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Ways of getting around

There are various ways of travelling around London depending on where you are living and your preferences.

Please see the options below for more information on each type of transport which may be available to you:


Cycling

Cycling can often be the cheapest (and greenest!) way to travel around London and is also a great way to see the city. However, roads in London can be dangerous and we advise you to use cycle lanes where they are available. Transport for London offer free and subsidised cycle training for beginners and more experienced cyclists in most London Boroughs. When visiting their webpages you will also be able to explore cycle routes and find useful information about safety equipment and cycle maintenance.

If you are planning to cycle long distances, or wish to cycle outside of central London, you may like to buy your own bike. Students' Union UCL run a Student-to-Student cycle scheme aimed at creating a second hand bike trade for all UCL staff and students. It is highly recommended that you insure your bike as soon as possible.

If you are only planning to cycle for short distances within central London, you may like to use Santander Cycle Hire, London’s self-service, bike -sharing scheme. There are a number of bike docking stations located near to the main UCL campus, for example bikes can be picked up from the following locations:

  • Gower Place
  • Taviton Street
  • Euston Road
  • Malet Street
  • Drummond Street
  • Warren Street Station

London Underground

London Underground or the 'tube' is an extremely fast and popular way to travel around London. The closest tube stations to UCL’s Gower Street site are Euston Square (Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan and Circle lines), Warren Street (Northern and Victoria lines), Euston (Northern and Victoria lines) and Russell Square (Piccadilly line). You can plan a journey on the Transport for London website.

The type of ticket you should buy will depend on how frequently you are planning on using the tube. If you are using the tube on a regular basis it may be worthwhile buying a travelcard, these can be bought for a day, a week, a month or longer. If you are only using the tube occasionally you may wish to add travel value (cash) to an ‘Oyster card.’ Oyster fares are much cheaper than paying for individual tickets.

As a full-time student you can apply for a London Transport Student Oyster photo-card, this entitles you to a 30% discount on certain travel around London. You can find further information about these discounts on our dedicated webpage, or alternatively visit +18 Student Oyster photocard.


Buses

Buses are not only cheaper than getting the tube, but they also allow you to see a lot more of London. UCL’s Gower Street site is served by many Transport for London bus routes. Buses travelling from north to south stop in Gower Street, immediately outside UCL’s main gate, while those travelling from south to north stop outside Warren Street station, about five minutes’ walk from UCL. Services to these stops include route numbers: 10, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390. More information and a journey planner can be found on Transport for London. You can only stop a bus at a bus stop, and you need to remember to wave if you wish to stop the bus.

Like the tube, the type of ticket you should buy will depend on how frequently you are planning on using London buses. If you have a Travelcard you can use it on buses in all zones. You cannot use cash on buses; you must use either a paper Travelcard (which you can buy at tube stations), an Oyster card or a contactless payment card.

As a full-time student you can apply for a London Transport Student Oyster photo-card, this entitles you to a 30% discount on certain travel around London. You can find further information about these discounts on our dedicated webpage, or alternatively visit +18 Student Oyster photocard.


Walking

Healthy, free and environmentally friendly - walking is a fantastic way to travel around London. Although London is large, central London is fairly small. Utilise the map on your smart-phone or buy a London A-Z and you'll notice most landmarks are closer together than you might think!

Transport for London have some great advice on getting around by foot including top walking routes and tips for finding your way. Just remember cars drive on the left and as with any major city it's important to always take precautions.


Driving

Transport for London operates a Congestion Charge Zone in central London. This means that road users will need to pay a daily fee to enter this zone during certain hours of the day, on top of car insurance and petrol this can make driving a very expensive mode of travel.

Though there are no student discounts, a reduced tariff is available for some methods of payment. For full information, including rates and maps of the zone, please see the Transport for London website.


Taxis

Taxis and cabs are a more expensive way to travel around London, but you may find you need to take one at times, especially if you are traveling late at night. You will probably recognise the iconic London Black Cab – this is the only type of taxi that it is safe to approach in the street. If their orange 'Taxi' light is on, this means they are available so you can flag them down. To flag down a taxi, you just need to stick your arm out when the taxi is approaching and they will stop in a suitable place.

Taxis that are not black cabs are called mini-cabs. Mini-cabs are often cheaper than black taxis. Never get into a mini-cab that you have not pre-booked with a licensed cab firm. The driver could be unlicensed and uninsured, and you could be put at risk. You can find details of licensed mini-cab firms on the Transport for London website.

There is a service called Cabwise which allows you to find your nearest cab office. Simply text the word 'CAB' to 60835 and GPS will be used to text you your two nearest minicab numbers and one taxi (black cab) number. If you have a smart phone, you can also download the Cabwise app