It is the 1st of June 2022, and the Elizabeth line opened less than a couple of weeks ago. I am still testing the best way to use the new train line and offer advice on accessible routes. I have a hidden disability where I can only walk or climb to my limit. Lets test that limit.
Today, I took my wife on a tour of London, via the brand new Elizabeth line. It started as usual at Upminster, on the c2c. Upminster has lifts to the platforms, and a side entrance, and being a main line rail station, it has toilets, and also on the train.
We travelled to Barking, where it is very easy to cross a platform to alight the district line towards Whitechapel, and London. The district line is very slow. At Whitechapel, a lift, or stairs, brings you to street level. A reasonable walk into the brand new Elizabeth line station arrives at the Elizabeth line.
I think it is about 18 minutes from Whitechapel to Paddington. So fast!
At Paddington are toilets, a rare thing to find in London, except at main line rail stations. The Elizabeth line has zero of these, either on the trains or the new stations. It was clearly too much to ask for a few toilets, or maybe they were cut as the budget ran out of control.
After a quick stop, we headed back towards Tottenham court road station. Here, this is a large station, lots of escalators and lifts up to street level. You can also catch the Central and Northern lines at this station. In New Oxford street, we headed for the famous Umbrella shop, turned left up Bloomsbury street, and then right into Great Russell street for the British museum. I had booked tickets, but no checking now appears to take place, just a bag search. The museum was very busy, and absolutely brilliant, and a good cafeteria area exists at the rear of the ground floor. There is also a shop, and toilets, including an disabled toilet and wash room.
Near to the front exit are two small lifts which reach the various floors. These became busy during the stop here, often with lazy tourists avoiding the stairs tp the detriment of those who needed these lifts.
Each one of the amazing displays show priceless objects, my favourites being in Roman Britain, and a number of hoards found in the last century.
We left the museum after about 90 minutes. I can visit it anytime, as I often do, and headed off for Lancaster Gate, and the Albert Gardens. We took two buses two get there, to avoid stairs on the TFL station., via the 98 bus to Oxford street / John Lewis; and then the 94 bus to Lancaster Gate. I recommend the TFLGO app on your phone if you are not using this.
By Lancaster Gate station is an amazing fountain which was originally built by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in about 1860. The entirety was rebuilt in 2011, and is one of the most beautiful spots in London, particularly in the sunshine. It sits at the northern end of Hyde Park.
I am not actually known for stamina, but after a short stop here, we walked southwards along the Serpentine, and down through Hyde Park. I had previously walked this in the opposite direction. There are a good number of park benches along the route, and we also passed the Princess of Wales Fountain and the Peter Pan statue.
The southern end of the park finds Park lane.