All major cities around the world have to have a network of reliable transport and none need this more than London because it would grind to a halt otherwise.
There are millions of people who live-in and visit London each year and all of them want to get to different parts of the city as fast as they possibly can. As the numbers continue to grow, it has become important for new modes of transport to be developed and improved upon to help people get where they need to go.
As Insider London states, these ingenious forms of travel are as diverse as the needs out of which they were born and some of them are pretty unusual! Although they are largely built and maintained to make people’s lives easier, a lot of them are a fun way to travel around the city, so you should definitely check them out during your visit!
Don’t forget to check in to The Shaftesbury Collections Hyde Park Boutique Hotel first though, so you can get straight to finding your way around the city.
We’ve pulled together a top ten list of the different unusual ways for you to get around London and we hope you have fun doing it.
1. Tower Subway
Before Tower Bridge opened, it was very difficult to get across the River Thames and the main way to do this was by using Tower Subway. This is a 410-metre tunnel that runs under the river and you could cross it for the price of a ha’penny.
Although it closed in 1898 – after the bridge was completed – you can still visit the northern entrance, which is near the Tower of London.
2. Greenwich Emirates Airline
Take to the sky with the Greenwich Emirates Airline, which links the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Victoria Docks and is London’s first and only cable car system.
For most Londoners, it’s a tourist attraction but this shouldn’t take away from the fact that it’s a great way to see the city skyline, particularly on a clear day or at sunset.
3. Kingsway Tram Tunnel
Grade II listed, the Kingsway Tram Tunnel is a cut and cover tunnel that was completed in 1906 and served the Kingsway and Aldwych boulevards in Holborn.
It closed in 1952, due to the introduction of diesel buses on London’s streets, but it reopened at the Strand Underpass in 1964, so you can still catch a ride aboard.
4. London Underground
Although the London Underground, or Tube, doesn’t seem like the most odd form of transport, it’s arguably the most important.
It’s the beginnings of the Tube that make it unusual: imagine the first person who proposed building a huge and intricate network of lines all over the city. It’s hard to picture how that would have gone down and makes it all the more impressive that the project got off the ground – so to speak – in the first place.
5. Woolwich Ferry
This is one of the cheapest ways for you to travel around London, as the Woolwich Ferry is a free service that connects Woolwich in south-east London to north Woolwich in east London.
Today’s service has been running since 1889 and it’s a part of history that has operated in this area of the city since the 14th century.
6. Tower Bridge High Level Walkways
The high level walkways of Tower Bridge are more of a tourist attraction rather than a way of getting around the city. The bridge is complete with glass floors and even hosts yoga classes if you’re so inclined.
7. Greenwich Foot Tunnel
Greenwich foot tunnel links Cutty Sark to Island Gardens and 1.2 million pedestrians stomp through this walkway every year.
This is one of the quietest forms of transport through the city, as it’s far away from the bustling nature of London.
8. London Duck Tours
Walking tours are a great way to see the city, but if you’re looking for a really fun way to get around London, we recommend the Duck Tour, which boasts a fleet of half boat/half track vehicles, so they can travel on both land and water.
9. Necropolis Railway
The city’s Necropolis Railway was built as a response to the shortage of burial space in Victorian London and a plan was concocted to build a cemetery far enough away from London to avoid health hazards and provide cheap burial space.
A newly opened railway line from London Waterloo to Southampton was built to transport coffins and mourners to the cemetery. Now, it’s simply a spot of history to visit and learn about.
10. Canal Boats
These leisurely cruises are a great way of taking in large parts of the Regent’s Canal, which used to be the centre of London’s industry, powering the city with coal imports.
You’ll travel along historic routes and get to visit places like Regent’s Park and Camden Lock Market.