On the Buses

There is no better way to travel around London (other than walking) than by the iconic red double decker bus.


It may take a bit more research than travelling by tube, but it is worth it.  So buy a travelcard, get yourself a good seat on the upper decker and enjoy the sights.


There a few routes that are particularly useful and interesting for tourists.  They link the main stations, take you to the door of many tourist haunts and give you great views.

Number 9: Somerset House, along the Strand to Trafalgar Square, along Pall Mall and Piccadilly, around Hyde Park Corner, into Knightsbridge, past the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial to Kensington High Street  on to Hammersmith.

IMG_1352-001Number 10: Kings Cross Station, down Gower Street, past the British Museum, along Oxford Street to Marble Arch, down Park Lane, around Hyde Park Corner, into Knightsbridge, past the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial to Kensington High Street and on to Hammersmith.

Number 11: Liverpool Street Station, Bank of England, past St Paul’s, down Fleet Street and the Strand to Trafalgar Square and then Parliament Square, New Scotland Yard, Victoria Station, Sloane Square and down the Kings Road to Fulham Town Hall.

Number 12: Oxford Circus, south to Piccadilly Circus andTrafalgar Square, then Parliament Square and over the Thames close to the London Eye and Waterloo Station and on to Dulwich.

Number 15: Tower of London, past St Paul’s to City Thameslink Station and then down Fleet Street and the Strand to Charing Cross Station (for Trafalgar Square).

Number 29: Emirates Stadium, Camden, Mornington Crescent (for the Carreras Building), to Euston Station, down Gower Street, past the British Museum then on down Charing Cross Road (for Soho, Leicester Square and Covent Garden) and on to Charing Cross Station (for Trafalgar Square).

aDSC00956Number 73: connects Victoria Station to Kings Cross and St Pancras International, via Park Lane and Oxford Street then on to Stoke Newington with its London village look and feel.

Number 159: Paddington Station to Marble Arch, east along Oxford Street to Oxford Circus, down Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, them Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and and over the Thames close to the London Eye and Waterloo Station and on to Streatham.

Number RV1: Tower of London, St Katehrines Pier, over Tower Bridge and along teh South Bank to London Bridge, then London Eye and Waterloo and back over the river to the north bank, past Somerset House to the edge of Covent Garden.


The famous Routemaster bus with its open rear platform has been withdrawn from service, but thankfully a few of these beauties still operate on two heritage routes.


These routes are short sections of the Number 9 and Number 15, with just five of the wonderful old buses on each route. Using one of these is a real London experience, the decor is traditional and there is even a conductor to chat with as you marvel at the views. They are part of the normal Transport for London network so you can use your travel card as normal.

You might even spot an old green one

There is now a new bus on the block, all red, shiny and sexy; it’s fancy and fun to use but still not as good as the traditional Routemaster.  Or maybe I’m just getting nostalgic in my old age…

Old and new side by side

To help you plan your travels, you can download a route map here.  There are also useful maps at the bus stops, showing the whole network plus individual routes and time to travel between stops.

 Linked to Ruby Tuesday and Our World Tuesday.

Updated 10 May 2014

26 thoughts on “On the Buses

    1. I’m a big fan of walking too – London is very walkable isn’t it?

      On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 12:23 AM, Travel with Intent wrote:



      1. I have recently found that you can walk to most of the places easily in central London! I always used to go on long complicated tube journeys…But the buses look like a nice option too 🙂


  1. I loved seeing the double decker red buses in London. Fun to ride too! Great post, thanks for sharing. Enjoy your new week ahead!


  2. how cool – I especially liked the shot of looking down the road – with all the buses and buildings – and the light is just right. but the whole post was great – and informative!! 🙂


  3. What a great, informative and helpful post. I love the idea of taking a normal bus route than a “hop on hop off” bus. Thanks.


  4. I used to take the 73 to get to Stoke Newington. I worked at the Fresh & Wild there for a while. On the way, we would pass by an imposingly solemn building with the inscription “China Inland Mission”. I’ve no idea what’s in there today, but I continue to be intrigued by the history of that. I’ve never checked it out, though.


  5. Whenever we visit a large city the first time we take a Hop-on-hop-off- bus. It gives you an overview, after you can decide where you want to go and see more. Mostly we travel with our camper. So we use our bikes when possible. It is great, you can never see as much by walking!


    1. I’m off to look right now. I use the 10 and 73 a lot – from Kings Cross to the shops on Oxford Street,

      On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 6:54 PM, Travel with Intent wrote:



  6. London has never really been on my Bucket List (I hate that term- a bit overused). I’m not a big city kind of guy. But I do love those double decker buses. Thank you!


    1. Yes, definitely overused. But you should add it as it’s not as “big city” as you’d think. The centre is full of parks and you can walk from one to another. Quite a few areas have a villagey feel. I live outside London but would hate to be too far from the place.

      Sent from my iPhone



      1. Well, when we get there we’ll look you up. You know, writing that I’m not even sure my wife feels the same as I do. We always are looking at villages and towns and saying “I want to live there”.But it will be quite a few years!


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