London Buses, Taxis and Bicycles

London Underground trains are great at swallowing you up at Point A and spitting you out at Point B, but then you don’t get to see the city in between.  That’s where buses can be useful.  You don’t even need to pay for a special sightseeing bus – look at the route of the ordinary number 15.

Bus 15 destination

The same pass that everyone uses for tube journeys – the Oystercard – works on buses too.  Just touch the Oystercard pad near the driver as you board the bus.  Then go upstairs and take the front seat for the best view (even if it’s just a view of more buses).

Oxford Street traffic - number plates adjusted

If you’ve enough money to ditch the bus and take a London taxi, don’t think that all “black cabs” must be black! red taxi

If you really want to see London close up, hire a bike.  The rental scheme started in 2010.  The first sponsor was Barclays, but nobody calls them Barclays bikes – they are universally known as “Boris bikes”, after Mayor Boris Johnson.

boris bikes hoxton

boris bike sign

If you don’t want to spend most of your journey looking at the back of a number 15 bus, follow the recommended cycle routes.

cycle routes

 

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh, I’d love to go back and take advantage of the new bike hire (as long as I can use the cycle routes – not particularly keen to get out on those London roads.

    Buses are definitely more interesting, and people are chattier on them as well. I only ever got chatted up on buses, never the tube 🙂 .

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      I agree, the bus world is friendlier than the tube world.
      The cycle hire scheme is great, as long as you know where to leave the bike when you finish your journey. You can’t just abandon them, you need to find another docking station, push your bike into the slot, and then walk to your destination. You don’t want to end up miles away, like I did once, unable to find a docking station and being late for my appointment. My best experience was using them to cycle round the City of London on a Sunday morning, enjoying empty streets and taking the photos for this blogpost – https://distantdrumlin.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/summer-in-london/.

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