London Underground Stations access

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Razor1967

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I am taking my wife for our 25th Wedding Anniversary to London in August to see some sights. We are staying in Kingston on Thames and will get into Waterloo by train. I am planning several trips around London involving several Underground Stations including Kings Cross, Waterloo, Baker Street, Tower Hill, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Leicester Square and Embankment.

I love travelling around London but my wife has an aversion to moving escalators. I have tried filtering on the TFL website "using stairs not escalators" but it appears a lot of stations don't offer this.

From memory there are a lot of non-moving escalators at large stations and she is fine with these (as long as they are not moving !!!!!) and staircases.

Can anybody with more local knowledge advise me if it possible to get to the above Stations platforms on "fixed" staircases rather than moving ones.

I know this is an odd request but I would be very grateful for your help as otherwise getting around London would involve a lot of walking/buses which I would prefer to avoid .

Many thanks !
 
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I had a phobia of escalators for many years, and funny enough, it was being forced to use them on the tube that cured it for me. It took a few journeys through London, but I lost my phobia totally, and can now even walk confidently up and down them (unthinkable a few years ago!).

I know that not everyone is the same, but if you hold your wife's hand on them (other hand on the handrail) I reckon she could get over it in the same way.
 

Mikey C

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I am taking my wife for our 25th Wedding Anniversary to London in August to see some sights. We are staying in Kingston on Thames and will get into Waterloo by train. I am planning several trips around London involving several Underground Stations including Kings Cross, Waterloo, Baker Street, Tower Hill, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Leicester Square and Embankment.

I love travelling around London but my wife has an aversion to moving escalators. I have tried filtering on the TFL website "using stairs not escalators" but it appears a lot of stations don't offer this.

From memory there are a lot of non-moving escalators at large stations and she is fine with these (as long as they are not moving !!!!!) and staircases.

Can anybody with more local knowledge advise me if it possible to get to the above Stations platforms on "fixed" staircases rather than moving ones.

I know this is an odd request but I would be very grateful for your help as otherwise getting around London would involve a lot of walking/buses which I would prefer to avoid .

Many thanks !

There are several Underground stations with lifts instead of escalators, so you could use these instead. The following thread discusses them, but they include some central London stations like Russell Square, Covent Garden and Goodge Street

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=60033

Any station with the "wheelchair" symbol will have lifts to platform level (in addition to stairs and escalators), you can see these on the tube map

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/standard-tube-map.pdf
 

glbotu

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Kings Cross, Waterloo, Baker Street, Tower Hill, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Leicester Square and Embankment.

King's Cross - No problem, fully step-free access, lifts everywhere

Baker Street - Depends what part of the station. Avoid the Jubilee and Bakerloo and you'll be fine. It's all stairs for the Metropolitan, Circle and H&C.

Tower Hill - No problem, just stairs

Oxford Circus - Problem. It's escalators only. Consider Regent's Park (Lifts) or Great Portland St (stairs). Both are about 5-10 mins walk away down Regent Street.

Marble Arch - Similar problem, consider Lancaster Gate (lifts), about 5 mins away down Bayswater Road.

Leicester Square - Problem, consider Covent Garden (lifts), about 5 mins away.

Embankment - Fine so long as you arrive on the District or Circle lines. Alternatively, go to Charing Cross Mainline station.

For interchanges etc, this might be an invaluable resource:

Ian Visits 3D Maps of Every Underground Station
 

LexyBoy

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I know you mentioned that you'd prefer to use the Tube, but buses would really be an easy option - most if not all of those places have direct buses from Waterloo. Buses in central London are excellent, frequent, and announce each stop before reaching it. There are also clear route maps at every stop.

It might take a bit longer, but is generally more pleasant than the Tube (especially if it's hot) and you get to see the sights.

Embankment, Leicester Square and Covent Garden are all a short and pleasant walk from Waterloo, and some of the others are easier to walk than use transport (e.g. Oxford Circus-Marble Arch).

Is Covent Garden the one with the huge lifts, and the big warnings not to use the stairs?

Yes - you can use the stairs, but they're quite long and obviously not capacious enough for everyone, hence the warnings.
 

Hadders

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I think Marble Arch has a fixed staircase between the two escalators.
 

gsnedders

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What are the rules about using of stairs? There's plenty of ones where they're signed "for emergency use only".
 

route:oxford

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I am taking my wife for our 25th Wedding Anniversary to London in August to see some sights. We are staying in Kingston on Thames and will get into Waterloo by train. I am planning several trips around London involving several Underground Stations including Kings Cross, Waterloo, Baker Street, Tower Hill, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Leicester Square and Embankment.

I love travelling around London but my wife has an aversion to moving escalators. I have tried filtering on the TFL website "using stairs not escalators" but it appears a lot of stations don't offer this.

Buy her a pair of Goretex walking shoes for the anniversary and don't bother going underground at all. Central London isn't a vast area - and there is so much more to see when you are outdoors than waiting for a train - I think the longest walk you have there would be Waterloo to Baker Street - which takes about 50 minutes.
 

PeterC

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As a rule of thumb the District, Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines are near the surface and have access by stairs. For tube lines stick to stations shown as having disabled access as these will definitely have lifts.

Check your journey's on an AtoZ. Embankment is a short walk across the Hungerford Footbridge from Waterloo with nice views of the river while, if you want the Covent Garden side of Leicester Square that is an easy walk across Waterloo Bridge.

Using buses should be no problem, they are frequent, run late into the night and give good views. Remember though that you will each need an Oyster or contactless payment card in order to travel by bus. On the tube Oyster or contactless will be a lot cheaper than buying paper tickets but again you will each need your own card.
 
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Emblematic

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Just to clarify, you can use paper tickets (e.g. TfL one day travelcards, rail tickets with travelcard zones 1-6) on the buses too, you just can't pay cash on the bus. Oyster or contactless is a better bet though, just be sure to use the same card throughout to benefit from daily fare caps.
 

Razor1967

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Thank you all for your invaluable advice, I will use tubes as and when, but will walk a lot more than originally planned.

Doing a quick virtual walk on Google Maps through the bits of central London we intend to visit there is some lovely architecture and like you say the stations aren't too far apart.

I have mentioned getting the tube to Lancaster Gate and when walk east, past a bit of Hyde Park ( I like the gardens) and then right along Oxford Street (she likes the shopping !). Might have to hide the Credit Cards though !

I have already bought off peak zones 1-6 Travelcards for 2 of the 3 days (with Two Together discounts) and also plan to use the National Rail Days out vouchers to get 2 for 1 discounts for Hampton Court and the Tower of London.

Thank you everyone !
 

edwin_m

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To add to that, you do need one Oyster or contactless card each - you can't just use the same one for two people travelling together.
 

Midmat

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Trains from Kingston to Waterloo go via Wimbledon. You can change there onto the District line via fixed stairs. Is a longer way into Central London but you can then get direct to Embankment, Tower Hill. You can then also change onto Circle line up to Baker Street and kings cross (again, quite a slow way to get there). As has been said above, the circle, district, Hammersmith and city lines are much less likely to involve escalators.

Kingston is a good place to stay and if you are up for more walking (and the weather is good) the walk from Kingston bridge to Hampton court is very nice.
 

Razor1967

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Yes Midmat, on Sunday we haven't got any Travelcards and intend to stay in Kingston and walk from our Hotel across the Thames to Hampton Court and after that, late afternoon onwards, enjoying Sunday dinner and the hospitality of a few riverside bars !
 

Midmat

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Yes Midmat, on Sunday we haven't got any Travelcards and intend to stay in Kingston and walk from our Hotel across the Thames to Hampton Court and after that, late afternoon onwards, enjoying Sunday dinner and the hospitality of a few riverside bars !

Enjoy! :D
 

Busaholic

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I know you mentioned that you'd prefer to use the Tube, but buses would really be an easy option - most if not all of those places have direct buses from Waterloo. Buses in central London are excellent, frequent, and announce each stop before reaching it. There are also clear route maps at every stop.

It might take a bit longer, but is generally more pleasant than the Tube (especially if it's hot) and you get to see the sights.

Embankment, Leicester Square and Covent Garden are all a short and pleasant walk from Waterloo, and some of the others are easier to walk than use transport (e.g. Oxford Circus-Marble Arch).



Yes - you can use the stairs, but they're quite long and obviously not capacious enough for everyone, hence the warnings.

Only Tower Hill and Embankment are not on a direct bus route from Waterloo, and the latter is only a short walk over the Thames anyway (Covent Garden too). If your wife likes stairs, then the fact they're double deckers might be a plus!
 

maniacmartin

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To add to that, you do need one Oyster or contactless card each - you can't just use the same one for two people travelling together.

One each. You can't have touch in a second person until the first person touches out at the end of the journey
 

edwin_m

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One each. You can't have touch in a second person until the first person touches out at the end of the journey

Question of may own if I may - is it OK for two people to travel together, one on an Oyster and the other on a contactless that is registered to the same Oyster account?
 

Emblematic

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Question of may own if I may - is it OK for two people to travel together, one on an Oyster and the other on a contactless that is registered to the same Oyster account?
Yes that is permissible, provided the Oyster card has no season tickets loaded or any discounts or railcards associated with it; it is specifically allowed to lend an adult PAYG Oyster card to another person. Although lending the contactless card would work practically in the circumstance you describe, it would technically break the issuer's T&Cs which state that it should be used by the cardholder only.
 
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