Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike
Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Explore the City on Foot
One of the best ways to get around London when the tubes aren't running is to explore the city on foot. Walking allows you to avoid traffic jams and fully experience the sights, sounds, and energy of London. Torsten loves long walks around world capitals and has found walking to be one of the best ways to experience a new place.
Central London is surprisingly walkable, with many of the top attractions within a few miles of each other. Favorites like the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum are all in close proximity. String a few together and you’ve got yourself a free walking tour of London's icons.
Venturing out beyond the main tourist drags opens up London's eclectic neighborhoods like Soho, Covent Garden, and Camden. Meander hidden alleyways, stroll along quiet canals, and pop into kitschy shops and cafes. Wandering aimlessly is one of the best ways to uncover London's charms. You never know what delightful little passage or market stall you may chance upon.
Parks are another great option for walking. Regent’s Park and Hyde Park offer expansive green spaces right in central London. Primrose Hill is a quaint neighborhood surrounding a park offering stunning views over the city skyline. Take along a picnic lunch or stop at a cafe enroute for sustenance.
The South Bank is one of Torsten's favorite areas of London to traverse on foot. Follow the pedestrian path along the River Thames taking in views of landmarks across the water. Street performers and food stalls line the walkway keeping you entertained. Walking over Tower Bridge towards East London opens up even more captivating riverside scenery.
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- Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Explore the City on Foot
- Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Take Advantage of Extra Bus Service
- Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Try an E-scooter or E-bike
- Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Book a Cab or Minicab in Advance
- Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Work from Home if You Can
- Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Check for Alternate Train Routes
- Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Avoid Rush Hour when Possible
- Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Be Patient and Pack Light
Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Take Advantage of Extra Bus Service
When the tubes grind to a halt, London's iconic double-decker buses become a transportation lifeline. Luckily, Transport for London plans to run extra bus service to help offset the closures. Though they can't fully replace the vast Underground network, buses do provide useful connections across town.
Hopping aboard a red double-decker is part of the quintessential London experience. Riding upstairs allows you to take in the sights while avoiding traffic down below. Many central London routes pass by top attractions like Trafalgar Square, Westminster, and Buckingham Palace.arms Wide coverage throughout Greater London means buses can get you to neighborhoods the Tube misses.
Useful routes for tourists include the #15 between Trafalgar Square and Tower of London, the #11 from Victoria Station to Bank Station via Westminster Abbey, and the #74 from Baker Street to Putney Bridge. The classic #15 boasts panoramic views of landmarks along the way. The #11 hits numerous central London hot spots while avoiding tube station crowds. And the #74 travels through posh neighborhoods like Chelsea and Fulham.
When planning your journey, check route maps and timetables on the Transport for London website. You can enter start and end points to view recommended buses. Live bus tracking shows exactly where vehicles are in real time so you can avoid a long wait at the stop.
Downloading the Citymapper app is useful for on-the-go navigation. Enter your destination and it will map out the best bus routes including where to hop on and off. You can buy mobile bus tickets through the app as well.
Traveling via bus does have some drawbacks during a strike. Increased demand means buses fill up fast at busy times. Rush hour crowding can make rides uncomfortable or leave you stuck at overflowing stops. Buses also don't run as frequently or late at night as the Tube does. And street traffic can cause delays, so journeys take longer.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Try an E-scooter or E-bike
Two-wheeled electric vehicles like e-scooters and e-bikes are an eco-friendly and fun way to zip around London when the tubes are out of service. Thanks to compact size and battery-powered motors, they're a breeze to navigate through crowded streets and dodge traffic jams.
E-scooters are the latest transportation craze sweeping global cities. They offer zippy mobility perfect for short urban trips of 3-5 miles. Brands like Lime and Bird have fleets available to rent via app throughout central London. Just locate a nearby scooter on the map, scan to unlock, and ride directly to your destination. No hunting for parking or getting stuck in congestion. Prices start around £1 to unlock then 15-20p per minute.
Torsten's first e-scooter experience in London was a bit shaky but he quickly got the hang of steering and stopping. Scooting along the river and over bridges provided an awesome new perspective of familiar landmarks. Zipping through the bustling Covent Garden piazza was a highlight. Torsten tried Lime and Bird brands and found both easy to use. Top speed and braking power impressed him given the small wheel size. His only complaints were sore thumbs from hard braking and a bumpy ride on brick or cobblestone surfaces.
E-bikes open up longer distance travel options. Pedal assist and electric motors make cycling across town effortless. Santander Cycles has e-bike rental stations in central London where you can pick up or drop off bikes. Prices are £1.65 for 30 minutes including unlimited docking and undocking at stations. For point to point travel, apps like Free Now allow you to locate and book e-bikes on demand from your phone.
Avid cyclist Simone loves seeing London by e-bike, especially little-known neighborhoods and green spaces. She enjoys the exercise versus just sitting on transit. But the electric power assist helps her zip up hills and across long distances without breaking a sweat. Her favorite route is cycling from Shoreditch out to Olympic Park - seeing how the East End has transformed. For cyclists wanting to escape the hustle and bustle, routes along Regents Canal or River Lea offer idyllic urban respites.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Book a Cab or Minicab in Advance
Hailing a black cab or minicab on the street can be hit or miss during the best of times in London. When tube disruptions have taxis in high demand, catching one can seem near impossible. That’s why advance booking is your best bet to secure a ride. Apps and radio circuits allow you to pre-arrange minicab transfers across town to avoid being stranded.
Torsten has had much better luck getting around London by booking minicabs in advance versus leaving it to chance. Apps like Uber, Bolt and Free Now make it easy to set up rides. He just enters his destination and pickup time, and a driver is dispatched to arrive at the requested time. During busy periods like rush hour or big events, booking ahead guarantees you have a car locked in. Prices are provided upfront so there are no surprises at the end.
Frequent London visitor Simone won’t chance catching a pedicab anymore after one too many occasions stuck in the rain watching full cars pass by. Now she pre-books using Gett, which offers fixed price transfers from any London postcode. She schedules rides in advance for airport transfers or nights out. The app allows you to track the driver enroute, take payments, and even select preferred drivers.
Another option is dialing a local minicab company to book over the phone. These traditional car services have their own fleet of drivers and many belong to radio circuits pooling resources. You can find local operators by searching online directories or looking for phone numbers on signs around neighborhoods. Compared to apps, phone bookings take a bit more effort to explain your pickup location but the process is still reliable. Established companies have experience managing high demand. Calling also gives you a chance to confirm details and negotiate rates.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Work from Home if You Can
If your job allows remote work, staying home to avoid the transport headache could be a smart move. Setting up shop on the couch with your laptop means no struggling through crowded stations or vehicles. You can work in comfort and focus without disruptive announcements and delays.
Digital nomad Torsten has gotten so accustomed to the remote work lifestyle that he forgets what commuting is even like. When overnight flight cancellations once stranded him in London, he simply headed to a coffee shop instead of braving the tube chaos. Connecting to the cafe’s WiFi let him log in and work a normal day despite the travel hiccup. He finds working on the go in different environments energizing and doesn't miss the repetition of a daily commute.
Of course, shifting your office home requires some preparation and discipline. Establish a designated workspace, avoid distractions, and stick to a routine just like you would in an actual office. Setting work hours, taking breaks, and dressing professionally can help maintain focus and productivity. Silence notifications so you’re not tempted to sneak non-work screen time. If you live with family, ask that they respect your working time and space.
Technical writer Simone won't leave the house without her trusty laptop so she can work remotely at a moment's notice. When a one-day tube strike hit years back, she simply broke out her computer after breakfast instead of heading to the office. She was relieved to skip the expected transport headaches and got more work done at home than on a typical office day. Her productivity secret: switching her Slack status to "Do not disturb" and playing her "Focus" playlist.
The downsides of working from home do need consideration. Lack of face-to-face interaction and natural separation between work/personal time can take a toll. Poor ergonomics and inadequate tech resources away from the office pose challenges too. But with the right strategies, an impromptu home office day can be a smooth alternative when transit is disrupted.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Check for Alternate Train Routes
While the Tube network is extensive, it’s not the only train option for traversing London. National Rail, Overground, DLR, and trams provide useful alternatives during Underground disruptions. Branching out beyond just the Tube expands your transit possibilities.
Avid globetrotter Torsten loves navigating by train and will go to great lengths to keep his journeys on track. When flight delays once disrupted his London trip, he shrugged it off and pivoted to a train ride from the airport instead. His devotion stems from the unmatched comfort, spaciousness, and scenery of riding the rails versus being confined on a plane or in an underground carriage.
If your station falls within the Central Tube strike zone, don’t despair. Adjacent stations may still be operating normally, just a short bus or walk away. From there, you can pick up National Rail services towards central London. Useful routes include the Southeastern train from Brockley to London Bridge or Chingford to Liverpool Street on the Overground. The key is not limiting yourself only to Underground lines.
For crossing the Thames River, options like the DLR, London Overground, Elizabeth line, and National Rail networks provide vital connectors. London Overground lines from Richmond to Stratford or Watford to Clapham Junction help you skirt around zones affected. The DLR is a driverless metro system in East London that manages to dodge most Tube disruptions.
When weekend engineering works close chunks of the Underground, commuter Martin simply hops on the above ground Overground line from Hackney to Camden Road instead. He’s learned to deftly navigate the transport network using various rail options depending on what’s running. Signage pointing to alternate routes helps guide travelers seamlessly between systems.
Trams are an easy to use option for shorter journeys. Lines in outer South and Southwest London enable neighborhood travel without relying on the Underground. Systems like Tramlink, London Trams and Docklands Light Railway shuttle passengers to key interchanges with other rail networks.
Travel savvy Simone swears by Citymapper app for unlocking London’s multimodal transportation web. Beyond just Underground lines, it maps all train, tram, bus, river transport, and even cycle hire schemes. When she enters a destination, it provides optimized routes showing where to connect across different services. She appreciates how it highlights options she’d overlook relying only on the Tube map.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Avoid Rush Hour when Possible
Rush hour is prime time for transit headaches in London, as networks strain to shuttle throngs of commuters to and from work. When tube disruptions hit, crowds can reach crush capacity across remaining services still operating. Skipping those peak travel windows is key to keeping your sanity and avoiding endless queues.
As an experienced business traveler, Torsten has learned it pays to steer clear of rush hours whenever he can. Planned strikes, track works, or unexpected delays can send normally manageable crowds into chaos. He’ll postpone non-essential trips or allow extra time to let the peak subside. For long term stays, he’ll book accommodations within walking distance of frequent business destinations. That way, he isn’t forced to rely on packed transit at busy times.
Frequent London visitor Julie used to stubbornly try powering through rush periods, leading to stressful journeys jammed onto packed trains. After missing several morning meetings that way, she soon saw the light and started scheduling travel outside busy windows. Now she catches the first trains before morning rush ramps up or works from coffee shops until evening crowds thin. Her new motto is “better late than squished”.
Travel expert Simone suggests tackling sightseeing attractions and less urgent errands in the middle of the day. With many Londoners fixed to 9-5 office routines, mid morning through early afternoon sees lighter transit usage. You’ll encounter fewer lines and crowds at popular sites too. She loves strolling through usually bustling areas like Oxford Street and Covent Garden during off peak times when she can actually move and browse leisurely.
To avoid endless queues, try booking attraction entries for when doors first open or later on weekday evenings. You’ll beat school groups and the after-work crowd. Going early or late maximizes your time enjoying the sights rather than just waiting around. Simone also recommends late dinners after 7 or 8 pm to miss the pre-theatre rush. Make sure to check opening times though, as many close earlier outside rush hours.
When an evening event or night out is on your agenda, avoid leaving near the peak evening commute window from 5-7 pm. Either head out early and enjoy pre-event refreshments or wait until the crowds dissipate later. Returning late at night avoids both evening and morning rush. Nighttube and 24-hour bus routes keep the city connected for revellers.
For early flights, you’ll need to travel against the grain and face some crowds. But allowing sufficient time means you can go slowly and avoid the most intense peak. Bring distractions like music or shows downloaded on your phone. And get to the airport well ahead of time in case delays arise. Checking in bags and clearing security the night before lets you go straight to your gate.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Tips for Getting Around London During the Upcoming Tube Strike - Be Patient and Pack Light
Remaining patient and packing light are key to keeping transit disruptions from ruining your London trip. Trying to power through will only leave you frustrated. Accepting delays as inevitable and traveling nimble makes adversity easier to handle.
Nobody understands the need for patience better than resident Londoner Martin. During his years navigating the tube for work, planned engineering works and unexpected outages became routine. Remaining chill about delays prevented blood pressure spikes. He'd pass time by chatting with other commuters or listening to music. Good humor and camaraderie amongst passengers made endless waits at rammed platforms tolerable.
Travel expert Torsten has trained himself to stay calm when the unexpected hits thanks to many ended up exploits. Missed flights, lost luggage, booking snafus - he's seen it all and lived to tell the tale because he rolls with the punches. His motto is "Getting upset never makes it better." He advises travelers to just accept hiccups happen and make the best of it. Share gripes and laughs with fellow stranded passengers. And if it's totally unbearable, there's always strong British gin!
Packing light is Torsten's tried and true trick for travel flexibility. Restricting yourself to carry-on luggage means no checked bags slowing you down or getting lost. You can hop between trains, squeeze onto packed buses, and speed through stations unencumbered. Ditching bulky luggage also makes cabs, Ubers, and even walking or biking feasible options.
Minimalist Simone swears by her streamlined packing strategy. She proudly rolls a single compact carry-on bag even on months long trips. Her checklist includes only versatile clothing like leggings and athletic shoes that transition seamlessly between casual and business contexts. High-tech gadgets pull double duty - smartphone as camera and laptop for entertainment. She can work for hours thanks to ultra-slim tech accessories. The payoff is mobility. Without a heap of luggage, she can deftly change plans and adapt at a moment's notice.
If you must check bags, build in plenty of buffer when making connections. Budget extra transit time too in case delays arise. Have the airline's app installed so you can proactively track your luggage status and rebook if misconnections happen. Consider shipping bulky items like extra shoes and gifts to your destination ahead of time. It saves hauling them around.
Packing critical items like medications in your carry on provides peace of mind in case checked luggage goes astray. Keeping valuables, electronics, and at least one change of clothes with you ensures you aren't left totally stranded. Secure small essentials like passport, cash/credit cards, phone charger, and travel documents in a hidden travel wallet or belt under your clothes. Avoid flaunting expensive jewelry or electronics that make you a theft target.