Travel Guide

London Underground, or Tube as it is know by the locals, can be quite confusing for those who are not used to it.

Fortunately you will realise that it is quite easy as each station and platform is well labelled with both the name of the line you’re travelling on and the direction the train is travelling.

We would definitely recommend that you look at the tube map before you start your journey to help you find your way.

Sense of direction does not always come with the system, so here is a guide that will help.

The Basics

  1. Find a tube map at an Underground station – there is always one outside of the barriers at each station. Alternatively, obtain a small pocket copy from a leaflet rack for free or at the ticket office that you can refer to during your journey. There are also maps on board trains and on platforms.
  2. Using the map, find your starting and finishing stations (you can use the index at the bottom if you get stuck). Central London is in the centre of the tube map, or at it is also called “Zone 1”.
  3. Plan a route between your starting point and destination. Try and use the most direct route as possible, or in three lines or less, and remember that the tube map is not geographical, so you may be able to walk in between some stations (see individual station listings on TheAtoB.com for more info).
  4. The tube network makes good use of simple compass directions to help you. For example northbound or southbound, and eastbound and westbound. So north is up, south is down, west is left and east is right.
  5.  Tickets can be purchased from touch screen machines or from the ticket office windows. The touch screens accept coins, notes, and all major credit cards, as well as being able to offer a variety of languages other than UK English.
    • If you’re making only a single journey at a time, buy a single ticket
    • If you’ll be going back to your starting point later in the day, buy a return. A return is cheaper than two single tickets.
    • If you’re going to be making lots of journeys over the course or a day, days, or a week (for example), buy a Travelcard. This will allow you to make unlimited journeys around the network in the zones that you pay for.
    • If you get an Oyster Card (a recommended option) make sure you touch it against the yellow discs at the barriers at the start and end of your journey.
  6. Follow the signs in the tube station to the right platform, making use of the stairs, escalators and lifts.
  7. Sometimes trains terminate before your destination, so make sure when boarding the train that you listen to the announcements and look at the electronic boards. If your train does terminate before your destination or interchange, just look at the electronic arrivals boards to see when the next train will be.
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