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    • silly moo
    • By silly moo 5th Mar 17, 9:19 PM
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    silly moo
    London with a pram
    • #1
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:19 PM
    London with a pram 5th Mar 17 at 9:19 PM
    Hi all, hope you can advise

    We're planning a trip to London in a few months and I'm wondering how easy it is to use the underground, buses and trains in London with a pram. We have Uppababy Vista which is super comfy, easy to navigate and has a huge basket (very handy for travelling) but rather bulky and doesn't fold easily. Would you recommend we buy a smaller stroller for this trip? Baby will be 14 months old when we go.

    Thank you
Page 1
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 5th Mar 17, 9:35 PM
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    trailingspouse
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:35 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:35 PM
    It's possible. People live in London and have babies. But taking a pram or even a buggy on the Tube at rush hour won't win you any friends. Could you use a baby carrier instead?
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 5th Mar 17, 9:40 PM
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    suki1964
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:40 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:40 PM
    Easy enough. But I got a wee stroller for my grandson at that age, cost about £35 and it was so much easier to use.

    A lot of travel in London is by tube. You use escalators, so much easier to fold a stroller and lift a child, and safer as well
    • barbarawright
    • By barbarawright 5th Mar 17, 9:49 PM
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    barbarawright
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:49 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:49 PM
    Perhaps practise on an escalator before you tackle the tube?
    • retepetsir
    • By retepetsir 5th Mar 17, 9:59 PM
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    retepetsir
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:59 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 17, 9:59 PM
    We went last year and just picked the stops which had lifts, which lots of the main ones now do

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    • laurahester
    • By laurahester 6th Mar 17, 6:26 AM
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    laurahester
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 17, 6:26 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 17, 6:26 AM
    There is a map if you go through the links here which will show you which stations have step free access suitable for buggies. We plan journeys around that whete possible.
    https://tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibility/pregnant-women-and-pushchairs

    The uppababy is quite bulky which you will certainly struggle to get on and off tubes when busy. Either avoid busy times completely or considet getting a smaller stoller. Maclarans are pretty compact when folded and we also use ours when travelling abroad as go into holds quite well.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 6th Mar 17, 9:31 AM
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    hazyjo
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 17, 9:31 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 17, 9:31 AM
    Most times I get on a tube, I am having to ram myself into a crowded carriage - I can barely get me in, let alone a pram! And then there's the getting off onto a crowded platform! The Met or Hammersmith & City lines never seem quite as bad.


    If you have to do it, avoid several hours of rush hour (it's not just 8-9am and 5-6pm!).


    My friend got a night train home the other night on Piccadilly line and Central Line at after 3am. She had to stand on both.


    There are escalators on the underground as said (and some lifts), but those without lifts often have steps too. Never easy with a pram. You can't wait for the crowds to go and join the back as there's another tube coming in by then.


    Personally, I would try to stay somewhere on an overhead line rather than a tube, and would prefer to use buses (although they're not easy either). If you're a bit further out, trains would definitely be easier.


    Jx
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    • ThinkPink
    • By ThinkPink 6th Mar 17, 9:34 AM
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    ThinkPink
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 17, 9:34 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 17, 9:34 AM
    We went to London in December when our little boy was 3 months old. We went out and got a stroller that was suitable from birth. I'm glad we took that rather than our big main pushchair as it made things much easier on the tube as it didn't limit which stations we could use. We are going up again in April and again will take the stroller.
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 6th Mar 17, 10:34 AM
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    rach_k
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 17, 10:34 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 17, 10:34 AM
    I would either use a baby carrier or get a smaller buggy that one person can lift on their own with the child still in it. It's not easy (or particularly fair on others) to squeeze a large pushchair onto a crowded train, and it slows everybody down if it takes two people to get up the stairs or you need to bump up/down steps one at a time.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 6th Mar 17, 12:21 PM
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    A friend with a baby said she never had any problems travelling across London as "someone always offers to help up the stairs." I always offer to help with these ridiculously heavy tank-prams (and I don't even like children...).

    I echo the advice above about rush hour; also if you're not a regular London traveller please avoid dithering at the top/bottom of the stairs, have your ticket/Oyster card ready as you approach the barriers and stand on the right of the escalators!
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 6th Mar 17, 12:39 PM
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    rach_k
    A friend with a baby said she never had any problems travelling across London as "someone always offers to help up the stairs." I always offer to help with these ridiculously heavy tank-prams (and I don't even like children...).
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    I have found that true too. Londoners seem to have a reputation for being unfriendly and unhelpful but I don't recall ever NOT being asked if I need help up and downstairs with a buggy in London (and often it's the 'very busy-looking city types in suits' who are the ones asking). Up North where I'm from, I think you're more likely to be laughingly asked why the bloody 'ell you thought bringing a big lump of a buggy like that was a good idea! That said, just because people will help doesn't mean you should rely on it or be inconsiderate. Keep the buggy as small as possible, make sure you can get up and downstairs quickly and don't stop others getting where they need to go, when they need to go.
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 6th Mar 17, 12:53 PM
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    lika_86
    You'll find it easier to get space on the tube itself if you're in the first or last carriage. Entrances to platforms are often right in the middle of platforms so everyone congregates there, the end carriages are usually the quietest.

    I'd take the smallest thing you can take but unless you're trying to get on a Northern Line train at 6pm or something it won't be that bad. Echoing what others have said, I've never seen anyone not be offered help.
    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 6th Mar 17, 12:57 PM
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    tensandunits
    Knowing from experience how difficult it can be even with a wheeled suitcase I certainly wouldn't recommend taking a pram on the Tube. Many stations don't have lifts and even when they do you often need to climb up and down steps to get to them. Escalators also tend to be incredibly busy, whatever the time of day.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 6th Mar 17, 1:08 PM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    Pram on a tube? It's hard enough being an unencumbered human on there.

    Buses aren't as bad, as the wheelchair space can make it possible to wheel babe on (assuming the bus isn't packed), and some train platforms require a pretty big leap up to reach the train itself, but as a whole, I'd definitely recommend the smallest, lightest, single hand folding buggy you can find - it's the only way I managed to transport the Offspring to and from childcare whilst working, and I still ended up watching the bus sail off into the distance many times because there wasn't enough space for me, a baby bundled under my arm and a folded buggy slung over the other one.


    Don't forget you'll need Oyster Cards - £5 each - as there's no cash fares on the buses and buying tickets for the trains and tubes can take forever now. If it's a manned station, you should be able to get through the wider gate, as the normal ones will end up with you and junior getting stuck with a hundred stressed commuters stuck behind you. Travelling is probably least bad between 10.30am and 2.30pm. And download the London Transport Bus Countdown App on your phone, it's worth having a smartphone just for that alone.


    Oh, and just in case you didn't know - DON'T STOP DEAD when you are walking anywhere. London walking speed is somewhere between the four minute mile (usual for Outer London) and Warp Factor 15 (anywhere within Zones 1-3). Know where you are going and only ever stop after you have moved out of the way.
    Last edited by Jojo the Tightfisted; 06-03-2017 at 1:12 PM.
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    • gingercordial
    • By gingercordial 6th Mar 17, 1:24 PM
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    gingercordial
    Could you carry the baby in a sling? You might need to start now to get used to it and find the right sling and position for you. Have your other half carry a bag with spare nappies etc.

    My friend who does this with her baby always looks far less flustered when travelling by Tube than the ones who try to use prams and pushchairs! It also keeps the baby against your body and looking at you and not distressed by all the noise and movement of the crowds.
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 6th Mar 17, 2:04 PM
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    BBH123
    If you are using the underground I wouldnt even contemplate taking a pram,. it is a complete bunfight and far too busy, you will pushed, shoved and jostled and I would imagine it'll be frightening for baby.
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 6th Mar 17, 3:56 PM
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    lika_86
    If you are using the underground I wouldnt even contemplate taking a pram,. it is a complete bunfight and far too busy, you will pushed, shoved and jostled and I would imagine it'll be frightening for baby.
    Originally posted by BBH123
    I think that's a bit of an exaggeration to be honest. Even when tubes have been crammed full I've never been shoved or jostled.

    Loads of people take prams on the tube and I've never seen a baby frightened by it. Remember OP, plenty of Londoners live in London and have to get around on a daily basis on the tube.

    Personally I'd say buses are worse than the tube if you were trying to navigate them with a pram. You're much more likely to get space on a tube than a busy bus and much less likely to get in the way.

    Also, you don't NEED an Oyster card if you have a contactless bank card and most if not all tube stations have an automatic wide gate, just use that.
    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 6th Mar 17, 5:38 PM
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    tensandunits
    I'm not a very regular traveller in London, but I've rarely, if ever, seen people with prams on the Tube.
    • lika_86
    • By lika_86 6th Mar 17, 8:03 PM
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    lika_86
    I'm not a very regular traveller in London, but I've rarely, if ever, seen people with prams on the Tube.
    Originally posted by tensandunits
    The first part of your sentence may explain the latter.
    • maman
    • By maman 6th Mar 17, 8:14 PM
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    maman
    As you've said we're going to London I take it to mean there will be at least two of you with the baby and pram. I'd go for the lightest, easy folding stroller you can get. They fold so they're not much bigger than an umbrella. One of you takes the baby and the other the stroller. I've seen people with huge musical instruments on the tube and they manage. A compact stroller will be easy.
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