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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 2
    • Fen1
    • By Fen1 6th Mar 17, 9:02 PM
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    Fen1
    As with every tourist to London, focus on one small geographical area per day, e.g. Tower of London, South Bank and Shakespeare's Globe in one trip, which are all within walking distance of each other. Don't zigzag from the V&A ( Knightsbridge) to Covent Garden to the Tower. Zigzagging is a huge waste of time, and will be much harder for you.

    You can walk along the length of the Thames, north and south, and is a pleasant way to get across the city. Tower to Embankment is about 45 mins gentle walk. It's often quicker to walk than take the bus!
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 7th Mar 17, 2:47 AM
    • 19,166 Posts
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    Spendless
    Don't know if you can still get them, but I had a lightweight stroller that came with a shoulder strap, that meant the buggy could be carried when folded down.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 7th Mar 17, 9:04 AM
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    hazyjo
    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.
    Originally posted by lika_86
    Bloody hell, really? I have! Nearly every time I use the Central Line eastbound (or westbound in the morning). Other lines are often okay, but on the Central Line I am literally wedged into what can barely be described as a gap when getting on at Liverpool Street. I am very short so it's probably worse for me.


    Jx
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; cinema tickets; Ideal Home Show tickets
    • supermezzo
    • By supermezzo 7th Mar 17, 11:28 AM
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    supermezzo
    I would advocate a smaller folding buggy for on the bus. Although the wheelchair space does take a buggy, it often has people standing in it. And a wheelchair user will take precedence over the buggy, and often the two simply won't fit in the one space. Bearing this in mind, try not to carry too much in bags on the buggy either as this is just one extra thing to try and deal with if you do need to hold the baby and collapse the buggy on the bus.
    It aint over til I've done singing....
    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 7th Mar 17, 11:33 AM
    • 484 Posts
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    tensandunits
    The first part of your sentence may explain the latter.
    Originally posted by lika_86
    I'll have a look next time I go. Might even see the OP
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 7th Mar 17, 10:27 PM
    • 37,239 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    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.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    I can still do 'the London Walk' when using the tube, you have to quickly work out whether you're going East, West, North or South, depending on the line, and then just keep your head up looking for the right direction and weave into any available space.

    DH never commuted to London, despite being born near me, so he hasn't mastered it.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 2 baby jumpers, 1 shawl, 2 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, 1 baby jumper
    • BBH123
    • By BBH123 8th Mar 17, 7:48 AM
    • 169 Posts
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    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.
    Originally posted by lika_86

    In all the 9 yrs I have used the tube I have never seen more than 2 or 3 people with a pram, now that maybe because I primarily use them during rush hour but even on a weekend i've only seen a couple and then they were struggling. I wouldnt contemplate it at all without someone with you to help on escalators, holding doors etc . In fact I personally wouldnt do it at all.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 8th Mar 17, 9:26 AM
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    In all the 9 yrs I have used the tube I have never seen more than 2 or 3 people with a pram, now that maybe because I primarily use them during rush hour but even on a weekend i've only seen a couple and then they were struggling. I wouldnt contemplate it at all without someone with you to help on escalators, holding doors etc . In fact I personally wouldnt do it at all.
    Originally posted by BBH123
    I work near the museums so see prams every day; countless thousands in the school holidays. How else are young families supposed to see the dinosaurs?!
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 8th Mar 17, 9:31 AM
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    suki1964
    I can still do 'the London Walk' when using the tube, you have to quickly work out whether you're going East, West, North or South, depending on the line, and then just keep your head up looking for the right direction and weave into any available space.

    DH never commuted to London, despite being born near me, so he hasn't mastered it.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    Lol

    So many memories of London tube travel

    Whenever we had friends over to stay they were amazed I knew my way around every station, not realising I was doing the London walk

    Even now when I go over, whilst I stroll here, the minute I land at gatwick, I'm back to the 4 minute mile
    • maman
    • By maman 8th Mar 17, 11:32 AM
    • 15,602 Posts
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    maman
    In all the 9 yrs I have used the tube I have never seen more than 2 or 3 people with a pram, now that maybe because I primarily use them during rush hour but even on a weekend i've only seen a couple and then they were struggling. I wouldnt contemplate it at all without someone with you to help on escalators, holding doors etc . In fact I personally wouldnt do it at all.
    Originally posted by BBH123

    I got the impression that OP would have someone to help but hasn't been back to confirm one way or the other.


    In an ideal world, I'd have a trip to London without small children (how much is a 14 month old going to get from this trip?) but that's not always possible and some people wouldn't even contemplate a holiday without their children (I've never been one of them).
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 8th Mar 17, 11:49 AM
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    hazyjo
    Here's a VERY handy map showing walking distances between stations.

    http://www.citymetric.com/transport/tfls-new-tube-map-shows-walking-distances-central-london-and-highlights-gaps-network-1572

    I would much rather be on foot! Walked yesterday from St Pancras to the underground at Kings X. Felt like that was a mile lol! Would prob have been quicker for me to head to Euston and get on there which is much easier for the Vic line!


    Jx
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; cinema tickets; Ideal Home Show tickets
    • EconomicsGirl
    • By EconomicsGirl 8th Mar 17, 8:22 PM
    • 231 Posts
    • 154 Thanks
    EconomicsGirl
    I work in London and see people with pushchairs on the tube everyday. Normally someone will offer to help carry it up.

    I can't say I'd recommend it but people do it. Do avoid rush hour tubes though. Station staff have been cutback so some stations have no staff.

    If you can manage with a sling it will be easier but still avoid rush hour and use between 10am and 4pm. Some buses hate pushchairs as well and can be funny about letting you on but most are fine.
    • becominganobsessivesaver
    • By becominganobsessivesaver 8th Mar 17, 9:12 PM
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    becominganobsessivesaver
    I'd check out bus routes and walking with a smaller stroller if it was me. The buses are great, and if you have an older child they will love seeing the sights. Also look at the river taxi if that fits in with any of your plans.
    • silly moo
    • By silly moo 9th Mar 17, 7:30 PM
    • 358 Posts
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    silly moo
    Thank you for your answers everyone.

    I won't be on my own (DH and older DC also coming) but was rather worried that I may not be allowed on public transport if there's another buggy on etc. I never knew some of the stations don't have lifts so will need to plan accordingly. We will be taking a baby carrier as well but prams are just so much more convenient. I don't really fancy carrying all the luggage (nappy bag, snacks, drinks etc) as well as the kids. The older one is under 5 and is bound to get tired with too much walking.

    I agree it's best to avoid London with young kids but we've friends there that have been inviting us for the past 5 years and we've always said we'd come when our DC is older. But once DC1 got older we had DC2 so decided that there's no point waiting. Obviously we won't be able to see much as everything will be geared towards kids, but we're going to have fun anyway and make it a memorable visit for DC1.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 9th Mar 17, 7:56 PM
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    suki1964
    There really is no reason to avoid London just cos you have kids

    I brought up kids there and I take my grandchildren now

    I would honestly say, don't take the pram thingy. Get a stroller with a strap and use a back pack

    As everyone says, Londoners walk fast, seriously fast. We also play sardines on public transport. The smaller your foot print, the more chance you have of getting on public transport

    And in shops, resturaunts etc

    I got a mcclarens stroller that was so lightweight and was really not much bigger then a large umberella. Turned on a six pence


    Most people in London are friendly and will help you with a pram on stairs, escalators etc. But no one really understands the speed in which you are expected to move. Those kind people who help you on the stairs, disappear in a gallop. We tut and roll eyes if anyone or anything holds us up. Not cos we are ignorant or rude, just we have had a long day and want home


    A stroller and a backpack Seriously
    • silly moo
    • By silly moo 9th Mar 17, 11:12 PM
    • 358 Posts
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    silly moo
    I never thought about restaurants! I don't think they'd like me very much if I asked for a table with a space for a pram AND a high chair in case my LO wants either!
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 10th Mar 17, 9:05 AM
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    hazyjo
    I never thought about restaurants! I don't think they'd like me very much if I asked for a table with a space for a pram AND a high chair in case my LO wants either!
    Originally posted by silly moo
    There are lots of accommodating restaurants - I find the Italian ones are very child-friendly. Lots are off the beaten track, and there are many chains which have available high chairs.


    I think you should still go


    If you head somewhere touristy, it won't be so fast paced (although the pavements getting there might). And there are loads of lovely parks. Half of London is green space!


    Jx
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; cinema tickets; Ideal Home Show tickets
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 11th Mar 17, 10:10 AM
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    Kynthia
    I live near London and commute in. I see strollers most days and big travel systems only occassionally although I bet there are more at the weekend. I've taken the Vista to central London twice and while it's doable I'd get a stroller as your child is big enough for one. You'll probably be getting one at some point so why not now, or borrow one from a friend?

    Many tube stations are very deep underground and the majority don't have lifts. The ones that arent very deep still often dont have lifts and are a flight of stairs instead of escalators. There is a step free underground map you can use but I've turned up at a station before where the one lift was out of order. So a light buggy you can manuver in small spaces, fold and carry, and get onto crowded trains more easily would be better.

    There are loads of family friendly restaurants and pubs so there's no reason to avoid London because you have children. As above, Italian restaurants are accommodating and there are many known for being very child friendly like Giraffe, which is one of my favourites on the South Bank.

    I bought the Uppababy G-Luxe as it's very light and has a carry strap. However there are loads out there to choose from. Plus many places are walkable as the gaps between stations on the tube map don't reflect the true distance above ground.
    Last edited by Kynthia; 11-03-2017 at 10:12 AM.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • elisebutt65
    • By elisebutt65 11th Mar 17, 5:03 PM
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    elisebutt65
    I used to take mine n a backpack once they were over 12 months. Much easier for public transport. Get your OH to have littlie and you can hold onto your 5yr old.
    Like this: http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/walking/equipment/rucksacks/baby-carriers
    Noli nothis permittere te terere
    Bad Mothers Club Member No.665
    Student MoneySaving Club member 026! Teacher now and still Moneysaving

    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 12th Mar 17, 12:03 AM
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    Savvy_Sue
    Many tube stations are very deep underground and the majority don't have lifts.
    Originally posted by Kynthia
    the deepest in my day was Angel Islington. There were lifts, but they were often out of order ... Given that the RNIB had offices near by, you can imagine the fun and games of numbers of people with limited sight, several with dogs, getting up and down the spiral staircase at the beginning and end of the day ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 2 baby jumpers, 1 shawl, 2 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, 1 baby jumper
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