Author: Bob Handford
One of the best long running promotions for visitors to London is the 2 for 1 admissions discount when you have a rail ticket.
The promotion is fundamentally targeted at the British to encourage them to take the train on days out instead of perhaps taking the car. Just by printing out a free voucher from the promotion web site and showing a valid train ticket people can effectively get half price admission with these 2 for 1 offers.
The beauty of this promotion is that its not just the second tier places you often find on discount promotions but the most popular, including in London the Tower of London and London Eye.
Use By Overseas Visitors Staying In London Without A Train Ticket
It wasn’t long before visitors staying in London started exploiting this scheme, even if they had no intention of using a train. The big loophole most visitors exploit are that the rail stations in Central London sell Travelcards as well as train tickets. Travelcards are the fixed length travel pass for as little as one day that gives unlimited travel for that period on London’s buses, Underground and trains. Travelcards issued at these stations thus qualified for the 2 for 1 promotion. An off peak 1 day Travelcard costs £7.30 in 2013, adult admission to the Tower of London are over £20 per person - so you can see why it became so popular for canny visitors.
There are over 150 attractions in the London area on the 2 for 1 scheme.
Some Favourite Places To Use 2 for 1 In London
Tower of London
London Eye (note the London Eye tends to drop out of the scheme in peak summer months)
Hampton Court Palace
St Paul’s Cathedral
Churchill’s War Rooms
What 2 for 1 Means
The standard deal with 2 for 1 is that one person pays full adult standard admission, another gets in free.
This is irrespective of age, whether the people are children or seniors.
The deal is normally for standard tickets, not fast-track or any other promotional ticket.
You have to check out each attraction’s individual rules and regulations when you print out the voucher from the web site, the above is the general rule but individual attractions may have other restrictions.
Travelcard Prices 2013
Travelcards give unlimited travel on London’s buses, underground and railways. You buy Travelcards to cover the zones you want to travel in. The central zones 1 and 2 is where most visitors will have their accommodation and where all the major sights are.
An adult 1 day Travelcard in 2013 is £7.30 for zones 1 & 2, (£8.80 if you want to travel before 9:30 a.m. Monday to friday).
A 7 day Travelcard is £30.40, you can travel at any time with this product.
Qualification For The 2 for 1 Scheme
You must have a valid return rail ticket or Travelcard with the rail logo on for the day of your visit. You must also have the relevant 2 for 1 voucher.
The only places that sell Travelcards with the rail logo on are railway ticket offices at Central London mainline rail stations, (Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, Kings Cross, St Pancras, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo and Victoria). All these also have Underground ticket offices and some have information centres which sell Travelcards as well as rail ticket offices, purchasing from anywhere other than the train ticket offices do not qualify. Travelcards bought on-line in advance do not qualify for 2 for 1.
Confusingly return tickets on the Gatwick Express and Stansted Express airport trains bought from the railways do qualify but tickets on the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect do not.
There are railways stations in the suburbs of London away from where most visitors stay which may sell tickets valid for 2 for 1. If a railway station is in one of the London public transport zonal areas it will sell both Travelcards and return rail tickets that are valid for 2 for 1. However, the ticket office at such stations must be operated by the railways for tickets to be valid for 2 for 1.
Many stations are dual railways and underground stations but unlike the mainline railway stations in Central London listed above do not have separate ticket offices. Some stations like Heathrow Airport and West Brompton as a result do not sell tickets valid for 2 for 1 whilst Ealing Broadway does.
Photo ID Cards For 7 Day Travelcards
In 2012 the railways brought in a requirement that when you buy a 7 Day Travelcard you require a photo id card. This is issued free when you buy a 7 Day Travelcard, but you must bring along your own passport size photo. This rule only applies to 7 Day Travelcards bought from railway stations.
(7 Day Travelcards bought anywhere else than the railways ticket offices come loaded on an Oyster Card and do not require a photo but are not valid for the 2 for 1 promotion.)
You do not need photo id for 1 day Travelcards
Vouchers have expiry dates, do check vouchers you print are valid for the day you plan to visit.
Attractions on the scheme. come and go – the promotion has been running many years now.
Oyster Card and Underground tickets are not valid, nor are Travelcards without the rail logo only available from Central London railway stations.
By way of recognition most ‘paper’ rail travel tickets show the Double-Arrow (or ‘crows-foot’) National Rail logo, this also applies to Travelcards. If your ticket hasn’t this logo its not valid.