Just a mishmash of things that caught me off guard.
1. Local transport isn’t twofold: it’s threefold. There’s buses, the tube, and about a million overground trains connecting the inner city with Greater London.
Some are the actual overground, or at least go by that name. There’s a train from Stratford to Richmond that connects Hampstead Heath super well with a lot of far-off areas. There’s the Thameslink, which I found out about the first time I went to Streatham by way of West Hampstead. And then there’s just trains. A lot of trains. Trains is how you get to areas like Tooting, Streatham, Croydon and whatnot, but also how you get to Haringay and Hertfordshire and Surrey. There are nineteen train platforms at Clapham Junction or possibly more — this is based on memory, not factual, and specifically based on the memory of running from platform 17 to platform 1 or viceversa in an attempt to not miss a train by one minute. Because, yeah, trains don’t run nearly as often as the tube does, and a lot of buses are worth tracking online, too, because they’ll show up once every 15-20 minutes.
The only overground train that shows on the tube map is the proper overground — the one that comes to Hampstead Heath — so it was a bit of a pain in the ass figuring out how to get to Streatham the first time I did. The person I was visiting called the train from Victoria the “Victoria line” — but it’s a train, not the tube, and I think it’s the Southern Rail. It’s certainly not a blue line on the tube map.
Then I lived in Streatham for a week, and now I know things like that there are local trains that will also take you as far as Brighton. Also, the area outside Clapham Junction station is bloody beautiful. I wish I’d taken the pictures the day I went down by bus, but I was busy keeping my luggage from rolling down the bus aisle. My bad. I’ll go back sometime.