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Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

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Richland, Washington
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Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

We're training in from Bath and leaving out on the Eurostar. In the meantime, we need a convenient hotel area where, in order to sightsee, we won't be overcome with steps to the Underground(?) Is this a legitimate concern for the elderly? Had originally thought we'd mostly use the bus.

Our most important sights will be the Tower of London and the British Museum. After that, we're open to learning about others' favorites. Thank you!

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

You will not / should not have a difficult time finding a place to stay that is handy for bus travel in the city centre: https:/…central-london-bus-map.pdf That's an overview, there are smaller spider maps that are easier to read and follow, but we can help sort that out after you've decided where to stay.

Very few city centre stations have step free access to the Underground, so if are stair-averse then taking buses may be better for some journeys. Bloomsbury is well situated for an arrival at Paddington station and departure from St Pancras, so please let us know your travel dates and budget in pounds.

As far as stairs on the Underground being a legitimate concern for the elderly, that concern depends entirely on each person's state of health and mobility and willingness to make their own way as much as possible; I don't see it purely as a function of age.

County Dublin...
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2. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

Holborn / Bloomsbury might fit the bill.

Please post your nightly budget.

London
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3. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

Surely I am right in thinking that pretty much all central London tube stations have escalators, meaning that unless somebody cannot walk any steps at all they would probably be ok, as all you have to do is stand on the escalator, not walk. Those without escalators have lifts. Of course one often has to walk up or down some steps inside most tube stations, but it's not like one is ever going to be climbing hundreds of steps, unless there is a power cut or something else that makes the escalators or lifts stop working. It depends how step-averse somebody is. If you are somebody who, say, has to live in a bungalow because you cannot walk up and down stairs, or needs a stair lift, then I think the tube is out. If you can walk up and down a few stairs then I think it is doable, on a station by station basis.

>> the Tower of London<<

There are a lot of stairs around the Tower of London.

In general, one can get most places by bus. Note that the DLR is great for people who cannot use stairs, so that will be perfect for any trips to Greenwich or parts of the East End. I think Soho, Covent Garden, and Bloomsbury are good areas to stay in if you want somewhere central.

Richland, Washington
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4. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

Thank you, everyone, for your input. Re our budget, we're looking at mid-range, BUT I did not know that the Tube had escalators - that changes everything. Regardless, I will still look at your suggestions since the bus, for short jaunts, still sounds like a good option to SEE the city.

Thank you!

Oxfordshire
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5. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

"!Surely I am right in thinking that pretty much all central London tube stations have escalators, meaning that unless somebody cannot walk any steps at all they would probably be ok, as all you have to do is stand on the escalator, not walk. "

You're completely wrong.

Many - going on most and not far from all - Central London tube stations require some use of flights of stairs. Since all tube journeys involve at least two stations, and many involve several, it's close on impossible to travel by tube within central London without encountering at least one flight of steps that will create serious difficulty for many people with dodgy legs, or other kinds of accessibility problems.

Even if someone with accessibility problems is happy to gamble, struggling up even a short flight of steps with a stick during a gout attack, or after a badly twisted ankle, can be a nightmare on a busy staircase (impossible to predict) and often a real danger to both the afflicted and everyone else on the steps.

Utterly impossible to plan for most of this: the "step free" TfL maps provide very limited, and often easily misunderstood, information and navigating to remote lifts in stations like Kings Cross or Paddington can often be almost as stressful as fighting up or down steps.

The simple, easily manageable, solution is to depend on buses (or cabs if flush) in central London. Most people alive today will be long in their graves by the time the Tube's really impaired ability-friendly. and most of us can think of hundreds of more important things to do with taxpayers' money than try to speed that up.

Cotswolds
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6. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

<<Surely I am right in thinking that pretty much all central London tube stations have escalators>>

No - wrong. Yes all the deep level 'tubes' do have escalators (or a few have lifts). But most of the subsurface lines - those that were built on the cut and cover principle - don't. They have stairs. True not vast flights of stairs, but still the equivalent of climbing over a 2 storey house - maybe 20 or 30 steps, usually with a half way 'rest'

Oxfordshire
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7. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

"BUT I did not know that the Tube had escalators"

It has SOME escalators. It actually has many (London's not the quaint relic of life before escalators and lifts got invented you find in museums of ancient technology like New York's transport system). But you're still going to encounter stairs.

Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

Re our budget, we're looking at mid-range,

=====

Sorry, "mid range" means nothing to me. Well it does, but may be completely different to your idea of "mid range".

We need a nightly budget, per room on pounds (£). You can use http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/ to help.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, King's Cross, Blackfriars, Southwark, London Bridge and Westminster have escalators and / or lifts and / or ramps to and from street level and the train platforms, but KX and London Bridge have long treks between some platforms, 400 to 450 m in a couple of cases. Some city centre stations may have partial step free access, eg escalators to and from the Victoria line platforms at Warren Street or the lift to and from the westbound platforms at Cannon Street, but as for the rest access to and from the platforms, ticket halls and street level will mean climbing stairs.

FanTravlr, what you may consider a mid range budget may be high end to another traveller. Use www.oanda.com to calculate the exchange rate if need be, but please let us know a budget in pounds. Let us know how many nights you plan to stay in London and some idea of when you will travel.

London
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10. Re: Best hotel area to stay to use above-ground transportation

I think that those of you who are saying that I am wrong, or even "completely wrong", have only read half of what I said. I went on to say, "Of course one often has to walk up or down some steps inside most tube stations", so, yes, I am saying that one will indeed in most tube stations have to walk up and/or down a certain number of stairs. The tube line which I use most often is the District line, which I use anything up to about eight times a week, mostly between Embankment or Victoria and Turnham Green or Chiswick Park, so I am perfectly well aware that at both Embankment and Victoria the access from street level to District line platform is stairs rather than escalator or lift (and the same at Turnham Green and Chiswick Park, where the stations are actually built above ground level). What I went on to say was, "it's not like one is ever going to be climbing hundreds of steps". That is perfectly true. I have not counted the number of stairs at each station which I use. I know that whenever I use London Bridge for the Jubilee line, which is reasonably often, the vast majority of the trip down into the deep tunnels is by escalator, but I am also perfectly well aware that immediately before reaching platform level there is a short flight of stairs, maybe a dozen or so, from thee bottom of the escalator (or, since we have to be pedantic about things, from the landing, so to speak, after the bottom of the escalator) down to the platform. I went on to say, "It depends how step-averse somebody is." This is a perfectly reasonable approach. There is no point saying, "If you have difficulty with stairs do not use the tube at all". It's much more helpful to say, "If you can manage x [number of] stairs, then you can use N tube station".

Here is a website that is useful: http://www.directenquiries.com

Let's say that we want know how to get from ticket hall to the Northern line northbound on platform 1 at Hampstead. We find a nice diagram here: http://www.directenquiries.com/stationDiagram.aspx?tab=StationAccessDetail&Title=Ticket+Hall+to+Northern+Northbound+(Platform+1)&did=0141-0012731%2b0141-0025053_H2P showing that if the lift is working there is a total of 20 stairs downwards between the bottom of the lift and the platform. There is even a photograph of the stairs! directenquiries.com/images/LUPhotos.2008/141… And so on for all stations: http://www.directenquiries.com/londonunderground.aspx?tab=Underground+Stations&level=3 For a station which uses escalators, we can see that from Cranbourn Street to the Piccadilly line eastbound on platform 2 at Leicester Square there is a total of 18+13+20 stairs.