If you’re first joining us for our April A to Z Blogging Challenge, we are now approaching the letter “J” on our list of tips for expats moving to London. I’ve been trying to mix in the fun with the practical, the historical with the present, and today’s post is inspired by one logistical issue anyone relocating to London needs to master: London public transport.
“J” is for JOURNEY PLANNER!
As I mentioned in my recent “A to Zed” post, London is a sprawling metropolis of intricately woven streets. Older cities like this are not built on grid systems like newer U.S. ones are, so navigation can be a serious challenge unless you’re toting your compass. Soon after I myself first moved here, I remember once thinking my sense of direction was keen enough to guide me from my London apartment to London Relocation’s office in Notting Hill. So positive that I was heading due North, little did I notice that the street was subtly curving westward until I saw the Westfield Shopping Centre looming in the distance. Yeah, that would have been Shepherd’s Bush. Which is west of Holland Park, which is west of Notting Hill. And did I mention it was raining? And that I didn’t have an umbrella? And that I’d forgotten my wallet at home? Awesome morning.
Anyway, even now when I feel much more acclimated to local streets in central neighborhoods—as well as the tube and bus systems—I’m not one to run on-time, so want to leave nothing to chance when I’ll most assuredly already be in the process of running late for an engagement. The Transport for London (TFL) website is an awesome, comprehensive resource for tracking public transport updates and planning out a journey.
In fact, the aptly named “Journey Planner” feature allows you to punch in your specific start and end destinations (whether a station, postcode, address, or point of interest). Oh, but there’s more… You can also input the exact date and time you’re looking to depart as well as transport mode preferences (e.g., tube, bus, overground rail, ferry, e tc.) and any requirements you have for mobility needs. You can also plan your journey based on whether you’re walking or cycling. The end result is usually a list of available options, complete with journey duration times and maps, which is all especially useful if you’re having to make connections. Sometimes, your journey could entail a combination of different modes of transport.
So, onward ho! Whether it’s locating apartments to view and rent, stepping out for the evening, or just figuring out how to get to your new job on your first day, the TFL Journey Planner is a must-use online tool.