Travelling to a new country can be a daunting prospect, there’s new things to see and hear, new things to taste and experience and along side all that there’s new forms of transport with huge networks that you need to try and navigate.
London is a city that boasts 11 different underground tube lines (not including the overground ones which also go into London) with over 250 stations, So I understand when holidaymakers get confused trying to work out where they are now or where they are going. Even I still get lost sometimes and I live here!
Hopefully this post will help you understand the system a little better and take away some of those pre holiday worries!
First of all you’re going to need to work out where you are staying, the closer to the centre of London the more expensive hotels will become and the further out the cheaper they will be. If you want to stay in a cheaper hotel but still holiday in London don’t worry, there are many train lines that connect to London. Most of the time it will take you about 15-20 mins to get to the tubes if your coming in from the outskirts.
- Bakerloo Line (Brown Line)
The Bakerloo Line starts off in Harrow (Northwest London) and ends in Elephant and Castle (Southeast London), This line used to be called Baker street & Waterloo Railway hence the name Bakerloo.
- Central Line (Red Line)
The Central Line runs East to West across London from Epping to West Ruislip (Pronounced Rye-Slip). The central line is the second busiest due to it running through the middle of some very important places including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bank and Liverpool Street. If you are a tourist in London you will probably end up using the central line.
- Circle (Yellow Line) and District (Green Line) Lines
The circle line is a loop on the North side of the Thames, It has stops in some major areas of London including Kings Cross and Victoria. For part of the line the District Line runs parallel to the bottom edge of the circle Line. The rest of the district line runs East to West, it’s the third busiest tube in our underground so rush hour on this line isn’t pretty..
- Hammersmith and City Line (Pink Line)
The Hammersmith and City Line connects East to West, Hammersmith on the West end and Barking to the East.
- Jubilee Line (Grey Line)
The Jubilee Line will take you all over London, From Stanmore in the Northeast, down into the Financial Centre (Canary Wharf) and then up into the East side of London through West Ham and finally ends at Stratford.
- Metropolitan Line (Purple Line)
This is the oldest Undergroun Line in the world, The Metro Line begins in the middle of London at Aldgate and finishes at either Chesham, Amersham or Watford depending on where the train terminates.
- Northern Line (Black Line)
Just as the name suggests the Northern Line stars off in the south at Morden and finishes up in the north at High Barnet, like a few of our other lines the Northern Line branches, there are three different places the Northern Line will end up, If your going South from Barnet you’ll either get on the Charing Cross train or the London Bridge one, the line will split once you get to Camden Town and it’s crucially important that you get yourself on the correct train otherwise you’ll need to double back.
HINT: Listen to the announcements, the London Underground tends to be a place people rush through, make sure that you don’t get caught up in it and miss an announcement.
- Piccadilly Line (Dark Blue Line)
The Piccadilly Line goes from Cockfosters in North London, and then branches out to either Uxbridge in the NW or it will take you to Heathrow Airport to the SW. If you’re travelling into the centre of London after you land in Heathrow you’ll probably end up getting on the Piccadilly line.
- Victoria Line (Light Blue)
The Victoria Line departs from Brixton in the South and ends in Walthamstow Central in the East. Cool thing about this line is that all their stations are humpbacked, meaning that their trains gather energy as it slows down into a station and then releases it as they leave, This saves 5% of the energy used and makes the trains 9% faster.
- Waterloo and City Line (Turquoise Line)
This line is our shortest line on the underground, In fact it only covers two stations. Those being Waterloo and Bank. Waterloo is a very grand station that has trains that will take you all over England, Bank has connections to a few other lines and is in the heart of the City of London
So we’ve talked about all the major Underground lines, hopefully you’ll be able to take something from this, whether it be remembering the lines by colour or using it to find out how to get to the Centrer of London.
For some more information about the Lines take a look at a Tube Map
More on travelling and holidaying in London in a later post