Unlimited journeys on all London Tubes, Buses, Trams, Docklands Light Rail, Over-ground Trains and National Rail Services within zones 1 – 6
- No need to stand in queues
- Great value for money with an extra day free to travel during peak times you buy a 6 day London Pass with Travel.
What is a London Pass with Travel?
The 1, 2 and 3 day London Pass with Travel option comes with an Off-Peak Travelcard which covers travel on the previously mentioned transport on Monday to Friday after 09:30am only, and all day on Saturday and Sunday.
As mentioned above, the 6 day London Pass with a Travel has a 7 day Peak Travelcard with it which allows you to travel at any time every day of the week.
The London Pass with Travel relieves the stress of sightseeing and travel as it allows you to beat the queues and makes your trip as hassle free as possible.
Now you know how to get around, there is no stopping you. All that is left is for you to start your London exploration is to grab you travel card of London pass and enjoy!