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Get around London like a Londoner – Tips for the Tube

August 24, 2023 by St Giles

One of the easiest methods to get around London is through the London Underground (commonly referred to as ‘The Tube’).

If you are our current or upcoming students traveling to London to study English, in this article you can learn different routes to get to where you need to go in the city with plenty of opportunities to practice your English-speaking skills.

London Underground Tips

Get yourself an oyster card.

If you are hesitant to use your contactless card, then the oyster card is a great alternative to paying for your travels. You will be able to purchase an oyster card for just £7 in various locations like:

  • Oyster Ticket Stops in many news agents/local shops in London.
  • Major London Stations’ Visitors Centres:
    • Heathrow
    • King’s Cross & St Pancras Tube Station
    • Liverpool Street
    • Piccadilly Circus
    • Victoria
  • At the Tram link Shop in Croydon.

Using your Oyster card is simple. Just top up your balance through the ticket machines or through the app (we recommend topping up £10 if you’re traveling to various places) and tap your card to get through the barriers to get on your way.

You can also see how much balance is left on your card through the screens as you tap in.

London Underground Map

There is no signal on the tube, so make sure you have a map of the London Underground on-hand. You can also find them in most of the stations.

We highly recommend you search your route ahead of your journey and take screenshots of any changes/stops along the way. This will ensure you have a stress free and comfortable journey!

Travelling during the winter

It’s essential to wrap up warmly during the winter, but it’s worth noting that temperatures in the tube can be hot.

Make sure that the layers you are wearing can keep you warm when going outside but are also easy to remove if you need to or if the tube is crowded and too hot. Zip jackets/coats will become your best friend during your daily travels. This is particularly important if you are travelling during rush hour when the tubes are very busy and crowded.

Rush hour.

Like in many cities, beware of rush hour. Your travel time can take much longer than expected between 7 am-8:45 am and 4:30 pm-7 pm which are the typical rush hour times.

If you want to make it to your classes or scheduled meeting/activity, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get there.

Be mindful of your stuff.

London is a great city with plenty of friendly faces to greet you along the way, however, you should still make sure that you keep hold of your things and that they are securely stored in your pockets or bags.

This will prevent pickpocketing especially through heavy crowds.

Take a breath.

If you feel lost or become confused whilst you travel, do not panic. Take a breath, ask a member of staff who will guide you back to get you to where you need to go.

London Underground etiquette

  • Have your oyster card, contactless card or ticket ready as you approach the gates, this will prevent you from holding up people behind you – especially during rush hour.
  • Stand on the right side of the escalator especially if you aren’t looking to walk up along the way. The left side is reserved for those walking up.
  • Allow passengers to get off the train before trying to get on. Even during rush hour, make sure to let those getting off get out first.
  • Be prepared to give up your seat for someone who may need it more such as pregnant women, the elderly, disabled people, and even children.

Studying English St Giles London School

St Giles offers English courses from 2 different schools for you to start studying English in London. London Central and London Highgate both come with easy access no matter where your accommodation is.

London Central

Occupying a magnificent century-old building at the heart of Bloomsbury opposite Russell Square, our school is located within just a 5-minute walk from the British Museum! From here, you can also explore the beautiful city and its many famous landmarks – all with easy-access to transport links!

Download our factsheet now to learn more.

London Highgate

Situated at a North London suburb, Highgate is the perfect place for focused study whilst being within arm’s reach of the city centre. It has great transport links whenever you’re looking to visit the city centre (20 minutes by tube).

If you’re looking for a more beautiful, prosperous, and green area of London with its own quiet English Garden to study at then London Highgate is right for you!

Download our factsheet now to learn more.

If you’re ready, you can book your course now.

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