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London Underground. Providing a convenient, clean and efficient way to travel around London. Long gone are the days of graffiti covered rolling stock, and litter strewn platforms. Trains run from 5.30 am to past mid-night every day (from 7.30am to 11.30pm on Sundays). Lines are denoted by colour, for example the Circle Line is coloured yellow on the map, whilst the Bakerloo Line is marked in brown, making routes easy plan and follow. Above ground stations are rarely more than a short walk away from most of the Attractions, station entrances are marked by signs displaying the logo shown left. At peak times services run every 5 minutes or so. Don't forget to mind the gap.
Our tips for travel. For easier travel avoid the weekday rush hours; check the destination on the front of the train; check you are boarding a train on the right line; stand on the right on escalators and when using steps and ramps. The London Underground, like any other rail network, needs maintenance and regular upgrades- check that stations or lines are not partially closed. Buy or top up an oyster card. Download a London underground tube map showing the nearby attractions.
Oyster Smartcard. Introduced in 2005 providing a fast paperless way to pay for your travel. Single trips, to 1 or 2 day travelcards to season tickets can all be added to your oyster card. Don't forget to validate your card at the start and end of each journey by tapping or holding the card close to the reader at the ticket barrier on the Underground.
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Buying Tickets, Oyster Cards and Travelcards. One of the most popular ways is to buy a Travelcard and have that topped up to your Oyster Smartcard. A Zone 1 and 2 card covers most of the Central Area. These, in the form of One Day, Weekend, 7 Day and Family Travelcards offer good value for money, particularly when used for off peak travel, and can be used not just on the Underground, but also on London buses and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) The DLR links the centre of town with Greenwich and East London, places such as Greenwich and the Cutty Sark, or Canary Wharf with its skyscrapers and spanking new developments. Don't be alarmed, trains on the DLR are driverless. Travelcards, Oyster cards, and Underground maps are available from all Stations and many Tourist Information Centres and retail outlets. Transport for London.
London Bus. As much an icon as the Black Cab- buses provide an ideal way to see the London tourist sights as well as travel around the capital. You must buy your ticket or all day bus pass or travelcard in advance, do not forget to tap in your oyster travel card when you get on. Destinations are clearly mapped from each stop. (Some stops are by request so please ring the bell.) Many central London routes pass through either Oxford Circus or Trafalgar Square making both places ideal stop overs. Night buses run on popular routes providing a 24 hour service- ideal for getting home after a London West End Theatre show. Transport for London have very clear bus route maps and timetables on their web site, as well as maps also showing the main tourist attractions.
Black Cab- typical fare (2007) from Houses of Parliament to Leicester Square in mid evening traffic £6.75, and from Leicester Square to Waterloo Station £6.50, taking a maximum of 5 passengers. Just hail an empty cab as it passes you.
Thames River Boats- offer both commuter services and those for the tourist wishing to have an informed commentary as part of their Thames boat trip, for example from Westminster Pier to the Tower or Greenwich or in season upriver to Kew and Hampton Court.
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