Travelling Around London

In my previous post I wrote about how I plan unfamiliar journeys to make it easier for me – using apps like Citymapper and Google Maps to plan routes, and Street View to virtually walk the routes them. So now I want to take about my actual experience of travelling around in London.

I know that some people find it much harder to travel around London due to more severe visual impairments, other mobility issues, anxiety and confidence issues, and so on. And that’s all perfectly understandable. So this won’t be reflective of everyone’s experiences. It’s just my own account of how I’ve personally settled into it and how I got about things. Your experiences may differ significantly depending on your situation.

It’s also worth noting Transport For London’s Accessibility page as well, as that has lots of info on it that people might find useful if they’re travelling in the city.

So with that out of the way, let’s get on to how I find travelling around London. I’ve also made a video to go with both this and my previous post, so you might like to watch that as well.

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Planning My Journeys In London

I’ve been posting a lot about what I’ve been doing in London, but I haven’t talked much about how I actually get around such a big city. I did discuss it in a post I did last year when I visited London with a friend, and briefly when I visited Sight Village in 2016, before I actually lived here. But now I’ve been a resident here for a while, and as new followers have asked about it recently, now’s a good opportunity to revisit the topic in more detail. So I’m going to split this over a couple of posts, starting with how I plan my journeys before I actually do them. Then in my next post I’ll talk about what it’s like travelling around.

I’ve also made a video to go with these posts, which you may like to check out as well.

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Harry Potter & The Night Bus

During the past week I’ve been on a couple of very enjoyable tours, including my first bus tour here in London. There are no spoilers here, as I don’t want to give away any surprises. I just wanted to write a little review of each tour, as I do recommend going on them.

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Guildford, Matisse & Guernsey

September is proving to be the busiest month of the year so far, and in a good way. So I’m having to do a few posts in quick succession to catch up with various bits and pieces. I’ve already posted about the music and drama day I did a couple of weeks ago, and now I want to tell you a bit about my visits to Guildford and The Royal Academy Of Arts, and my holiday to Guernsey.

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Room 101 – My Visually Impaired Frustrations

An edited version of this post appears on the RNIB Connect website.

For this post, I thought I’d do something a bit like the TV show Room 101 (where celebrities nominate their pet hates to be locked away forever). It’s named after the torture chamber in George Orwell’s novel 1984, which is said to contain “the worst thing in the world”. We also had a Room 101 at my college which was rather memorable, because it was the examinations office! So that felt both appropriate and ominous!

So I wanted to do a post along those lines, using it as an excuse to list some things that frustrate or irritate me because I have a visual impairment. I’ve also made a Youtube video to accompany it. It’s not at all intended to be offensive or to upset anyone, and I’m not a negative or moaning person. I’m actually very positive, as I’ve hopefully conveyed throughout this blog. But it’s nice to get some things off your chest now and again, and to try and spread a bit of awareness in the process.

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Train Of Thought #AllTheStations

When I was looking ahead to my move to London, I was naturally looking online for various things to do with the city. And on Youtube I quickly fell in love with the videos made by Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe, which are a joy to watch (it’s important to stress at I’m not affiliated with them, this is all personal opinion only).

You can see their clips on Londonist and Geoff’s own channel, Geofftech. They’ve made videos about secrets of the Underground, the least used stations in the country, facts about London, vlogs and more. So it’s not just about the railways. But it is a big passion of theirs, so a lot of their videos are related to it in some form.

That may sound boring at first, but Geoff and Vicki aren’t trainspotters, and the videos aren’t specifically aimed at trainspotters. You don’t need to be into trains and railways in a big way to enjoy them. These are accessible, fun and informative videos that aren’t nerdy or patronising. They’re looking more closely at a rail network that millions of us take for granted on a daily basis, and considering the history and features that are unique and unusual to each location. They clearly love what they do, and it shows.

And right now, they’re embarking on their most ambitious project yet, called All The Stations, and it’s the reason behind my latest outing this weekend.

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Underground, Overground, Rambling Free

This past week I spent a couple of days in London with a friend. Just a brief visit, but we had a lovely time. It was my first time in the city for a few years – I used to go up there two or three times a year when I was a kid, because we had relatives there, but over the past 5-10 years the visits have been much more sporadic. Hopefully I’ll actually be living there soon (crosses fingers), so this was also a preliminary visit to re-familiarise myself with the area and see what it was like getting around the place.

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