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London 2 For 1 Attraction Discounts With Travelcards & Train Tickets In 2014

Author: Bob Handford

One of the best long running promotions for visitors to London is the 2 for 1 promotion sponsored by the railways.

What is The 2 For 1 Promotion

The 2 for 1 promotion covers  over 150 attractions in the London area.The London Pass

2 for 1 requires a voucher printed at no charge from the promotions web site, plus a transport ticket issued by the railways that would enable you to get to the attraction that day. (The scheme is promoted by the railways)

2 for 1 means that one person pays the full standard adult admission and another person goes in free, irrespective of age. This means that the scheme is not normally worthwhile when children are involved as they normally go in around half price anyway, (you cannot use 2 for 1 to pay child admission and get another child in free).

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.

Attractions Covered And Savings

One of the attractions of the scheme is that it covers many of the top attractions.
These include the Tower of London, Madame Tussaud’s, London Dungeon, London Zoo, London Eye, Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge Exhibition and Hampton Court.

Attractions do come in and out of the scheme. The London Eye is a good example.

When you consider that the admission to the Tower of London is over £20 and the cost of a 1 Day Travelcard is around £9 the savings are very worhwhile.

Key Points Of The 2 For 1 Promotion

- To qualify you must have a valid railway ticket with the railways logo on that is valid to get you to Central London on the day of entry to the attraction. Single railway tickets are only valid on the day the railway ticket is used. Return tickets are valid for 2 for 1 the entire period between the outward and return legs of your train ticket.

- Or a valid Travelcard issued by the railways, (not by the Underground, TFL or on-line)

- You must have a 2 for 1 voucher for the attraction. You can print as many vouchers as you like at no charge.

- The deal is normally for standard tickets, not fast-track and not to be used in conjunction with other promotional tickets.

- The vouchers have expiry dates. Near the expiry dates a new set of vouchers are put up on the official web-site. Each voucher cycle some attractions join, others may drop out.

- There is no limit to the number of vouchers you can use in a day.

Qualifying Railway Tickets For The Promotion

The facet that gets visitors confused is the qualifying rail issued tickets that can be used with the  2 for 1 promotion.

If you are not travelling to London by train, your work around is to buy a Travelcard. Travelcard is a public transport pass covering the buses, underground, DLR and railways in London. The alternative Oyster pass is not valid for the 2 for 1 scheme.

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, Fenchurch Street and Victoria). All these also have Underground ticket offices and some have information centres which also sell Travelcards.  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.

Its not all straight forward with the qualifying railway tickets either. The UK has a privatised rail system with many operating companies, not all of which support the promotion. 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/overground 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 Purchased From The Railways

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 Travelcard

Related Information

Travelcards – Prices, Zones, How To Use…

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2 for 1 Promotion Web Site – Print Your Coupons From Here.

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The London’s Pass – London’s Other Transport & Attraction Ticket …

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Discuss 2 For 1 With Bob

For the visitor to London its bad enough getting on top of Oyster v Travelcard, let alone the 2 for 1 promotion.

So if you’re confused just make a comment below, normally I’ll respond well within 24 hours

  • Radoslaw Zatwarnicki

    Hi any idea if i could use 2-4-1 to london zoo with 2 adults and 1 child under 3 (normally free) ? Thanks

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Yes if you have the 2 for 1 voucher for the London Zoo and a qualifying transport ticket bought from the railways

      • Radoslaw Zatwarnicki

        Great thanks for reply. Just to confirm – I need only 1 qualifying train ticket to get 241 voucher. Another adult could travel on oyster for example? Thanks

        • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

          Every person using a voucher (valid for 2 people) requires a ticket sold by the railways, Oysters are not valid for this purpose.

  • Raj

    Hi Bob

    I am getting almost the answer from the discussions below, however I just want to clarify.
    I am landing at London Victoria tomorrow but planning to visit places the day after. Since I am staying in Barking, is it possible to buy the one day travel card in advance at London Victoria tomorrow for the day after and to avail the 2 in 1 offer at the same time.

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      You should be able to buy a 1 day Travelcard from a manned ticket office up to 7 days in advance

  • Pippa

    Hi bob travelling from north sheen 2 adults 3 kids going to london zoo. Printed off two vouchers but not sure if the travel cards from machine at station will work when get there?

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      According to the National Rail web site the station is run by South West trains and the ticket machines are railways too – so logic would say the Travelcards being dispensed will have the rail logo on and qualify.

      That is all I can pass on, I cannot verify you will definitely receive such a Travelcard.

      Unfortunately the manned ticket office is closed Saturdays/Sundays

      For an authorative answer you really need to phone the South West trains customer help line on 0845 6000 650

      • Pippa

        Thanks my comment was meant to post yesterday! Decided not to risk it and went to Richmond got tickets to Camden town. Nearly everyone in queue had vouchers and she didn’t look at train tickets at all so definitely worth a try if have wrong ones!

  • Iris

    Thanks Bob but still confusing, according to the website, eg, in my case, a group of four should ALL hold a valid train ticket to get the 2-4-1 for the attraction on that day and not two of us hold the tickets !

    Actually we will stay at Lon for 13 days, for adults we will buy the Oyster card and my child (14yrs) will buy 2 sets of 7 days travel card. That means if we want to go for a 2-4-1 attraction on a particular day, we only need to buy an extra 1 day travel card plus my child’s travel card, then 4 members can go for free, am I right? Or 4 of us need the travel card instead?

    Cheers
    Iris

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Sounds like I did not explain myself properly.
      For 4 people you need two 2 for 1 vouchers and 4 tickets

      So assuming there are 3 adults and a 14 year old on walking up to the ticket desk you need to show:
      4 x Travelcards for each person bought from the railways
      2 x 2 for 1 vouchers
      Money for standard admission of 2 adults.

  • Iris

    Hi Bob,

    We are travelling in a group of 4 ( 3 adults +1 child). Can I buy 1 adult and 1 child travel card instead of 2 adults in order to enjoy the 2-4-1. Also, where can we buy the child 7 days travel card, online or just buy at the train station. Thanks

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      The deal with 2 for 1 for most attractions is that one person pays full adult admission the other goes in free irrespective of age.

      Child 7 Day Travelcards (just like Adult Travelcards) you need to buy from the railways in order to qualify for 2 for 1.
      In practise this means for nearly all visitors buying from a railways ticket office at one of the mainline stations in Central London. Buying on-line is no good.
      The railways require a photo id card for both adults and children to buy a 7 day Travelcard. They will make up the id card free on the spot but you need to provide a passport size photo.

  • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

    Basically you need a railway issued ticket that you can with a straight face claim got you to the attraction and back again.
    It’s up to the individual attraction to decide if you are pulling a fast one and feedback is that different attractions implement this discretion with varying degrees of enthusiasm. The last word is with the attraction itself.

    If you have tickets to and from any zone 1 railway station in Central London this should cover 2 for 1 for any 2 for 1 attraction in the centre of town.

  • Joye Kavass

    Hey Bob,
    Can I get my photo ID card without buying a 7 day travel card then a month later buy my 7 day travel card?

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Yes

  • simon barson

    Hi we are coming to London on a 4day break in May, we are coming by rail from the northwest, we have booked via the computer so we have printed paper tickets will the be ok as proof of rail travel for 2 for 1 offers. We also have bus passes can we use them on London buses including the number 11 tour service.

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      The general rule is that if your rail ticket has the rail logo on then it’s valid for 2 for 1. Any doubt consult whoever you bought the tickets from.

      You can use English Senior;s Bus passes on London’s red buses but not the Underground. The number 11 bus is just a normal bus that happens to past a lot of the tour sites.
      This tourists bus map on page 17 of the leaflet linked below should be a big help which routes are good for sightseeing.

      http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/london-visitor-guide.pdf

      You can also travel free on the Green Line bus to Windsor from Victoria if that appeals at off-peak hours

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