Docklands Light Railway review (Sep 2013)
This is an old review Read my most recent review here
I didn't fancy doing anything major today, so I just had a ride around on the Docklands Light Railway instead. I went from Bank to the Cutty Sark and back again, which is probably the best little sightseeing route on there.
If you do want to sit right at the front then take a tip from me -- stand right at the end of the platform when boarding it, because you can't walk through the carriages. There's usually a little scrum for the best seats, and you might have to knock a few old ladies out of the way. Bring a cricket bat with you, that's what I do (no I don't). I don't really knock them out of the way -- I'm far too polite for that. But I did manage to get a decent seat today, which was pretty good going.
I boarded it at Bank where all the busy businessmen get on with their Kindles and iPads for their trip to the big steel and glass skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. I didn't realise that the DLR platforms were so far away from the street though. You literally have to walk a mile from the pavement before you reach them... down some escalators... down a few floors in a lift -- it's like your descending into the bowels of the earth. I swear that it heats up a bit too, from the fiery flames at the centre of the earth. Now I know why they call it the Underground. If we walked much further then we would have burrowed right through the centre of the planet to Australia's Gold Coast.
Most of the track from that point on is actually above the road -- like a monorail. If you've ever been to America then it will remind you of those elevated trains that rattle through the centre of the streets.
So is it worth doing? Well, it's a lot more interesting than catching the dirty old tube, but I wouldn't bother doing it on it's own. It's not worth seeking out unless you're already going to Greenwich. I still think the best way of getting there is by boat, though. But a boat will take up an hour of your day. The DLR does it in 20 minutes.
Guest – We would like to take public transport between London City Airport and Sloane Square. We will have carry on baggage and we are fairly fit 70 year olds. Would we encounter lots of walking and stairs in the rail and tube stations.?
Admin – you'll have quite a bit. The Docklands Light Railway won't be a problem because that's totally wheelchair accessible throughout, so if you're able to walk okay then you can just use the lifts or escalators. You'll need to catch the DLR from London City Airport to Tower Gateway. But then you'll have to come out of Tower Gateway station and cross over the road to Tower Hill underground station. It's not very far. It's literally just over the road -- a five minute walk. And you can get a quick glimpse of the Tower of London while you're there. Then you need to catch the Circle or District line to Sloane Square. It doesn't matter which one you pick because they both use the same platform. But you'll have to walk down 28 stairs. When you get to Sloane Square you can use the escalator (or walk up 3 flights of stairs). Whatever you do... don't get the DLR from London City Airport to Bank, because then you'll have to walk to Monument station which is a very long walk with luggage.
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