ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Travelling on the London Underground

Updated on July 17, 2013
London Tube Train
London Tube Train

The London Underground (more often called "the Tube") is the city-wide subway train system that locals and tourists use to quickly get around the city.

The entire Underground network system is made up of 275 stations on 12 rail lines. The different lines are marked on maps with colors to help you keep track of where you are and where you are going. You'll find all the big tourist attractions clearly marked on Tube maps so you can find where you are going quickly. Free maps can be picked up at most ticket stations.

Compared to taxis, the Tube is a cheap way to travel around London. The fares are based on a zone map of the city, and the rates are based on your starting and ending zones. Fares start at only £1.30 for most trips within the central downtown area (which is zone 1)

If you plan on traveling extensively by Tube, you should think about getting an Oystercard. These "smart cards" are durable and much more convenient than carrying regular paper fare tickets. Using an Oystercard is simple and easy. Just touch the card to one of the many card readers on the platform when you start your trip, and again when you reach your destination. Your fare is deducted from the balance on the card. You can pre-load your Oystercard with full season passes or regular pre-pay fares. The Oystercard isn't just for the Tube system either. This handy transit fare card can also be used on all other forms of London public transit, such as buses or the DLR (Docklands Light Railway). If you plan on spending any time in London, I highly recommend picking one up. You can even buy one ahead of time through their website.

You don't need to worry about precise schedules when using the London Underground. There are trains running through the stations every few minutes, so you don't need an actual timetable. There are times posted for the first and last trains each day though. There are some routes that start as early as 5am and end long after midnight.

If you intend to trek around London with a car as well as by Tube, be aware that many stations do have parking facilities but you will have to pay to park your car. The parking rates are reasonable, starting around £2.00 for a weekday. Statutory holidays sometimes allows for free station parking. Sight-seeing by bicycle is another option, and you can take your bikes on the trains with you, but not during high-traffic times (such as morning and evening rush hour). If you plan on using your bike along with the Tube, check with the transit office to get further details. There is no change in fare costs if you are bringing a bicycle with you.

The etiquette for traveling by Tube is basically what you would expect for any major subway system. Take off any backpacks when boarding the trains, and leave them on the floor when seated. Move out of the doorways and let passengers get on or off when the train is stopped. On the station escalators, stand on the side so those walking faster can easily get past you. Overall, be courteous to riders and transit staff. Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the Tube system

Even if you don't intend to do any traveling on the Tube, you should still visit some of the stations as a tourist destination in itself. There is poetry, artwork, photography and sculpture on display around the major London stations. You can even buy a printed copy of the poetry displays from the London Transport Museum Shop.

Planning ahead when intending to visit London can make using the Underground system even easier. Visit the official website and download maps of all routes along with timetables. Knowing your Tube routes will get you to your destinations faster, easier and with less time lost.

One more tip. If you are traveling during the summer, remember that the Tube is not air conditioned and it can get very hot when you are riding on your train. Carry a bottle of water with you if you plan on being on a train for a while.

Approaching London Tube Train

Tube Station at Piccadilly Circus

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Wanderlust profile image

      Wanderlust 

      10 years ago from New York City

      Thank you Terri for an information. Love London, used to live there and go very often. Always lost at London undeground, I find it more perplexing than in New York, however it is a great way to save money on a taxi, it soooo expensive in London!

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 

      11 years ago

      Hi, Terri. Nice hub! Makes me want to buy 2 tickets to London!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)