Visit London Blog » public transport Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:00:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top Six Ways to Travel Like a Londoner Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:30:04 +0000 Thames Clippers

London has one of the oldest, and arguably best, public transport systems in the world. So here’s our top tips on how to avoid any hassles and use the Bus, Tube and beyond like a real London local.

1. Go cash-free. Using cash to pay your fare is so yesterday! In fact, from June, London buses won’t accept any cash payments at all. Travel like a true Londoner by using a pre-paid Oyster card, a Visitor Oyster Card (VOC) or a cashless debit card (UK cardholders only). Buy your VOC before you arrive in London using the following links – it comes pre-loaded with £15 credit.Visitor Oyster Cards – UK / Visitor Oyster Cards – international.     

A London bus

2. Take the scenic route. 2014 is the Year of the Bus in London! Make the most of it by taking one of the more scenic routes, such as Bus route 4, which goes past the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral, Bus route 11 past Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and The Tower of London or Bus route 9 where you’ll travel on an old-style Routemaster past Royal Albert Hall. Best of all, a single trip on these routes using Oyster, VOC or cashless will only cost you the standard fare of £1.45. Here’s some more scenic bus routes in London.

Walk between Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus via Regent Street

3. Walk this way It can be quicker to walk between some Tube stops in Central London and this could save you money on your Oyster or VOC. Plus, this way you avoid some of the crowds and queues as well as enjoying fantastic people-watching and window shopping opportunities. Try walking between

  • Covent Garden and Leicester Square
  • Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus
  • Leicester Square and Charing Cross
  • Oxford Circus and Bond Street
  • Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus
  • Charing Cross and Embankment
  • Embankment / Charing Cross and Waterloo (and you get to walk across the Thames!)

4. Top Up Visitor Oyster Cards (VOCs) come pre-loaded with £15 credit, which is usually more than enough to get you from Heathrow to your hotel (for example) but chances are you’ll need to top up at some point in your trip. You need to do this before you travel. To check your Oyster or VOC credit at a Tube station, find a ticket machine and hold your card on the yellow reader: the balance will be displayed on screen. You can then add credit using cash or card. Convenience stores and off-licences often provide top-up facilities too.

5. Explore More A lot of tourists stick to buses and the Tube, which is fine, but you’re missing out on some exciting and diverse ways to travel around London! Why not explore further? You can “drive” the DLR, float high above the Thames on the Emirates Air Line or, if you find yourself in South London, try the Tram.

6. Take it to the River as well as the different methods of transport outlined above, you can catch one of the splendid RiverBus services. Seeing London by boat offers a unique perspective on the city. We recommend you try a day-trip to Greenwich, the Tate to Tate boat or visit Canary Wharf. Best of all, visitors get 10% off single Thames Clipper River Bus tickets when they pay with their Visitor Oyster card (NB this does not count towards the Visitor Oyster card daily fare cap).

What’s your top tip for travelling around London like a local? Let us know in the comments below.

]]> 0
London Video of the Week: London Bus Tour by Moritz Oberholzer Fri, 30 Sep 2011 12:00:10 +0000

We’ve got a beautiful and cool film for you this week, shot entirely from a London bus. Film-maker Moritz Oberholzer has perfectly captured the comedy and mystery of London’s streets, and the soundtrack by Ratatat seems hand-picked for our week of late summer sun.

As well as familiar streets, look out for a chilled-out pigeon and some promising yo-yo skills. Your commute will never be the same again.

]]> 0
London 2012: £25 million Cable Car Plans Unveiled Tue, 06 Jul 2010 10:00:40 +0000

Just when you thought hosting the London 2012 Olympic Games was exciting enough; plans for a stunning £25 million cable car crossing of the Thames have now been unveiled.

The privately funded cable car would transport up to 2,500 people an hour in a five-minute crossing between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.

The 50 metre high construction, which spans the river, would enable a quicker link between the O2 Arena and the ExCeL Centre – both Olympic venues.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said:

“A cable car spanning the majestic Thames would not only provide a unique and pioneering addition to London’s skyline, but also offer a serene and joyful journey across the river.”

He added: “Passengers would be able to drink in the truly spectacular views of the Olympic Park and iconic London landmarks whilst shaving valuable minutes from their travelling time.

“It would also provide a much needed enhancement of cross river options to the east of the city.”

The cable car has been a successful mode of transport in a number of cities including Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Barcelona.

It sounds fantastic! Are you as excited about this new scheme as we are?

]]> 0
Suburbia at the London Transport Museum Thu, 15 Oct 2009 10:26:44 +0000 Gardening by underground by Stanislaus S Longley 1933The London Transport Museum’s latest exhibition Suburbia is bursting with gnomes.

Early in the 20th century, London’s population grew so much that public transport had to expand, enabling thousands of people to go and live in the suburbs and commute into Central London for work. The Suburbia exhibition is packed with previously unseen posters, Londoners stories and memorabilia celebrating public transport’s contribution to the London suburbs.

Areas formerly outside London became more like London villages and new stations were built. Stunning posters were commissioned for the tube encouraging Londoners to move to the suburbs – work all day in the city, then escape and spend your leisure time in a heavenly paradise like Edgware or Morden.

The exhibition celebrates the great suburban pastime of gardening (hence the gnomes) and includes video clips of entertaining fictional suburbanites like Reggie Perrin and Margo Leadbetter.

The history of commuting is brought bang up to date with suburban inspired pop songs and a loving tribute to the iPod, a necessity for every commuter who needs to drown out the inane blather of the vacuous twit on the mobile phone.

If you know London well, you’ll love searching through the old sepia photos looking for pics of your local high street when it contained a horse and cart instead of a kebab shop!

The Suburbia exhibition is great fun and captures the spirit of the suburbs. Afterwards you can go and play on the old trains. Bliss. The exhibition runs till 31 March 2010.

]]> 1