We will be visiting London for the first time in August with our 3 Year Old son.
I know for a fact that if we have to enjoy our stay in London we have to use the public transport system and not rent a car and I’m game for it. We have Oyster cards with us already with adequate credit for our trip.
Our son has never used public transport (except for air travel) and we always travel by our private cars in our home country.
London metro trains can be incredibly busy at times I have heard and always getting a seat is not possible. My wife and I don’t mind walking and standing all the way through from one station to another but our son would definitely want to stay in my lap all the time when he sees a crowded station/train.
Can you please give us some tips which will make our travel easier in tubes and busses? Since we are tourists we can avoid the rush hour. We are native speakers and are very social so any communication aspect to it won’t be a problem.
If it matters, we are staying 100 meters from Earls Court Station.
I’ll partly answer both of your questions at once – I’d suggest getting the Picadilly line from the airport in. As the trains start at the airport, you’ll be getting on an empty train, which means you can be sure of getting seats and having space for your luggage (there are spaces by the main doors of the trains for suitcases).
You’ll also then be able to introduce your son to the concept and feel of an Underground train while it’s still fairly quiet rather than jumping straight into a busy city-centre service, which should help him to acclimatise to it.
For the bus, I’d suggest doing something similar – get on a bus at it’s first stop, while it’s empty, and pick the upstairs front seat – he’ll be too engrossed in the view to be scared! The tourist routes often run shorter journeys starting and finishing in the city, which can be good for this – e.g. Trafalgar Square to Tower Hill.