Useful info

Photograph: London Black Cab (Taxi)




Visiting London?

First the basic stuff !

Watch the Visit London video on the right to get all the essential information you will need when visiting our capital city and also some help with pronouncing English words!

Travelling in London

The cheapest fares in London can be accessed by either using an Oyster Card or using your contactless debit or credit card.

The video on the right explains how you can purchase an Oyster Card in advance or when you travel.

Oyster and contactless payment cards can be used on London Buses, Tube, Tram, Docklands Light Railway, Overground and most Train services within the London area. 

There is a daily cap on Oyster cards so you will never pay more than a one day Travelcard.

You can reclaim any money left on the card when you have finished your trip or why not leave it on the card ready for your next trip to London?

Contactless Payment

You can use UK and most overseas contactless payment cards within London for travel on Transport for London services.  You can check if your overseas card is able to be used at the web site. 

Remember to use the same card to touch-in and touch-out on the Underground and trains..

You can also register your contactless payment card on the Tfl web site so you can view all your travel charges, and remember that daily charges are capped the same as they are on Oyster card accounts.

The video on the right gives you some tips on how to use contactless payment including how to avoid 'card clash'.

Using a Oyster card

When travelling by Tube, Docklands Light Railway, Overground and Rail you will need to touch-in at the barriers and when you exit a station you will need to touch-out at the exit barriers.

If travelling by bus or tram you just need to touch-in at the start of your journey.

Be aware that failing to touch-in could make you liable for a fine.  Fare evasion could result in a criminal conviction and up to a £1,000 fine or a penalty fare of £80 reduced to £40 if paid within 21 days.

Ticket inspectors can read your Oyster and contactless payment card to check that you have touched-in.

So when you touch-in on the bus or tram ensure the yellow card reader flashes to green showing your card has been accepted.

Using an Oyster card is the hassle free way to travel around London and gives you maximum flexibility.

The two Transport for London videos on the right show you how to use your cards when travelling in the city.

Santander London Cycle Hire (was Barclays Cycle Hire)

If you do not like public transport you can easily hire a bike in London through the Transport for London Santander Cycle Hire scheme.

There are over 11,500 bikes located at over 750 docking stations situated every 300-500 metres in London.

You can use your debit or credit card to rent a bike from any of the docking stations and can return the bike to any docking station at the end of your hire.

You can find cycle routes and maps at the Transport for London web site.

Accessible Public Transport

Tubes, Trams, Trains & Buses all have clearly marked priority seats for those who need them.

Most vehicles have designated wheelchair spaces.  Every bus has one and most trains have at least two.  Just lookout for the wheelchair symbol on the outside of the carriage.

All bus's can kneel to allow level access to the vehicle.

All taxi's and a lot of minicabs are wheelchair accessible.

Visit the Transport for London web site to find full information about accessibility and to view guides and maps that will assist you in planning your journey.

Traveling to London by Train

London is very well served by train connections from throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

To obtain the best priced tickets you can purchase Advance tickets which are available from about 90 days before the date of travel and are limited by number.  You usually find these cheaper tickets on the train operators web site or on the National Rail Enquiries web site.  Please note that advance fares are usually for only specified trains and are not changeable or refundable.  Check before you buy.

If you have to purchase your ticket on the day of travel, try avoiding the rush hour, which is usually before 09:30 and sometimes in the evening from 16:15 to 19:15 Monday to Friday, and ensure you look at all routes to your destination as some may be cheaper than others.

Travelling to London by Coach

National Express is the largest national coach operator in the UK, running over 900 services each day.

Book via the National Express web site to get cheap 'Fun Fares'.  These fares are limited by number so it is best to book as early as possible.

You can also book direct with National Express by phone  on 08717 818181 or at any National Express Agent outlet.

If you are travelling to or from any of the UK's major airports, National Express run frequent services connecting you to the major towns and cities.

They also run services to most of the UK's major Festivals during the summer.

Emirates Air Line

The Emirates Air Line is the only cable car in London. The line crosses the River Thames from the 02 Arena in Greenwich across to the Royal Docks in Docklands.

It is fully accessible for wheelchairs and motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

You can use your Oyster Card on the Emirates Air Line and receive a discount.

You can get great views flying over the Thames and it is a attraction worth visiting. 

Full details can be found on their web site.

River Bus

River Bus services run from early morning to early evening, or later if there is an event on at the 02, on the River Thames. 

There are services between Putney and Woolwich and you receive a discount on most services if you have a Oyster card.

Boats are accessible (view video on the right) and most have WiFi and refreshments.

This is a great way to see some of London's landmarks, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, The Shard, County Hall and the Tower of London are just some of the buildings you can admire from the river.  You can find full details of the services on the river on the Transport for London web site.


                                         Tower Bridge Live Cam

Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London

 Picture: Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London

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