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Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

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England
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Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

Hello,

Please can someone help us if possible.

Myself, my husband, and our two children (17 and 11) are staying in SW16 for the Bank Holiday weekend. We arrive Saturday 23 and leave Monday 25th.

We are hoping to visit the IWM and the Natural History Museum as well as wandering around looking at the usual sites such as Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament etc.

The 159 bus seems the best to take us to these sites from where we are staying in Lambeth, but I am so confused over Zones, Oyster Cards, Travelcards etc that I don't know which to purchase.

Ideally we will be visiting the Palace and Houses of Parliament, Harrods on the Saturday afternoon/evening, then the IWM and Natural History Museum on the Sunday, with possibly a trip again on the Bank Holiday Monday to the London Eye etc.

What would be the cheapest option for us all as visitors and what Zones do we need to purchase. We do have a car so would it be cheaper to drive into the centre and park?

Any advice would be great thanks x

Colleen

London
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1. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

An adult bus fare is £1.45, and if you use buses all day you can cap your spend at £4.40. A bargain. To take advantage if those fares you either need an Oyster card (loaded with 'pay as you go' credit) or a bank card with RFID chip. Alternatively, you can buy a paper travelcard, but that'll cost you £8.90 per adult. Each adult needs a card (whether oyster, bank card or travelcard). You cannot pay cash on London buses.

Driving into central London isn't recommended. The parking regulations are complicated - most of the areas you're headed for are residents zones (which operate at all hours).

Cotswolds
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2. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

The simplest solution is 4 (adult) PAYG Oyster cards - bus fares are the same for adults and children. £1.45 a ride, capping at around £4 a day if you stick to buses.

England
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3. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

WOW! Thanks so much for the super quick replies!

Are we able to pay in advance for the days or do we top up on the day of travel etc? Sorry to be a pain but we have no experience of Yorkshire Buses, never mind London Buses! :D

antioch
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4. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

Do the bus's on the same route go in opposite directions? for example if one is going clockwise is another going counter clockwise?

Harrow, United...
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5. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

>Are we able to pay in advance for the days or do we top up on the day of travel etc?<

you can load whatever amount you want to each oyster card and it stays valid forever - so no you don't need to top up daily

>Do the bus's on the same route go in opposite directions? for example if one is going clockwise is another going counter clockwise?<

if you mean are buses numbered the same going from a-b as b-a then yes they are but the bus stops tell you the direction of travel and the major area it's going towards. the buses all have electronic destination signs on the front and sides and electronic/audio anouncements in the bus.

London, United...
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6. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

You can even order the Oyster Cards online with Credit already on them and have them delivered to your home:

https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/link/0005.do

Or just get them when you come to London, and top them up at a station.

Cotswolds
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7. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

<<Do the bus's on the same route go in opposite directions? for example if one is going clockwise is another going counter clockwise?>>

Not sure what you mean - most bus routes are linear from A to B, returning the same way with minor adjustments due to one way streets and the like. Stops for different directions are mostly on opposite sides of the road. The bus number is the same each way

There are very few circular routes

antioch
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8. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

I figured my question would be to vague sorry bout that say a bus goes from Covent Garden to Tower Hill to Waterloo back to Covent Garden. is there another bus going from Covent Garden to Waterloo to Tower Hill to Covent Garden. (not sure if that makes anymore sense??) same bus route just going in opposite directions.

Edited: 11 August 2014, 00:07
Stanley, Falkland...
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9. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

A few might do that, but most are A to B and the return the same route. Look at thr RV1.

Cotswolds
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10. Re: Total confusion over Bus travel in London!

That doesn't make much more sense. That bus doesn't do what you describe. It goes from Covent Garden to Tower Hill via Waterloo. That's one trip The return route goes from Tower Hill via Waterloo to Covent Garden. - That's another trip - so it's just out and back like any other route, not circular