London: A Visitor’s Guide
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Plan a journey between two different stations:
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The London Underground typically operates from 5 AM to 00.30 AM (Mon-Sat), and 7 AM to 11.30 PM (Sun). The Docklands Light Railway runs from 5.30 AM to 00.30 AM (Mon-Sat), and 7 AM to 11.30 PM (Sun).
The long-awaited 24-hour service was supposed to start in September 2015, but only on Fridays and Saturdays, and only on the Jubilee, Piccadilly, Victoria, and most of the Central and Northern lines. (We are still waiting!)
Each underground line has its own special colour, which is shown below.
The coloured lines can be seen on the tube map, which you will find pasted up at every station. Here is a part of it.
Stations which only serve one line are shown by a little stub protruding from the coloured line. For example, Covent Garden, which only serves the Piccadilly (dark blue) line.
Stations which serve two or more lines are said to be
interchanges, and are shown by a large white circle. For example, Blackfriars, which serves the Circle (yellow) and District (dark green) lines.
Stations which also serve mainline (above-ground) trains are accompanied by a little red rail symbol. For example, Charing Cross and Cannon Street.
You can print off paper timetables at tfl.gov.uk/travel-information.
You can also get paper timetables at a Travel Information Centre. There are six of them in London: Euston station, King’s Cross station, Liverpool Street station, Piccadilly Circus station, Victoria station and Heathrow airport.
Always stand on the right-hand side of escalators. The left-hand side is reserved for people who want to walk up the escalator.
When entering or exiting the platform, you won’t be able to use every single ticket barrier… only the ones with green or yellow arrows on. If a lane has a red or yellow cross on it, then it won’t accept your ticket.
If you’re carrying bulky items and can’t fit through the barrier, look for an extra wide gate to the side. If there are none, just show your ticket to the member of staff, who will let you through a side gate.
Don’t assume that you will get a seat on the tube. During rush hour you will most likely be crushed up cheek-to-cheek with total strangers (no joke!).
> Read Drummerboy’s review of the London Underground You can also read about my trip on the Docklands Light Railway
If you’ve got any questions about the London underground, or how to use an Oyster card, travelcard or contactless payment card, then we will try and answer them in our chat forum:
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