Long queues are a familiar sight when travelling around London. Obtaining tickets for the underground, buses and trains, visiting popular tourist sites and simply having to queue for food and drink in cafes and pubs. It takes up valuable time when you could be usefully doing other things.
But with a little bit of thought and preparation, you can avoid most of these queues. Obtain a prepaid Oyster card to speed up your travel on the underground and buses. Book ahead to obtain tickets for a theatre production rather than take your chance at the box office. Tables at popular restaurants can also be booked allowing you to turn up and go straight in.
Aim to avoid the busiest times when travelling around London or seeking food and drink. London is a busy city with thousands of people travelling in every day to work or go out for the evening. As a result, you will find commuters rushing to work between 7.30 to 9am and returning home around 4.30 to 6.30 in the evening. Lunchtime is generally around midday to 2pm. During these times, you can expect long queues to get on trains, buses, in cafes and pubs. Aim to travel and dine outside these busy periods, and you will find it far quicker and easier. Stay at hotel near Kensington when travelling around London.
Plan your day in advance. Work out exactly what you want to see in London and try to combine ones which are relatively close together such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Museum of London and Shakespeare’s Globe; the Tower of London and Tower Bridge or shopping in Kensington High Street with visits to the Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. This will cut down on travelling time. Equally important is to remember to arrive at big museums like the British Museum early, so that you will be at the front of the security queue for bag checks.
A London Pass is an ideal way to avoid queues when visiting attractions. These prepaid passes are perfect if you are planning to visit places like St Paul’s Cathedral, The Tower of London and Madame Tussauds. Tickets for Hop On Hop Off buses can save a lot of time too. These buses travel around the main London attractions, providing a guided commentary in many different languages. If you are in a hurry, this can be a really good way of glimpsing as many places as possible as just one tour can take you past iconic buildings like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.