How To Travel By Public Transport In London With A Baby
If You Have Small Kids, Read This Post On How To Travel By Public Transport In London With A Baby
If you’re looking for tips and hints on the best way of getting around public transport in London, with a baby and when you have children in a pram, read this post on how to travel by public transport in London with a baby.
We’ve lived in London for nearly a decade with two children and don’t drive, so these tips are all tried and tested!
Updated September 2021.
How To Get Around London On Public Transport – With No Car!
Like a lot of people living in London, Alex and I don’t have a car. This means we’re at the mercy of the capital’s public transport system and south London train stations with steps, stairs and no lifts.
This was fine when it was just me who had to get from A-B, but not once I factored in a small, screaming person plus pram and all the additional paraphernalia. For the first few weeks after Eliza was born it seemed impossible; how were we ever going to get anywhere?
However, there are ways and means around everything and you do get used to it quickly (with some forward journey planning). So here are some tips from my experience for slightly easier London travel with a small child in tow – for whether you’re bringing up a baby here or just visiting the city.
Firstly, some frequently asked questions about baby transport in London.
Can You Take A Pram On The London Underground?
Yes, you can take a pram on the London Underground! You might want to plan your journey carefully though, to avoid stairs and go for a station with lift access. Which leads us on to our next question.
How Do You Find Pram-Friendly Tube Stations In London?
TFL have a guide to avoiding stairs on the tube here. You can also read the TFL guide to getting around with a buggy here. In terms of the best London Transport app, use the TFL Journey Finder or CityMapper which means you can plan very specific journeys according to your requirements.
What Is The Best Pram To Use On Public Transport In London?
Obviously, it depends on your budget and specific needs.
- We bought the Bugaboo Bee because we wanted a light-weight pram that I could carry by myself, that would fold easily and was small enough to fit down the aisle on the bus and fit onto trains. It was great for us, read our Bugaboo Bee 5 review.
- Other great prams we tried for city living were the iCandy Raspberry and the Stokke Xplory.
- We also got a foldable Maclaren pram at a later date.
- I’ve also heard people say brilliant things about the Babyzen Yoyo (which folds down incredibly small).
How To Travel By Public Transport With A Pram – Our Best Tips
- Use a sling or baby carrier on public transport if you can; it’s so, so much easier to travel on the underground, especially if you’re by yourself. It means you don’t have to carry the pram and can get onto trains more easily.
- Plan your route around London train and tube stations with lifts or step-free access (such as Clapham Junction which has a lift on every platform). I’ve written before about the Mumderground iPhone app, an accessibility guide for using the tube with a pram, and there’s also TFL’s accessibility tube maps, including the step free tube guide, and the avoiding stairs tube map, all of which help to plan a less problematic route
- It can be easier to get a bus rather than the tube or train, as most buses have designated space for wheelchairs that you can use with a pram if the space is empty (but you’ll have to get off or fold yours up if someone in a wheelchair gets on, of course). Some of the newer busses even have space for both
- But buses often won’t let you on if they already have two prams on board, so try and get on the bus at a stop where it’s less likely to be busy (even if it means walking slightly further away first)
- On that note, walk where possible. In London there’s always something interesting to look at, plus you both get some fresh air. But take a rain cover!
- Alternatively, why not stay around where you live and explore your local area instead? We love Crystal Palace, for example.
- Black cabs will take prams in as they are without folding, so don’t panic if you get stuck and don’t have a car seat
And Finally, The Best Tip For How To Travel In London With A Pram:
- Faced with a big, scary gap from train to the platform, it’s much, much easier if you get on trains forwards and get off trains with the pram BACKWARDS.
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