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Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

Santa Barbara...
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484 posts
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Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

Hello all...about 7 weeks till we leave!! I have our tentative itinerary, now I am having anxiety of how to get to all these places.

We plan on getting the 7 day Travel Card and using only the Tube,Trains and buses...so do you reccomend me studying all the trains/buses and routes and write down specific instructions for each journey....or, once I am there just walk up to the train station and ask, or look on the Bus stop sign and figure it out. I am leaning towards option #2.

I have my Maps and that map book has the tube/train routes etc, so I can look at that if needed.

We only have two events that we must be at at a certain time (Concert and Play), so I will map those out so we are not late, other than that...we get there when we get there.

Rudolf Steiner House
Performances, Concerts, Theatres
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Performances, Concerts
berkshire, england
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541 posts
26 reviews
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1. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

Where are you going?

Within Central London, I would just make a note of the nearest tube station to each place and then sort it out when you get there.

If you are going further afield, you may wish to plan ahead.

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
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2. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

This is one of those questions where there truly is no right or wrong way. I would go with whatever you feel comfortable with but I would certainly map out, using the travel planner at www.tfl.gov.uk, the best route to your two non negotiable events. I'd also read up on basics such as how the tube system works before you get here just to avoid those stopping at the top of escalator moments that will endear you to the locals :-)

Santa Barbara...
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484 posts
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3. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

Mostly Central London...but I was thinking for places like Hampstead and Bath we will need a definate route before setting out for the day.

San Diego...
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4. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

I would wait until you got there. The public transportation system in London is pretty good. I don't really use the bus that much, but the tube is very easy to use. If you have any questions the folks at TFL are very helpful.

What we usually suggest is grouping the sites together geographically. This will save you from rushing all over trying to see as much as you can. For example the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery are right next to each other. Both well worth a visit.

London, United...
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659 posts
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5. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

It depends how much you want to cram in!

I actually think it's fun scrolling through Google Earth and the guide books planning places to see and things to do. There is obviously also more to London than the predictable sights and you may want to leave the tourist trail behind and go explore further afield (eg. Docklands, Greenwich/Blackheath, upstream Thames), so a bit of forward planning will free up some time.

Get yourself a decent guide book and map (Lonely Planet is my preference), circle everywhere you want to go, identify at least two good restaurants and make reservations (I recommend Boxwood Cafe and Rooftops Babylon) and highlight the relevant tube stations/bus stops as already said.....I'd also suggest doing the 2-3hr bus tour in your first few days, both to get your bearings and maybe tick a few boxes straight away!

Whenever I visit a major city, I like to cram it all in. Pack in a gazillion experiences and memories, then sleep when you get home.

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Blackheath
Blackheath
69 Reviews
London, UK
Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

The tube is pretty easy and straight forward. Not much to figure out there. But if you want to study something, familiarize yourself with how the buses work. The tube is great, but you'll see so much more of London if you take the buses when you can. And you'll also usually get closer to your destination than you would on the tube.

Here's a simplified bus map with a lot of the tourist sites on it.

tfl.gov.uk/assets/…central_bus_map.pdf

Start with that. Then move on to the big, scary bus map:

tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/Central-London-D…

Santa Barbara...
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484 posts
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7. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

Thanks all!

I have google earthed the area around the flat to see where the grocery store is, the pubs and the Tube station.

I have studied the Tube and Bus system, that is what kinda freaked me out in the first place.

We will most likely do the Hop-on/Hop-off our fist few days to get our bearings.

My DH and I did San Francisco not having any ides on how to get to anyplace...and did just fine asking Bus drivers and popping in any Hotel and asking the front desk. I just feel maybe we missed stuff if I had been more orientated or took the long way there, walked way too much when we could have slipped down this or that street and gotten there with less sore feet.

I try to figure things out for myself then come and ask the board...I will probably do that for the two places we need to be then come on here and verify that I am taking the correct route.

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San Francisco
San Francisco
California
Santa Barbara...
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8. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

One more thing I cannot figure out...We are stying in Notting Hill...where can I purchase a 7 Day Travel card close by?

Chicago, IL
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9. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

Sounds like it is your 1st trip to London? If so, you might want to figure out the 1st couple of journeys until you feel comfortable using the tube/buses but really everything is very well marked, not to mention in English. The bus stands show you which buses leave from there, where they are headed to, where they stop but I sometimes still go to the attractions' website and print out directions just in case if it's somewhere a little more tricky (ie tube/bus combination).

I also bring along a Streetwise London map (or any central London map will do) so I can watch the path of the bus as we are going along if I'm not quite sure where to get off. And remember, the buses pick you up on the opposite side of the street from where you think since they drive on the left. :-)

Give yourself plenty of time for those nights you have play tickets, inevitably that will be the day the tube is running late or you have to be rerouted. I usually plan to have dinner near the theater, I know I can always just grab a snack if I run into transport problems.

Chicago, IL
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10. Re: Map it all out now..or just wait till I get there

I've never done the hop on hop off so I don't know if there is a lot of value added with the commentary but TFL has a really good central London tourist attraction map that shows the central routes and which stops to get off for what

tfl.gov.uk/assets/…central_bus_map.pdf