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Traveling and Holidays
You are moving to this exciting city to explore all it has to offer as well as travelling across the UK and Europe so make the most of the fantastic offers available. Some travel advice and tips from Thames Teachers.
We recommend using the extensive tube, train and bus network to get to schools and about town. Tube maps can be picked up from every tube station and the network is easy and safe to navigate. If you are not close to a tube station the London buses provide an alternative option. When travelling within London it is more cost effective to purchase an Oyster card than it is paying for single journeys. Oyster cards are chargeable with pay as you go credit, day, week, monthly and annual travel passes. The Oyster card allows you to travel to destinations within the London travel zones. If travelling extensively (2+ tube journeys daily) a weekly or even monthly travel pass can save you money.
London is also a wonderful city to walk and cycle about. Often the tube map (which is not to scale) can be misleading with distances, particularly in central London. Checking walking routes may save you time on your journey and often takes you through some of the cities exceptional landmarks. TFL (transport for London) offer bicycle hire points throughout the city where bikes can be obtained using an oyster card. If you are cycling in the city to ensure your safety please make sure to always wear a helmet!
Outside of London
London is well connected to the rest of the UK through a large rail and bus network. When travelling by train it is worth exploring different travel cards which offer discounted fares. National rail offer a 16-25 travel card which gives 30% discount for people aged 25 and under at a cost of £26, a good investment if you are planning on exploring the country. The individual train networks often offer a rail pass/ discount card and this is well worth exploring if you no longer qualify for the youth discount schemes.
National express and Megabus are the UKs largest bus operators. Both service cities across England, Scotland and Wales. When booked in advance these journeys can be purchased for as little as £3 one way and are the most cost effective way of seeing the country. National express also offer a 16-25 rail card which further discounts fares.
Towns, cities and villages throughout the UK are serviced by bus. We recommend researching your destination prior to arrival as bus timetables can often be found online. Many places will have bus schedules available within their central bus stations.
Travelling to Europe and beyond
London is exceptionally well connected with flights, trains and buses to mainland Europe departing from most corners of the city!
Low- cost airlines service London’s many airports and booking in advance can allow you to jet off for a weekend break for as little as £20 one way. Stanstead and Luton in particular operate many of the British and European low cost carriers. One tip is to book your travel to the airport (usually by bus) as far in advance as possible to keep expenses low!
London St Pancras operates the Eurostar which connects London with Paris, Brussels and beyond. The train allows you to cross over to Europe within a few hours. This can be an expensive option and booking well in advance is advised to secure cheap seats!
If you are intending to travel through multiple destinations in Europe by train we recommend looking into Interrail (for European citizens) and Eurrail (Non-European citizens) passes which offer almost unlimited travel passes within one or more European countries.
Eurolines is a bus service that connects London with almost 50 European destinations. They offer 15 and 30 day travel passes (with Youth discounts) which are ideal for a summer of exploring the mainland. Although a good low cost option; be prepared as bus journeys between cities are often long!
Ferry services also depart throughout the UK to European ports taking both foot and car passengers. Travelling by coach or car you will either use the Ferry services or travel through the channel tunnel (in Dover). If you are driving across to Europe please do familiarise yourself with the visit countries road rules as they can vary from those of the UK.