London Transportation Tips by grandmaR
London Transportation: 1,801 reviews and 1,623 photos
Based on a Rick S. video, I decided to take a trip to Greenwich on the Docklands Light Rail and come back by boat.
Apparently London Rail has decided to make the rail/boat trip that we took to Greenwich into a special ticket. I don't know if you can do rail and boat as we did, or if you have to do the boat ride first. This is what their website says about it.
"Our Rail and River Tour shows you London's landmarks from two completely different perspectives. Take a City Cruises river boat along the Thames from Westminster, Waterloo, Tower or Greenwich pier and soak up London's colourful history. Then change to DLR's fully automated trains on elevated track and enter tomorrow's world. Compare the stunning modern architecture of Canary Wharf to the historic dockside warehouses. Tour Guides provide a free lively commentary on selected trains from Tower Gateway at weekends."
"A Rail and River Rover ticket gives you the flexibility of a full day's unlimited travel on Docklands Light Railway and City Cruises, providing an unbeatable way to see London. Hop on and off as much as you like to get the full benefit of the ticket."
Family ticket is valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children under 16. Under 5's go free.
10% discount for groups of 10+ (except for Family tickets)
Alternatively, Travelcards are valid on Docklands Light Railway.
Adult, child, family and group tickets can be purchased from City Cruises ticket offices at Westminster, Waterloo, Tower or Greenwich piers and Sweet Express at Tower Gateway station.
Adult and child tickets can also be purchased from Docklands Light Railway ticket machines at all stations with the exception of Bank and Canning Town. For further information and advance bookings, please contact DLR Customer Services seven days in advance of travel.
Goodge Street Station
We used the tube only a little bit. For one thing, the day we got there the tube folks were on strike. For another, you can't see anything stuck down in there. And for a third thing it's often very crowded. But it is quick and efficient if all you want to do is get quickly from one place to another.
We came back from the theatre on Friday night on the tube, and we left London to go out to the suburbs to have our daughter pick us up by tube. This ticket - one trip all the way out to West Ruislep was about £3.50 but it meant that our daughter didn't have to come all the way into the city to get us. She didn't want to drive in the city, and it was much quicker for us to ride out to meet here. I understand there is now an extra fee for driving into London.
Putting luggage in a electric THINK Car
Photo 2 shows a car with the map built right in!!
Don't try to drive in London, even with the map all over the outside of your car.
Seriously... we were interested to see these little electric cars. My husband converted a Ford Escort to electric at home and drove it to work for 5 years, so electric cars are of interest to us. When I was there in 2007, I saw another of these little THINK cars.
We were on a bus and the transporter carrying these cars was going faster than the bus (which had to stop and pick up passengers) so I had to be satisfied with this picture with a less than optimum view of the car.
The press release says:
"..40p for a full tank, free parking and no congestion charging
Charging the TH!NK city overnight costs around 40 pence and is done by plugging the car into any 240v domestic socket. This means that it costs less than 1.5p per mile to run, a huge saving versus a conventional petrol or diesel engine. "
" Parking a TH!NK city in London has an additional bonus as some London boroughs, including Westminster with its 8,000 parking spaces, allow electric vehicles to park for free. Another advantage is that under the Mayor of London's plans for a congestion charging zone in central London, electrically-propelled vehicles will be eligible for a 100 per cent discount from the charge. "
Unfortunately, these vehicles are not available on short term rental.
"The monthly leasing cost, including full servicing, is £325 (excluding VAT). There is no initial lump sum down payment, and the leasing plan runs for a total of three years."
Phone: 01268 405999
Type: Car/Motor Home
Sign on a bus
The big double decker buses are the way to go if you want to see any anything of the city. I got a very good booklet in 2002 (soft cover) with all the routes in it, and I carefully annotated it before I left. So I knew what buses that came down Gower Street would be good to go the places we wanted to go. In 2007, there was only one bus that went past the hotel so that made things easier. There is also a sightseeing brochure which has the main tourist routes on it.
We always went up on top up at the front if possible. The sightseeing buses are better for taking pictures from because you don't have so much glass reflections to contend with, but it can be cold or wet up there.
Be aware that not all routes have the double decker buses on them as they are being phased out.
We bought one ticket for one ride (£1 each) to get from the hotel back to another stop on the Big Bus the day we got to London, and the next day we got an all day ticket (about £4.1 each), and then the following two days were a weekend, so we got a weekend pass (zone 1 and 2) for all the buses and the tube and the Dockland RR. (About £6.1 each)
Our daughter told us that since the rail systems in Britian had been privatized, that the trains were not reliable because maintenance was not being done and they didn't always follow the schedule. The trains are run privately, but the rails were still maintained by the government.
Buy your ticket before you board the train in most cases, as you will either be fined or made to pay the full fare. Where the train parallels the tube, the train may be cheaper.
The Big Bus with tourists-from another bus
I love the Big Bus tours. The reasons:
1) When we got to London, there was a tube strike and not a taxi to be had. There we were - hot and sweaty and jet lagged with luggage and in no condition to walk from Victoria Station to our Bloomsbury hotel. So I bought a BB ticket and rode the bus around to the British Museum. I could walk to the hotel from there. It's true that it cost, but I'd have had to pay at least £8 for a taxi, and I was intending to get the BB anyway.
2) Since we both have bad knees, walking a lot isn't really an option. The BB whisked us around and gave us a good overview of the city and the history. Even though we've been there before, we learned something new about almost everywhere. Also found it interesting to talk to the guides in between times when they weren't busy. (I asked questions like - why don't the windows have screens in them)
3) It is much easier to take pictures from higher up, and there's no glass window to reflect like there is in the regular double deckers. (Not that I dislike those buses - it's just harder to take photographs)
They have ticket sellers and information people at the main stops and you can charge the tickets on a credit card.
You can hop on or off at any stop.
Buses run every 5-15 minutes.
Tickets are valid for 24 hours and include:
- FREE River Cruise
- Live guides or "Sights and Sounds" commentary, digitally-recorded in eight languages. I liked the guides better.
Phone: :+44 (0) 20 7233 9533
Sightseeing boats from London Eye
A free Thames boat ride is included in The Big Bus hop on hop off bus ticket. We arrived in London during a tube strike, and we found that the boats were free at that time and some people were using them for transportation along the river. This is a good way to get out of the traffic. You can also get a boat to or from Greenwich.
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