London & Transport

  1. How do I get to Wilkinson?
  2. Can I bring a car with me?
  3. Can I bring my bike?
  4. What is an oyster card? How do I use it?
  5. How can I save money?
  6. Do tube trains run at weekends?
  7. How to get back to Wilkinson at night ?
  8. Is London safe, really?

1. How do I get to Wilkinson or to any other location in London ?

Wilkinson hall is right next to the South Kensington Campus, the postcode is SW7 1AW. If you’re coming by train, South Kensington station is the closest station. The station encompasses 3 tube lines (Piccadilly, District and Circle).

If you’re coming from Heathrow airport you can get the tube using the Piccadilly line which takes you to South Kensington without having to change. Alternatively if you have a lot of bags you may need to use a taxi, using Uber would work out cheapest so make sure to download the app before you come.

We recommend the use of apps to get around and plan your journey. Citymapper and Google Maps are great apps to get around the London transportation system.

2.  Can I bring a car with me?

We would strongly advise not. Apart from the congestion charge and the awful traffic, there is nowhere to park in College or at the Hall.

3. Can I bring my bike?

Absolutely. There is a secured bike area in the College, and there is also a secure area underneath the east end of Southside hall where they can be stored. To access either of these areas you may need to get your ID card enabled, but this is completely free. Please speak to your Hall Supervisor about this. When out and about in London, bike theft is rife, so get a good lock and insurance.

4. What is an oyster card?

Its basically a way of using London’s public transport without having to stop to buy a ticket before you travel. You buy one at any underground station, top it up with money, and then each time you use a tube or a bus, it deducts the fare from your card. Buses in London do NOT accept cash; you will need an oyster card or contactless debit/credit card to pay for bus journeys.

We recommend the use of apps to get around and plan your journey. Citymapper and Google Maps are great apps to get around the London transportion system.

5. How can I save money?

Your best option is to use “Pay as You Go” if you travel occasionally. We strongly recommend getting a normal oyster card (costs a refundable £5) AND to link it to a 16-25 railcard at any ticket office at a tube station. The railcard gets you 34% off on pay as you go on the tube and any train ticket across the UK ! So a Zone 1 tube ride costs you £1.50 instead of £2.30. You won’t get any discount if you don’t link it so don’t forget! The Railcard will cost you £30 a year or £70 for 3 years, which is cheap considering the potential savings you could make (http://www.16-25railcard.co.uk) If you’re a Home/EU student you can get a free 4 year railcard if you open a student bank account with Santander.

You can get a student oyster card (18+) which gets you 30% off ONLY on season tickets and NOT on Pay as you go. So if you need to travel often (say twice a day every day, or more which is unlikely since you live in Wilkinson, right next to campus) we recommend getting the 18+ card which costs £10. For more Oyster info see: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/oyster.

6. Do the tubes close at weekends?

Occasionally some lines close for engineering works: see here for current service status.

7.How to get back to Wilkinson at night ?

Starting sometime in September 2015, there is 24 hour tube on the Piccadilly line on Fridays and Saturdays nights which is ideal to get back from nights out to Wilkinson using South Kensington Station. Also there are night buses stopping at South Kensington Station or the Royal Albert Hall. If you wish to use cabs, we strongly recommend downloading UBER which is significantly cheaper than black cabs, you also get £20 off your first ride !

8. Is London safe, really?

In all the times I’ve lived in London, I’ve never had a single problem. I find the tube safe, whatever time of day, and most buses are completely fine. In the evenings, night buses and walking quiet streets are probably better done in a group though, but I would give this advice for any major city in the UK. Just be aware of your surroundings at these times, perhaps don’t listen to music, or flash your expensive phone. If you feel at risk in a place, take a licensed Taxi either home, or to somewhere where you feel safer.

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