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A thick female who can't read a map needs help from London experts on how to get from A to B using the bus

A thick female who can't read a map needs help from London experts on how to get from A to B using the bus

May 11th, 2008, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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A thick female who can't read a map needs help from London experts on how to get from A to B using the bus

My sister and I are travelling to London from Belfast and meeting our 82 year old mum (who lives in Hove) at Victoria (we have tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show).

We have all been to London on numerous occasions but our mum has become difficult and insists that we use the bus rather than the tube!!

I admit to not knowing my right from my left and my female brain just does not understand maps other than underground maps which are so easy. I just can't get my head around the bus routes - please help.

We are staying in London for 2 nights at the Tower Bridge hotel. From tripadvisor I understand that the 51 bus goes to Travalger Square.

We will pick Mum up at Victoria and we will walk to Chelsea. I understand from the Chelsea web sit that they have shuttle buses back to Victoria (our mum's luggage will be stored there). We will then need a bus back to Tower Hill that evening, however we will want to get somthing to eat before arriving at the hotel as I understand that there is nothing in the area.

The following day we will go from Tower Hiil to the British museum and the Imperial War museum, then St Martin in the Fields for a concert that evening.

Our last day we will go to Greenwich so we can boat there and back.

Any suggestions about where I can get advice on interpreting the Bus map?

Also my mum will probably want to go to church on the Sunday morning. Sis and I are not church goers but we both love churches and cathederals. Does anyone have a favorite for Sunday worship - St Pauls or Westminster Abbey?


cambe is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 06:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 189
Go to the Journey Planner on the TFL webpage. Use the advanced options and select only the bus. It will give you the bus stop to use as the bus route. When you get on board tell the driver where you need to get off.

DCJones is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
Find the tourist booklet with information about local destinations and the busses that service each. Check for the bus stop, be sure that the bus is going in that direction. Again, tell the conductor or driver the stop you want.
GSteed is offline  
May 11th, 2008, 09:50 PM
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The joruneyplanner will also give you maps of start & end points of your journey including any changeover points
alanRow is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 05:09 AM
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TfL uses simplified diagram maps, like the tube map, at pretty well every bus stop. However, these don't help with making connections to other routes unless you've identified points in common.

Here they are for the key points you mention:

Around the Tower:


(but with luggage and three of you, you might want to take a taxi and hang the expense)

Tower to the British Museum: 15 and change at the Strand (cross over to the other side of the road) to the 91 to Russell Square.

British Museum to Imperial War Museum: 59 from Russell Square, all the way.

Imperial War Museum to Tower: 59 to
Aldwych (stop just past the Waldorf), walk back a few yards to stop D for the 15 to the Tower.
PatrickLondon is online now  
May 12th, 2008, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,195
The tourist office (and even some tube stations) have a "dummy" bus map for tourists. The map lists about 20 bus lines that run in Central London and pass thru main tourist sites. The bus map is simplified and looks similar to a tube map. It even has pics of tourist sites on the map next to bus stop.

I use the bus a lot when I'm in London and this "dummy" map is very useful. You can see the map here (PDF file)
yk is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Walking from Vi9ctoria to Chelsea could be a bit of a trek with an old lady on a hot summers day (or in the rain).

Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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Thank you all.

I have our journeys sorted with the TFL website, unless we change our minds!!

YK, the 'Dummy' guide looks great and (I think)I understand it.

Patrick London, thank you, my sis and I will be arriving at Liverpool Street early and will check into our Hotel and leave our luggage there (I know the room won't be ready but we have made arrangements with the hotel). We will then spend the morning in London and pick my mum up at Victoria. She will arrive at 13.20pm and our ticket for Chelsea is 15.30pm until 20.30pm so we won't have time to take her to the hotel. We intend putting her luggage (small) into a locker in Victoria and collecting when we are finnished at Chelsea.

C W, My Mum walks everyday from Hove to Brighton and back (along the seafront, ie flat). How far is the walk from Victoria to Chelsea? Your comment is concerning me as I thought it would be Ok but forgot that we would be walking at the flower show from 3.30.pm until 8.30pm. We intend to stop for lunch somwhere along the walk. Are there lots of restaurants along this walk?

Finally, Church on Sunday?

My Mum is C of E and my sister and I love church music but are not church goers.

Mattins at both Westminster & St Pauls fits the bill for all of us. Does anyone have a preferance i.e best music/choir?



cambe is offline  
May 12th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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If she's active she should be OK it's about a mile and a little bit.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 04:57 AM
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>>Are there lots of restaurants along this walk?<<

Off the top of my head, if you get the 11 or 239 bus from Victoria to Chelsea, it goes along Pimlico Road, and I seem to recall a few restaurants along there. Or you could have something at Victoria (there's an uppper level concourse with various options, as well as around the main concourse).

As for a Sunday service, St Pauls is an easy bus ride from the Tower - Westminster Abbey a lot further. Plus, there are a lot of ancient churches throughout the mediaeval City of London, including (say) All Hallows by the Tower:

I've no idea of the quality of the music, but I'd expect St Pauls or the Abbey to be the professionals.
PatrickLondon is online now  
May 13th, 2008, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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The TfL website is fine, but it's sort of like a GPS in that you shouldn't follow its directions blindly. Once you get its suggestions, look at them on a map and see if they make sense.

Even plausible directions will sometimed be screwed up on the TfL website. Last June, we were staying in a flat a couple of blocks off Victoria Street and need to take the bus to the Tower for the Ceremony of the Keys (the District and Circle lines were closed for maintenance the entire weekend). The TfL website told us to take one bus (I forget the number) from Victoria Street to Mansion House, then change to the 15 bus. Well, our original bus route coincided with the 15 for several stops (Trafalgar Squre and St. Paul's, IIRC), but we dutifully stayed on our original bus, as instructed, to Mansion House, only to find that because of road works, the 15 had been re-routed. It seemed like we walked a mile before we got to a point where we could catch a 15 to complete the journey. Needless to say, on the way back, we disregarded the instructions and changed busses elsewhere.
twk is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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A thick female?? Are you saying, any overweight woman would have dificulties using a bus in London?
FainaAgain is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Thank you all for your replies.

Patrick, At this stage we intend to walk from Victoria to Chelsea. We must enter by the London Gate as we have to pick up our tickets and the Chelsea website says it is close to Sloane Square tube station. I think we will opt for St Pauls as the 51 bus goes there. I am sure my mum would love one of the churches you suggest but I am concerned that they might be too 'churchy' for my sister and me. Mattins sounds less so.

Twk, thatks for the advice. I have also printed out Patrick's excellent route trips and intend getting the 'Dummys' guide.

I feal a lot happier about using buses now and I am quite looking forward to the experience as it will be a lot more scenic that the tube.

FainaAgain, my choice of words is an example of the difference between British slang and American slang. Thick refers to being a bite dumb, not very bright etc. It has nothing to do with weight.

I read a very witty article about females not knowing their right from their left and their inability to read a map. It said it was something to do with the female brain!!! It was called the 'The thick female' hence my choice of words and although it was funny it really did describe me to a T when it came to reading maps.

Having said that, I have absolutely no problem with the underground map and have on many occasions directed male colleagues in the right direction.

Thank again


cambe is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 09:21 AM
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Hi, Helen. "Thick" does also mean a bit dumb (either overall or in a particular subject area) in the USA. As in "he's a bit thick." Also "thick-headed."
RufusTFirefly is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 09:44 AM
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Thank you both, I'm still learning
FainaAgain is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 04:30 AM
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Faina--aren't we all? Amazing that I knew everything when I was a teenager, and I know so much less now.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
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