Londoners love a good moan about transport in the city and if you are visiting you will soon become familiar with some of the reasons. Whether crowded tubes, traffic on roads, people walking too slow, or broken train lines, it’s a conversation that is part of almost every person in the city’s life. But did you know that the way you travel around the city can impact your health?
The main reasons for this is physical activity and the level of pollution you are exposed to. With this in mind, sometimes mixing it up with your travel arrangements can break you out of a routine and encourage you to find more fun (if not healthier) ways to get around the city. Below we’ve outlined some of our favourite ones.
London is a big city, but some parts of it are so much closer to each other than you might think. Even more so in central areas. The best thing about walking around is you’ll discover amazing places that you’d have never noticed. The city has so much to offer and it can’t all be directly around the tube or station. Also, a stroll along Regents Canal on a sunny day is a rare pleasure to replicate in London. Tie up those laces, get moving and get discovering!
Ride a bike
The London infrastructure has had huge investment since 2010 to improve cycle paths and lanes. Cycle superhighways have been built to connect stations, town centres and key destinations to make protected spaces for cyclists on some of the busiest roads. On a bike, it is quick and easy to get around a large amount of the city.
For those who don’t have their own two wheels, there are plenty of options to get on the road. The most famous and accessible of these are the Santander Cycles, which have been a huge success since their first introduction in 2010. For a small fee, you can hire a cycle from a docking station and ride it anywhere around London, you just need to find another docking station to store the bike in when you are finished with your trip.
The Thames is one of the most famous landmarks in London and the entire reason the city was first established there in 50AD by the Romans. Viewing the city from the river gives an entirely new perspective to what we see on the day to day, whilst letting you take in all the classic sites. There are tourist boats you can take, but the Thames Clipper is a viable commuting option, with comfortable seats and a bar to transport you to work! Oyster cards and contactless cards are also usable on these so it’s simple to tap on and tap off.
Borrow a Car from a Neighbour
Sometimes, as much as you’d like to avoid it, you’ll need a car to meet certain needs. Financially, it doesn’t always make sense to keep a vehicle in the city, but there are great alternatives. Car sharing companies like hiyacar, allow you to you rent a car in from local people on an hourly or daily rate. Not only does this mean that you’ll save money, but you will also be contributing to a greener, more sustainable method of car usage.
When you picture a cable car, you might well imagine snow-capped mountains and people holding skis. The cable car service in London doesn’t go near any mountains, but it does give you panoramic views of East London as you cross between Greenwich and the Royal Victoria Dock. It’s also particularly handy if you’re trying to get to the O2 Arena and as part of the TFL system, you can pay with an Oyster or contactless card.
So next time you’re stuck on a boiling tube, tapping your foot impatiently in a queue or being charged for every second you’re stuck in traffic in a taxi, consider the other options you have to get from A to B. Whilst they might not always be the most practical, variety is the spice of life, and mixing up the commute can do wonders for changing your perspective on the same routes.