How To Survive London In A Heatwave

By BethPH Last edited 67 months ago
How To Survive London In A Heatwave

summer skyWhile some of us have been enjoying the sunshine over the last couple of weeks, it's not been a happy time for commuters and office workers.

Delays on three London Underground services and a speed restriction on Greater Anglia mainline services into Liverpool Street yesterday followed Monday's problems at Waterloo after a train track buckled in the heat. Meanwhile, passengers on the New Bus for London have been sweating it out in temperatures up to 30 degrees as the bus's air-cooling fails to live up to its name.

Timely then, is TfL's reissue of their summer 'beat the heat' plan. Veterans of summer commuting in London will be familiar with the advice to always carry water and get off at the next stop if you feel unwell rather than hit the passenger alarm.

At Londonist, we've decided to add some useful pointers to how you can cope with London in a heatwave.

  • Deodorant is your friend. Trust us, your fellow commuters and your colleagues will thank you for applying it liberally. The opposite is true for perfume and aftershave — no-one enjoys being enveloped in a miasma of J-Lo.
  • Beachwear is for the beach and socks with sandals is never OK. See the Guardian's guide on how to avoid summer fashion faux pas.
  • Avoiding the hottest tube lines might work if you have a private helicopter or a crash pad on the Metropolitan line but tough luck if you live on the Central line which can hit 32 degrees. Get a fan and refer to TfL's advice about water.
  • Much as we'd all like to go home once the mercury hits 30 degrees, there is no maximum temperature for your workplace. But the battle for air conditioning supremacy will continue to be fought, with some workers shivering in cardis while others slowly melt into a sticky pool.
  • If you've got some free time on your hands, head for the nearest supermarket. According to this report, Waitrose have noticed a 34% increase in frozen food sales as customers loiter in the freezer aisles. Climbing into the freezer, however, is probably going too far.
  • Tempted to have a moan about the heat? Just think back to May when the nation was befuddled by the appearance of a strange yellow orb in the sky following a winter to rival that of Westeros in Game of Thrones. And back when we were a lad and this were all fields, it was hotter.

For more ways to keep cool, see Londonist's guide to the best ice cream, rooftop bars and lidos. With that, we're off to stuff our pillows in the fridge and have a cold beer.

Photo by P1ay in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 17 July 2013