If you’re visiting London for the first time and landing, at Luton, Heathrow or Gatwick, airport transfers are the simplest method for beginners to get across the city to wherever you’ve booked your accommodation. You can pre-book and the driver will be waiting for you at the terminal with a smile and plenty of space for your luggage.
Once you’ve settled in from your Gatwick airport transfers, London is waiting to be explored. This is a city where anything can happen and, as locals will tell you, this unquestionably applies to public transport! If you’re planning on tackling the infamous Tube, follow these tips to make the journey as pleasant as possible.
No Matter What, Stand On the Right
You may already know this, but it bears repeating: stand on the right when travelling on an escalator unless you want the wrath of fast-paced city workers at rush hour unleashed upon you! From being gently nudged out of the way to being shouted at and elbowed in the process, anything is possible if you mistakenly stand on the left half or, worse, put any luggage there. (Tackling the Tube is not the best start to your holiday, so consider arranging Gatwick airport transfers for the all-important arrival to your hotel.)
Find a Bathroom Map of the Tube and Print It Off
Especially if you are travelling with young children, bathroom breaks cannot realistically be timed to conveniently happen either before you leave the hotel or after you get to the museum. A great London hack is the Transport for London’s toilet map, which clearly indicates those tube stops with and without a bathroom, including the ones with baby changing facilities and those accessible for wheelchair users.
Don’t Be Scared to Walk Instead of Changing Lines
Be aware that on the Tube distances can often be distorted: what may seem like an unthinkable journey on foot might actually be only a few minutes away, so it is worth double-checking your map before setting off on your underground journey.
For example, if you’re on the Northern Line and want to get to Covent Garden, you can easily get off at Leicester Square and walk. What would entail one change and manoeuvring an incredibly busy station is, in fact, a five-minute walk, and you will also get to see one of the most famous squares in the world on the way.
Don’t Panic: You Can Always Turn Back and Try Again
If, despite all your efforts and preparation, you accidentally manage to get on the wrong branch of the Metropolitan line (for example) or find yourself going in the wrong direction, relax. Tubes run every two to seven minutes, depending on the line, so just gather your thoughts and get off at the next stop. Doubling back on yourself is free, and it can even be a fun opportunity to get the whole family involved in looking out for a wrong turn on your public transport ride.