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London Tube District Line question

We will be taking the Tube from Mansion House to Paddington during our next London visit (March). I have always been curious about this line, as it appears to split at Earl’s Court and go to several different end stations: Edgeware Road (which we would want for Paddington Station). Richmond, and Ealing. I assume each train is labeled on the front as to its final destination so we know which to board? Is the destination displayed anywhere else?

And for the return to Mansion House, will every District Line train from Paddington go that route?

(I know we can also take the Circle Line without this concern, but just want to be prepared!)


Posted by
5508 posts

Each tube line shows where it begins and ends. There is plentiful signage in each station on the walls as well as maps of the entire Underground system AND in each train are maps above the windows on both sides of the cabin. Thus while seated or standing you can see the stops. The stops are also announced.

I just used the website and put in a dummy ride from Mansion House to Paddington Station tomorrow at 10:30am. It’s About a 30 minute ride. District or Circle line train to Embankment. Get off and then take a Bakerloo line train to Paddington.

Very straight forward.

If they are still being printed there are free small pocket sized tube maps on the counter by the manned ticket windows. Then again manned ticket windows are being closed out. Still look for the maps. I always carry one. Helps me plot my routes.

Posted by
1786 posts

There are electronic display boards above the platform indicating the destination of trains. You'll clearly see which train goes to Edgware Road (for Paddington).

Having said that it could be quicker to change at Embankment station and take the Bakerloo line northbound to Paddington.

Posted by
11927 posts

Thank you. We will have luggage and would rather not change to another line. Also, I have my led claustrophobia and am only comfortable on the Circle and District Lines, with their more open-feeling cars that do not run as deep underground. Other lines are an ordeal for me, so we tend to mostly use buses or walk in London.

I just read about these cars, the S7 stock:

Posted by
1730 posts

Then you should probably be comfortable on Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan as well. They use the same trains and are also not that deep.

Posted by
4500 posts

If you are traveling from Mansion House to Paddington and are not willing to take the Bakerloo line, then you want to take a westbound train on the Circle line.

If you take the District line, you will need to transfer at Earl’s Court to the branch going toward’s Edgware Road.

Posted by
8889 posts

And for the return to Mansion House, will every District Line train from Paddington go that route?

No, none of them do. Some tube lines join and split, confusingly for the unaware, and the district line is one that does. It is all shown with displays on the platforms, you just need to read those.
Click here for an example. This is from the Central Line, next train goes to West Ruislip, 2nd one to White City.

If you look at the tube map (here: ), you can see the junction is at Earl's Court.
the two Eastern branches (Upminster and Edgeware road) join at Earl's court, then continue on one of the 3 western branches (Ealing Broadway, Richmond or Wimbledon). Mansion House to Paddington via the district line requires changing at Earl's Court and doubling back.

A trick to learn about the tube map. If two lines on the map are side to side (like the circle and district an Mansion House), then they are running on the same track (same platform).
If there is a gap between the lines on the map, they are not. For example at South Kensington, the circle and district are on the same tracks same platform, the Piccadilly (blue) is a different platform, actually on a lower level.

Posted by
11927 posts

OK. Thanks again. We will just plan on taking the Circle Line.

Posted by
24842 posts

The Circle Line is way to go Lola. Yellow is the colour, although the District and Circle lines use each other's trains more than they used to. The new trains are much nicer, and with a touch of claustrophobia you may like that fact that the train is one long tube - there are no car end doors, you could walk from one of the train to the other without touching anything. You can get a nice long view down the train. Hope that helps. There are display screens and audio announcements in every car. Just be sure to take a westbound train at Mansion House.

Be aware that due to Crossrail's interminable construction bits of the Circle Line (usually the northern half or the eastern edge) are out of service for some or all of many weekends.

Posted by
11927 posts

That is exactly it, Nigel. Being able to see so far up and down the train makes it much easier to tolerate. I discovered this on our 2016 London visit when we used the Circle and District lines to take our grandchildren to the museums near the South Kensington station. On previous visits, I was miserable on those few occasions when we had to use the Tube to get somewhere.

We will be traveling on a Tuesday on this occasion, so hopefully will not run into delays from engineering works. We will be in London over the weekend, but can walk or take the bus to get where we want to go then.

Posted by
4446 posts

Chris F, thanks for the tip. We find the London Underground fairly easy to navigate, but every extra bit of knowledge helps.

Lola, I'm mildly claustrophobic, and I hate riding the trains on the lower levels. We ran into that in Paris this year. Also airplanes, but that's another story. I tell myself that anytime I want, the nice pilot will stop and let me get off. Yes, even over the Atlantic.

Posted by
9177 posts

Here's another reason to take ONLY the Circle Line to Paddington and not the District Line:

If you thought about taking the District Line and changing at Earls Court, you would need to change platforms. That would mean either carrying your bags up a good number of steps, crossing over, and then carrying them down the same number of steps. Or, there is a small elevator that takes you up to a catwalk and then another to take you down--when they are working. Not fun to do with luggage.

Posted by
4514 posts

As you have mentioned luggage, with the Circle Line bear in mind at Paddington that if you are taking it anti-clockwise to Mansion House that you need to go down stairs/escalator from the main concourse, take the passage under Praed Street, walk up stairs to the Underground entrance, then down another set of stairs. These latter two have no escalator/lift alternative. If the weather is clement you can alternatively leave the main line station up the ramp and cross Praed Street on the level and go downstairs. This also all applies to the District in this direction. I have seen all to many people struggling up and down these stairs over the years. It is not so crucial in the opposite direction as you only have the one set of stairs/escalator.

Taking the Circle clockwise from the Bishop's Road set of platforms at the far end can be done with only a few stairs and a lift.