The big red bus

We have met people, many people, who have come to London for a holiday (aka vacation) and have never, ever been on a bus. How shocking is that? So many are from the USA, where a ‘bus’ is more like a coach.

Here in London, we have the red bus which is, well, red again, usually, after a period of random colours. Getting a bus is a cheap and entertaining, if not fast, way of getting about. Using the public bus is a cheap way of seeing a lot.

Oh, if you have limited time, there are bus tours you can take, great if the weather is nice, but they are not run by TfL and can be expensive. You could do that at the start, to get the lie of the land, or at the end of your holiday to mop up things you have missed.

Here are some very simple instructions on what to do on the bus. If they look long, the best advice we can give is: do what everyone else does.

Types of bus

There are two types of bus: double deckers like this:

or this:

or something similar.

Then there’s the single decker bus, like this:

or this:

If you are mostly in and around central London, or not venturing too far away, then it’ll be double decker buses most of the time.

There are various manufacturers and styles of bus, but they are basically the same.

It’s worth pointing out that we drive on the left hand side of the road, so the driver sits at the front on the right. Also, if you have been before and remember bendy buses, they don’t run any more here.

Every bus route has a unique code, usually a number (eg 91) but not always (eg the W5 above) and a sign showing its destination.

Bus routes can run at different frequencies (to each other and at different times of day). An app may help get you to the right stop at a good time.

There are many night buses. They do not always run the exact same routes that their day bus equivalents do.

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One Response to The big red bus

  1. pws says:

    Actually, we were in the Tower area just the other day (a Tuesday) and saw at least two of the heritage buses going by, so they are definitely running, and great fun.

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