Travelling to/from Imperial
By far the easiest way to travel to the South Kensington campus from Alban is to walk! It’ll take just over 10 minutes, maybe less if you’re in a rush.
If you have to travel to the Charing Cross campus (most likely medics) then the easiest routes are as follows…Tube: High St. Ken to Baron’s Court (change at Earl’s Court) then walk…Bus: 9/10 towards Hammersmith from High Street Ken, get off at Hammersmith Bus Station then walk. Cycling is probably the fastest method of getting to Charing Cross, however routes via Cromwell Road should be avoided for safety reasons.
The underground (commonly known as the tube) is a fast and convenient way around London. The closest station to the Alban is High Street Kensington which sits on the District and Circle lines a few hundred meters north of the hall.
Paying for the tube in London is best done via Oyster or Contactless Card, an Oyster Card requires a £5 deposit (which you will get back upon return of the card) and can be purchased from any tube station. You can also pay for the tube via Apple and Android Pay.
By the time term starts there should also be night tube services running, the nearest stations operating 24 hours a day are Gloucester Road on the Piccadilly line, and Notting Hill Gate on the Central line, both of these stations are within walking distance from Alban.
Buses are without a doubt the best value public transport in London, although if travelling through the heart of London they can be fairly slow owing to the traffic.
Alban hall is close to a myriad of bus routes that run down High Street Kensington. The 9 and the 10 both run from Hammersmith to Aldwych and Kings Cross respectively via central London. The 10 runs through the night so will be a good choice if travelling back to the hall having been out clubbing around Oxford Circus.
If heading up to Shepherd’s Bush the 49 in your best bet; this runs from Clapham Junction up to Shepherd’s Bush, through Chelsea and Kensington along the way.
Cycling is a great way of getting around London, however with such a large volume of traffic its not necessarily for the faint-hearted. Many of the sub-wardens use bikes to travel around London quickly and for free!
If you plan on cycling in London you should definitely invest in a good set of lights for riding at night and a helmet that you are comfortable wearing year round. It is also essential that you invest in a high quality lock (or two) to stop cycle thieves from stealing your bike; thankfully the security office sells these at a great discount, details can be found here. Both campus and halls have secure bike storage facilities which will dramatically reduce the chances of your bike being taken.
Travelling at Night
If you’re heading back to the hall late at night there are two main options: night bus or night tube. With the introduction of the night tube your best bet for getting back from nearly all popular clubbing locations is to aim for a nearby tube station on either the Piccadilly or Central lines, getting off at either Gloucester Road or Notting Hill Gate respectively. From there you can walk back to Halls before (quietly!) going to sleep.
It is also worth checking on your phone to see if there are any night bus routes that could also get you home, the N9 and the 10 will run through the night taking you back to High Street Kensington, whilst the N74, N97 and 14 will also run through the night taking you back to Gloucester Road.
There are many apps that can help you find your way around London, by far the most popular is CityMapper, this app isn’t free but is definitely worth the money! For those who don’t want to pay Google Maps will also suffice in most situations.