I had an appointment at the Royal Brompton hospital, well actually two separate appointments at two different wings ( and about 5 minutes apart, but I will get to that).
Gidea Park station is on the new Accessible Elizabeth line, and I had a number of routes open to me to get to the hospitals, both near to Chelsea Town Hall, and Sloane square etc.
The Elizabeth line trains are really nice, and are around nine carriages long. I joined the train closest to the lift, yes there are lifts! Therefore I was at the front of the train which is a consideration when getting to some of the stations inside London. The trains are 200 meters long, and many of the stations report it is unable to exit the train from the back of the train as the platforms are too short (or the trains too long).
The Elizabeth line is quite slow, stopping at every station from its start in Shenfield towards London; and the first major station is Stratford where it is very easy to walk to the Jubilee line, and quite a short distance. The Jubilee line is a good tube line to use, except it is incredibly busy, and we decided to give this a miss today. The trains no longer run into Liverpool street station (the main line), except at weekends when engineering work is often taking place. You need to check TFL status for this, it is very variable. The Elizabeth line avoids the main line station and now stops at Whitechapel.
Whitechapel is a good choice to get from the Elizabeth line onto the District line. There are ample lifts and very step free, although the distances to travel between the two trains are quite big, certainly for me. We chose not to change here today.
The Elizabeth line then travels via the new Elizabeth line station which should really be called something different. This station is not any near the original main line station, and avoid it if you don’t want to walk for miles.
The next stop is Farringdon, and we decided to change here and join the circle line at the other Farringdon station. This was actually a mistake, but bear with me. The Farringdon Elizabeth line station is super accessible with lifts, escalators and fairly short walk to exit the station. You cross an unbusy road to the Farringdon Tube station which has the Circle line and the Hammersmith & City lines. If you take a look at the full tube map, you will understand you cannot travel directly to Sloane Square (our desired exit point), but you could travel via Edgware road, and change here.
So, you get on the Hammersmith train, get off at Edgware road, and wait for the circle line which ends at this station and catch it back to Sloane square. This route actually travelled via Paddington, and we could have tried this instead; but more on that later!
At Sloane square, you can exit the train lines via an escalator to the surface, thankfully. I forgot that to enter this station to get to the platforms, there are approximately 50 steps to walk down! Seriously.
Sloane square was our alighting point to catch the 211 bus which runs towards Chelsea Town Hall, and the Brompton hospitals. It doesn’t actually stop at Sloane square, so catch another bus, e.g. the 22, and alight at one of the stops along the way to swop routes. The 211 travels very slowly via roadworks along Kings road, and turns right into Sydney street and stops immediately outside the wing of the Brompton hospital, excellent. Half an hour later, we exited the hospital, walked to the same bus stop, and travelled one stop on the 211 bus to the Marsden / Brompton wing. Brilliant. I had never realised there was one bus which travelled between the two.
Half an hour later, we left the hospital, and headed home. The option was to get back to Paddington, and jump on the Elizabeth line homewards. The 211 bus was chosen to head back to Sloane square. It is not a good option, as I mentioned there are 50 steps down to the platform, but hey ho, it is downhill which is possible. The train headed back towards Paddington and the circle line station.
I think we made a mistake, and ended up getting off at Hammersmith, and the two stations here are quite some distance apart across a busy junction, but not too bad. We then travelled back to Paddington.
When you exit the Tube station at Paddington, there are lifts, or escalators, to the surface which are fine, but then you realise how far it is to walk. For me, anyway. But, fortunately, this brilliant guy in a mobility buggy turned up as we were walking, and offered us a lift. …………
The buggies at Paddington are brilliant, first it travels down into the station concourse via a private service road, and slowly traverses a very busy Paddington Main line station before finally getting to the lifts going down into the Elizabeth line at Paddington, and thence homewards bound. Thanks very much.
A few mistakes made along the way, but that’s life.
Another route is via Green Park, and then a bus to Chelsea. Green Park is at one end of the Jubilee line and one stop from Paddington, and is very step free and mostly accessible.