If you’re planning on using the Underground in Kensington and Chelsea to get around, it couldn’t be simpler! As we’ve mentioned in our Getting to Kensington & Chelsea guide, the borough is blessed with a number of Underground stations:
- High Street Kensington (Circle & District Lines)
- Notting Hill (Circle, District & Central)
- Earls Court (District & Piccadilly)
- Gloucester Road (Circle, District & Piccadilly)
- South Kensington (Circle, District & Piccadilly)
- Knightsbridge (Piccadilly)
- Sloane Square (Circle & District)
- Holland Park (Central)
- Latimer Road (Circle & Hammersmith & City)
- Ladbroke Grove (Circle & Hammersmith & City)
- West Brompton (District)
Obviously, which you use depends on where you are based, and where you are going! The best advice would be to check Transport for London‘s website for maps and route planning help, as well as advice on whether any (weekend) engineering works are taking place. Alternatively, pick up some helpful maps and leaflets at your local station, which will also display information about upcoming works.
However, one tip we can give you is – buy an Oyster card! If you’re planning on using public transport quite a bit during your stay in London, it is highly recommended that you purchase this electronic travel card. You will benefit from substantial cost savings – a one-way journey on the Underground in Zone 1 (central London) costs £4.50 with an ordinary paper ticket, but only £2.10 when using an Oyster card. For buses, it’s £2.40 with a regular ticket, versus £1.40 with an Oyster card. The Oyster card is also highly beneficial if you’re going to be using the Underground extensively each day as there’s price cap, meaning you will never be charged above a certain amount per day, regardless of the number of journeys you make. The peak-time (journeys before and up to 9.30am) price cap is £8.40; the off-peak price cap is £7.00. There you go, that’s another tip right there – make sure you start your journey after 9.30am on each day for additional savings! (2013 prices)
Do make sure you always touch in and out with your Oyster Card on the yellow pads at the ticket gates – if you don’t, you may be charged a full day’s fare. Additionally, your Oyster card may then register an incomplete journey which means it might stop working. Go to any ticket counter for help.
You can buy a pay-as-you-go version over the counter at Underground stations, and then “top up” the card with funds either at counters or at ticket machines, as and when you need it. (A £5 deposit is required when purchasing the card, but this is refundable if you return your card at the end of your trip.) Alternatively, hold onto your Oyster card for future trips to London, or give it to your friends or family when they visit! (Your Oyster card is not linked to you, so anyone can use it.)
More details at About Oyster from TFL’s website. You can even order an Oyster card online!