The tube is one of the most difficult parts of London to navigate. Although there are more complicated underground railways in the world (I’m looking at you New York), the London Underground is vast and complex. With Overground services running one stop the other and tricky train fare and time systems in place, and not to mention the etiquette that comes with the daily commute, there’s a lot to get to grips with for a newcomer to the city. Below are just some of the tips to getting your head around the underground.
Fare zones make a difference
Although most of our Park Grand accommodation is based in zone 1, there’s plenty more past the central fare. When travelling on the London Underground, take a note of the zones you’re travelling to and from as they will influence how much you’re paying. A zone 1 to 4 journey will be more expensive than a journey based in zone 1, so make sure you check the price ranges from each. With London’s zone now going all the way out to Gatwick airport and to the East, Essex, you can use contactless and oyster card payments all the way to zone 9 and often beyond.
Beat the crowds and stay off peak
Although this isn’t always an option, if you’re on holiday in London try to avoid peak time train times. Alongside the bumped-up fares, you’ll also experience crowded tube carriages and a lot more stress from frazzled commuters. If you’re looking for a more peaceful journey on your way to the Park grand London Hyde Park, then try and avoid between 6.30 and 9.30 am and 4 till p.m. Of course, this isn’t always possible.
In the summer, stay hydrated
Summer in London, although not as steaming as other parts of the world, can have its inner city heat magnified by the tube. If you find yourself travelling in a heatwave, make sure to stay hydrated as there have been many cases of fainting and overheating on the London Tube services.
The London underground escalator can be incredibly long and deep diving, and especially on the larger ones, you’ll find users rushing quite quickly to catch their trains. Make sure if you’re in a rush, that you only walk up or down the left-hand side, making sure to keep a hand on the bannister. The jagged edges of the escalator can do real damage if you fall on it. Make sure you are stood on the right-hand side if not walking down it.
For the lesser abled, unless otherwise stated, there should be elevators or disabled access. If unsure about the accessibility, ask a member of staff.
London is a huge city. If you’re trying to make a hotel booking or a tight deadline, it’s a good idea to plan and factor in queues and delays. Despite the general efficiency of the London Underground, there are sometimes unforeseen events which can throw your journey off schedule.