Getting Around

Navigating London can give any newcomer anxiety — the city is so big, so spread out, and has so many wonderful and different neighborhoods which you’ll want to see… and if you add kids to the equation it becomes even trickier! Here are a few of the best ways to get around:

1.) By foot: If you have the luxury of time, the best way to navigate the city is by foot — it gives you a better appreciation for the city and its people and gives you a better idea for how the city is laid out and the way the neighborhoods connect to each other.  There are also so many green spaces in London that it’s easy to take a rest from time to time and enjoy the many parks and playgrounds. Just wear comfortable shoes!
2.) London Underground: Taking the ‘tube’ in London might be the quickest way to travel (especially in peak traffic hours), but if you have a buggy you’re probably best to avoid it entirely. Most tube stations have multiple staircases or escalators and only a few have elevators (lifts). Carrying your buggy up and down the stairs is certainly do-able… it just depends on whether you’re up for it. Click here for a tube map — the stations with lifts are marked with a wheelchair sign. If you plan on being in London for a week or longer, you might want to consider purchasing an oyster card which can be topped up if and when it’s needed.
3.) London Bus: You’re never far from a bus stop in London, and most buses allow buggies (generally up to two at one time). Plus, bigger kids will love sitting on the upper deck (hold on tightly as you climb up!), and it’s a great way to take in London’s scenery, architecture and other little details. Search online for details and routes.
4.) London Black Cab: Taking a taxi is probably the easiest way to travel. Unlike the taxi drivers in many cities, London ‘cabbies’ are really experienced and totally reliable. You can also put your buggy into the back of the cab and leave your child in it – no need to collapse your buggy or wake your sleeping baby! Cabs can fit up to 5 people and most modern black cabs also have a fold-down child restraint in the back seat.
5.) Booking a car service: Addison Lee  is a trustworthy car service company and is really easy to use. Cars (and vans) can be booked either online or by phone. This is also a good car service for airport pick-ups or drop-offs. Uber is also available throughout the city. Uber drivers don’t tend to be as reliable as black cab drivers, though the prices tend to be cheaper.


Comments (1)

April 30, 2011

Having just spent a few weeks in London with a 4 year old and 6 year old I would say avoid the Tube at all costs and take the London Bus everytime. I printed out a few of the “spider maps” for several locations. These will show all the routes emanating from one point. Buses come every 5-10 minutes on most routes, they are buggy/wheelchair accessible, they constantly announce where you are going and the name of the next stop. As central London has fewer private cars on the road these days the buses seemed to move fairly quickly – in any case as a tourist you are not usually in a rush. You get to see lots of things you might otherwise miss (especially from the upper deck), and you avoid the heat and long-distance undergroung trudging of the Tube.

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